A mole is a mammal that’s an insectivore, not a rodent. As the name suggests, it feeds mainly on insects and larvae but also has a healthy appetite for earthworms and nuts. Moles burrow underground, tunneling below lawns and gardens in constant search of food. They don’t intentionally eat plants or grass, but their digging can damage roots in your garden or lawn. The frequent tunnels they dig can destroy your grass with many volcano-shaped molehills and ridges of fresh dirt that rise above the lawn. Their passageways may also be used by other mammals that are plant-eaters. For these reasons, moles should be removed before they destroy your yard or garden area.
If you don’t know how to remove moles from your yard, or are even unsure of whether moles are your problem, then you should contact the Chesterfield mole control experts Midwest Lawn Co for assistance. We have been servicing lawns for over a decade, so we will be able to quickly diagnose and solve your mole problems. To learn more, contact us today at (636) 220-9991. Our services are available throughout the West County suburbs.
Moles are quite common in and around Chesterfield, Missouri. You can find them burrowing in Manchester, Wildwood, Ellisville, Clarkson Valley, and Ballwin. The gardens and lawns of Des Peres, Winchester, Town & Country, and Twin Oaks also provide nesting areas for these pests.
Left alone, a single mole can rapidly create an elaborate tunnel system with long runs just underneath the surface (close enough to produce ridges along the ground) and also a foot or more underground. During dry summer months and freezing winters, they burrow deeper than in the spring and fall when there’s more moisture in the soil. A mole digs these long runs to find food and create nesting space, though it may abandon tunnels near the surface after just one use.
While digging the deeper tunnels, the mole pushes the excavated dirt up to the surface by burrowing rows of vertical tunnels capped by mounds or molehills at ground level. Runs are often relatively straight and may follow the edge of a yard, path, or fence. For a bit of extra protection, a mole may build its living or nesting area in a part of your property that is sheltered by hedges, fences, or other below-ground defenses.
The first step toward discouraging or removing a mole is to figure out which mounds and tunnels are in active use. Since moles work day and night, the best way to measure activity is to flatten mounds with your foot or create holes in ridges, then wait for a day or two to see which ones the mole rebuilds. This may be easier to spot during spring and fall since moles are more active near the surface during those months. Once you find an active mound or ridge, you can carefully push through it with a wood or metal tool to access the mole’s tunnel below.
Once you’ve opened up an active mole tunnel, there are several things you can place in their path to try to repel them. Blood meal, cat litter, organic liquid or granular repellants, and some home remedies may help move these creatures along, but they may just relocate into a different tunnel in your yard or dig a new one. Killing off their food source doesn’t help – it just makes them try even harder to find something to eat by digging even more new tunnels through your lawn during the next few weeks.
Over the longer term, you can dry out the soil (making it less desirable to the moles) by making it drain better, but this could also negatively affect your lawn or garden’s growth. In new areas where the soil hasn’t been planted yet, you could bury cloth or metal barriers at least a foot underground, with edges at right angles to help keep moles out of the enclosed area.
None of these solutions are ideal, but they may be worth a try.
The best way to get rid of a mole for good is to put a trap in the active tunnel you found. A variety of traps are available for purchase, including above-ground traps, those that kill the mole, and others that capture it alive. All of these options avoid polluting the environment and possibly killing anything that decides to eat a mole that’s been poisoned. You can try using one of several poisons, including nitrogen and other gases, but the result will be a dead mole somewhere in the tunnel system and risking the ill effects just mentioned (though nitrogen gas is better for the environment than other poisons).
Regardless of the method you use, killing or removing any moles during spring is likely to eliminate pregnant females before they can give birth to more of these pests, since February through May is their mating season.
Many people confuse moles and gophers, thinking they are the same type of creature. Gophers are rodents while moles are insectivores, though both are mammals. Gophers eat roots, vines, and entire plants (even chewing through above-ground tomato vines) while moles eat mainly earthworms, insects, larvae, and nuts. Gopher mounds usually don’t follow any sort of pattern on the surface of the ground and tend to be shaped somewhat like horseshoes.
Mole mounds, on the other hand, most often appear in more orderly rows and are shaped like small volcanoes. Unlike a gopher, a mole has a pointed nose and a slender snout that protrudes well beyond its mouth, which is full of needle-like teeth. A mole can grow to be up to a foot long with velvety, dark fur hiding smaller ears and eyes. A mole’s limbs and feet are designed for constant digging with claws and large, wide polydactyl (extra thumb) forepaws.
Don’t let pesky moles dig up your lawn or garden. Mole control is just one of many professional landscaping services that we offer at Midwest Lawn Co. We provide Chesterfield, Missouri and the surrounding communities with a full range of common ground, residential, and commercial lawn care, maintenance, and landscaping services. Call our garden and home experts today at (636) 220-9991 for a free quote or fill out an online contact form.