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Moles in Garden

Moles in Garden

Moles invade gardens in search of earthworms and grubs.  The moisture in garden soils is perfectly suited for mole habitat.  It is easy to see mole activity in gardens because the soil is loose, causing their surface tunnels to leave an upheaval of soil.  Moles use surface tunnels to search for food just below the surface of gardens.  The body of a Mole allows it to ‘swim’ through dirt.  Moles also leave mounds that are easy to spot.  Mole mounds are conical in shape and are located directly above the tunnel entrance.  Mounds indicate deeper tunnels that are used during winter months.

A mole left alone may cause visual damage to garden soils, as well as damage to plants.  While moles do not feed on grain, bulbs or plants, they may indirectly destroy them by exposing their roots to dry air.  However, despite these visual drawbacks, moles provide several unseen services.  Moles provide cheap pest control by eating white grubs and other insects.  Surface tunnels, while unsightly, can enrich the soil by providing air and allowing humus to penetrate deeper into the ground.

Bulbs can be protected from moles by planting them in wire mesh baskets.  Also, garden boxes can be equipped with mesh floors, which keep moles from tunneling near plant roots.  These are great ways to enjoy the benefits of moles while still protecting your plants.  Some gardeners consider surface ridges to be ugly and find it effective to watch for moving tunnels in order to scoop the mole out with a shovel.  This is possible in a garden because the surface tunnels are easy to spot in the loose soil.  Traps remain the most effective form of control. They are placed above existing tunnels and are triggered when the mole uses the tunnel.  The most effective bait is sold in the form of a worm that is infused with the poison Bromethalin.  This bait is placed in the surface tunnels and will kill the mole.

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