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Moles. 9 Myths & Answers

How do I REALLY get rid of moles in my yard?

Dawn soap, juicy fruit gum, apple cider vinegar and even essential oils? There is no shortage of mole removal remedies out there so how do you know what will really work to get rid of ground moles in your yard? Is there a type of poison that will kill moles? How about killing all the grubs? The one thing we do know is that ground moles are a common nuisance for homeowners and can wreak havoc on your beautiful lawn, creating tunnels just underneath the turf you’ve been protecting and growing for years. Even though moles can dig tunnels down in your yard as deep as three feet, they kick up dirt overhead when they dig which causes the large mounds running the length of the tunnels, that you see crisscrossing throughout your yard. The professionals at Ryan Lawn & Tree are here to set the record straight with a few mole myths busted!


Mole Myth #1: Control the grubs to control the moles.  

Remove moles to eliminate tunnels like this in your lawn

Moles dig main lines through your lawn searching for food – mostly earthworms. Ryan Lawn and Tree can reduce your mole population and preserve your beautiful lawn.

MYTH BUSTED: While moles can eat grubs, 90+ percent of their diet is comprised of earthworms. Therefore, controlling grubs is not going to control moles. There are two types of moles in the Midwest — the eastern mole and the European mole. These energetic insectivores feed mostly on earthworms but will also eat insects or anything else that falls in their path! A mole will consume food equal to 25 to 50 percent of its weight daily! DO NOT expect to control moles by using grub control products. Moles can also feed on the periodic cicada (17 and 13-year locust), and the population of moles can vary significantly depending upon the time of the cicada life cycle. 


Mole Myth #2: Kill or scare moles away with Juicy Fruit Gum, essential oils, castor oil, glass shards, cigarettes, hot peppers, etc. 

MYTH BUSTED: Our RYAN Pros are educated experts with degrees and extensive experience in turf management, forestry, horticulture, landscaping and wildlife biology and we can tell you there is no solid research that demonstrates the effectiveness of any of these claims. Some of these ‘home-remedies’ can actually be dangerous to humans, pets, and the environment.


Mole Myth #3: Use poison corn or mouse/rat poison to control moles. 

MYTH BUSTED: Moles are insectivores. Their main diet is earthworms. They do not eat plants, seeds, or roots and therefore they will not eat any mouse/rat poisons or baits used to control rodents. 


Mole Myth #4: Stomp down the mole’s tunnels to eliminate moles from your yard.

MYTH BUSTED: While performing nightly stomping rituals in your yard may help alleviate some of the anger you feel toward the moles tearing up the lawn you have been caring for, it won’t eliminate or deter them in any way. Moles use main & exploratory runs to scout for food and will re-use a run at any time whether it’s stomped down or not. They love to dig and will easily reclaim the damaged tunnels or dig new ones.


Mole Myth #5: Buy a vibrating, high-pitched noise device and install it in your lawn to get rid of the moles.

MYTH BUSTED: While these devices do sell well at the local hardware store, you’re going to find that your super solar-powered noise stake will likely not deter your pesky mole friends. These devices may work for a short time, but it’s only a matter of time before moles will become accustomed to the noise and return.


Mole Myth #6: Moles hibernate during the winter.

MYTH BUSTED: Even though you may not see their activity above ground during the winter, during normal Midwest weather conditions, they are not hibernating. Instead, when the temperature turns cold, they dig a little deeper in the soil — up to three feet deep — and there they also find earthworms to eat. 


Mole Myth #7:  Moles. Voles. They are all the same.  

MYTH BUSTED: Mole and voles are completely different and so eradicating your yard from moles OR voles is done in different ways. Moles bury tunnels under the ground and voles create pathways in the grass on top of the soil.  Moles eat worms and insects. Voles eat nuts and seeds. Voles are eliminated in much the same way rodents are with Ryan’s Rodent Guard service.


Mole Myth #8: Trapping moles is the best way to get rid of moles in your yard.

MYTH BUSTED: While there are a variety of mole traps on the market that function to either kill the mole or actually trap it to be released off your property, trapping is only about 13 percent effective for reducing your mole population. If you do try to set a trap, you have to first find the main tunnel. Then, be sure you don’t try to place your bait in mole mounds. The mound will be too deep to effectively trap the mole.

Once the trap has been sprung, don’t just pull the trap out of the ground. The dead mole will not come out of the ground like a shish kabob, it will be stuck in the tunnel. This is fine if you don’t want to have to dispose of the critter, but without inspection of the tunnel, you won’t know if you killed the mole or if the trap had a misfire. Many homeowners have trapped a mole and not even realized it. One yard can have enough worms and insects to support several moles. Trapping moles can be effective, but if your yard is adjacent to a forested or wild area, complete mole control may be difficult. 


Mole Myth #9: There is one mole poison that can reduce your lawn moles.

TRUTH!  There is one mole poison bait that will kill moles within 24 hours called Talpirid. The key to using Talpirid is to place the bait in the main tunnel. A mole will have a few main lines with many branch mole damage lines. A mole will use the main line several times a day, but may only use the branch lines once and never come back. Monitor the tunnels to find the main line and place your bait there.

This video from Kansas State University can help you understand how to track a mole tunnel. The method involves using a broomstick handle to poke holes in many tunnels. Then come back the next day to determine which tunnels have been repaired. Repeat for a couple of days to determine where the main lines are, then place your bait in those tunnels. 

While some worry about the safety of children and pets when using any kind of mole poison, the Talpirid poison is only in the gummy worm which is buried below the ground, out of reach of animals and children. Still, the RYAN Pros will mark the placement of Talpirid worms and recommend that these areas not be disturbed, so ideally pets and children would be kept away from the area. 


Get Professional Mole Reduction Services From Ryan Lawn & Tree

Not up for finding tunnels and setting traps to get ground moles out of your yard? That’s when you need to pick up the phone and call 855.216.2293. The Pros at Ryan Lawn & Tree spend most of their time making your yard look the best on the block with our lawn fertilization, tree removal, landscaping, irrigation and other lawn care services. So, we are here for you when we need to protect that lawn from ground moles. We’ll be as anxious as you are to get rid of the critters destroying your lawn.

Reach out to one of our six Midwest locations in Kansas City, Omaha, St. Louis, Wichita, Springfield or Tulsa area offices and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have about mole reduction or any of our lawn and tree care services. You can also always use our Ask a Pro feature to ask any questions you may have. We look forward to serving you soon!

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