SPECIAL TOPICS: GROUND MOLES

Eastern moles are a common animal pest in lawns and gardens in Florida. These small mammals are most active in the early morning and late evening as they tunnel through the lawn in their never-ending search for food, principally earthworms.

Moles will feed on earthworms and tunnel in moist soils. Mole excavations are of two types: permanent tunnels which include nests and feeding tunnels at the surface, and feeding tunnels. The feeding tunnels result in uprooted grass and are the tunnels most commonly reported to us.

Effective poisons are now available for moles. Because the animal is a mammal the use of older bait type products like arsenic coated peanuts often attracted non-targeted mammals (rabbits and squirrels). While traps are available to control moles success with traps is very rare. The secret to trapping is to find the actively used tunnels, which can be identified by collapsing a small section of the tunnel and checking to see if the tunnel has been repaired within a few hours. If a mole hasn’t been trapped within 1-2 days, move the trap to another tunnel.

Today there is an effective mole bait on the market. It essentially uses a worm shaped bait that the mole ingests and then dies. Locating exactly where the moles are feeding is the trick to applying the bait successfully. We are currently offering this service through our pest control company. Treatments begin at $199 and go up depending on frequency of re-treatments and the size of the area to be treated. Moles can travel several hundred yards in a 24 hour period. Obviously that distance can encompass several residential lawns. We recommend working with your neighbors on a mole treatment program, because the larger the area we treat the more likely we are to kill all the moles in a single trip (not very likely when treating just a single yard).

Many people have proposed that additional insecticide applications will reduce the mole’s food source and cause them to leave the area for better feeding elsewhere. Unfortunately, this has not proved to be the case. Because the moles are nearly blind and rely on their other senses to “run into” their food, if an area has the conditions necessary for the mole’s food source to survive, the moles will remain active in that area searching for food indefinitely. Additionally, because moles favorite food source is earthworms reducing the insect population will not effect the earthworms and only accelerates the moles tunneling in search of acceptable food sources. If your lawn is susceptible to moles, until the moles are killed, or removed by trapping, they will continue to be a problem. Even after control, re-infestation is always a concern.

Whirly devices that create vibrations in the soil do not work to “scare” off moles and moles won’t eat juicy fruit gum. The only effective control is with the baited worms used by professional pest control companies. For a free Lawn Analysis and price quote for Lawn spraying or Mole treatments simply click on the link in this sentence for a quote request.