Many pests exist out there that cause problems for your house or yard. Ants, rats, spiders – they can pop up without warning, leaving you to deal with their removal or extermination. One such problem you may encounter is a yard mole. Most don’t even think of these creatures when imagining a pest in their yard, but the problem is real. Moles are small, furry animals that spend their time underground. Their large forearms are ideal for digging through the dirt where they burrow, eat earthworms, and stay mostly out of sight. The issues you go through in regards to a mole in your yard are sometimes mild, but sometimes severe. Luckily, there are ways to get rid of the animal.
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Signs That You’ve Got a Mole in Your Yard
Everyone has heard the saying “Don’t make a mountain out of a mole hill.” Mole hills are a telltale sign that you’ve got the creatures in your yard. When Moles burrow, they use their large paws to dig out so much dirt that it piles up outside the hole. Mounds will also appear over the burrow from the displaced soil.
What brings them here in the first place?
Moles love to eat earthworms. If your yard has an abundance of those, you’ll be more likely to attract a mole.
Other things that attract moles include:
- Moist soil.
- Loose dirt that’s easy to dig through.
- All sorts of insects, including larvae, beetles, crickets, and grubs.
When they’re in your lawn
When moles have invaded your lawn, you’ll be able to tell. Mounds of dirt are left behind when a mole digs beneath the surface and displaces the soil, breaking apart your grass and ruining the roots. You might even notice long lines of dirt, which are the evidence of moles making tunnels to travel through.
Besides ruining your lawn, moles can also destroy trees. Although they don’t eat the tree roots, they do disturb the soil around the tree enough to kill them off, resulting in tree damage or death.
Get Them Out of the Garden
Moles don’t like vegetables, flowers, or fruits, so they don’t invade your garden to get at any of your beautiful plants. But because of their subterranean behaviors, they’ll cause indirect damage that will kill off the garden you’ve worked so hard on.
Ways that moles can ruin your garden include:
- Destroying the plant roots underground.
- The mounds of dirt moles create from their burrowing can collapse inward, resulting in a hole or dip in the ground, taking plant life with it.
- Crawling over flower beds or vegetable plants and trampling them.
Moles and other underground pests are so irritating, why capture them when you can kill? For more details on how to kill moles, go here.
Keeping moles away from your lawn
Do you want a way to keep moles from even getting into your lawn in the first place? There are some tried and tested ways that people use to repel these pests from even trying to dig up your lawn from the start:
- Cat litter: For some reason, moles don’t like cat litter, whether it be the scent or perhaps an accidental taste of it. Pour the litter into any mole holes you find, and the idea is that they’ll move on to another area.
- Blood meal: This product is a deterrent to moles, but great for your yard! Sprinkle the dried blood meal all around the mole hills, mixing it into the soil, and make sure to re-apply after a rain.
- Castor Oil: Moles don’t like castor oil. To use it against them, put some in a spray bottle and mix with water, then spray all around any mole activity in your yard or garden. Using a shovel, stir the dirt around and spray the castor oil mixture in with it to try and get the oil deeper into the ground. For more information click here.
- Cayenne pepper: This spice is unpleasant to many animals and insects, including moles. Mix some with water and liberally spray around your lawn and all around any dirt mounds the moles have created. As for your garden, be careful to avoid getting too much on your plants, as a concentrated amount of cayenne might hurt them.
Watch your pets, especially dogs, when handling mole removal. Dogs can dig up the dirt and get caught in a mole trap, or maybe ingest some of the mole poison. Try and keep your beloved pets away from anything that can hurt them until the mole problem is taken care of.
When they invade your backyard
When you’ve got moles invading your yard, you’ve got more than option available to you. Not only can you try and persuade these animals to go off somewhere else, you can also trap them, and kill them. Whichever one is up to you, but make sure to do research and learn that facts about each option.
How do I get these pests to stop digging?
The gigantic paws on a mole help it to almost swim through the dirt underground. Because the root of the problem with them is all based on them digging, one way to solve the issue is to somehow make them give up the digging, at least in your yard.
