Problems with Garden Moles?
Moles in the garden are considered pests because of the damage they do to lawns as they dig their tunnels.
Molehills and mole ridges spoil lawns and flower beds while their tunneling damages the roots of young plants and exposes stones that can damage garden machinery.
The natural habitat of moles is woodland but they are very comfortable in residential gardens, grassland or where crops are growing.
Moles in the Garden
A mole problem can quickly establish itself and cause significant damage.
Garden moles have litters of up to seven pups and as they mature into adults, and each mole will want to establish its’ own tunnel network and will dig at speeds of up to 4 metres per hour.
Little can be done to prevent moles from entering your property; all that can be done is to eradicate the problem once they have appeared.
Signs of Mole Problems
It is unlikely that you will see garden moles as they rarely come above ground, but take care if you trap a live mole as they have very sharp teeth and will bite.
Instead, the first sign of a mole problem will be several molehills or mole ‘ridges’ caused by tunneling.
The mole digs two types of tunnels:
- Shallow tunnels that moles dig just below the surface of the ground as they search for food. These can be seen as a raised ridge in a lawn or flower bed.
- Deep mole tunnels are 10 to 40cm underground. The tunnels cannot be seen, but molehills are caused by the soil being cleared as the mole digs. Garden moles will line areas of tunnel with grass and leaves to create nests.
Moles in the garden feed on worms, but supplement them with insects and their larvae. Garden moles have a poor metabolism and have to eat their weight in food every day which can deplete the soil of worms.
Since moles cannot put on body fat, they have to eat throughout the winter and do not hibernate. As a result, they are most active in the autumn and early spring.
How to get rid of moles
With the extensive damage caused by moles in the garden, there are many mole control products on the market. However, in our experience, mole traps and fumigation are the only reliable solutions to get rid of moles.
DIY products can be used to remove garden moles, but very often professional mole control will be required.
DIY mole control
Do not believe the stories of putting broken glass, pepper or other substances into the tunnels as a mole repellent solution. This will not work. The mole will dig around the disturbance which may even cause more damage.
However, garden centers and hardware stores sell amateur products that can help with mole eradication.
Ultrasonic mole repellent devices
Mole repellent devices have limited effectiveness in getting rid of moles because ultrasonic sound does not travel underground. At best, these may encourage garden moles to move a short distance away and dig new tunnels.
Mole traps are best used in the autumn and spring when garden moles are most active. For rapid results, it is advisable to use several traps on the deep tunnels, although this can be expensive for a one-off problem.
Take care when setting mole traps and follow the instructions on how to get rid of moles carefully to avoid injury.
Check traps everyday for moles that have been caught but not killed.
Some retailers sell fumigants for getting rid of moles.
These products are potentially very dangerous if misused. Take great care and follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to get rid of moles carefully.
Professional Mole Control to get rid of moles
While DIY pest control products can deal with smaller mole problems, a professional mole control service will probably be required for larger outbreaks of garden moles on your property.