We have received several inquiries about mole problems in our neighborhood. This year our lawns are in a healthy condition and have been treated for grubs, but we still have seen a lot of mole activity. Wildlife control is the homeowner’s responsibility, but here are a couple of suggestions before hiring an outside critter control company.
What Do Moles Eat?
- Moles are not rodents but insectivores subsisting exclusively on bugs, larvae, worms, and other invertebrates. Therefore…
- Moles do not eat plant material. Their dental structure is suited for worms, grubs, and the like. They even eat fire ants.
- Most often, it’s the best-kept yards that have the worst mole issues.
- We discovered a matrix of surface tunnels. The mole (we presume just one) was essentially soil surfing looking for invertebrate tastes and quite heedless of the collateral damage. Our enriched garden beds had lots of worms. Good for us and good for Mr. Mole.
- Moles dig three kinds of tunnels, though all types may not be present at every site. There’ are the surface tunnels, but think of them as the top layer. Under them lie the main tunnels used to move about and these tend to be permanent. And then there are the nests, larger spaces filled with grass, roots, and leaves for nesting and winter protection.
What really works?
The only two methods of effectively controlling moles are to (1) use a bait they are attracted to or (2) physically remove them. A fairly new bait that has been proven to be effective is packaged and sold in the form of a worm. The attractive smell and taste that is incorporated into the worm, together with Bromethalin (the active ingredient that poisons the mole), makes for a lethal combination.
To determine if a run is active, stomp it down flat, then check the following day to see if it is pushed back up. If the tunnel has been repaired, it is usually an active tunnel and should be considered for trapping or baiting. Mole traps and baits are available at most hardware, home repair and farm supply stores. These products are usually under $20. Worth a try before hiring a critter company to set traps and remove them.