You spend time, effort, energy and money to keep your outdoor living space is in pristine condition. However, some creatures can wreak havoc on your beautifully designed yard. While they are small, moles can cause significant damage to your landscaping. They can create tunnels and mounds in the ground, killing or damaging grass, plants, and even trees.
Read on to discover why moles are so fond of Minnesota yards and what you can do to get rid of them.
What Are Moles?
Many people think that moles are similar to mice and rats because of their size, fur, and color. However, mice and rats are rodents, while moles are mammals. These creatures spend most of their lives digging burrows and resides underground.
The eyes of moles are not well-developed, but they have an excellent sense of touch. Their snouts are extremely sensitive because of their 22 tentacle-like protrusions. They have long, clawed fingers that they use to dig tunnels. A mole’s snout is six times more sensitive to touch than a human hand.
Unlike most mammals with fur that lays flat and points toward the tail, eastern moles possess fur that sticks straight up. This feature helps prevent soil from getting trapped in their coats when they back up from a tunnel. Most mole species don’t usually go over 10 inches in length, and males tend to be bigger than females.
Moles will not eat the roots of plants and trees in your home’s landscape. However, they can dig a tunnel around and beneath them. These animals can create 160-burrow in just one night. They dig up these tunnels in search of worms and insects that typically live in the soil around plants. Sometimes, when not in huge groups, moles can help aerate the soil and get rid of harmful insects in your landscaping. When you have a significant amount of them in your yard, you need to take immediate action.
Why Do Moles Love Your Minnesota Yard?
Moles are not nocturnal nor blind like many people believe. They are active throughout the day and love moist, cool soil as it helps regulate their temperature.
There Are a Lot of Insects
These tiny creatures are insectivores, meaning they feed on bugs and worms. According to the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), moles can eat up to 100% of their body weight in insects daily. They mainly eat white grubs, beetles, earthworms, and larvae. Moles will get attracted to your yard if it has a lot of insects they can eat.
Your Landscaping Features
Another thing that moles are drawn to in your outdoor living space is its landscaping elements. The runways moles create usually follow some landscaping elements such as paths and fence rows. You can also expect them to show up along a line of hedges. They can dig under trees and shrubs in search of insects living in the roots.
What Are the Most Common Signs of Mole-Related Damage in Yards?
You know some creatures have been digging in your yard if there are molehills. Moles move all the dirt from the tunnels they create into the surface.
Lush, well-trimmed glass can make your landscape look fresher and more attractive. Patches of dead grass are a common sign that your yard has mole-related damage. Moles damage the root systems as they dig up tunnels, killing the grass.
Huge Chunks of Dirt
Clumps of soil in your yard are a strong indication of mole presence. Do keep in mind that moles do not eat plants or roots. Instead, they eat centipedes, earthworms, and grubs. Mice and voles likely are to blame for gnaw marks on your plants and harvest.
Mounds That Are Far Apart
Like moles, gophers also create entrance and exit mounds. While gophers mounds are close together, molehills are around six feet away from each other.
How Do You Safely Get Rid of Moles?
Remove Food Sources
Sometimes, mole issues can affect the landscape design you worked hard on. Fortunately, there are ways you can safely deal with this problem. Food is one of the main things that attract moles into your yard. It means eliminating food sources can help you avoid the creatures from digging holes in your outdoor space. You can use beneficial nematodes or milky spores to kill grubs. Another option is insecticide if you are looking for something that works quickly.
Repel Moles With Your Plants
Moles hate strong-smelling plants, such as marigolds, daffodils, and other species in the allium family. You can naturally repel moles in your yard by planting these species around the edges of your garden. Another option is to plant them in raised beds to keep root systems protected.
Use a Repellent
Sometimes, the best way to deal with a mole infestation is to use a repellent. While castor oil will not kill the creatures, it can make their stomach upset. As a result, your yard will become unattractive to moles. Simply mix three parts castor oil and one part dish soap. Add four tablespoons of the mixture to a gallon of water and use it to soak the tunnels and entrances on the ground. Moreover, stores also sell liquid and granule repellants, which you can apply to your yard using a spreader.
Make Your Yard a Displeasing Environment for Moles
One more thing moles hate is living in disruptive locations. By creating an unpleasant environment, you can get rid of them in your yard. You can get a sonic spike from local home and garden centers, which you can insert into the ground. It will create irking sounds through electronic pulses, which can drive away moles. Luckily, you won’t be able to feel nor hear the electronic pulses.
Let Backyard Reflections help you create the best landscape design for your yard. We specialize in designing, building, and maintaining outdoor living spaces, such as outdoor kitchens, patios, and driveways. Give us a call at (218) 220-2785 or fill out our contact form to request a consultation.