Strategy For Dealing With Mole
Here is what might seem to be an unusual strategy for dealing with the problems caused by the terrible and fearsome mole. Here is a surprise for you. The problem many of you have year after year is not the fault of the mole. The problem occurs because of the condition of your lawn. Fix the lawn and the mole problem literally disappears.
The reality my friends is that where there is an open field, a garden, or a lawn, there will almost always and forever be eastern moles living happily beneath the surface of the soil. We might kill a mole or two, but by fall, another mole will have moved in to replace those dispatched. I believe that most lawns in in eastern U.S. have moles living under them. Moles will always be there. All the products sold to deal with moles may work but only for one year. Another mole will be back next year.
So why do some lucky yardeners have “no mole problems” and many of the rest of us find ourselves fighting these furry tunneling machines year in and year out? The answer is very simple.
People with a turf growing on compacted soil will usually have grass with a root system that is only about two inches deep. Healthy grass, growing in decent soil, will have roots going down six, eight, even twelve inches. The people with mole problems have the grass with the shallow root system. The mole’s food, grubs and earthworms, are living within that shallow root zone above the compacted soil. If the earthworms are at two inches, that is where the mole has to go for its food. When the mole tunnels at the two-inch level, it by definition will be pushing up the turf leaving mounded and dying grass in its path.
All the yardeners with “no mole problems” still have moles living and eating grubs and earthworms under their grass, and always will. The food for the “invisible” mole is down at three to six inches below the turf because the soil is not so compacted and the root mass is much deeper. The mole is knoshing on earthworms day in and day out and you have no clue that the little critter is even in the neighborhood.
Fixing the Lawn
Use a hand lawn aerator tool every few years to loosen compacted lawn soil. Also mulch with organic materials and overseed your lawn in the fall to build good soil and dense turf. Test your soil with a pH meter or soil test kit to assure that your soil is within the proper pH range so the grass plants will be able to take up all the nutrients they need from the soil. See the file “Improving Soil Under Lawns” for much more detailed information
In The Meantime
In the meantime, for the two or three years it takes to completely fix the lousy soil, you can keep the mole problem under control with a product that kills the suckers. See dispatch the mole up to the left.
Before you can get rid of the moles in your yard, you need to identify which “runs” or tunnels are active. For this, you’ll need a broom handle for poking holes and small yard markers, spray paint or even plastic forks. Poke holes into the tunnels and flag them with your marker system. In 24 – 48 hours, if the hole has been repaired (where the mole has either plugged up the hole or created a new “volcano” mound in a deep tunnel), you know you have an active infestation.