Ground moles, while small and seemingly harmless, can wreak havoc on a homeowner’s property. These subterranean mammals are known for their intricate tunneling systems, which can cause extensive damage to lawns, gardens, and landscaping.
Below, we will explore the characteristics of ground moles, the potential health risks they pose, the types of damage they can inflict on a home and its surroundings, methods to detect their presence, preventive measures to keep them at bay, and how professional pest control companies can effectively eliminate them.
The Main Characteristics of Ground Moles
Ground moles, scientifically known as Talpidae, are small mammals adapted for underground living. They are typically about 6 to 8 inches in length, with stout bodies, short legs, and specialized forelimbs that are equipped with powerful claws for digging. Ground moles have velvety fur that varies in color from gray to brown.
These pests are highly skilled burrowers, constructing intricate tunnel networks underground. They primarily feed on earthworms and insects found in the soil, and their tunnels serve as both foraging paths and nesting sites. Ground moles are most active during the spring and fall seasons.
Potential Health Risks
While ground moles are not known to pose direct health risks to humans, their activities can indirectly impact human well-being. The tunneling and burrowing of ground moles can disrupt the root systems of plants, compromising their health and potentially leading to the decline of vegetation in a yard or garden. Additionally, the tunnels they create can create tripping hazards for humans and pets.
Types of Damage to a Home and its Landscaping
Ground moles can cause significant damage to both a home’s landscaping and its structural integrity. The primary damage they cause includes:
- Tunneling: Ground moles create complex tunnel systems that can extend several feet below the surface. These tunnels can damage the roots of plants, disrupt irrigation systems, and cause sinkholes or uneven terrain in lawns and gardens.
- Lawn damage: As ground moles burrow near the surface, their activities can result in raised ridges or molehills, which can be unsightly and make mowing and lawn maintenance challenging.
- Plant damage: The disruption of root systems by ground mole tunnels can weaken plants, leading to wilting, stunted growth, and even plant death.
And, if all that isn’t enough – structural damage. In some cases, ground mole tunnels can undermine the foundation of buildings or structures, potentially leading to structural instability.
Detecting Ground Moles in a Household
Detecting ground moles can be challenging as they spend the majority of their lives underground. However, there are signs that can indicate their presence. These include spotting surface tunnels and ridges. Look for raised ridges or mounds of soil that appear to form irregular patterns across the lawn or garden.
The presence of molehills. Ground moles push up soil and create molehills as they dig their tunnels. These small mounds of soil can be found on the surface and are typically shaped like volcanoes. Additionally, wilting or dying plants. The disruption of root systems by ground mole tunnels can cause plants to show signs of stress, such as wilting or yellowing leaves.
Preventing ground moles from entering your property can help avoid damage. Here are some preventive measures to consider:
- Reduce food sources: Keep your lawn and garden free from excessive grubs, earthworms, and insects, which are the primary food sources for ground moles.
- Install barriers: Consider installing underground barriers made of galvanized mesh or hardware cloth to prevent ground moles from burrowing into specific areas.
- Maintain a well-tended lawn: Regularly mow your lawn, water it properly, and keep it free from thatch, which can attract ground moles.
Also, clear any debris that’s lying around. Remove piles of leaves, brush, and other yard debris that may provide hiding spots for ground moles.
Professional Pest Control
If ground mole infestation persists despite preventive efforts, it may be necessary to seek professional pest control assistance. Professional pest control companies have the expertise and tools to effectively eliminate ground moles. They employ various techniques such as trapping, baiting, and fumigation to control and remove these destructive pests.
What We’ve Learned Here
Ground moles may be small creatures, but their underground activities can cause significant damage to a homeowner’s property. By understanding their characteristics, detecting their presence, and implementing preventive measures, homeowners can minimize the risks associated with ground mole infestations.
In cases where preventive measures are not enough, seeking the help of a professional pest control company will ensure the effective elimination of ground moles, preserving the integrity of the home and its surrounding landscape.