The Best Time to Prepare Your Yard Against Moles, Voles, and Gophers
No creatures destroy a perfectly manicured lawn or garden quite like moles, voles, and gophers. Whether it’s a mound made by moles searching for their next meal of grubs or worms or voles and gophers feasting on your plant bulbs, there is no doubt these small creatures wreak a large amount of havoc on lawns and gardens.
There are many things you can do to protect your lawn but when is the best time to start prevention measures? Read on to learn when you should begin preparing against these nuisance critters and what you can do about them if they’ve already taken up residence.
Periods of Increased Activity
Beginning in the spring when the weather and soil start to warm, most homeowners usually notice increased signs of these pests in their yards. Moles, voles, and gophers are active year-round but spend most of the winter underground where they have stored caches of food.
They live mostly solitary lives during this period but when the weather starts to get warmer breeding season begins, and their food sources become more active. These factors push these creatures closer to the surface where they create their characteristic mounds, holes, and runways. The period of increased activity lasts from spring to early fall and only ends when the weather becomes chilly again.
Prevention Is Key
By controlling a pest’s food source, you wield power over the animal. Moles prefer worms, while voles feast on bulbs, roots, and tree bark, and gophers will eat almost anything in your vegetable garden. There are a number of ways you can control and limit their food sources during their active months to prevent as much damage to your property as possible.
- Install raised gardens to keep bulbs and plants out of reach of these ground-dwelling pests.
- Use mesh or fencing buried several inches into the ground around vulnerable trees or gardens to prevent burrowing. Learn more here.
- Harvest plants early to ensure your fruits and veggies are left alone.
- Use repellents, granules or electronic, to humanely drive pests out of your yard.
- Utilize traps to permanently remove nuisance pests from your yard or garden.
The best time to prepare for a mole, vole, or gopher invasion is before you have one. It is considerably more difficult to rid your yard of a pest when you are inundated with them. Try to begin your prevention efforts when the breeding season has died down, and they are less congregated in one area. Moles, voles, and gophers tend to burrow deeper into the ground during winter as they follow their food, making their evictions that much harder.
The most effective time to lay down repellents or traps is early spring before mating season has gotten into full swing but when the pests are closer to the surface of your yard. Regardless of which preventative measure you take, it takes time to completely rid your yard of these pests.
Remember to stay vigilant and continue to take preventative action. As soon as you think your yard is mole-proof and safe enough to stop using repellents, you will most likely have to start over.
More Is Usually Better
You win some battles, and you lose some. Keep in mind that the more preparations you make, the better chance you will have at keeping moles, voles, and gophers out of your yard. What have you done to prepare your lawns and gardens from these nuisances? Share your stories with us on our Facebook page.
To learn more about these animals and the products you can use to solve your problems humanely, visit our learning center. To stay in the loop on all of our innovative pest control products and exclusive deals, sign up for our e-newsletter.