Moles can destroy your perfectly manicured lawn in a matter of days. These small, burrowing insectivores can be found in North America, Europe, and Asia. While they don’t actually eat plants and roots, their burrowing causes significant damage to both lawns and flower beds. Moles can dig up to 18 feet per hour and are most active in early morning and evening.
Moles are small in size, ranging between 4 and 11 inches in length and weighing up to 8 ounces. They are most notable for their long, thin, hairless snouts, small eyes, and lack of external ears. They are usually greyish-brown in color. Moles have large, powerful front feet with webbed toes that they use for burrowing underground while their hindfeet are narrow with slender claws. Moles are nearly blind but they make up for their lack of vision with an exceptional sense of smell.
Moles come into your yard in search of one thing – food! Their diet consists primarily of earthworms and grubs but they will eat other soil-dwelling insects, as well. Moles leave behind a trail of damage when they burrow in your yard, leaving visible trails and brown patches and holes in your lawn. Their tunnels cave in easily, leaving you at risk for injury when you step on them.
Some of the most common signs of moles in your yard are:
- Raised ridges that crisscross across your yard
- Areas of discolored or dead grass
- Raised mounds of dirt (molehills) that mark the entrance/exit of tunnels, usually less than 6″ tall and shaped like a football or volcano
- Areas of loose or squishy soil on your lawn
- An abundance of weeds; moles detach plant roots when they burrow, allowing weeds to take over and flourish
Because moles live underground they can be extremely difficult to prevent. The best treatment for moles is targeted elimination usually through trapping or baiting. It is also important to treat existing tunnels so new moles don’t replace the previously removed moles.
If you have a problem with moles or any other pests, contact your local pest control company who can properly assess your situation and treat it appropriately.
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Moles, a year-round pest nuisance, can cause significant damage to your lawn by burrowing into the ground to create tunnels underneath – usually indicated by above-ground dirt mounds (shown below) – to provide shelter and search for food. Although they’re rarely seen, you can identify them by their gray to brown color, webbed front feet, and long nose. Their front feet are so large that they’re able to dig about a foot per minute – that’s a lot of lawn damage in a short amount of time! Moles eat insects – mostly earthworms & grubs – in large amounts each day and search for meals by tunneling underground, which is what creates the dirt mounds all over your yard, a result of soil being pushed up to the surface.
If moles are causing damage to your lawn, there are a few things you can do to prevent and get rid of them – including the use of repellents, baiting, trapping, and grub control.
Mole repellents can be purchased from your local garden store or, for a more DIY approach, made at home using a caster oil mixture. This method can be effective if the entire yard is treated with the repellent, but will only work for a short amount of time. Once the repellent’s scent diminishes, the moles may return.
Mole baits can be effective if applied properly, but are not usually recommended since the products can be harmful to other animals that come in contact with them.
The most effective method of getting rid of moles is usually trapping, preferably by a trained wildlife control specialist. Professional mole control includes identifying mole tunnels, monitoring activity, and then setting traps.
You can also help to prevent a mole invasion by limiting their food supply – grubs – with lawn care treatments. As an added bonus, you’ll be reducing the amount of grubs feeding on your lawn!