Mole Problems

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The eastern mole - Scalopus aquaticus - causes the most problems in neighborhoods throughout Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.Mole Problems in greater cincinnati and northern kentucky

Is your beautiful lawn suddenly lumpy, bumpy and turning brown? Are mounds of dirt showing up in your yard seemingly overnight? If so, you may have a mole problem.

A common nuisance in neighborhoods throughout Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, solving a mole problem can be tricky. The numerous home remedies can backfire serving only to give a mole more time to dig its way through your lawn. If not handled properly a mole can quickly colonize and spread their damage throughout your property.

The eastern mole, (Scalopus aquaticus), causes the most problems. Amazingly adapted to living their entire life underground, you will seldom actually see one. A distinctive feature is their hairless, pointed snout extending nearly 1/2 inch in front of the mouth. Their short, soft fur is unique in that it can be pushed in either direction enabling the mole to travel either backward or forward within burrows. With their paddle-like front feet, moles can dig up to 18 feet of tunnels per hour! These features allow moles to “swim” effortlessly though the soil.

Moles are small, about the size of a chipmunk, weighing only three to six pounds with eyes so small they seem to be missing. They never hibernate and have a voracious appetite so they're always digging, digging, digging!

While home remedies abound, trapping and removal is most likely the only surefire solution to this problem. A licensed and experienced animal control expert can determine if a mole is the culprit and then design and implement a trapping plan to eliminate the problem.

How do you know if a mole is causing the damage?

Often mistaken for pocket gophers, mice or shrews, it is important to correctly identify the culprit in order to address the problem effectively.Traps designed to catch pocket gophers usually will not catch moles.

Since moles are seldom seen, they are usually identified by the damage they leave behind. Mole activity in lawns or fields will appear as ridges of up-heaved soil, soft, mushy ground, and dead grass. Mole hills, volcano-shaped piles of dirt clods pushed up from deep tunnels, may also be present.

Moles can damage vegetation by disturbing the roots but, if gnawing marks are seen, a rodent, not a mole, is most likely the problem. Moles do not eat vegetation, only worms, grubs and other insects and insect larvae.

Why are moles tunneling in your yard?

Your lawn, with its loose, well-drained soil, is the perfect place for moles to find their favorite food and good shelter. Feasting on worms and insects, moles will eat 80 to 100% of their body weight in one day! They feed day and night and never hibernate. Lawns also make for easy tunneling - hundreds of feet of tunnels can be create by a single mole in one day. These extensive tunnel systems, if left unmanaged, can quickly reach all areas of your property.

What kind of damage can moles do?

Damage to lawns and gardens are the typical complaint from mole activity. Surface tunnels in your lawn create ridges and soft spots making lawn mowing difficult.

Root damage can cause grass to turn yellow and create opportunities for weeds to sprout. Moles do not eat flower bulbs, plants or vegetables, but their activity in your garden can disturb root systems.

Mole tunnels can also be used by other unwanted rodents, such as mice, that do feed on your vegetables and flower bulbs.

Why are moles so hard to get rid of?

A number of factors contribute to the persistent nature of moles. A single mole can create a vast network of tunnels underneath your lawn which are then available to be used to find food and shelter and to avoid danger. Moles are also highly sensitive to anything artificial in the ground. So, a poorly placed trapped will scare the mole off to a safer area leaving you to think it has left your property. But, it will most likely turn up in a new spot days, or weeks, later.

Tunnels in one area of the yard may be active all spring and, with the onset of summer, abandoned in favor of cooler soils elsewhere on your property.

And don’t think your problem has left with the cold weather. Moles never hibernate, they just go deeper under your lawn. With a slight increase in temperature, your yard can suddenly be filled with mole hills!

All these habits can make mole trapping frustrating and seemingly never ending.

The most effective solution….

Trapping is the only proven way to control a mole problem. Do-it-yourself home remedies may seem to work but really only serve to push the mole into other areas of your yard. These attempts are not only ineffective, but actually allow the moles time to become more established and cause bigger problems! This will make trapping and removal even more difficult.

If you suspect a mole problem in your yard, call an expert.

If you live in the Cincinnati or Northern Kentucky area and a mole is becoming a pest, trapping and removal may be the only long-term, cost-effective solution.Trapping and removal should be conducted by a trained, licensed professional to protect your property as well as to ensure efficient, humane removal of the animal. A professional animal control expert can fully assess and address your animal nuisance problem.


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