There are seven species of moles in North America. The mole that you have been seeing around your yard is most likely an Eastern mole, or Scalopus aquaticus. Moles disturb the roots of grass and other plants causing indirect damage to your greenery. They also cause damage by feeding on insects that are beneficial to plant life. In this article, we will explore signs of an infestation and control methods if you find there is a little critter living in your soil.
Signs of an Infestation
Moles can tunnel anywhere but they especially like areas in the shade with cool, moist soils. They tend to burrow along structures, walkways, and fences. Moles can burrow quickly – about one foot per minute. Since moles are solitary creatures, there is usually only one mole causing damage. They create two types of damage: burrows and mounds.
Burrows happen when moles are looking for a food source near the surface, causing ridges in the soil. There are also two types of burrows: feeder and travel. Feeder burrows twist and turn, but travel burrows are long and straight. Burrowing happens all year, but it peaks in warm and wet seasons.
Mounds happen when a mole tunnels under a solid object and pushes extra soil to the surface. Mounds are created by other creatures like gophers, but mounds created by moles have a volcanic, round shape.
Tip: To see if a tunnel is active, flatten it. If it is repaired the next day, then you have a mole problem on your hands.
A few control method options are food reduction, chemical repellents, fumigants, toxic bait, traps, and mole barriers. Some of these control methods have limited to no effectiveness.
Food reduction will not immediately solve your mole issue and insecticides used to kill insects that moles feed on can be harmful to other wildlife. Chemical repellents have minor effectiveness and inconsistent results. Fumigants are only effective if the whole burrow system is treated and can be extremely dangerous. Toxic bait, containing bromethalin, can be effective but it’s also illegal in certain locations.
Traps and mole barriers seem to be the most effective options. There are three types of traps that are mainly used: scissor-jaw, harpoon and choker loop. The spring and fall seasons are when trapping is the most successful because moles are deeper in the soil and harder to locate during summer and winter. A mole barrier can be created by digging a trench around the perimeter of your yard and filling it with rocks or wire mesh. It will keep any moles for tunneling in that area.
So, you found you have a mole living in and ruining your lawn. We can help at Advanced Lawn Solutions. We are a lawn care company, located in Middle Tennessee, and we specialize in lawn and landscape care, seeding, irrigation, lighting, weed control, and mosquito/pest control. Give us a call at (615) 223-5537 or fill out our form for a free quote!