How do I get rid of moles in my lawn?

Wildlife Damage Management January 02, 2007|Print
Before you do anything, make sure the problem you are complaining of is moles and not pocket gophers or voles. To help you identify the damage correctly, visit Damage Identification. If the damage is from pocket gophers, visit Pocket Gophers. If from voles, visit Voles . If from moles, visit Moles. Moles eat insects and worms. Their damage to plants is inadvertent and occurs only if they separate the roots of the plant from the surrounding soil. They don’t eat plants. However, voles eat plants and will work above and below ground. Voles don’t make soil mounds but can dig small dime-sized holes that disappear under the soil (this is true of the pine vole). Pocket gophers eat plants and make numerous boils on the surface of the ground; they live primarily in the Midwest to the West in North America. Moles are twice the size of mice and rarely, if ever, come to the surface. Voles are the size of mice. Voles will use a tunnel dug by a mole. Make sure you know what the problem is. If you have moles, you don’t have many of them. On average, you will have three moles per acre. But remember that they can dig 100 feet per day, depending on soil conditions. First, don't bother with chewing gum, thumpers, sonic devices, mothballs, etc. There is little to no concrete evidence that these work. Gas bombs tend not to work because the tunnels are too long to reach toxic levels. Certainly cats and dogs kill some, but they are rarely enough to eliminate the damage. Additionally, free-ranging pets can cause other undesirable issues. Mole damage can be controlled in a variety of ways. Currently, trapping is the most effective. Effective traps include but are not limited to harpoon trap, scissors trap, NoMol trap, Nash trap. The key to trapping success is training. Training in mole trapping is available at the link listed above. Traps can be obtained from various vendors listed at Product Vendors. Historically, toxicants have not proven very effective in controlling moles. However, new products, such as Kaput and Talpirid, seem to have yielded encouraging results. The only registered repellent on the market is called Mole-Med. It essentially uses castor bean oil to drive the mole away. The evidence for the effectiveness of this product is debated. Short of paving your lawn, there is no permanent long-term solution to preventing mole damage. While many suggest controlling grubs, it should be understood that grubs constitute only a small part of the mole’s overall diet. In fact, your lawn could be grub free and still have moles. Nevertheless, for marginal lawns with little alternative food sources for the mole, grub control can do the trick. Resources: (online) ICWDM.org Product Vendors

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