Moles (talpidae) are small mammals which have adapted to live underground. They dig tunnels through the soil, searching for earthworms and insects. The tunnels they create are earthworm traps.
They can quickly establish themselves in a location due to their ability to burrow up to 4 metres an hour. They creating complex tunnel systems which they maintain and use to forage for worms.
Moles do not feed on the grass leaves however they will eat the root system. They also undermine the grass, weakening it. This can affect the growth and appearance of your grass.
Moles can cause severe damage to a lawn. These mammals might be small, but they have the capacity to dig into the soil surface. The tunnels they build can be beneficial since they help to aerate the soil. On the other hand, a mole invasion can lead to a very lumpy lawn.
Controlling moles in your lawn
1) The barrier method
If you live in a rural environment you may be able to construct a physical barrier. This would prevent moles coming into your garden. This involves using a 24-inch piece of a metallic barrier and placing it below the soil surface. The depth should be at least 12 inches and the lower section bent to around 90 degrees. You can substitute the metal for a hardware cloth barrier if you don’t have one. These barriers will prevent the moles from creating tunnels in your garden.
If you have a large garden, this can be a very costly and time consuming task.
2) Use Mole Traps
Moles can dig many tunnels all around your lawn. There are mole traps designed for dealing with them whether they’re above or underneath the ground. Regardless of what mole trap you buy, do read the instructions on how and where to place them.
What you do with the trapped mole is up to you.
3) Encourage the moles to leave
Soak some wooden sticks overnight in some Jeyes fluid. The next day, where ever there is a new mole hill drive a stick all the way into it. The fumes spread down the tunnels and the moles leave the area unharmed.
This seems to be a great way to deal with a mole problem without harming them or digging up the garden.
4) Seek Professional Help
Another way to deal with the issue is to call a pest controller or specialist mole catcher. These folk will lay traps in specific areas in your garden and leave them for checking a few days later. This is a professional way to make sure the moles do not come back.
Repairing a lawn from mole damage
The damage caused by moles can be extensive and will require repairing. Have a look at my blog post on lawn patch repair for more details on how to fix mole damage.