Mole Activity And Reproduction
Moles mate during February and March. They produce a single litter of three to five the gestation period is six weeks. Moles do not hibernate and store food or fat. Severe lawn damage can result until mole control is used or the lawn surfaces freeze in the winter. Newborn female moles will mate the following spring, and the cycle begins anew.
Mole activity occurs both during the day and night. They can be seen during damp days or the day after a rain during the spring and summer months as they push up their tunnels or mounds. If the lawn freezes in the winter or there is a very dry summer, the moles use deep burrows.
Do You Have A Mole Vole Or Gopher Problem
Moles, voles, and gophers can all do damage to lawns and gardens. Each look pretty different from one another:
- Moles have unmistakably large paws, claws, and long pink snouts.
- Voles look like mice .
- Gophers look almost like small otters with stocky bodies.
These creatures all burrow but they have different tunneling behaviors that help these pest control experts know what theyre dealing with. For example:
- Moles dig deep tunnels beneath the surface of your yard to reach earthworms and grubs.
- Voles make shallow tunnels, which look more like runways on the surface of your lawn, to reach and eat entire plant and tree root systems, bulbs, and flowers, according to Critter Control Triad. However, voles do use mole tunnels to get around.
- Gophers create large mounds of fine dirt in the spring and fall. A gopher hole is 10 to 20 inches in diameter and a mole hole is two inches in diameter, according to Terminix.
How To Trap A Mole Without Killing It
When other methods fail, trapping is the most effective method of treating the problem. Many traps are quick-kill, but it is possible to capture a mole without killing it. Here’s how:
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Get Rid Of Their Food
Moles love insects. Things like grubs are delicious treats for them. If youre getting moles, theres a likelihood you have a healthy grub population too.
Taking measures to get grubs out of your yard with yearly grub treatments, youll make your lawn less attractive to moles. If they dont find enough food, theyll leave sooner or later.
However, this is only partially effective, as they may stay and feed on other insects, like worms. This mole prevention strategy is good, but its not usually an effective mole removal strategy.
How To Identify Gophers
Gophers are herbivore rodents with four large incisor teeth. Theyre larger than mice, but smaller than rats. While theyre often mistaken for moles, they don’t have spade-like front paws as moles do. They form crescent-shaped mounds and plug the holes they use to enter and exit the ground. Gophers destroy everything from hydrangeas to trees by eating the plants roots. They also eat vegetables, especially carrots and potatoes. Unfortunately, they can also damage water lines and irrigation systems when digging.
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Dont Give Them A Great Environment To Thrive
One of the main reasons that moles get into your yard in the first place is because you created an environment that they love.
To avoid that, youll need to make sure you dont have a lot of bugs in your yard. Moles love insects and grubs, and its their main source of food. But if there are no bugs, they arent likely to want to go into your yard in the first place.
You should also try and not to overwater your lawn. Earthworms love saturated water, which can also draw in one of the moles favorite meals.
How To Get Rid Of Moles In Your Lawn
Moles are small burrowing mammals from the Talpidae family of animals. In North America, the most common species are the common mole , common east of the Rocky Mountains the star-nosed mole , a familiar pest along the east coast the hairy-tailed mole , most common in the northeastern U.S. and the shrew mole , the type most common in the western U.S.
In some circumstances, moles serve a valuable function by offering deep aeration of soil as they feed on grubs, earthworms, and other subterranean insects. Thus, they can be valuable in prairie areas and other natural grasslands. But for homeowners seeking a beautiful lawn, moles are a serious pest. The raised ridges and small volcano-shaped heaps of earth caused by mole tunneling can spoil your perfect lawn. While moles do not eat plant roots, they can seriously disrupt root systems in their search for insects, and this action has been known to kill shrubs and even small trees. Moles tunnels often give a spongy feel to the lawn as you walk over them.
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A First: Detect The Presence Of Moles
The first and most crucial step is to correctly detect moles’ presence and locate the main mole runways or tunnels.
- Main runways and tunnels can be indicated by mounds of soil created as they construct them.
- To locate mole tunnels infrequent use, clear away a mound of soil and probe for the opening, usually a short passage that leads down a few inches to the main tunnel. Place Victor mole traps or Talpirid Mole Bait in this tunnel.
Further ways to identify main runways:
- Follow more or less a straight course for some distance.
- Appear to connect two mounds or two runway systems.
- Follow fence rows, concrete paths or other man-made borders or
- Follow a woody perimeter of a field or yard.
