Even though some people think moles are adorable, they may really harm your lawn and landscaping. The plants, grass, and trees in your outdoor area are soon killed or damaged by moles as they build elaborate networks of tunnels and mounds in the ground.
We’ll provide our best advice for getting rid of moles in this post. Let’s start now:
What Are Moles?
Many people think that moles, which are little burrowing creatures, are related to mice or rats. Despite having fairly similar appearances (both are tiny and hairy), moles and mice are vastly different animals. Moles are animals that live the majority of their life underground, digging burrows, as opposed to rats and mice, which are rodents.
Despite having underdeveloped eyes, they make up for their poor vision with a strong sense of touch. All moles have long, clawed digits and extremely sensitive snouts that they utilize to dig tunnels. The star-nosed mole’s snout has 22 tentacle-like projections that are six times more sensitive to touch than a human hand.
Eastern moles have dense fur that sticks straight up, unlike most animals, whose fur lays flat and points toward the tail. So that when they back up through a tunnel, soil won’t get stuck in their coats. Although most species of moles are little longer than 10 inches in length, males are typically larger than females.
Moles are excellent scavengers. A 160-foot hole can actually be hollowed out by an eastern mole—one of the most prevalent mole species in the United States—in only one night. Moles do tunnel around and beneath the roots of plants and trees, but contrary to popular perception, they don’t eat the roots of plants and trees.
In actuality, moles are insectivores, which means they search for worms and other insects in the soil surrounding plants by digging tunnels.
Detecting Mole Damage in Your Garden and Yard
Despite the similarities between mole damage and that left behind by voles, mice, or other rodents, there are some significant distinctions.
Here are 4 indicators to watch out for:
Patches of dead grass are a reliable sign that you have a mole infestation, as we noted in a recent blog post on the subject. Moles disturb the neighboring grasses’ root systems as they dig their tunnels, destroying the grass at the surface and leaving dead patches in their wake.
The expression “building a mountain out of a molehill” may be familiar to you. The soil is moved out of the tunnel and up to the surface by the moles as they excavate their tunnels, leaving a distinctive, molehill-shaped mound at the tunnel mouth.
Several Distant Mounds
Not only moles but other animals also create entrance and exit mounds. Gophers carry out similar behaviors. The distinction is that molehills tend to be roughly six feet apart, but gopher mounds are close together.
Bits of Dirt
Gophers turn the dirt in your yard into a fine powder when they dig. On the other hand, moles break up the earth into pieces. Look for dirt clumps when you assess the mounds in your yard because they are a surefire indicator of moles. It’s crucial to know what not to look for if you’re wondering whether you have moles in your landscaping.
What Makes Moles Attract to Your Yard?
Moles are more likely to visit regions that provide the best habitat for feeding, reproducing, and burrowing because they spend their whole lives in their burrows.
Here are three aspects of the environment that moles enjoy:
Many bugs are consumed by moles. Indeed, according to the NWF, some species consume up to 100% of their body weight in insects per day. Earthworms, white grubs, beetles, and larvae make up their food. Moles will build intricate burrows in locations with a high density of these insects.
A cool climate
Moles are not nocturnal or blind, unlike what the general public thinks. They are active all day long and prefer chilly, damp soil because it helps them maintain their body temperature.
The primary runways that moles build frequently correspond to landscaping features like fence rows, walkways, or other man-made borders. They might also appear along a row of hedges or in another safe location. Moles will also dig beneath bushes and trees in order to find the insects that live in the roots of those plants. Food is the main incentive for moles to establish colonies whenever they go, therefore limiting their access to food supplies is one of the best strategies to reduce mole populations.
How to Get Rid of Moles at Home
Take Away Their Food Sources
Moles adore grubs. If you eliminate the grubs and other insects in your yard, the moles will look for other food sources. We advise utilizing milky spore or beneficial nematodes to kill grubs to control grub populations. Use a pesticide if you want results sooner.
Put Some Repellent On
Sometimes treating an infestation with a mole repellent is effective. For instance, while castor oil won’t actually kill moles, it will disrupt the digestive system of any that come into contact with it, making your grass less desirable as a place for them to inhabit.
Use this recipe to create your own DIY mole repellent:
- Castor oil in three portions
- A portion of dish soap
To wet the tunnels and entrances in your yard, mix four teaspoons of this mixture with a gallon of water. You can also purchase repellents in liquid or granular form to spread around your yard. Make sure you strictly follow all label directions if you choose this option.
Plants Can Act As a Barrier
Strong-smelling plants that moles don’t like include marigolds, daffodils, and other members of the allium family. Plant these plants there or grow them on raised beds to protect root systems to create a natural fence around the edge of your garden. You can also purchase ready-made mole barriers from your local garden center, if you’d like.
Create a Trench
Dig a trench around your lawn and garden that is approximately 2 feet deep and six inches wide to create a human-made border. Rocks can be used to line the trench, or wire mesh or hardware cloth with ¾ inch or smaller holes can be used instead. This is a time-consuming yet long-lasting method to prevent moles from digging into your yard.
Establish a hostile environment
Moles prefer not to reside in troublesome locations. You should be relieved to learn that you may easily get rid of them by creating an unpleasant environment. To accomplish this, buy a sonic spike from a nearby home and garden supply shop and place it in the ground in your garden. This spike will emit obnoxious sounds that will tempt the moles to go on using electronic pulses. You won’t be able to hear or feel the electronic pulses, but don’t be concerned.
Clean Up Your Lawn
Under shelter, moles feel most secure. Eliminating their shelter is a fantastic approach. Maintain well-kept garden beds and trimmed lawns. Avoid covering beds with thick layers of mulch, and get rid of any mounds of wood or organic waste.
Create a Man-Made Drought
Soft, moist soil is ideal for moles and the earthworms they love to consume. Avoid overwatering your lawn to make your yard less inviting for them. By keeping them on the dry side is a wonderful technique to reduce earthworm activity and deter moles from establishing a home in your yard. This strategy won’t lessen the beauty of your outside space because most lawns only require an inch of water each week to keep healthy.
2 Traditional Techniques for Mole Removal
There are a few traditional methods for getting rid of moles in your yard, such as trapping and baiting.
Moles are captured and held in place using lethal techniques in kill traps. The mole population is swiftly eliminated by these traps. Place them in the primary, active mole runways for greatest results. By using a stick or your index finger to make holes in the top of the soil next to a mole hole, you can locate these runways. If the hole is filled in within a day or two, it makes a fantastic runway and mole trap.
To kill moles in their burrows, poison is used as bait. Use of poison baits disguised as earthworms and grubs is one of the most widely used techniques. After consuming the baited earthworms, moles die 12 to 24 hours later. You won’t need to locate and dispose of the bodies of poisoned moles because they normally pass away underground in their tunnels.