Do you see raised areas or holes in your lawn or bed areas? Or perhaps you are noticing that the flowers or herbs in your garden are rapidly wilting despite regular care and water? You could have a mole or vole problem. One of the most common questions that our Canopy Lawn Care Pros receive is...
Moles and voles are common lawn pests. If the raise areas that you see appear to be spreading out across your lawn, you likely have the presence of moles. Moles can tunnel up to 100 ft per day. That adds up to a lot of lawn space! The problem is, once the moles show up, other small mammals like voles and shrews usually come right behind them. The mole will do the hard work of tunneling, while voles and shrews will use the mole tunnels to reach their food.
Moles enjoy a diet of insects, grubs, and earthworms -therefore tunnels are an excellent way for them to find food. Aside from their unsightly tunneling, moles can, in fact, be beneficial for your lawn. Not only do they feast on pests like grubs that can do extensive damage to your turf, but they also help aerate your soil as they dig. Unfortunately, not most homeowners like unsightly tunnels and mounds in their yard and if they can present some damage to the turf if left alone. Moles can also damage your plants on their hunt for insects.
Voles look a bit more like friendly little country mice, but they can do quite a bit of damage for their size! Voles are herbivores, so they are not after insects, but will gladly munch on many of your plants, flowers, and herbs. They are even known to burrow within tree roots and eat away at their trunks.
A third small mammal variety is a shrew. Similar to voles, shrews travel through mole tunnels. Unlike voles, however, they are not herbivores and prefer to eat insects. Their smaller size makes them less destructive to moles, so you may not feel the need to remove them.
There are many different methods to try and erradicate moles and voles from your property. Our Canopy Lawn Care Pros warn that the process can take be a bit frustrating and take some time. Your local lawn care and home improvement store is likely to carry most of the options you will need to try and get rid of your mole and vole problem.
Granular treatments are relatively accessible and usually contain non-toxic ingredients like castor oil. Moles and voles do not like the scent. Be sure to read the instructions on the product label for maximum effectiveness. Sonic spikes that emit sound waves through the soil when inserted into the ground are another humane option for deterring moles and voles.
There are also more lethal sprays and granular options available. As with all products of this nature, be sure to read the product label and look for any potential harmful effects to your pets or lawn. You can also purchase traps, which are lethal as well.