Have you been walking through your yard and noticed mounds of dirt piled up, or soft spots under your feet? Are plants inexplicably dying off in your garden? If so, you could have a problem with moles. These creatures, though tiny in size, can do extensive damage to a landscape, not only making it unsightly, but potentially making it dangerous, too. If your landscape has been plagued by moles, here are some tips for mole control in lawns from Florida Environmental Pest Management.
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Control Moles in Your Yard
There are a number of methods that can be employed to control moles in yards. The methods used will depend on your specific mole problem, including the number of these pests you have to contend with, as well as the extent of the damage they are creating. Tactics for mole control in lawns vary, and can include a treatment that is as simple as planting a castor oil mixture into the ground, using ole baits, or eliminating the pests that they feed on – grubs (which often take up residence in lawns and gardens) – with pesticides.
What are moles?
Moles are small burrowing mammals often confused with rodents like rats, mice, and small rabbits. Moles are just as small and hairy as mice and rats, but they spend most of their lifetime underground in holes they’ve burrowed. Moles have poor vision but have a powerful sense of touch to make up for it. They have long claws for digging through the ground and 22 whisker-like protrusions that are more sensitive to touch than a human hand. Most species of moles are around 10 inches in length, with male moles usually the bigger ones. They have dense fur that prevents soil from being trapped in their coats while burrowing through the ground. Moles can dig 160 feet through the ground in one night. They are some of the most efficient diggers in the wild. They eat worms and insects, which is why they usually dig through the ground to find them.
What attracts moles to your lawn?
Moles spend most of their lives under the ground and can be found in places with access to food (insects, larvae, grubs, beetles, and earthworms), moist soil, and landscaping.
1. Access to a food source
Moles are heavy eaters and can up to 80 – 100% of their body weight in one day. This makes them consistent with digging the ground as they need to eat daily. They search for insects and earthworms throughout the day, and if your lawn or yard houses these insects, you’re only giving them a free pass.
2. Cool temperature and moist soil
The moist ground is easy to burrow through and is more likely to house certain insects and worms that live underground. If you overwater your lawn or garden regularly, you should look out for signs of moles, as they’re very likely to visit.
Moles are known to exhibit certain burrowing habits where they dig through certain landscaping elements like fences, man-made borders, and paths. You can also find their holes around a line of hedges.
Four signs you have moles in your yard
Below are a few things to look out for if you’re worried you have moles in your yard:
One of the first things you’ll notice when you’re looking for moles in your yard is a molehill. Moles burrow through the ground all day and have to empty the sand they dig out somewhere. You will usually find these molehills at the entrance of the tunnels. Molehills can be as high as two feet and nine inches above the ground, making them easy to find.
2. Distant mounds
Although other diggers, like gophers, can also create mounds, their tunnels aren’t that long, and the mounds are closer together. Moles are super-efficient with digging that they can dig up 70 meters long. You will find that mounds and molehills are far apart.
2. Dying or dead grass
If you have moles in your yard, you will notice areas of uprooted and dead grass. Moles usually uproot grass as they dig through the ground, which kills the grass and creates dry and brown patches.
4. Chunks of soil
Moles dig up dirt in chunks, unlike other diggers. Gophers, for example, will dig up smooth sand since they don’t have to dig too far away. However, moles dig long tunnels, meaning they must pack chunks of sand to deposit outside the tunnel.
How to get rid of moles in 7 steps
Moles aren’t always easy to get rid of. Many of the effective systems are considered inhumane, which means that an expert pest control company may have to help control the situation. However, below are some remedies you can try:
1. Baits and traps
Mole baits and traps are the most effective ways to eliminate moles in your yard. Place mole baits (usually food) and traps at both tunnel entrances. If you have more than one tunnel in your yard, you would have to determine which one is more active and which one leads to another. The traps must be strategically placed on two openings of one tunnel for more effectiveness. The best times of the year to set your traps are early spring or just after the first rainfall in fall. This is best done by a professional pest control company.
