There are 12 genera of Moles in the world and the United States has at least 5 of them. The most common is the eastern or garden mole. This mammal has a pointed snout, rudimentary eyes, soft velvety fur, broad feet and long powerful claws on it’s front pair of legs. Moles are a nuisance around the home and garden because they dig tunnels just below the surface of the ground. These tunnels seem never ending and will cause damage to grass and shrubs. They are on a never ending quest to find food and this will lead them to yards where insect and worm populations are high.
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MOLE PROBLEMS *
Homeowners will become frustrated and infuriated with the damage these small yet persistent creatures will do. It is not uncommon for them to cause damage to all types of turf including Bermuda and Fescue. In the garden, they will tear root systems of plants and flowers which can cause them to die. Although they are insectivores, moles have been found to like certain root systems common plants in the garden have to offer. We believe that many plants are killed by moles which are feeding on insects nesting and living around plants and shrubs. This article will address how to control the insect population moles feed on and then offer suggestions on how to control the moles.
BEST MOLE TREATMENTS *
Since moles are attracted to yards that have an abundant supply of insects, keeping the larvae populations of insects reduced should reduce mole activity. In some cases this will work. Make sure to treat your yard once or twice a year. There are two products which work well for this purpose; TEMPO and BIFENTHRIN GRANULES. Use both because they will deliver a one two punch which works well in the long run. The liquid provides a quick knockdown and kills off active larva. Tempo is both easy to use and quick acting. It will last a month or two and it’s effect is to kill the insect larvae which moles are seeking.
Apply it with a HOSE END SPRAYER which simply attaches to your hose and uses the water pressure from your garden hose to spray. Although the Tempo will provide quick knockdown, the use of Bifenthrin Granules will provide a longer window of protection. This will prove helpful in con- trolling the larva which hatch out after liquid treatments. This is important in some climates that have long mild seasons and eggs may be hatching more than one time a year. These granules are easy to apply and will last several months per application. A bag will treat 1/4-1/2 acre.
Hose End Sprayer: http://www.bugspraycart.com/equipment/sprayers/gilmour-20g-390
Use one of our HAND SPREADERS to do the application. Both will work but the larger unit is well worth the investment since it will work for all types of granules including fertilizer. It’s so much easier to use than push spreaders and it works better. If you have a yard which has not been treated for insects before, it is recommended that you do two treatments twice a year for a year or two. This will knock down existing populations and provide a residual which will help to prevent new ones.
MOLE CONTROL HISTORY *
Although we have not seen any data to substantiate this observation, we have noticed over the years that homeowners with pets seem less likely to get moles. Initially we thought their pets must be killing any that come in the yard. However, the one thing these people all had in common that might be keeping moles out is that they treat for fleas. Spraying their grass for flea control has kept many insects from being able to live which reduces the chances of getting moles. We don’t know if this is true, but we have seen this pattern over the years of dealing with the problem. We have also seen people who have pets and also have moles but they always seem to be people who don’t do much of the flea problem. Regardless, treatment for many pests in and around the yard will keep insect populations down which in turn will keep moles looking for food in someone else’s yard.
We have many customers who have tried different home remedies with out much success. These remedies include flooding their tunnels with water, using smoke bombs and treating with rat bait. All such attempts using these methods prove to be useless. Since moles only use their main tunnel for nesting, flooding will not work. Even if you know the main tunnel they are nesting in, moles are strong and can easily escape the rush of water. Smoke bombs prove to be equally useless because the moles will exit the treated tunnels to areas the smoke is not reaching. Rat bait will not work because moles primarily feed on live insects. Most of the mole bait currently available won’t work. In fact, most of the labels are being taken off the market since they have been found to be ineffective.
BEST MOLE BAIT *
There is one which does work and having had it in the market for a over a year we have seen good results. This MOLE BAIT uses insects as the main attractant which means moles will readily find it. The attractant also has ground worms in the mix. They seem to like it’s taste because we have seen good acceptance. Once moles feed on the product they will die. The one key we have learned is that you must use a lot of the material placed out to insure they find it. Since moles only use tunnels once except for the main den bait placements made too far apart will be missed. Don’t make your placements more than 10 feet apart and try to make the placements as close to the den or main tunnels that you can.
