Other Names: Eastern Mole, Star-Nosed Mole, Coast Mole, Townsend's Mole
Moles have cylindrical bodies covered in fur with eyes and ears that are hidden. The most noted characteristic of a mole is probably its webbed feet, which are used like paddles to swim through the soil.
It’s this "swimming" motion that can sometimes inadvertently damage the roots of crops, plants and other shrubbery when moles get too close to the surface. Moles also burrow in lawns, raising molehills and killing lawns. These pests can undermine plant roots indirectly causing plant damage and death.
Trapping remains the most effective and reliable method of mole control. Poisoned baits, repellents, and prevention can be used, but they're typically lacking in the results department.
Trapping is the professionals' choice of control as it has proven to be the MOST effective and reliable method of mole control.
Trapping Moles can be done at any time of year but generally is easiest and most effective during Spring & Fall. Once Mole activity is detected it is important to move quickly so pregnant females can be caught before giving birth to her offspring.
Traps are most effective when placed in deep tunnels since these are the main runways used by Moles several times a day. To identify these tunnels, look for runways which follow a mostly straight path for some distance.
Active runways are also commonly found around the perimeters of fields, fences and concrete paths. Traps should never be placed in Mole hills as you will never catch the Mole -- you will only end up with a pile of dirt.
For quick results, more than 3-5 traps should be used per acre. It is important to check each trap once or twice a day. When used correctly, a trap can produce a catch within 48 hours.
It is best to move the trap to another location in the runway if you do not catch a mole in this time frame.
Mole traps are set in the ground in depressions that create a dirt obstruction in the tunnel. The trigger is then set against this obstruction. As the Mole follows its natural instinct to reopen the blocked tunnel, it pushes against the trigger, engaging the trap.
Prevention methods are generally not very practical and never fully protect your lawn.
One common practice for Mole control is food reduction by way of insecticide. However, the Mole may still be in your lawn, feeding on worms or vegetation that was not affected by the insecticide.
Additionally, using insecticides to eliminate grubs can be costly and reduce beneficial insects in your lawn.
Barriers provide another option to prevent Mole from entering smaller areas, such as a garden. Aluminum sheeting or mesh hardware cloth buried 2.5 feet into the ground with 6 inches exposed above the soil are most effective.