Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences: Penn State Extension: Moles, UC IPM Online: Turfgrass: Masked Chafers (White Grubs). Additionally, the digging that moles do aerates and shifts the soil and allows better incorporation of organic matter. Send him your garden or pest control questions at MikeMcG@PTD.net. They eat mostly grubs, which are undesirable, because grubs eat the roots of your grass. Moles can do significant damage to your yard and getting rid of them may take some trial and error on your part. You're better off learning about the lifestyle of a mole so you can effectively get rid of him. A nice amount of rain keeps soils moist and workable—the perfect environment to enable mole movement as they “swim” through the soil. Always have a soil test performed and only add lime if the Ph is low. The solution to getting rid of skunks is to get rid of the grubs … Their dental structure is suited for worms, grubs, and the like. The presence of a mole is noticeable by the volcano-like mounds and surface burrows that suddenly seem to appear and negatively affect the aesthetic appeal of your yard. Moles eat insects like grubs and worms, so one simple preventative measure is to eliminate this food source. We’ve lived in our home for 25 years and never had this issue.”. If there are enough grubs in your lawn when you use it, it should stay effective for many years. Home remedies that include using chewing gum, human hair, gasoline, broken glass or mothballs to manage these underground burrowers are ineffective. BTG is the newest form of “Bt”, a family of naturally-occurring soil organisms, some of which have pest-controlling powers. What Do Moles Eat? © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Many people approach the problem of moles by focusing on grubs—that if the grubs are gone, then moles won’t be in the lawn. Mike McGrath was Editor-in-Chief of ORGANIC GARDENING magazine from 1990 through 1997. Anyway, Bill should have a core aeration performed to reduce soil compaction, which can work wonders for a tired turf. You drop the sponge into a watering can and then water the nematodes into your lawn where they attack and kill grubs of all species. Stick with the core aeration — always a good idea — and stop looking for trouble! He replies: “I do not have a lot of thatch that I can see. Moles often arrive unannounced and make a terrible mess of your backyard. And getting rid of pesky grubs greatly reduces a mole’s food supply. ... Skunks in your garden or yard are searching for food in the ground and will eat grubs. Moles are omnivores that prefer to feast on grubs, earthworms, and other bugs. It can take weeks for him to leave, and the chemicals used on your lawn to eliminate grubs are expensive and form a danger to wildlife, kids, pets and ground-feeding birds. Grubs in your lawn can make the ground feel spongy. If it wasn't for the unsightly damage that moles do to your lawn, having a mole in your yard could be considered beneficial. Fall is a time to get as fat as possible for the coming winter and spring is a time to put weight back on. According to Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences, getting rid of a mole's food supply may trigger him to dig even more to look for food, increasing the damage. Get rid of grubs. This is a sure sign that Bill has too much time on his hands — especially since he can’t see any thatch! They even eat fire ants. And this is the time of year to try one or more of them, as the grubs are close to the soil surface, feeding on the roots of your lawn and in their least protected position. Unfortunately, traps are often the response that at least temporarily solves the problem. Therefore: Moles do not eat plant material. The reason why moles do so much damage is because they have to _constantly_ be actively searching for prey. Traps must encircle or straddle an active tunnel or be suspended above it. Sold under wonderful names like “Mole-a-tov-cocktail”, concentrated castor oil smells real bad. Kimberly Caines is a well traveled model, writer and licensed physical fitness trainer who was first published in 1997. They feed on roots, which can trigger drought-resembling dead patches. When the mole encounters the trap, it's often a harpoon or scissor-like closure that triggers and kills him. “Milky Spore” is widely available in powdered form. Along with keeping out moles, this great habit can protect your home … This Bt comes in two forms: a spray that kills adult beetles that munch on sprayed plants and a powder that kills grubs feeding in the soil. Have the neighbors’ chip in on a pallet and Howard County might become a mole-free zone! I’ve signed on with a professional exterminator who has begun trapping them. But lime is never a “necessity.” Lime is recommended when the soil becomes acidic, but can cause problems if the soil if fine. What Do Mole Eat - Reducing Food Supply. Additionally, the digging that moles do aerates and shifts the soil and allows better incorporation of organic matter. Garden Plot: Is it safe to plant summer tomatoes? If the benefits of moles aren't enough for you to want to leave them alone, the best method to deter a mole is by trapping it. How to Treat & Repair a Mole-Damaged Lawn, How to Know If You Have Grubs Eating Your Grass. Moles are the underground equivalent of teenage boys; they live in the dark and eat no vegetables. Moles eat lots of Japanese beetle grubs, which destroy rose blossoms.” The expert continued: “Moles give you free fertilizer and aerate your soil. Most often, it’s the best kept yards that have the worst mole … Valerie in Howard County writes: “Any advice about moles? Like WTOP on Facebook and follow @WTOP on Twitter to engage in conversation about this article and others. Does Sonic Pulsing Really Get Rid of Moles? Note: Getting rid of grubs greatly reduces a mole’s food supply (and helps your lawn and roses) but it’s no guarantee that the moles will then move on. To prevent moles, get rid of their potential food source by spraying your garden with milky spore disease or beneficial nematodes, available online … Again, it is good to investigate whether there are grubs or not. The latter hasn’t been done in at least 15 years. Moles are the underground equivalent of teenage boys; they live in the dark and eat no vegetables. The neighbor is still getting estimates and advice on how to proceed. He has been the host of the nationally syndicated Public Radio show “You Bet Your Garden” since 1998 and Garden Editor for WTOP since 1999. Unlike voles (which are sighted and have a shew-like appearance), moles are blind, look really weird, live their life underground and don’t eat plants. I have heard both views — Yes and no.”, We then asked Bill if he had a lot of thatch. Moles thrive on a diet of earthworms, grubs and cicada larvae. Unfortunately, if grubs aren't available, moles can resort to eating beetles, centipedes, insect larvae and pupae, spiders and vegetable matter. Her work has appeared in the Dutch newspaper "De Overschiese Krant" and on various websites. In my experience, moles often arrive unannounced, Val. I always feed and overseed the lawn in the fall. Do we need to talk to our other adjacent neighbors? Another option to deter moles is to install an L-shaped fence buried 1 foot deep around the perimeter of your yard.
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