do moles eat bird seed

I have been fighting moles and voles for some time now and I have not had very effective results. I have tried the baiting, smoking them out, traps of all types and yet I seem to have a knack at growing the population. They are concentrated around our bird feeder so I believe it is the seed they are after. However I carefully bait the holes, cover them so as not to disturb the ground any more than needed.

Enclosed is a picture of current damage in the area. What would you suggest short of getting rid of the bird feeder? If you look at the records of what I have purchased over the last 3 years to get rid of these unwanted guests, I have been serious at it. I have at times abated their numbers. However, I think feral cats may have helped more as well as a fox or two, and a number of snakes. I have moved the feeder to a location so the lawn in front of the holly plants can become lawn again but, it has been a slow process. So what would you suggest? Thanks.

What the pictures show is most likely VOLES. I had these under my bird feeder too and not surprisingly, I had local cats and coyotes harvesting the voles too! I also started attracting CHIPMUNKS which present a whole new array of potential issues. Here’s what I did to alleviate the problem.

I first installed what I refer to as a “catch tray”. This is a small pie pan thats wider than my feeder and hung from the bottom. Basically it catches the seed which feeding birds miss or push aside. I use a wild bird seed mix and every species of bird seems to like some but not all of the seeds available. That means there is a lot of waste being pushed to the ground and based on the pics you sent, it would appear the same thing is happening to you.

Once I installed the catch tray, I found most of the seed started getting caught. Cardinals and other birds learned to use the tray so this turned out to be an efficient way to handle the messy seeds and prevent unwanted varmints from coming around.

But I also knew it wouldn’t take care of the active voles and chipmunks still around. For them I went with the TUNNEL TRAPS listed in our article. They’re ideal for this application but a little tricky. For most people, getting 5-6 MOUSE TRAPS with the expanded trigger will prove easier to use. Don’t use the ones with the regular metal trigger – only the expanded trigger will work for voles. If you bait them with PECAN PASTE and then drop seed over them, you’ll be making a set no vole can refuse.

Now I know you’re probably thinking this will be a hazard to the birds and you’re right. So to prevent birds from being caught, all you have to do is place a garbage pail lid or box over the traps. Remember, this is not a permanent situation so eventually all these items will be removed. But for the time being, the traps and cover will be needed. And using the lid will really help here because voles don’t like light. By covering their holes you’ll get them to surface and feed almost immediately too so you should get ahold of the problem right away. Start checking the traps once a day, like every morning, and you’ll soon catch them all.

Once you don’t catch any for 7 days, you can proceed with sealing their tunnels because at that point you will have gotten them all. Before you do, pour at least 1 pint of RED FOX URINE down the tunnels and then dress them out with top soil making sure all the voids, dens and tunnels are filled. The urine won’t bother the birds but will definitely deter moles, rats, mice, voles, chipmunks and most any small animal from coming around. And with the catch pan catching most any seed that falls, there should be little to no chance of re-infestation.

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The majority of the seed began to get caught once I installed the catch tray. This proved to be an effective way to manage the messy seeds and keep unwanted varmints away because cardinals and other birds learned to use the tray.

You can seal their tunnels after you haven’t caught any for seven days, since by then you will have caught them all. Prior to doing so, fill all the holes, dens, and tunnels with top soil and pour at least one pint of RED FOX URINE down the tunnels. The birds won’t be bothered by the urine, but moles, rats, mice, voles, chipmunks, and most other small animals will be discouraged from visiting. Additionally, there should be little to no chance of re-infestation because the catch pan captures the majority of seeds that fall.

I’ve been battling moles and voles for a while, but my efforts haven’t yielded very positive results. I’ve tried smoking them out, baiting, and all kinds of traps, but I just seem to have a knack for increasing the population. They seem to be concentrating around our bird feeder, so I think they are chasing the seed. To avoid disturbing the ground more than necessary, I do, however, carefully bait the holes and cover them.

However, I was aware that it wouldn’t address the issue of the remaining active voles and chipmunks. I chose the TUNNEL TRAPS mentioned in our article for them. They’re ideal for this application but a little tricky. Obtaining 5–6 MOUSE TRAPS with the extended trigger will likely make them easier to use for most people. Use of the ones with the standard metal trigger is not recommended; only the expanded trigger is effective for voles. A set that no vole can refuse can be created if you bait them with pecan paste and then scatter seed over them.

I realize that you’re probably thinking that this will put birds in danger, and you’re not wrong. That means all you need to do is cover the traps with a box or the lid of a garbage pail to keep birds from getting caught. Keep in mind that this is a temporary situation, so all of these things will eventually be taken out. However, the traps and cover will be required for the time being. Voles dislike light, so using the lid will be very helpful in this situation. Covering their holes will cause them to surface and begin feeding almost immediately, so you should address the issue as soon as possible. Once you begin checking the traps once a day, preferably in the morning, you will quickly catch them all.


Can voles eat bird seed?

They eat seeds as well as leaves and stems of grasses and sometimes other green vegetation and occasionally, roots and bulbs. Often voles are attracted to, and take up residence under bird feeders where the seed is scattered and litters the ground.

What attracts moles to a yard?

The main reason that moles invade your yard is to search for food. Their primary food sources are earthworms, grubs, and lawn insects. If no food is available, they won’t find your yard attractive. To help limit the moles’ food supply, use products labeled to control grubs, ants, mole crickets, and other lawn insects.

What animal is eating my bird seed?

But aside from those songbirds, who else is visiting your bird feeder? Well, you might be surprised. Squirrels and possums, along with mice, rats, and other ground-feeding animals are attracted to dropped and scattered seeds.

What is the most effective mole deterrent?

Both moles and gophers despise the smell and taste of castor oil, so one excellent way to repel them is with a castor oil-based repellent like Tomcat® Mole & Gopher Repellent Granules or Tomcat® Mole & Gopher Repellent Ready-to-Spray.