Effective Strategies For Mole Prevention And Control In Your Houston Yard
It isn't easy dealing with a mole problem. One big reason is seen simply by typing mole removal into an internet search. You'll get an endless list of website resources to help you deal with moles – but not the kind of moles you have in your yard. They're all about moles on your skin. If you drill deeper and get more specific, you can find solutions for your problem. But typing "lawn mole control" won't solve your problem either. Sure, it will seem like you've found all of the information you need to get out into your yard and get rid of those pests, but things change when you put the data to the test. Mole control in Houston is hard work. The moles in your yard are elusive animals that tunnel under the ground where you can't see them. And, on top of this challenge, the methods used to control them can fall short when not implemented correctly. Join us today as we look at how to control moles in your yard using methods suggested by licensed pest management professionals, like the highly trained technicians here at Modern Pest Control. While we can't help you remove moles from your skin, we have the training and experience to provide you with industry-leading suggestions for ground mole removal. We can also take care of the job for you if you'd like. It pays to have a technician handle this tricky task. Contact us by phone or e-mail to schedule service or get answers to your questions. We are your Houston ground mole experts. For an overview of mole prevention and control, read on.
How To Tell If It's Moles In Your Yard
The first step in any control program is learning to perform an inspection and identify the pest. You may not even have a mole problem. You might have some other pest digging up your yard, like a gopher, rat, or ground squirrel.
Is It A Mole Mound?
Moles create mounds that look like volcanoes. The reason for this is that they come up toward the surface at a steep angle and push the dirt up and out. Other animals don't behave this way. They don't push the soil, they dig at it. For example, gophers will make tunnels that are at a slight angle and often dig the dirt out toward one side, creating a fan-shaped mound. But, even when they dig at more than one angle, their mounds tend to have a different appearance because they are dug, rather than pushed. Even the quality of the mound will differ. Mole dirt will have a chunky appearance. Gopher dirt will look more like grains.
Along with mound shape and tunnel angle, there is another helpful way to tell mole holes from holes created by other animals. A mole doesn't typically create holes that are close to each other. If you have lots of dirt piles all in one place, there is little chance you have a mole infestation.
If there is no mound of dirt, you can rule moles out entirely. They're not going to create clean holes. If you have mound-less holes, you're dealing with a gopher, rat, squirrel – or possibly a vole.
Are There Other Ways To Identify A Mole Pest Problem?
Yes. Moles in Houston are mostly insectivorous. If your garden vegetables, landscape plants, or turfgrass are damaged, you don't have a mole problem. For example, if voles are the pest in your yard, look for runways in your turfgrass. They eat your grass as they run from hole to hole. If gophers are the pest you're dealing with, you'll see damage to landscape plants or whole plants missing. They pull them right down under the ground. They're also most fond of roots, tubers (like potatoes, yams, and carrots), or seeds. Look for plant damage to rule moles out. This excludes dying grass. If your grass is turning tan, it may have nothing to do with an animal feeding on the roots. Moles can damage grass as they tunnel near the surface and sever the roots.
Now that you know how to evaluate your pest problem and figure out if moles are the pests you're dealing with, what do you do after you make your determination? Before you consider how you might set yourself to the task of controlling nuisance moles, you may want to take a moment to consider the damage moles cause on your property. Why? Because it is a good motivator to take care of the problem.
The Damage Moles Can Create On Your Property
A mole can create tunnels at a rate of around 15 feet per hour. That means you can go out one day and see a couple of dirt mounds but no raised tunnels and check the next day and have a yard full of them. The rapid rate at which a single mole can work is startling. As they move through your yard, they can damage the roots of your grass, push the ground up, disrupt underground water lines, damage the roots of your landscape plants, weaken structural foundations, wear away at the soil underneath walkways, and more. Plus, a risk not often considered is that children can harm themselves when running through a yard with hidden mole holes. A mole hole is just large enough for a small foot. It is wise to do something about moles as quickly as possible.
Well, enough about that. At this point, you should be sufficiently motivated to address mole problems. Let's start by looking at how you can prevent trouble with moles. If you don't have a mole problem yet, there are ways to avoid getting one.
Factors That Attract Moles To Your Yard
There are many reasons a mole might select your yard, rather than your neighbor's yard. If you understand these factors, you can reduce the risk if a mole infestation – though not entirely. There is no surefire way to prevent a mole problem. But that doesn't mean you should do nothing, right?
