Mole Control: How to Identify, Prevent and Get Rid of Moles

Moles are carnivores, and hence, they eat purely insects. They do not eat plants. However, they are still amongst the most common garden pests. This is because they create holes or tunnels under the ground. In turn, these holes affect the appearance of the lawn and the growth of the plants. With this, to prevent serious damages, it is critical to learn how to get rid of moles.

These small mammals have a cylindrical body, which has an average length of 4.4 to 6.5 inches from rump to snout. The tail, on the other hand, adds an average of 1 inch to its body. It is hairless and has a pointed snout. They have invisible ears and poor vision, although it is important to note that they are not blind. Their physical characteristics and feeding activities can vary slightly depending on their specific type. Some of the most common species include Townsend’s mole, Coast mole, and Eastern mole, among others.

Mole

Mole is Hairless and Has a Pointed Snout

Mole’s Habitat

It is rare to see moles on the ground, which is because they live underground. They are found almost all over the world, except South America and Antarctica. Moles have diverse habitats, which include gardens, sand dunes, woodland, and grassland, among others. They do not travel above the ground. Instead, they dig holes and create tunnels under the soil. Moles are also anti-social, and hence, they live on their own, except when the mating season comes. The tunnels that they create also serve as chambers where they store their food.

Identifying Mole’s Damage

Plants Affected

As we have earlier mentioned, moles do not feed on plants. Hence, they will not cause direct damages to the latter. For this reason, it is impossible to identify their specific host plants. Its diet is mostly invertebrates and insects, which include earthworms, slugs, snails, and centipedes.

Symptoms

The following are some of the most common signs that will be indicative of the presence of moles:

  • Surface tunnels are the most common symptoms. These tunnels can have a depth of up to 10 inches. This will create holes on the surface, which will be indicative of the entry point of moles.
  • You will notice the appearance of mounds or hills of soil on the ground. These molehills can be unattractive on the lawn.

Results of Infestation

A high population of moles can be alarming, because it is an indication that there are lots of pests in the garden, providing them with more food. The infestation will result mostly to cosmetic damages because of the tunnels that they create. This will inevitably make the garden unattractive. Plants can wilt and become unhealthy, but this is not a direct outcome of the feeding of moles. This is because the tunnels can attract rodents and other pests, which are the ones that will damage the roots of the host plants.

Moles Damage

Turf Grasses Damaged by Moles

How to Get Rid of Moles

Natural and Organic Solutions

The following are some of the best ways to deal with moles in a manner that is safe while yielding a high level of effectiveness:

  • The most effective is perhaps the trapping method, although the outcome will depend on the traps that you will be using. One of the factors that will contribute to its effectiveness will be the right timing. As much as possible, apply it in the first weeks of spring. Also, you have to identify which amongst the tunnels are active. You can purchase traps from commercial sellers. One of the most popular is the scissor-jaw trap, which you have to place around 12 inches below the ground. A harpoon trap will also work, although it needs to be set deeper in the ground.
  • Mole netting is another solution that will work, although this is more of a preventive measure. It is like building a protective barrier, which will prevent the entry of the moles. See to it that the net is strong enough. Otherwise, it will be easy for the moles to break it and gain entry.
  • Through the years, technological advancements have been introduced in the field of pest control. For moles, one that you can use is an electronic device that creates an annoying sound. This will keep the mole away. The problem with this solution, however, is that it works only for a specific part of the garden or the portion that the buzzing sound can reach.
  • You may also want to focus on the improvement of the quality of the soil by providing adequate drainage. This is because moles thrive in moist soil. With proper drainage, the soil will be less attractive for moles.
  • Lastly, keeping the lawn clean should never be ignored. Keep in mind that moles feed on common garden pests and insects. The latter, on the other hand, are in high population when the area is not clean. With this, remove leaf litter, decaying vegetation, and plant debris, among others.

Chemical Solutions

Chemical treatment is not a preferred choice for the elimination of moles in the garden. They contain toxic ingredients, and hence, there is a possibility that it will cause more harm than good. There are baits that contain a variety of chemicals, including Warfarin. They are often available in gel form. Some of the most common trade names include Rodex, Solfarin, and Warf. Another product that can deliver a high level of effectiveness is a bait with bromethalin. They are available in worm shapes, which will trick the moles to believe that they are earthworms. It contains neurotoxins that will cause poisoning of moles.

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