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Moles and voles are typically not harmful creatures, that is, unless you have a garden. Anyone who has tried growing vegetables knows just how pesky these creatures can be.

Moles and voles look quite similar, but there are actually some key differences. To start with, moles are larger and can be identified by their hand-like feet and longer snouts. They will tunnel through your lawn or garden in their endless search for live insects, which are their only form of sustenance.

Photo: Max Pixel

Voles, on the other hand, look a lot more like field mice. They prefer to dine on the roots of your plants.

Photo: Pixabay/Eveline de Bruin

The holes and tunnels that they craft are fairly simple to identify as well, making it easy to tell when you have some unwanted visitors.

The moles will create mounds of dirt when they make their tunnels during their searches for insects. Meanwhile, voles leave an impression or hole in the earth, rather than a mound.

Photo: Pixabay/Krzysztof Jaracz
Photo: flickr/Mike McCune

To keep these critters at bay, you can make a solution that consists of six ounces of castor oil, a couple of tablespoons of liquid detergent, and one gallon of water.

From there, spray it over the lawn and the smell takes care of the rest. The grass will be fine but the moles and voles will be put off by the scent. You can also spray the solution on your garden.

Photo: flickr/Oregon State University

If the moles and voles persist, you can opt to install mesh cages with garden cloth. This is the most foolproof method of all. Moles and voles cannot penetrate areas covered in the garden cloth.

Happy gardening!