2. Cut off their food source
This is where pest control comes to play. Moles eat insects, grubs, beetles, and earthworms. One smart way to end mole problems is to call a pest control professional to exterminate all insects and bugs in your yard.
4. Use mole repellents
Another effective solution is mole repellents like natural castor oil, red pepper, tobacco, coffee grounds, cayenne pepper, and more. Moles especially avoid castor oil because it messes with their digestive tracts. Some plants in the allium family can also act as inhibitors to moles. Some options you can consider include marigolds and daffodils. You can build a barrier with these plants at the entrance to your yard to prevent moles from entering. It would be best if you also considered using ultrasonic devices like the Sonic Mole Chaser to rid your yard of burrowing moles. These devices don’t affect pets but are high-efficiency repellants to moles. They create a penetrating underground pulse that forces underground rodents out of their hiding.
6. Simulate drought conditions
Moles are majorly found in moist and cool environments. Another intelligent solution is to make your yard unbearable for moles to live in. The drier the yard, the less attractive it is to moles and many other rodents. This should not prevent you from watering your yard. You should only limit how much you do it since you only need around one inch of water weekly to keep your grass alive. Dry soil also limits earthworm presence which is another way to prevent moles from burrowing through your soil. However, this solution is best used proactively. If you already have moles in your soil, it would take a long time for this option to take effect.
7. Maintain a clean and tidy lawn
The higher your grass, the safer moles feel since they want to stay unnoticed. Shorter grasses eliminate shelter options for moles. Mow your grass regularly and remove rocks, wood piles, and other structures that can offer coverage to moles while they wreak havoc.
Mole Bait Solutions
Mole bait has been found to be one of the most effective solutions for mole control in lawns. There are several different types of baits, but they all work under the same premise; the bait is similar in the size and shape of the mole’s main source of food, grubs. The bait, however, is filled with a lethal dose of pesticide, which kills the mole, thus eliminating the source of those mole hills and mounds, as well as dead grass and plants. While this method of eliminating moles can be highly effective, many deem it inhumane. Fortunately, there are natural ways to eliminate moles in your lawn. A professional pest control company will be able to offer you various suggestions that are more human for eliminating these pests from your lawn.
One of the tell-tale signs of the appearance of moles in your lawn is the tunnels that they leave behind. These tiny critters have powerful front paws, which they use to dig through the ground so that they can find their food. As their powerful paws dig through the ground, the push dirt and soil up and around them, leaving behind a tunnel. These tunnels are often visible, and they are almost always able to be felt. While walking over your lawn, for example, you may feel what appears to be ‘soft spots’ in the ground. These soft spots are a sure-fire sign that you have a mole problem. If you do experience these mounds, it is in your best interest to contact a professional pest control company to correct the issue as soon as possible. The longer moles are allowed to roam through your lawn, the more severe the problem will become. For that reason, hiring a professional pest control service to treat the issue is extremely important.
Professional Rodent Removal
If you really want to ensure the moles are removed from your yard, make sure that you choose an experienced and well-informed landscaper such as Florida Environmental Pest Management. A professional landscaper will have the skills and tools that are necessary to identify a mole problem and create a plan of action that will effectively treat it.
What is the most effective way to get rid of moles?
The most effective way to get rid of moles is by using baits and traps. However, many consider it inhumane, and other methods can be applied. Call a pest control professional today to find better and safer options.
What do professionals use to kill moles?
Pest control professionals use a lot of different options, including poisonous nuts and seeds, ultrasonic devices, smoke bombs, and proactive options like insecticides.
Why are moles in my yard and not my neighbors?
Moles usually look for areas of moist land with the most food. If you have moles in your yard and your neighbor doesn’t, then you probably overwater your yard, have tall grasses that house insects and worms, or have a landscaping system that encourages them.