HOW TO CONTROL MOLES IN THE YARD
There are at least 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.
Related articles: CHIPMUNKS GOPHERS GROUND SQUIRRELS PRAIRIE DOGS SHREWS VOLES
DO YOU HAVE A MOLE PROBLEM?
Are you seeing destructive raised mounds appearing in your yard? Are they quite extensive traveling throughout the entire lawn with no clear goal or intent? And do they seem to appear overnight? These are most likely due to a foraging mole. No doubt homeowners have long been 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.
Moles are cursed with the need to feed throughout most of the day. In fact its estimated most will spend 20+ hours a day searching for food. Now what do they consider food? Grubs, worms, insects and some plants.
In the garden, they will routinely tear through the root systems of plants and flowers as they forage. This in turn will cause the affected plant to die.
Although considered to be 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.
WHATS THE BEST WAY TO GET RID OF MOLES?
There are several ways to control moles burrowing through your turf. The list of options includes gas repellents, chemically treating their food, using bait, using kill traps and then the best long term protection, our sound repellers.
At the end of the day, the “easiest” method seems to be taking their food source away, gassing tunnels and setting up our repellers. Since moles are constantly looking for food, they’ll quickly move off your land if your turf doesn’t have what they need. In fact, most any insect moles like to eat will make noise and if its not the smell of the insects which attracts them, its the sound they make.
FIRST TREAT FOR GRUBS OR OTHER INSECTS THEY MIGHT BE EATING
For this reason it means doing some basic insect control will generally get rid of the moles. And if you do these treatments once every 2-3 months, you will help your lawn stay healthy and mole free for good.
So whats the best way to treat the yard for insects? The general process includes applying granules and spray. True, there are several options available that can accomplish this task but the best for treating when moles are active is a combination of MAXXTHOR GRANULES and MAXXTHOR SPRAY.
Of all the treatments for turf, these two seem to work the fastest. No doubt they’ll work quickly on active insects. But the active is also highly irritating to moles. So once in the soil, the active will bother the digging mole by bothering its sense of smell and irritating its senses. This sensation combined with the reduction of insects will cause them to forage elsewhere so in most cases treating your yard will yield positive results in a week or less.
To treat with both, you’ll first want to apply the granules.
This short video shows how to apply these “sandy” like granules efficiently around your home with a “tip” that makes using them super easy!
Use 3 lbs for every 1,000 sq/ft of turf; the 25 lb bag will cover up to 8,000 sq/ft. Be sure to apply some to flower beds and mulch areas too. Renew monthly until all mole activity is gone. After that, treating once in the spring and once in the fall will keep them away for good.
Apply the granules with a good GRANULE SPREADER.
Next, spray over the top with MAXXTHOR EC. Add 2.5 oz to our HOSE END SPRAYER and then add water to the 5 gallon line. Spray the entire amount over 5,000 sq/ft of area every month for 3 months. After that, treat once in the spring and once in the fall to keep the grubs under control.
To apply the Maxxthor, use a good HOSE END SPRAYER. If you get our sprayer, you’ll need to add 2.5 oz of concentrate to the sprayer and then enough water to fill it to the 5 gallon line. This is about half way full and enough to treat 1/2 acre.
NEXT GAS THEIR TUNNELS
Gassing any tunnels in the yard using GIANT DESTROYERS will make the tunnels unusable. Remember, moles rarely reuse tunnels BUT other animals like VOLES, SHREWS and CHIPMUNKS will readily move into the vacated areas and they’re more likely to make permanent nests.
For this reason gassing the tunnels is strongly suggested.
Giant Destroyers are easy to use and their fumes will render the tunnel useless for a month or so. The sulfur is a soil amendment as well so its actually “good” for the ground.
To gas, make sure you have a good spot to slide in a gas stick. Find a good spot by poking a hole at the top of the tunnel big enough for one to fit inside.
Next, wear a leather glove since you’ll be handling the gas stick once its lit. The fuse side should be slid in first after its lit and you have about 7 seconds to push it in using a stick or rod, something non flammable and then capping the hole so the fumes stay in the ground.
If done properly, you’ll see the fumes coming up in various directions, sometimes 10 feet or further away from where you set the stick in the ground.
The following video shows how to use our gas sticks.
Plan on using enough sticks to get all the tunnels you see gassed. Let them sit for a few hours and then tamp them all down using your feet or something heavy like a sledge hammer. You do this so in the next few days you can check them to see if any pop back up again. Since mole tunnels are only used once, they usually don’t pop back up unless there is a nest close by and if that is the case, using the bait below would be suggested for that area. Baiting for two weeks to ensure any nesting are dead would be the step to take before setting up our Solar Powered Ground Stake repellers shown further down the page.
IF TUNNELS REMAIN ACTIVE, USE MOLE BAIT
If you find tunnels popping back up after you push them down, you’ll need to do some baiting.