One way to stop moles from digging is through a barrier. You can dig a deep trench around your garden and fill it with gravel, then bury dirt over the top of it. Moles won’t want to go through that gravel barrier and will turn around. You can also shove wire mesh or chicken wire into the ground to act as a barrier.
Sometimes, using household items to combat your mole problems isn’t good enough. If that’s the case, it’s time to get more serious.
A humane way to go about capturing moles
If the creatures won’t leave your yard alone, it might time to capture them. By getting a hold of the mole, you can then bring it somewhere else and release it into the wild, perhaps to an open field or forested area.
Some products to keep in mind when you want to capture a mole:
- Capture and release mole traps: These traps don’t kill the animal, instead allowing you to catch it for transport to another area. Some look like a cylinder, while others are more box-like, but all use the same trick – a trapdoor that only opens one way. While the mole can easily get inside it, there’s no way to get back out again. Stick the contraption into one of the mole holes and wait for it to crawl inside.
- A bucket: Locate one of the mole tunnels, then dig down deep into the ground right in the middle of it. Bury a bucket in the hole, then cave in the tunnels on either side of the bucket. This will trigger the mole to dig through that caved-in dirt and break through right into where the bucket is set. The goal is that the animal will fall into the bucket and be unable to get out. Make sure to cover the top of the tunnel you’ve disturbed with some plywood or other material, otherwise the mole won’t want to dig there anymore.
- Flooding: Take a hose and stick into the opening of a mole hill. Slowly begin to fill the mole tunnels with water. Keep an eye on the other mole hills in your yard and watch for when the animal will escape out of one. Once one appears, snatch it up quickly and put it in a bucket it can’t get out of.
Capturing moles doesn’t have to be an all-day event and is easier than you may think. Click here for more information on catching moles.
What to do when you need to exterminate them
Moles are like any other pest that needs to be taken care of, which means that sometimes they must be killed instead of just removed.
And there are many different products on the market that can help you with it:
- Spring loaded traps: Sort of like a mouse trap, these devices are made in different ways but all result in the same thing – killing the mole. You place them either inside a mole tunnel or on the ground just outside one, and wait for the trap to be triggered.
- Spike traps: Similar to the spring loaded traps, these are also triggered by the mole’s movement, but use spikes that stab the mole instead of crushing it.
- Poison: There are different kinds of poisons you can set out in the yard or directly into a mole hill. For example, there are fake earthworms you can buy that are tasty to moles, yet full of poison.
Although there are many lethal ways to get rid of moles, some people only want to do it the natural way. Click here for more information on getting rid of moles naturally.
Is there a mole removal service I can call?
If you’ve got a mole problem and don’t want to go through the hassle of dealing with it yourself, there are services you can call. Pest control companies routinely do mole removal, and there are even companies devoted solely to controlling animals like moles and gophers. A simple internet search will bring up a list of specialists in your area.
Sometimes you’re not dealing with as many or as little moles as you think. A bunch of mole hills in your yard can be the work of one mole, or the work of several. In general, they aren’t social creatures, so if there is more than one, they’ll be spread out over the yard and not congregated into masses. Something good about moles is that their numbers are far fewer than other pests like insects.
The Best Way to Remove Yard Moles
If you’re looking for not just a good way to remove moles, but the best way to remove them, it just depends on what you want.
If it’s a humane option you’re seeking, go with the catch and release traps. These may take a little more effort on your part, but you won’t need to kill the animal. For the quickest way, a lethal trap is most likely going to do the job. If cost is your main concern, go with a buried bucket.
Moles might be furry and adorable, but they sure are annoying. The havoc they churn up underground doesn’t just churn up your lawn, it can destroy your garden and even take down small trees – their presence isn’t something you want to deal with for long. Choose a removal method, put it into play, and get rid of those underground pests for good. It’s time to take your yard back.
You can find further details of Moles Control here.