Wildlife Alert – Moles in Lawns
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If you look across your lawn and you see raised tunnels on the soil surface, then you have moles living in your landscape. Moles are not rodents and they do not eat plants. They are native wild animals that belong to a group of animals which includes shrews and hedgehogs that primarily eat insects.
Moles tunnel underground to eat earthworms and insect grubs. The mole will create a main tunnel that it will use daily and make extension tunnels to seek out tasty, juicy worms and insect grubs such as Japanese, Green June and chamfer beetle larvae.
Moles really do not harm lawns in western North Carolina. They actually seek out thin lawns where grass has died out. Sometimes their presence can be mistaken as harmful to lawns.
If a lawn were healthy and robust, then moles would not thrive there. Since they spend their entire life tunneling under the surface of the landscape, moles like thin poorly maintained lawns. A thin lawn where grass has died out due to a lack of annual reseeding, lime and fertilizer and grass that is mown too short is perfect mole habitat. Moles can’t dig through the thick roots of a robust healthy lawn as easily. So, a lack of proper lawn maintenance actually attracts the creatures.
Like most other wild animals, moles like the perfect environment where they can live happily doing what they do; hunting for insects. Moles are just like most wildlife; they do not like being disturbed. If you spend much time in your yard you might even scare them away.
Remember, moles like poorly maintained lawns and Japanese beetle grubs. There is no need to use poisons, baits or traps to get rid of moles. Get the lawn healthy and treat for grubs and the moles will go away.
Moles really do not harm lawns in western North Carolina, so why worry about them? Personally, I do not mind moles in my lawn. I look at them as wildlife that I am lucky to have inhabiting my landscape. I have learned to learn to live with moles as part of my efforts to have a more natural landscape.