Who hasn’t had the frustration of seeing the harmony of their finely manicured lawn destroyed by the eruption of mole mounds all across the yard? Moles can be incredibly destructive; it is not uncommon for people to attribute the damage of one of two moles to fifty in disbelief that a single pair of animals could do so much damage. We had a mole job in Dexter once where a single pair of moles had completely destroyed almost five acres of yard! So what are moles doing down there under your yard and what can you do to get rid of them?
Moles common to Michigan
There are two types of moles common to Michigan: the eastern and the star-nosed mole. Both have several traits in common; for example, both moles can dig between 30 to 100 yards a day, depending on the time of year and the soil content. Most mole damage occurs during the warm months, but moles are also active during warmer periods in the winter. A mole’s life is not complicated; basically they eat and dig constantly, feeding on worms and larvae in the soil. Both types of mole are capable of causing a considerable amount of damage to lawns from their burrowing.
The eastern mole, also called a common mole, is the larger of the two mole species found in Michigan. They dig horizontally and have a very large range, sometimes up to 2 acres. The eastern mole is a voracious eater and may consume up to 100% of its body weight daily. Their natural diet consist of worms and grubs, but they will also feed on ants, centipedes, snails, and slugs as well as grass seed, dog food and any human food left on the ground.
The star-nosed mole is easily identified by the star-shaped nose flange on its face. Star-nosed moles create the worst mounding problems because, unlike eastern moles, they tend to dig vertically, moving up to the surface from lower depths and then returning again. Star-nosed moles are semi-aquatic and their tunnels will often exit in shallow ponds. They are active day and night. Star-nosed moles are usually treated by methods other than trapping, such as rodenticide treatments.
How to remove moles
Successful mole removal depends on getting the population under control by removing as many moles as possible, hopefully extracting the breeding pairs. Creature Control uses both mole traps and rodenticide depending on what will be the most cost effective, the type of mole and extent of the damage.
Creature Control’s approach to mole control is not only to remove moles but to educate customers on how to make their property less conducive to mole problems. Usually there is some kind of property modifications that can be made in order to discourage mole activity. For example, over-watering yards can create problems because it brings earthworms to the surface, which in turn brings moles. Mulch beds and lots of decorative gardening tend to attract moles because the subterranean insects that make their home in the mulch. These are just two examples of habitat modifications that can be made to discourage mole activity.
By the way, it is not a good idea to try killing moles with exhaust. It doesn’t really work. It’s best to call a professional animal control company with experience in mole removal.