MOLE BAIT APPLICATORS *
Now if you have open dens and tunnels with holes, it would be wise to get some bait applied down these entrance points. But don’t be careless with bait by sprinkling it in open areas subject to weather and non target animals like dogs or worse yet, children. Use a SNAKE BAITER to place the bait down 2-3 feet. This device is easy to use and will help get the bait placed down deep in the tunnel which will help with quicker acceptance and less chance of it getting noticed by some animal above.
The other key to the use of this product is that it should be applied after you spray. If you are getting some of the material listed above to kill the local insects, apply the bait at least one day after the treatment. This will allow the chemical to dry and not impact the bait. If you spray over the bait you will contaminate it and the moles will ignore your placements. On the other hand, if you only bait, expect to have more moles replace the ones you kill. This is due to the fact that you haven’t dealt with the food supply. As long as insect larvae are allowed to live moles will want to live there. Kill the insects and controlling the moles becomes easy.
MOLE WORM BAIT *
If you don’t have much of an insect population and believe the moles are targeting your earthworm population, you may want to opt for the more expensive TALPIRID BAIT. This is the latest and greatest for moles. First, it uses an active which is particularly effective against moles. In other words, they only need to feed once or twice and they will almost assuredly get exposed to a lethal dose.
Secondly, the bait is in the form of a worm. It has the length, shape and feel of a real worm so when found by a mole, they won’t let it go. If you aren’t getting bait acceptance using the insect based Mole Bait, the Talpirid will assuredly work. Yes it is pricey but the ease of use, the quick results it will yield and the fact that it’s a very safe bait to employ all make it a smart choice. If all else has failed, give this a chance. It will work.
BEST MOLE TRAPS *
Trapping moles has long been one of the most effective methods of control. There are many models available today, but the two traps which have proven effective throughout the years are the SPEAR TRAP and the OUT O’SIGHT TRAP. These two traps reside above ground and are most effective when placed on active tunnels which can be hard to identify. Furthermore, they will be visible. This visibility could be a problem because they are both unsightly and present an attractive nuisance to children and non-target animals.
Mole Trap Out of Sight: http://www.bugspraycart.com/traps/snap-snare-and-tunnel/mole-out-o-sight
If you are not able to use either of these designs but want to try trapping, get MOLE TUNNEL TRAPS. These are placed down inside active tunnels and have small wood dowels which serve as both anchors and locators. Tunnel Traps are much more discreet. To use any of these traps, you must first identify where the main den or tunnel is in your yard. These main tunnels are usually straight and around 8′ to 15′ long. From these main tunnels moles will travel looking for food. Most of the tunnels will run continuously and don’t seem to connect any where. This is because moles do not reuse their tunnels.
Since moles have a high metabolism, they must constantly seek food which is why so many tunnels can appear so quickly and without notice. Their nesting den is where you will find many tunnels all connecting and coming together. Another way to locate the nesting den is to push sections of tunnels down flat and marking them with some type of flag or other stable object. Monitor these locations over the next few days. Moles will push their den tunnels back up when they return home. If you find any of the tunnels pushed back up within two days, you probably have located where you need to set some traps. All three traps must be set where moles are nesting so identifying den areas is critical to successful trapping.
Though trapping moles is usually the fastest and surest way to control unwanted activity, it is not always easy. However, once you identify where a nest or den may be located, your chances of success will be greatly improved. It is also suggested that Mole Bait be used in any tunnels. Since the bait is so inexpensive to use we always recommend it along with the use of traps. This approach helps to insure something you have done will get the nuisance animal before it is able to do more damage to grass and plants.
BEST MOLE REPELLENT SPRAY *
If you are unsure where the main den tunnel is located or if you don’t want to use the kill trap or bait, you can spray a repellent material which will make the ground taste terrible. Once the ground is treated with this material, it will taste bad to foraging moles. This bad taste will chase the moles to other areas. The strongest material available today is called WHOLE CONTROL. It is easy to apply and usually will last several months following an application.
Whole Control: http://www.bugspraycart.com/repellents/liquid/whole-control
The very best approach when using Whole Control is to combine the spraying with the use of some MOLE REPELLENT. These are small granules which are first spread out over the turf you are wanting to protect. Use one of the spreaders we detail above to insure the coverage is uniform and complete. Once applied, the Repellent needs to be watered down to activate them which and the use of the Whole Control sprayed over the top will both activate the Granules as well as add to the overall performance of either product being used by itself. Clearly using both by first applying the Granules and then spraying over the top with the Whole Control is as good as it gets.