Grubs: A common reason Houston residents get moles is that they have grubs in their yard. What are grubs? They are the larvae of beetles – most often Japanese beetles. If you have a grub problem, you'll likely notice it, as grubs often cause grass to wither and die above the areas where beetle larvae are active. Beetle larvae feed on grass roots and deprive turfgrass of nutrients. So, this begs the question. Will grub control get rid of moles or prevent a mole problem? No, but it is a good place to start, particularly if you don't have moles yet. Once you notice mole activity, grub control is not likely to solve your problem.
Worms: Grub control doesn't solve mole problems because moles also feed on earthworms. There isn't much you can do about that – nor would you want to. Earthworms are highly beneficial for a lush and successful lawn.
Cover: Moles like to hide under cover, and organic cover is their favorite. If you have dead branches piled in one spot, a few logs, a thick layer of mulch, some campfire wood, or tall grass, all of these can make your yard more attractive for a mole. Sure, they live underground, but when they come to the surface, they prefer the darkness and protection of surface debris. Remove organic clutter, trim your grass and landscape vegetation, and avoid laying down too much mulch.
Moisture: Moles, and the earthworms they eat, are both fond of moist, soft soil. If you take steps to reduce ground saturation, you'll alter a significant condition that will attract a mole problem. But, as we pointed out, earthworms are important. Moisture is also important for healthy grass. So, you don't want to make things too dry. The kind of dampness we're referring to is created by the active use of sprinklers. Your lawn only needs roughly one inch of water each week. Keeping your sprinklers off during weeks when we get good rainfall is all that is needed to deter moles.
If more prevention is required, you may need to do some muscle work. A common practice for deterring moles is to create barriers. You can do this by digging a trench along the edge of your property and filling the trench with rocks. Since moles often travel quickly by creating surface tunnels, they won't easily encroach upon your property if there is a hard and uninviting barrier in the way. If you decide to do this hard work, go the extra mile and also use hardware cloth around the rock to make it difficult for moles to displace them. There are guides online for handling this job.
Now that you know how to deter moles, let's turn our attention to getting rid of a mole problem. You already have some of the knowledge you need to do this. Unfortunately, we don't recommend DIY mole control. Many of the products you might use are not effective. We've heard all kinds of stories. Residents use repellent plants, ultrasonic devices, bioremediation, and more. It is also common to hear that a resident has used hot water, pest control materials, and even gasoline in mole tunnels. These are dangerous and entirely ineffective. So what is the secret? How do mole experts deal with moles?
The Secret To Getting Rid Of Moles And Keeping Them Away
There are a few trusted methods used by pest management professionals. The three primary control solutions are traps, bait, and fumigants. When you hire a mole control company, like Modern Pest Control in Houston, some or all of these methods will be used.
Traps: These are small metal devices that are placed where moles are active. Your technician will evaluate your yard, locate active runs, and set these traps using field-tested techniques.
Bait: Moles have preferred food preferences, which makes baiting an option, but it is critical to use an effective bait and apply the bait in target locations.
Fumigation: A more complex control method for moles is to fill mole tunnels with gas. Two options most used by licensed professionals are aluminum phosphine tablets and gas cartridges. Unfortunately, fumigation is tricky as moles have complex networks of tunnels. Some professionals also use machines that produce CO2 and insert a large amount to flood the tunnels.
While simple to understand, these solutions are not easy to apply. A technician has the training and experience to select and apply mole control. A professional will inspect your property, evaluate the issue, track mole activity, and select the control methods most likely to work. Your professional will apply the treatment plan and evaluate the success of the plan through inspections and monitoring. With appropriate follow-ups, your mole issue is corrected.
Are you in Houston, Texas? If so, you are in our service area. Contact Modern Pest Control with questions about your mole issue. It is easy to connect with us through our Contact Us page. You can learn about pricing for mole control in Houston and what specific methods our team will use to target and address moles in your yard.
Modern Pest Control was founded in 1952. That means we have more than half a century of experience dealing with pest problems in the Houston area. Our team uses Integrated Pest Management, known in the industry as the gold standard. Our team has also earned QualityPro certification through the National Pest Management Association, which means we meet a standard of excellence that is rarely met. Less than 3% of pest control service providers in the United States are QualityPro certified. And, as we work to correct your problem, you can find peace of mind knowing that we will use the most trusted and humane products and methods to arrest activity.
Let's get started. Contact us today to get advice, answers to your questions, pricing, and service options, or to schedule a service visit from one of our mole experts. Your Modern Pest Control service team looks forward to serving you.