Moles are becoming very active on lawns in Carolina as we get into spring, especially in the Asheville area. Moles are small mammals that spend most of their lives in underground burrows. They are seldom seen by humans, as most of their feeding is done at night. Moles have enlarged, paddlelike forefeet and prominent toenails, which enable it to “swim” through the soil. Moles have strong legs, short necks and elongated heads. They lack external ears, and their eyes are so small that at first glance they appear to be missing. They prefer moist, sandy loam soils in lawns, gardens, pastures and woodlands. They generally avoid heavy, dry clay soils. They construct extensive underground passageways — shallow surface tunnels for spring, summer and fall use; deep, permanent tunnels for winter use. Their nest cavities are located underground, connecting with the deep tunnels.
Moles have high energy requirements and bit appetites, eating 70 to 80 percent of their weight daily. Moles feed on mature insects, snail larvae, spiders, earthworms and, occasionally, small amounts of vegetation. Earthworms and white grubs are preferred foods. Mole activity in lawns usually appears as ridges of upheaved soil, which can really tear up a lawn. The ridges are created where the runways are constructed as the animals move about foraging for food. Burrowing activity occurs year-round but peaks during warm, wet months. Some of these tunnels are used as travel lanes and may be abandoned immediately after being dug. Mounds of soil called molehills may be brought to the surface of the ground as moles dig deep, permanent tunnels and nest cavities. Main tunnels are often found running in straight runs along driveways, houses, patios, and along shrub beds.
LawnAmerica does offer a Mole Control Program, consisting of setting Talprid Mole Baits into the main tunnels with every regular lawn treatment, and with a follow-up service call before your next treatment to monitor and set more baits if needed. Sometimes this works well, and sometimes it can be inconsistent. If the moles feed on the bait, it will kill them, but they sometimes do not cooperate as much as we would like! We really do not recommend applying a grub control insecticide to take away that food source and therefore causing them to move elsewhere. They also feast on earthworms, and we don’t want to kill them. This method may help some, but again, it’s not foolproof.
The best way to control moles completely is to trap them, either yourself or by using a professional. With persistence, you can have some success trapping them yourself, if you have plenty of time and patience. If not, try contacting Ace Animal Control Experts at www.animalcontrolexperts.com.