Moles have a pointy snout, short arms and are about 6 to 8 inches long. They dig tunnels that are about 16 to 18 inches deep throughout yards and gardens. The tunnels have ridges on the top for surface feeding, unlike a gopher tunnel, which is round on top. Mole tunnels have open entrance and exit holes that are less than 2 inches in diameter. Moles are active at all times except in the coldest winter months.
Why My Garden?
Moles are carnivores and eat meat. Moles feed on tasty garden insects and pests, such as worms, grubs, beetles and centipedes that are often living in a garden. Moles are just searching for food when they choose your garden for a feeding area. Many times plants will dislodge from beneath the ground surface as a mole makes a tunnel.
Moles can wreak havoc. While they don’t eat vegetation, their constant tunneling for insects and roots and worms mar your lawn and garden and up heave roots and seedlings.
Good vibrations. Moles are sensitive to sound. Repel them by leaving a radio playing or using one of the commercial devices sold at garden centers. Or make your own: plant 1.5 m (5ft) metal stakes by the tunnels and attach empty plastic bottles to their tops so that they knock about in the wind. You can also insert a child’s pinwheel into a mole run every 3 m (10ft) or so.
Moles have their good points. Though a nuisance when they disturb seed beds and tunnel through the lawn, moles help maintain ecological balance in the garden. It is true, unfortunately, that moles eat soil enriching earth worms. But they also feed on many unwelcome garden visitors such as beetle grubs, wireworms, cutworms and other larvae. In addition, the mole’s tunneling aids in aerating the soil and in draining damp earth.
Scavenge soil from molehills for your seed beds and pots. It’s light , aerated, rich, and effective as any commercial potting mix, but not weed-free.
An odoriferous cure. Place a few scoops of used clay kitty litter in the tunnel. Once the odor alerts oles that their territory has been invaded, they will disperse quickly.
To repair mole damage to the lawn, walk over the tunnels to press the grass roots back into the soil, then water in.