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Lawn Damage from Moles by Megan Hazel-

If you have seen mounds of dirt on your lawn, you should know what they indicate. Mounds of dirt are often a warning sign that moles are calling your lawn their new home. This situation requires answers to some important questions such as: What qualities does your lawn possess that makes moles choose your yard over another? Also, and perhaps more importantly, how on earth are we to get rid of these pests?

Earthworms are filet mignon to a mole. They tunnel great distances on their quest for a worm dinner. Normally, we wouldn't care if they tunneled all the way to China, but when they dig their passageways under our carefully groomed lawns, the situations takes another turn. Cinema comedies have been created depicting the lengths some people will go to in order to dispense with a mole.

Moles are not rodents, although many people think they are. In reality, they are of the taxonomic order Insectivora, like Shrews. They have eyes buried in fur, no ears that show, a long, naked snout and paddle-shaped forelegs that are clearly designed for digging. They have a definite dietary preference for worms, grubs and other underground insects. On occasion, moles will temporarily undermine the root systems of growing plants, but their most disliked escapade is tunneling under the manicured lawns of humans and pushing up little mounds of soil that are visible and easily depressed by walking on them. However, while we tend to dislike this intensely when it disrupts our fastidiously maintained lawns, it actually results in far less damage than that caused by various insects, fungi and the family dog intent upon burying his latest bone for posterity.

Moles spend the bulk of their lives underground in the loose, moist soil preferred by earthworms and grubs. Some plant damage that occurs is due to mice and voles who utilize mole tunnels, but the mole usually gets the blame.

What's a Homeowner to Do?

Unless it is a very extreme case, not much action is usually taken. It is often best to leave the animal alone, at least as long as it is not literally destroying your lawn. For most homeowners with a mole problem, it can be managed with little effort. For one thing, you can run a roller over the mole's tunnels and flatten them down and solve any problem of those mounds of earth interfering with your lawn mower blades. Also, remember that if you water your lawn too often or too much, that extra water will keep the mole's favorite dinner selections near the surface and thus encourage more mole tunnels in your lawn.

Some anti-mole homeowners sow 'natural' lawns made up from native grasses and forbs because they minimize mole attendance in the lawn. They are also environmentally friendly substitutes and offer lower maintenance than conventional lawn grasses.

If moles are invading your garden areas, you can erect barriers (sold in some garden supply and hardware stores) or bury hardware cloth in an "L" shape at least eight inches to a foot from the edge of the plot to keep out unwanted visitors.

Some homeowners just ignore these tiny interlopers. This is clearly the most cost-effective solution if you can adopt that attitude. The mole is, after all, nowhere near as distressing a pest as ants and termites can be, or as noisy as bats in your attic or neighborhood dogs that use your lawn for a lavatory.

For more diehard mole eliminators there are more extreme solutions including poison, traps in their tunnels, sonic mole chasers, gas cartridges ignited and inserted into mole runs, flooding burrows with water, mothballs placed in tunnels, a Castor oil/water combination sprayed over the lawn, or inserting porous lava rocks soaked with onion and garlic solution into their tunnels. All these methods of mole elimination have had various degrees of success by homeowners.

The Vole is another burrowing creature that frequently is mistaken for a mole. Voles, however, are rodents and they are known to burrow into garden beds. Voles also enjoy gnawing at tree bark and eating bulbs from the flower or vegetable garden. A cat is a good vole deterrent because they absolutely love stalking any kind of rodent. Hawks, owls and snakes also enjoy dining on vole. If voles are residing on your property, professional pest control companies can help with traps and baits.

Mole or vole, these lawn and garden pests are usually little more than an annoyance that rarely, if ever, make it into the home itself. The one exception might be in the mouth of a cat bringing home his trophy with pride.

About Author:
Megan Hazel is a freelance writer who writes about issues pertaining to home maintenance including Lawn Service | Lawn Services

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Written by Kitty Cat Central

March 31st, 2012 at 6:08 am

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