Moles Aren’t Cute Children’s Literary Characters: They Are Damaging Pests to Your Yard
Many of us grew up with the popular Children’s character Mole from The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame. Mole was the mild- mannered critter who loved to be in his own home until the day that he got tired of cleaning and ventured out into the main world. He was known in the story for his loyalty and compassion to the other woodland animals. Perhaps, his character is why we all learned to love him. Mole was afraid of the pace of the world and the hastiness of life outside of his home. This was normal for Mole as like real moles he made his home beneath the ground. Upon his venture into the outside world, he met Rat. Rat took Mole on great adventures and taught Mole how to be self-efficient and confident and brave. The illustrations in this book showed Mole to be cute and fun and perhaps many of us wanted to own a mole. They are cute to look at, but they can cause a mess to your lawn and can cost you thousands of dollars in repair.
Moles tunnel beneath the ground into the root systems of your grass. They tend to tunnel very deep into your yard and homeowners may not know they are an issue until the damage is done. Moles will dig two types of tunnels in your yard. These include sub surface tunnels and those that reach beneath the surface of the ground past your root system. Moles can dig more than 100 feet a day and they will dig to depths of 12-24 inches in a day. A mole does not eat the roots and bulbs of plants and grasses but instead the feast on insects like white grubs, earth worms and beetles. They prefer the protein of the deep sub-earth insects. Moles tend to live alone except during periods of breeding in February-March. However, a one acre yard can be the habit for up to 4 moles and lots that are near large pastures can be the home for a few more.
Moles eat about 75 percent of their body weight in a day and will eat for about 23 hours of the day.
The damage that you will see from moles will include volcano-like mounds of dirt on the surface of your lawn. As the mole turns around in this spot more and more dirt will pushed to the surface making the mounds grow in diameter from ½ inch up to 2 feet wide. As the dirt settles then your lawn may develop brown spots or bare spots where the mounds formed. This is because the oxygenation was disturbed and adequate light was not allowed to get to the lawn causing it to die. You may also notice the damage of the surface tunneling especially in newly laid sod. This can appear as a series of structures that look like Veins on top of the lawn. The biggest and most expensive damage that moles cause is what you cannot see. You may notice a sponge like area in your yard where your foot may collapse through the soil. This is caused from collapsing a tunnel made by the mole. The longer these air patches go untreated than the worse that the damage can be as you may have entire sink holes or large sunken areas in patches. Many times, you will have to till and excavate your entire lawn as well as add loads of top soil to bring your surface level back up. Because moles can dig 12-15 feet in an hour they can undermine your patio, home foundation, pools, fences and any sold structure. It is important to note that most insurance companies will not cover damage caused by these pesky creatures. It is important to treat these before lots of monetary damage is done.
There are treatment options available that can save you money in the long run. Once the food source is eliminated than the moles will leave. We at Greer Gardens can help you access the damage and treat for them. We have one time applications as well as monthly packages that can help save your property. Please contact us so that we may be able to access your need and make a recommendation for treatment.
Check out the photo of one of our crew finding this small guy that we found on a recent job site.