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A word from UGA Extension
Ingram Sam
Sam Ingram

A farmer recommended I reprint this article because he knew many people had issues with this troublesome pest. Soon our soil temperatures will rise and mole activity will rise as well because of the increase in insect activity. Also, mole offspring are usually born in March and April, so now is the time to expect heavy activity. These small mammals with their pointed snouts and oversized forefeet are built to destroy your yard.

Unfortunately, moles are not easily controlled and require persistent management along with patience.

Moles are meat eaters and prefer earthworms, grubs, worms, spiders, snails and slugs. So although it looks like they destroy your plants they prefer their protein. The tunneling activity you see in the yard are the moles searching for their next meal. Some of the tunnels are used as transportation and some are dead ends that the moles abandoned after searching for food. Because of these “dead end” tunnels it is very tough to control moles with bait, but there is truly no one perfect control for these pests. So, those expensive “gummy worms” you bought are probably not going to work.

Mole trapping is one method of control but you must find the active holes. This method will take several traps and several trapping sessions to rid your lawn. And when the neighbor’s moles hear that your yard is clear for the taking, you will be back at square one.

There are several home remedies and rumored controls for moles such as chewing gum, caster bean oil and mothballs but none have shown good success. There are also some repellants available using sonic vibrations to scare away moles, these are also not reliable.

Another method that might help control the moles, is to control the mole food source. This in my opinion, is the best method of control for moles. This method makes your lawn less appealing than the neighbors because you have eliminated the food. A soil insecticide that can be applied to the entire yard will provide to most uniform control of the food source, which you hope helps control the moles.

No one method has shown to completely control moles. New moles will arrive if you are able to control the moles you currently have, so it is a constant battle. And if all else fails get a cat, these mammals will happily control your mole problem!

For additional questions contact Effingham County Extension Agent Sam Ingram at 754-8040 or