- Nests are commonly found along with protected areas like fence rows or hedgerows.
Knowing How To Identify Moles
Knowing how to kill moles in your yard begins with successfully identifying them and knowing the signs of mole tunnels. Moles and shrews dig tunnels underground with their front feet to access their food source.
The tunneling causes small volcano-shaped mounds and raised ridges of dirt in your yard, killing your grass and ruining the overall look of your grass.
It is also essential to know what a mole looks like to kill moles. Moles average seven inches long and have huge webbed toes to dig mole tunnels with.
Additionally, they have long hairless snouts and tiny eyes that are impossible to see because they are covered by fur. A mole rarely comes to the surface, so knowing what they look like is crucial to killing ground moles in the garden or your lawn.
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The Difference Between Moles And Voles
Ground moles and voles are quite different in looks and behavior. Here is a quick view of these differences.
A quick description of moles
- Moles are not rodents, but are strictly insectivores.
- A moles diet is primarily earthworms, but will eat grubs and other insects.
- Moles can dig up to 15 feet per hour.
- Moles have short front legs with over-sized front claws for digging.
- Moles are generally 4 to 9 inches long. Photo shows a 5 inch long mole.
- Mole are solitary and territorial animals.
- Females usually give birth once a year.
A quick description of voles
- Voles are rodents and are primarily herbivores causing extensive damage to small trees and plants and bulbs.
- Voles are largely a winter problem.
- Voles will often use abandoned tunnels left behind by moles.
- Voles can breed many times a year.
- Voles are roughly a third larger than a field mouse, but are no longer than 6 inches.
People are often asking the question, “What do moles eat”? Moles are strictly insectivores with a diet consisting primary of earthworms. However, they will also eat insects including grub worms. Tunneling is hard work and will eat their body weight in worms each day. Moles are highly territorial and solitary animals. A single mole can do a lot of damage.
Making Sense of the Tunnels
The Photo shows the over-sized digging claws that easily grind through soil. Clearly, these animals were born to dig.
Plant Strategically To Deter Moles
Planting an abundance of marigolds and daffodils around areas you’d prefer to keep mole-free is thought to be an effective method, as says Ed of Steel Landscaping Co.
‘Moles dislike these plants and will avoid them it’s thought that this is because daffodil bulbs are toxic, and marigolds are likely to repel bugs and other insects that moles love to feast on.’
This doesn’t necessarily mean that the mole won’t venture into other areas of the garden, Ed adds, but it’s a good approach for protecting specific zones, such as your lawn. Plus, sunny daffodils poking through the grass is a welcome sight in spring you can learn all about planting bulbs with our guide.
Planting daffodil bulbs can help keep moles away from your lawn
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What Animals Burrow Near House Foundation
Animals digging holes around foundation premises are always rodents, especially Norway rats, Roof rats, the house mouse, moles, and voles. Rodent exposure affects the air quality inside the living quarters, being hantavirus the most serious infection communicated by these animals.
Use Poison Or Gas Their Tunnels
This is a lethal solution, but one that can be effective given the proper circumstances, or if your issue is persistent enough. Make sure before use that you can keep poison away from pets or children.
You can purchase poison mole bait at any hardware store or .
The standard poison baits are Zinc Phosphide. You could also use Talpirid Mole Bait. This product mimics a worm in size and texture. The mole will think the bait is food, then will be poisoned after it eats it.
You can also use carbon monoxide gas from a small engine or your car. Youll need to use a hose and cap the exhaust on either a car or a lawn mower. Then lead the hose into one of the mole hills. Block off or plug the other holes.
This technique will only be effective if the mole tunnels are sealed. Otherwise all of the gas will escape quickly and the gas will be ineffective.
Using pesticides as a means of killing insects will deter moles by cutting down on their food supply, and I recommend treating for grubs at the same time that you remove the moles so that the problem does not reoccur.
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Spray Your Lawn With Natural Repellents
Just as moles hate the smell of planted castor beans, they hate the smell of castor oil.
Applying castor oil wont kill the moles, but the smell can effectively drive them away. If you mix three parts of castor oil with one-part dish soap, then dilute four tablespoons in a gallon of water, you have a natural, homemade mole repellent spray. Either spray it or pour it at mole tunnel entrances. If you have a smaller yard and a big mole colony, you may want to spray the whole yard.
Moles are sensitive to other smells too, particularly feces. If you have a dog, drop those droppings right into the mole hills and seal it up.
