Mole Daisies

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It's not that moles are bad little critters.  They eat grubs and worms and spend their lives underground for the most part.  The problem is the little highways they dig just below the surface of your lawn.  They'll damage your grass by separating the roots from the soil, and you can turn an ankle if you step into one of their tunnels.

Of the dozens of mole home remedies, vibration is said to annoy them and drive them off.  We decided to test this theory, and hopefully evict the moles from our lawn in a humane manner.  Since I couldn't locate any of the plastic daisies that usually infest the local garden centers, I decided to invoke the Linux motto.  "Do it yourself."

Premise:  Create a pinwheel on a metal pole.  You've probably seen the plastic variety.  As the pinwheel turns, the vibration is transferred down the pole into the ground, thus annoying the moles and driving them away.

Read the mole diary and find out how effective the daisies were.


Click for video


This project utilizes aluminum sheeting.  Sharp edges can result in serious injury.  Heavy gloves should be worn at all times when working with metal.  Do not place a finished "mole daisy" in an area where children or animals can come into contact with its sharp edges.
What you'll need:
Aluminum flashing material

You can purchase aluminum flashing material that comes in rolls from the hardware store.  If you wish, substitute this heavy material with aluminum pie plates.  Thinner mole daisies may not last very long in gusty conditions.

Metal rods

A thin metal rod transfers vibration better than a wooden stake.  Each rod should be approximately 3' tall.  I used hollow metal rods found at Wal-mart.  Two 6' pieces became four 3' rods.

Miscellany Tape measure, paper plate, metal shears, indelible marker, hacksaw, 8P nails, screw anchors, hot glue gun.


Begin by drawing a circle on the sheeting by tracing around a paper plate.

If you're a stickler for accuracy, measure the diameter and adjust the circumference to cure any high or low spots.

Wearing gloves, cut out your circle.  Buff edges with a polishing wheel to remove any burrs. Poke a nail through the center and work it around until the wheel spins freely.  Slide a screw anchor onto the nail about 1/8" from the head.

Hot glue the anchor to the nail.  Make sure the wheel spins freely. 

Make four cuts as shown.  Leave at least 2-3" from the center uncut. Bend the left (trailing) corners of each petal toward the back (long part of the nail).
Just because the guy in the picture wants to take chances doesn't mean you should.  Wear gloves!
Bend the right (leading) corners of each petal toward the front (short part of the nail).  When completed, you should have what looks like a convincing boat propeller.
A hollow metal rod makes it easy to poke or drill a hole through.  Don't make the hole any larger than the nail we're getting ready to fit in there. Carefully insert (using a hammer) the daisy post into the rod.  

How many times have you been directed to carefully insert something with a hammer?

Secure the nail with a spot of hot glue.  A dab of hot glue on the nail point makes it a little less sharp, but this whole thing is like something out of a Freddy Krueger movie, so bother with it if you feel obliged. Cap the hollow rod with a spot of hot glue.  This will keep water and bugs out.

Mole Daisy Video
Place mole daisies in the paths of the mole's tunnels.  If you know the location of his base of operations then place one or two mole daisies right on top of it.  Keep in mind that these whirlie-gigs are wind powered.  It may take some adjusting to get them pointed in the right direction to catch the prevailing breeze.
Each mole daisy built as described above can be expected to function well under a moderate breeze for a few weeks.  However, the aluminum will quickly wear as it spins around the nail, becoming more loose as it goes.  This will result in more instances of the mole daisy slamming into the rod and eventual failure.  It was hoped that these periodic banging noises would startle the moles as much as it did us humans.  Extend the mole daisy's life by cementing a washer on either side of the hole in the center of the daisy.  Washers should take much longer to wear than soft aluminum.

For some reason birds seemed attracted to the mole daisies during operation.  Perhaps they enjoyed the flashing or the movement.  In the early afternoon when the sun is brightest, blackbirds, robins, and pigeons could usually be seen lined up to watch the nearest daisy.  Birds are strange.