Moles are notorious for the amount of damage they can cause to a lawn, golf course and sod farms. Knowing a little about the mole, its habitat and diet will help you be more successful in your control and elimination projects. Moles are insectivores meaning they eat insects. Mole activity can also cause considerable damage to lawns. The damage from moles is usually in the form of tunnels and/or mounds in lawn that can be unsightly, and disturb root systems.
Moles are typically 5-7 inches long and adults weigh 2.5-4.5 ounces, They have 2-5 young and 1 litters per year. Breeding season us Feb-Mar and Mar-Apr., age of weaning is 4 weeks and primary food is insects, earthworms, small animals in runs.
With constant digging and tunneling in the search for their food source turf grass insects and earthworms, moles can do quite a bit of damage before you even know they are there.
The most common mole and the one that is known to cause the most damage is the eastern Mole.
There are two common methods for controlling moles in your lawn, Physical / mechanical control and chemical control.
Included in physical and mechanical control is habitat modification, which is attempting to resolve mole tunneling with turf grass insecticide to remove their food source. This often fails because mole also eat earth worms which will not be effected by the professional insecticide. Overwatering of your lawn can make the moles and their tunnels more noticeable and when reduced can help temporarily.
Exclusion of moles by using a barrier fence is somewhat effective but not always available to homeowners or large facilities. It is recommended to use ½ inch mesh hardware cloth or sheet metal and bury it to a depth of 12 to 18 inches.
Live trapping of moles using pit fall traps can be constructed of large coffee cans or other similar containers and buried in planting beds along frequently used surface runs. The traps must be deep and steep-sided to prevent the mole from escaping once inside. Bell laboratories manufacture a new mole trap that is effective and easy to use. This is a lethal trap and is similar to scissor jaw traps.
Chemical control of moles, the use of toxic baits can be very effective in mole control. New Anticoagulant mole gel bait (Kaput Mole bait) does work very effectively. New products that are in the shape of earth worms that are placed in the moles active run have reached the market that are creating very effective mole control, Talprid Mole Bait.
It can be very difficult to control moles in your lawn, but you should not give up the fight and beautiful mole free yard is worth the effort.