Ridges formed in soft, moist earth and volcano-shaped mounds of finely pulverized soil with holes in the center are sure signs of a mole invasion. These pests are insectivores, not rodents; they don’t go after plants as food, but damage them while tunneling for insects and earthworms. About 5 to 7 inches long, moles have dark, velvety fur, a pointed snout, no visible ears or eyes, and outward-pointing claws for digging.

Surface feeding burrows (the ridges you’ll see) are used for short periods and may be abandoned soon after excavation; main runways are usually 8 to 18 inches below ground level. Most species are solitary. There’s often an eruption of activity in summer, as young moles, driven out to fend for themselves, dig new tunnel systems.


Soil-dwelling insects, earthworms.


Plants are heaved from the ground, roots are severed, and lawns are disfigured.


Repellents, Moletox II, Grub Control.


Eliminating grubs that feed on lawn roots may discourage moles. Protect plants from moles by lining planting holes and beds with ½ inch diameter galvanized wire mesh. If your lawn suffers mole damage, try to salvage the ridged turf by pressing it back down right away, then watering thoroughly.

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