The Whole Control can also be used if the moles are active around plants or trees. Apply it with a root injector for deep penetration and proper delivery. If you don’t have a root injector, simply use a stake such as a piece of a rebar and hammer some holes where the animal is active. Then either spray the Whole Control down the holes or mix it up in a bucket and pour it out. This will not hurt the plant or shrub but will deter the mole to another food source.
MOLE SOUND REPELLERS *
One other type of repellent which needs to be discussed is the use of sound. There are many devices on the market which reportedly emit some type of ultra sound which is thought to irritate moles. In general such devices do not have a practical application in or around the yard. This is due to the fact that very infrequently do moles reuse the same tunnels over and over. Any type of Ultra Sound would have no way of traveling far because such sound cannot transmit well through soil or dirt. This would severely limit its range.
But the true “sounding” devices, the kind that make an annoying noise, will work. If by chance you are able to find and identify the main living den, the use of a sound device at that location will assuredly chase them but all that will happen is that they will move to another part of your yard! This obviously is not a valid solution. However, such devices can be used effectively if implemented throughout the entire property. In other words, don’t just set one out where the mole tunnels are clearly seen; instead set out units around the property borders so that moles won’t be able to penetrate. These units are low lying and can be completely hidden so a protection “grid” can be set in place that can be quite effective at keeping active moles at bay. The key is having enough out and having them properly spaced.
There are generally two times when these sound devices should be considered as valid options for resolving conflict and getting moles off your property. The first is when you have moles or voles targeting a specific plant or tree under which to live. It is not uncommon for moles or voles to focus in one plant. Many times this is a prized plant or flower or shrub and damage to their vital root system is not acceptable. Using sound for such limited applications is valid and if there aren’t other plants for them to focus in on, they will many times simply leave.
The second type of application these devices are useful for is when you have a lot or adjacent land which has mole activity and you want to keep them out of your yard. If a neighbor reports having a mole problem, setting up some of these as a barrier between your property and the neighbor will most likely keep them off your land. Since the device will serve as a deterrent, it is entirely possible to set up a “sound wall” around the perimeter of your property that can work all the time at keeping moles away. Combined with reducing their food supply and the use of either liquid or granular repellent will work; the key is keeping the repellents fresh and the sound devices fully powered so they are working.
There are two types of sound devices we have found to work well for moles. If you have a bad problem and want to make it as unpleasant as possible for the persistent moles, then the more powerful SONIC MOLE CHASER will be your best bet. This unit is battery operated and strong. It has two settings and will cover a large area. If you want the best and you want to set up a fortress through which local moles cannot penetrate, then get this unit.
Sonic Mole Repeller: http://www.bugspraycart.com/repellents/sound/sonic-mole-chaser
If you don’t have a bad problem or if you have a small area that needs to be protected, the SOLAR POWERED CHASER should do the job. This unit uses the power of the sun and does not need batteries. However, it is not nearly as strong as the Sonic Chaser. It’s blast is less powerful and less frequent. However, it does use the sun for power so you won’t have to replace batteries twice a year and it’s pretty much maintenance free. Just turn it on and let it be. But for any serious problem, you will be better off investing in the Sonic Unit with it’s extra power being a big boost to performance.
Solar Mole Repeller: http://www.bugspraycart.com/repellents/sound/solar-mole-chaser
MOLE CONTROL PROGRAM *
In summary, there are several ways to deal with local mole infestations. The best way is to first apply some Bifenthrin Granules and then spray over the top with Tempo. At this time you should also push down tunnels to try and learn which ones pop back up indicating main dens. At least a day following the spraying you can apply some Mole Bait no further than 10 feet intervals down into the tunnels trying to make these placements where you have seen tunnels pushed back up. You should also set out some traps. If you don’t get them quickly with the traps you should be able to kill them off with the bait. Within a growing season or two you should have killed off enough of the insect population so that local moles will have to go elsewhere to find food. If you want to make sure they don’t come back to your yard apply some Whole Control over areas you want to protect. The Sonic Sound Chasers can also help and since the work around the clock, they can help provide a uniform barrier through which moles won’t want to pass.
CONTACT US *
Give us a call if you need further help. Our toll free is 1-800-877-7290 and we’re open Monday through Thursday, 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM. On Friday, 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM and on Saturday, 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM (Eastern Standard Time).
Email questions here: http://www.bugspray.com/about-us/contact-us
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