After establishing a healthy, flourishing lawn, it can be quite devastating to discover pests in your beautiful yard. One such pest that can have disastrous effects on grasses is the mole, a small yet destructive creature. Because moles can quickly destroy your lawn, it’s important to take action immediately to prevent severe damage in your yard. In this article, we’ll walk you through the best methods for controlling moles and how to identify moles in lawns.
What Are Moles?
The mole, a member of the Talpidae family, is a ground-dwelling insectivore. It is generally 6–8 inches long and weighs 2–4 ounces. Moles can easily be identified by their elongated snouts, large front feet, long claws and brownish-gray fur. While moles cannot see very well, they have an excellent sense of smell that allows them to find various insects which make up their diet.
Why Are Moles Harmful to Lawns?
Because moles spend much of their day eating insects, grubs and earthworms, they often invade lawns to search for food. Although moles do not eat plants or plant roots, they can cause severe damage to lawns due to the tunnels they dig. These tunnels are generally two inches in diameter.
As you can imagine, the mole’s burrowing activity can greatly affect your lawn’s root systems. Not only will these holes destroy the roots of established lawns, but they may invite other pests to move in and perhaps eat the grass roots. Additionally, mole tunnels may cause injury if someone should step on a hole and lose his or her balance. For these reasons, it is important to prevent and control moles before they completely destroy your lawn.
How to Identify Moles in Your Lawn
There are many signs to look for when identifying mole problems in your lawn. Even if you don’t see an actual mole, you may find signs of their presence, such as mounds of dirt, loose soil, dead grass and raised ridges throughout your yard. Other symptoms that indicate moles include squishy grass, discolored plants and obvious holes in your lawn.
How to Control Moles in Lawns
Controlling moles in lawns requires careful planning and a lot of patience. Because moles spend most of their lives underground in their tunnels, it can be challenging to spot and capture these animals. While trapping is often the most effective solution, there are other ways of controlling moles in yards. The following methods may be used to deter moles that made a habitat in your lawn:
- As challenging as it may be, trapping is one of the best ways to control moles. Because moles are most active during the spring, it is best to bait moles during this time of year. In most states, permits are not required for trapping moles. Once you successfully capture the mole using a humane trap, release it at least five miles away from your home.
- Ultrasonic devices or noisemakers placed near the tunnels may deter moles in your lawn. Using wind power to make vibrations may also be effective for controlling moles.
- Mixing a spray of three parts castor oil to one part dish detergent is another option for controlling moles in lawns. Simply use four tablespoons of this solution in one gallon of water and spray it at the tunnel’s entrances.
- Using mole repellents is another effective solution for deterring moles. Because the placement of the repellents is critical, it’s important to read the instructions that are provided with the product.
How to Prevent Moles in Lawns
Oftentimes, moles can be prevented in lawns through certain techniques and preventive measures. By preventing moles from appearing in the first place, you can eliminate the unsightly damages that moles leave in lawns. The following tips are the best methods for preventing moles from infesting your yard:
- Because moles are insectivores, they are attracted to lawns that contain an oversupply of insects like grub worms. For this reason, the first step to preventing moles is controlling the insects in your yard. This can be done by applying insecticide or using natural methods, such as attracting birds into your yard. Mowing your grass regularly can also help reduce the number of insects on your lawn.
- Depending on the size of your lawn, you may consider creating a barrier by digging a two to three-foot trench around the perimeter of your yard.
- Owning a cat can prevent moles from digging tunnels in your yard. Additionally, attracting certain birds into your yard may make your lawn feel unsafe to pests such as moles.
By taking the time to prevent moles in your yard, you can eliminate the devastating impacts moles have on lawns. In the end, these preventative measures will allow you to enjoy a beautiful, flourishing lawn without the need to worry about pests infesting your property.