The nesting sections will be where you have tamped down tunnels but where they have pushed back up. This happens in tunnels they’re using on a daily basis. And if you can find a section where this happens within a day of being compressed, bait it with MOLE BAIT PELLETS.
This formulation uses insects as the main attractant which means moles will readily find it and consume your offering. The attractant also has ground worms in the mix. They seem to like it’s taste because we have seen good acceptance of this bait afield.
To bait thoroughly, apply a teaspoon every 5 feet in tunnels you see them re-using. Each 1 lb jar should be enough to treat up to 1/2 acre. To apply the bait, you only need to make a tiny entry hole from above just large enough to pour the bait down into the open tunnel below. If possible, laying some lawn litter over the top of the tunnel to help conceal the opening will insure the bait doesn’t get contaminated and that the mole doesn’t get spooked.
If you have open dens and tunnels throughout the yard with deep tunnels or holes, you’ll need to get the bait down out of sight. Use a SNAKE BAITER to place the bait down 2-3 feet. This device is easy to use and will help get the bait well away from the surface which will insure fast acceptance and less chance of it getting noticed by some animal above.
HOW TO TRAP MOLES
You could try to “trap” them but in our experience, trapping is very difficult.
That being said, the two most effective traps is the old SPEAR TRAP and the newer TUNNEL TRAP design. The Spear Trap resides above ground; the tunnel trap is underground when set and again, like the bait, both need to be deployed over and in active tunnels.
So if you’re more of a traditionalist and prefer to have your trap visible so you can tell when its been activate, the Spear Trap would be the design for you. This trap sits above ground and though its hard for anyone to be hurt by it, some people feel its both unsightly and presents an attractive nuisance to children and non-target animals. But over the years, this trap has probably caught more moles than all the others combined. Use as many as you want; in general the more set out, the higher the chance of success. But just like the bait, if the trap is set over active tunnels you should get a hit within a day.
If you prefer a more “discreet” design, go with the 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 more economical and overall, the most common choice of professionals.
Set one trap every 15-20 feet and inspect them daily. The key to getting success with this trap is to make placements of two traps set back to back so no matter which direction the mole comes from, he’ll surely have to enter the jaws and in turn, get caught. Like the spear trap, the more you employ, the better your odds of having success.
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 just in case. Since the bait is so inexpensive to use we always recommend it along with the use of traps. This approach helps to insure success sooner rather than later before they’re able to do more damage to grass and plants.
AFTER A WEEK OF NO TUNNELS PUSHED UP, INSTALL OUR REPELLERS
So the final step for “permanent” control is installing our DELUXE MOLE GOPHER SNAKE REPELLER. This model uses the sun to charge an on board replaceable battery so it runs on its own, around the clock. And it releases a vibrating sound that will “rattle” moles so they want to leave. But this model also incorporates other sounds making them well suited for a range of animals.
This short video (less than 60 seconds long) shows how our Ground Stake Repeller works:
As stated, this unit will vibrate several times a minute constantly rotating its cycle. But it also sends out “ultra sound”. In general, ultra sound won’t help fight moles since they’re down in the ground and well protected. But if you have ground squirrels, chipmunks, gophers, voles or even snakes in the area, this unit will stop them from coming around too.
If the above video wasn’t informative enough, this next one is a lot longer but provides all the details you’ll need to know:
In addition to the ultra sound being sent out, it also uses LED bulbs located just under the controller head which emit an “evil” looking light at night. Small animals who like to forage on the ground will see the lights and perceive it to be a predator which in turn will make them uncomfortable and nervous. Combined with the ultra sound, the vibration and the audible sound, the deluxe repeller is powerful enough to keep your yard free and clear of most any ground dwelling animal.
Be sure to prepare the ground properly before installing either unit. This means drilling a hole the proper depth and width. Our SOIL AUGER is designed for the task. Simply attach it to your favorite hand drill and take it out to the yard for the task at hand.
This short video (less than 60 seconds long) shows how to use our Earth Auger:
Holes can be drilled in 10-20 seconds and be just the right width and depth (about 9 inches deep and 1.25 inches wide).
MOLE CONTROL OVER THE LONG RUN
In summary, there are several ways to deal with local mole infestations. The best way is to first apply some Maxxthor Granules and then spray over the top with Maxxthor EC. Both work as a strong “repellent” to the mole but also will kill the very food they are targeting.
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.
Alternatively and what we’ve found to be most effective is to “gas” the tunnels, at the least the ones that have popped back up, and then install our Solar Powered Repellers. Ultimately this set up can keep moles out of the yard permanently and can work even without having to treat their food source.
Give us a call if you need further help. Our toll free is 1-800-877-7290 and we’re open Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. On Saturday, 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM (Eastern Standard Time).
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