The smell will drive the moles away. If you dont have a pet, you can also leave leftover fish in the moles tunnels. Moles hate the smell of fish, and it will naturally drive them away but this may just attract other animals to your yard.
While I love natural remedies, Ill be honest and say that castor oil and other strategies like this only work in the short-term. You may only cause the moles to move to a different part of your yard.
How To Keep Moles Out Of Your Home
Though it doesnt happen often, some homeowners might find moles in their houses. Moles can enter homes through foundation cracks near the soil line, as well as through damaged basement windows. If you see a mole in your home, your best option is contacting a wildlife professional for safe and humane removal. Theyll also look for baby moles and help you determine where the infestation occurred. The best way to get rid of moles in your house and prevent them from returning is by fixing broken windows and repairing foundation cracks.
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Lawn Moles And Voles How To Get Rid Of Them
Lawn moles can be one of the most frustrating problems a homeowner can deal with. While one or two short tunnels are hardly noticed, multiple tunnels crisscrossing your lawn is too much. You’re probably thinking, “surely there must be a sure-fire way of getting rid of lawn moles, isnt there?”
The shows a mole the cats dragged up. Literally! This is a front view of a mole showing its snout and the large front digging claws. Cats are often a mole’s biggest enemy.
Important: This page is mostly about lawn moles. Click here for detailed information on Voles.
Have you ever wondered why there are so many mole “cures”? Its simply because most methods don’t work or they are set in the wrong place. This fact alone has opened the doors for all sorts of strange ideas. If you searched the internet, you have probably read some of them.
All is not lost, you can do this. To successfully get rid of lawn moles does require some skill, but mostly it is knowledge of mole behavior that is essential. The is of a short, winding feeding tunnel.
Moles Consume A Large Amount Of Food
Moles are not rodents but belong to a group of mammals called insectivores. Moles have a very high metabolic rate and, therefore, have to consume large amounts of food.
Moles have large appetites and may eat up to 100 percent of their body weight in one day. White grubs, earthworms, beetles, and assorted larvae are their principal foods.
Moles feed primarily on insects that feed below the ground. The tunnels that the mole excavates while searching for food may be used only once or maybe traveled repeatedly.
Moles may be active during any time of the day and seem to prefer cool, moist soil .
Moles do not eat the roots and bulbs of flowers and vegetables, a commonly held belief. Voles and shrews will attack the roots and bulbs. Moles may benefit these plants by feeding on grubs and worms that can damage them. However, the tunneling activities of moles may disfigure lawns and gardens.
This Is The Easiest Way To Get Rid Of The Moles In Your Yard
Are parts of your yard sinking due to what look like shallow tunnels? Have you spotted circular piles of dirt sprouting up on your otherwise flawless lawn? You might have moles, making those mounds molehills. But before you start thinking about how you’re going to eject those dastardly critters that have been burrowing through your backyard, you might want to be sure they’re actually moles.
When To Call A Professional To Get Rid Of Moles
Many factors lead to deciding if you should learn how to get rid of moles yourself or call a professional for help. If youve tried most of the methods above and they dont appear to be working, a professional will know how to solve the problem. Theyll inspect your property thoroughly and provide you with an assessment regarding the size and scope of your mole issue. Professionals not only use the best equipment for eliminating moles, but they can also help prevent them from returning.
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Castor Oil And Other Diy Home Remedies
Create a spray that is parts castor oil, water and liquid detergent. Heres the DIY Mole Repellent recipe from Budget101:
2 tablespoons liquid detergent
Combine all ingredients in a blender until you achieve the consistency of whipped cream.
To Use: Add 2 tablespoons of repellent to a regular garden watering can and then fill with warm water. Thoroughly water over areas of greatest damage.
Other DIY mole repellents include cayenne pepper . Smells that get rid of moles include castor oil, coffee grounds, and eucalyptus and mint oil . How about mothballs? Their powers of repelling moles are a myth.
How To Spot Moles In Your Garden Or Yard
Its surprisingly easy to figure out if you have some tunneling guests hiding under your property.
Moles generally dig deep underground unless theyre searching for food, so youll be able to notice right away if you have moles in your yard if you see little hills. When these little guys dig, they tend to push the soil upwards to the surface, so if you have a garden with grass, there will be distinct lumps that look like mounds.
A good place to start is by fresh plants that are still not fully ripe. Weve found mole tunnels over near our growing tomato plants before.
In order to spot moles on your property, heres what youll need to do:
While thats the short version, heres a more in-depth analysis of each of those steps.
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