Omaha, Bellevue Communities In Nebraska Are Ideal Setting For Moles.
The moist, warm soils of Nebraska are home for hundreds of beneficial critters, such as earth worms and humus producing insects. However while making lawns and garden lush these beneficial animals are the prime food for the soil dwelling mole.
Moles are small mammals with stout bodies. They have very well developed forelimbs for “swimming” through the soil. The mole has no visible ears or eyes, and is covered with fine grayish-brown velvet fur. It is insectivorous and mainly eats live insects and worms. Very seldom do moles eat vegetation, therefore poison baits afford little or no control.
These animals remain below ground, burrowing both deep and just below the surface, leaving sod raised. Lawns become uneven and feel spongy underfoot. Small mounds with no open holes may be present.
Moles Are Most Active In Spring And Fall.
They usually burrowing at dusk and near dawn. In the spring, most of their movement is for mating rather than feeding. They prefer soft soil that has some moisture, so often move into irrigated lawns from drier surrounding areas.
There are many “mole control remedies” on the market. Trapping is the most practical means of mole elimination for the homeowner. Commercially available harpoon or choker traps work well. These traps must be placed over active run and left for several days.
In addition to traps, there is a restricted use chemical (must be applied by a certified applicator) which, when used properly, is effective. Heavy doses of lawn insecticides (to kill food sources) have limited results, especially in the spring. Their risks outweigh the benefits.
Question: How do you get rid of moles in your yard?
Answer: Moles mostly feed on earthworms. While they do eat grubs, it’s an old wives tale that grubs are the reason that moles are in a lawn. Therefore using grub control products as a method of controlling moles will not be effective. Even in grub free lawns, moles continue to survive, because the majority of their diet consists of the ever-present earthworm.
When the ground dries out in the summer (or when it freezes in the winter), earthworms and soil dwelling insects remain deeper in the ground – and so do the moles. This behavior makes control difficult because one can never be certain that the moles are truly eliminated even though they are not making surface runs.
Moles are not rodents like rats and mice, which can be baited using rodent foods. Poison peanuts or other grain baits won’t work since moles don’t feed on seeds, alfalfa pellets or any of the typical baits that are sold to ‘kill rodents’ even though some are touted as a control for ‘rodents and moles’.
People also should beware of false claims about schemes to drive moles away. Many books and magazines having to do with gardening and landscaping have references or advertising concerning bizarre strategies to control moles. These include putting mothballs, human hair, razor blades, or chewing gum in their tunnels, or using pinwheels or ultrasonic devices to scare moles away. The reality is that these just do not work.
The only two methods of effectively controlling moles are to (1) to use a bait that they are attracted to OR (2) to physically remove them. A fairly recent bait that has been proven to be effective is packaged and sold in the form of a worm. The attractive smell and taste that is incorporated into the worm, together with Bromethalin (the active ingredient that poisons the mole), makes for a lethal combination.
Two effective mole traps can be used depending upon where the moles are working. A scissor trap is better for use in subsurface, or deep, mole runs. A harpoon trap is usually easier to use when the tunnels are near the surface.
Whether using traps or worm-shaped baits, placement is critical. Choose a run that the mole uses regularly. Usually this is a run that is in a straight line as opposed to squiggly tunnels that are generally used for food foraging only. The best straight runs follow a structural guideline such as a curb or a gutter, because these are used regularly as the moles travel from their nest to the foraging area. To determine if a run is active, stomp it down flat then check the following day to see if it is pushed back up. If the tunnel has been repaired, it is usually an active tunnel and should be considered for trapping or baiting.