Wild Animal Management Minnesota | Mole Removal Part 1

MN Wild Animal Management | Mole Removal

Can’t figure out why your yard or flowerbeds are all torn up?  Sounds like you may have a mole problem!

Moles (Scalepus spp.) are not rodents, but relatives of the insectivores (insect eaters) such as shrews and hedgehogs.  In their search for food, moles burrow in lawns, meadows, stream banks, and open woodlots, creating elaborate underground tunnels.  They feed mainly on earthworms and insect larvae (grubs).  Only rarely seen above ground, moles are 4 to 9 inches long, including the tail, with long dark gray or brown fur.  Eyes are tiny, like a pinhead, and the tail and feet are usually pink.  They have no visible ears.

Signs of Moles

As they burrow, they sometimes damage plants, but the major problem with moles is the mounds and ridges that disfigure lawns.  As they tunnel just below the surface, moles raise the sod up with their front digging feet, looking for food or new tunneling sites.  They can push up surface tunnels at the rate of a foot per minute if the soil is loose.  They prefer loose, moist soil shaded by vegetation.

To prevent conflicts or remedy existing problems, consider the following:

Repellents: No repellents currently available will reliably protect lawns or other plantings from moles. However, people mistakenly think they have successfully repelled a mole because they don’t see new molehills for long periods following use.

The reasons for this are simple: moles are relatively solitary animals except for when breeding and rearing their young, and they have large, complex tunnel systems that may extend for several hundred lineal feet. Moles may work one portion of their tunnel system for a few days and then move on some distance away to another portion of the system, which may be in the neighbor’s yard. Hence, the application of some obnoxious substance just prior to or immediately following the mole’s shift in its feeding location will be credited to the effect of the repellent. When the mole returns a week or two later, the homeowner is convinced it is a new mole.

Mothballs, garlic, or spearmint leaves placed in the tunnels, and a perimeter of mole plants (Euphorbia spp.) planted around gardens, have all produced mixed results. Similarly, ground or broken pieces of glass, used razor blades, sections of barbed wire, or thorned rose bush canes have all been placed in mole tunnels. Some of these are actually more hazardous to the homeowner themselves than to the moles.

When moles run into the unfamiliar foreign object in their tunnels, they may simply circumvent the object by blocking those tunnels off with soil and then proceed to dig new tunnels, just as they do with a poorly set trap.

Mole Removal

The use of mole traps to trap moles is the most effective way to eliminate mole invasion problems.  Environmentally friendly mole traps can be used for humane mole trapping.  If moles are causing property damage and giving you a headache, calling a Minnesota Wild Animal Management Expert ensures humane and effective removal of this most annoying animal and to be sure they will not return.