Throughout most of the United States, moles are common yard pests. Their hills and tunnels can do significant damage to your lawn, create tripping hazards, and leave grass roots exposed, which can kill the grass.
You’ll know you have a mole problem if you spot visible trenches and dug-up soil in your lawn and garden. Look for the raised ridges that characterize mole-feeding burrows, along with molehills, which look like miniature volcanoes with plugged holes in the center.
Appearance & behavior
The two most common mole varieties – star-nosed and eastern – measure about seven inches long from nose to tail. They have broad, outward-facing pads on their front feet, small and narrow hind feet, and tiny pinholes for eyes. Their ears are not visible.
Moles are voracious, high-metabolism feeders who use their large front paws to tunnel through the ground searching for ants, earthworms, and grubs. Some species consume more than their weight in food daily.
While there are several ways to rid your property of moles, effective mole removal requires knowledge, planning, and patience.
Catch moles individually by hand
This method is challenging, because it takes a great deal of time and patience. It works like this:
• Use the backside of a flat shovel to gently flatten a few visible molehills.
• Ready a second shovel and a small covered container.
• Pick a decent downwind vantage point, hide, and watch.
• As soon as you notice signs that the mole is working to repair one of the damaged hills, rush in with the shovels and block off the tunnels on both sides of the disturbed soil.
• Wearing work gloves, dig by hand into the ground between the two shovels.
• Remove the mole and place it in the covered container.
• Transfer the mole to an area far away and release it.
• Continue to catch moles until all offenders have been removed.
If catching moles by hand seems like too much work, you can purchase a prefabricated, live mole trap. When placed in active main tunnels, such humane-dedicated trapping systems usually reap success within 36 hours.
Another trap option is a harpoon-type trap. Handling them is risky and requires skill, because they are designed to impale or crush the mole and can injure a person rather easily.
To locate an active mole runway, press down on raised ridges of soil. The next day, make note of which ridges have been raised again. Then depress the ridge of soil and set the trap over it. The mole will trigger the trap as it moves through the tunnel.
Control food sources
Trapping should also include a program for removing mole food sources. Reduce yard mole problems by treating your yard for grubs, earthworms, and other invertebrate life forms. Without food, your yard becomes much less attractive to moles.
Certain registered pesticides (that meet government regulations) are another effective mole removal method. Baits registered to control moles can be used in residential and commercial areas. However, they are not to be used in pastures or within 100 feet of water. When using mole bait, be sure to follow instructions carefully for proper application and placement procedures. Baits tend to be most successful when placed in active tunnels. Be sure to keep out of reach of children and pets.
Create a physical barrier around your garden
To prevent moles from burrowing under or climbing into your garden, experts recommend burying metal, mesh, hardware cloth two feet vertically below ground with another six inches showing above ground. Since moles have trouble burrowing through dense soil, arranging stones or claylike soil around a garden to a depth of two feet can also help.
You don’t have to deal with removing pesky moles on your own. No matter how intimidating or pervasive your pest problem, you can trust that Amco Ranger knows exactly how to handle it and make sure it doesn’t happen again. Give us a call today if you need help getting rid of moles in your yard in Cottleville, St. Peters, O’Fallon, St. Charles, and surrounding communities.