Eastern Mole Removal and Control is a specialized service that should be handled by a professional. Not having a professional handle your mole problem in a quick and efficient mannner could lead to unnecessary destruction of your yard!
The eastern mole might look strange (almost completely invisible eyes, huge front paws, and funny pointed nose) and have strange place to live (underground??). But while their tunnels and dirt piles can sometimes be frustrating for homeowners, there are definite benefits to their presence; and the more information you have on their habits, the easier it is to deal with them.
Eastern moles are common in the eastern half of the US, west into the Great Plains and north into Ontario, but may be locally extinct in Mexico. Eastern moles are small, averaging 6 inches (16cm) long, including a 1-inch (2.5 cm) tail. Their eyesight is legendarily bad, but their hearing and sense of touch is acute. Since they’re almost blind, and their hands are adapted into great shovel-like apparatuses for digging, they rely on tactile information – from their nose – to provide them with the information they need from their surroundings. They breed only once a year, between mid-April and June, producing a litter of 2-5 pups.
Eastern moles prefer the easily-dug loamy soils of thin forests, fields, pastures, meadows, golf courses and residential lawns. They are more abundant in warm climes rather than colder climates. The eastern mole is active at all hours with peaks in activity near dawn and at dusk.
Dogs, cats, foxes, and coyotes are some of the predators of the species, but one cannot rely on predators to eradicate, or even control, mole populations.
The eastern mole works hard building tunnels, and has a voracious appetite to match. Daily food consumption equals 25 to 100% of the animal’s weight. They’ll eat earthworms whenever they can, but will eat many other foods including slugs, snails, centipedes, larval and adult insects, scarab beetle grubs, and ants. Because their saliva contains a toxin that can paralyze earthworms, moles are able to store their still living prey for later consumption. They construct special underground "larders" – food storage areas – for just this purpose.
The presence of eastern moles does have a couple of advantages. They feed enthusiastically on destructive insects such as cutworms and Japanese beetles, and dig tunnels that aerate the soil and permit moisture to penetrate deeper soil layers.
Most mole damage to turf occurs in spring and fall when moles are actively looking for food just beneath the ground surface. A single animal can dig hundreds of feet of tunnels in a few days. Surface tunnels are used only temporarily in search of food; after the food source is exhausted, the mole will abandon the tunnel and excavate a new one. They can undermine plant roots, indirectly causing damage or death. However, contrary to popular belief, moles do not eat plant roots; it’s the rodents who will use mole tunnels to attack plants from underground. Sometimes the damage caused by moles to lawns is mostly visual, and the problem can be solved by simply removing the earth of the molehills as they appear.
Identifying the Creator of Those Tunnels
Since moles are not the only animal pests responsible for runways in lawn and garden areas, they are often confused with the pocket gopher and the vole. Because these lawn and garden pests are rarely seen, it makes more sense to base identification on the signs they leave behind. Proper pest identification is the first step in control.
Whereas mole mounds, as stated above, are volcano-like in appearance, pocket gopher mounds are horseshoe-shaped. Voles, meanwhile, leave no mounds at all behind. Instead, voles construct well-defined, visible runways at or near the surface, about two inches wide. Vole runways result from the voles eating the grass blades, as well as from the constant traffic of numerous little feet over the same path.
Chemical Repellants and Poisons
If you decide to try a chemical approach, be sure that you’re aiming at the right target. Going after lawn grubs and insects won’t impact mole activity much, given that the eastern mole’s primary food is earthworms. In fact, many chemicals and home remedies (including castor oil derivatives and grub controls) are not only ineffective when dealing with moles, but they allow the animals time to establish and become real problems.
On large properties mole activity may move from one part of the lawn to another. This movement is affected by climate, ground moisture, and changes in food supply. If disturbed, moles may temporarily leave an area but will usually return when you least expect it. Even without disturbance mole activity may last only a week or two in a particular area. This here-today, gone-tomorrow behavior is probably the root of most of the misconceptions that make some home remedies and pesticides appear credible.
Setting Traps for Eastern Moles
Traps are an option, but that still leaves the homeowner with the problem of cleanup and disposal. Live traps leave the homeowner with the problem of how to get rid of the live mole after it’s caught. In some states, animal relocation is prohibited (with good reason), so check local and state regulations.
Moles will have their litters anytime from mid-March into May; trapping in the early spring (late February to early March) can eliminate pregnant females, effectively nipping in the bud what would be a greater mole problem later. Where you place the trap is critical to your success in trapping. You’ll want to place your mole trap near active mole feeding tunnels (that is, the shallower of the two types of tunnel described above).
Active runs can be located by stepping down the run, marking the location (say, with a ribbon tied to a stake), and checking to see if the tunnel is reopened within 24 to 48 hours. Permanent or deeper tunnels will be the most productive trap locations since these tunnels may be used several times daily. To identify main runways in a yard or area, look for constantly reopened tunnels that follow a generally straight line or that appear to connect two mounds or two feeding areas (branching tunnels). Main runways often will follow fencerows, walkways, foundations, or other manmade borders. Occasionally, main runways will occur along woody perimeters of a field or lawn. Meandering tunnels in the lawn are "probes" that are quickly constructed by moles and may not be reused.
Cut out the turf over the active tunnel, and remove the soil right down to where the moles have beaten their path. While their vision is poor, however, moles are sensitive to the touch. This means you can't leave any loose soil in the path leading up to the trap, or the moles will detect it and back off. Set the trap according to directions.
If a trap fails to produce after two days, it can mean
· The mole changed its habits and is no longer using the runway.
· The runway was disturbed too much, alerting the mole to potential danger. Try not to leave loose dirt in the tunnel when you set the trap.
· The trap was improperly set and the mole detected it. In any event, move the trap to a new location.
Eastern Mole Control should be handled by a professional animal removal company that specializes in this process, as there are so many different varaiables in each lawn it would be impossible to direct you on how to acheive your desired results. you can find a professional mole control expert by clicking on your state, then your closest applicable city to contact the closest Eastern Mole Control professional! You can find additional information on more types of moles in the U.S.!