You may think you've been invaded by an army of critters when only one or two moles are destroying your lawn and garden. Moles are voracious eaters. Yahoo Real Estate reports that the pesky intruders can dig up to 18 feet per hour in your soil. They destroy plants and leave mounds in their place. The dirt is rich, fresh soil that becomes a prime habitat for emerging weeds.
The University of Missouri Extension says that moles are not really after your bulbs; they eat grubs and worms. But the air pockets around your roots and bulbs caused by tunneling will ultimately dry out your landscaping. It's hard to imagine that one little creature under 5 ounces in weight can wreak so much havoc on your landscaping. One mole eats up to 50 pounds of insects a year.
Anyone who has seen Caddyshack knows that you can't drive moles away with dynamite. Plus the use of explosives might violate a few local ordinances. Now what?
Whack a mole
The UM Extension says the usual tools work the best: repellant, bait and traps. The first step is to discover the active holes. You can use a broom stick or stake to punch a hole in the runway between tunnels. The holes that are filled up a few hours later indicate the passage is in use. Or, you can pack down an opening and see if the mole opens it again.
Place bait, poison or traps directly in the active passageway. Traps require some physical dexterity to position in the hole. But they work. The Mole Man , a professional mole trapper who has been on the job for 25 years, recommends the Victor spear trap and the Victor Out-O-Sight trap. The most-common mistake in trapping, The Mole Man says, comes from setting traps in disused tunnels.
Traps are also a preferable method if you have dogs in your home. Your pet could take a bite out of a poisoned mole and, sadly enough, pay the ultimate price. Your local pest control company or university extension can recommend the right bait for your community, since moles have regional appetites.
The landscaping solution
If you have routine landscaping maintenance, put the professional on the case. Knowing what to ask your landscaper about pests - about grubs, fungi, or living predators - can make all the difference. Some professionals won't attack a problem unless you ask them.
In the case of moles, you'll know when you have them!