Mike McGrath was Editor-in-Chief of ORGANIC GARDENING magazine from 1990 through 1997. Moles thrive on a diet of earthworms, grubs and cicada larvae. Mowing the lawn may now be slightly more challenging. and then drive it to the woods to "re-home" … Moles are not rodents but insectivores subsisting exclusively on bugs, larvae, worms and other invertebrates. They eat the same things moles do; they just work from the top down. Moles eat insects like grubs and worms, so one simple preventative measure is to eliminate this food source. Moles eat grubs and other unwanted insects, alleviating this damage. All Rights Reserved. The last time I dethatched was about 10 years ago. Bill in Fairfax Station writes: “Should a lawn be dethatched? But lime is never a “necessity.” Lime is recommended when the soil becomes acidic, but can cause problems if the soil if fine. The underground tunnels dislodge plants, crops and grass, drying out their roots. You can’t — or shouldn’t — get rid of your earthworms, but you can eliminate the grubs with milky spore, beneficial nematodes and/or “BTG” the newest strain of Bt. Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences: Penn State Extension: Moles, UC IPM Online: Turfgrass: Masked Chafers (White Grubs). Home remedies that include using chewing gum, human hair, gasoline, broken glass or mothballs to manage these underground burrowers are ineffective. Moles eat lots of Japanese beetle grubs, which destroy rose blossoms.” The expert continued: “Moles give you free fertilizer and aerate your soil. Valerie in Howard County writes: “Any advice about moles? Unlike voles (which are sighted and have a shew-like appearance), moles are blind, look really weird, live their life underground and don’t eat plants. Unfortunately, traps are often the response that at least temporarily solves the problem. Does Valerie in Howard County have other options? Caines holds a degree in journalism from Mercurius College in Holland and is writing her first novel. Unfortunately, if grubs aren't available, moles can resort to eating beetles, centipedes, insect larvae and pupae, spiders and vegetable matter. Beneficial nematodes are microscopic predators; millions of them are packaged into sponges that are no bigger than a pack of gum. It also moves subsoil to the surface where it can benefit plant roots. Their primary food source is earthworms and many grub insecticides applied now, are known to reduce beneficial earthworm populations up to 70%. I have heard both views — Yes and no.”, We then asked Bill if he had a lot of thatch. Another option to deter moles is to install an L-shaped fence buried 1 foot deep around the perimeter of your yard. Its technically a “disease” but one that only affects the grubs of Japanese beetles. Although moles commonly eat grubs, using expensive grub prevention additives on your lawn is not an effective way to control them. The latter hasn’t been done in at least 15 years. Only works when applied in late summer. How to Treat & Repair a Mole-Damaged Lawn, How to Know If You Have Grubs Eating Your Grass. Grub & moles prevention and restoration complete guide: How to tell if grubs and moles are destroying your grass and what to do about it. We’ve lived in our home for 25 years and never had this issue.”. In addition to earthworms, grubs make up a big part of a mole's diet. Kimberly Caines is a well traveled model, writer and licensed physical fitness trainer who was first published in 1997. Sold under wonderful names like “Mole-a-tov-cocktail”, concentrated castor oil smells real bad. Grubs only make up a small portion of a moles diet. Stick with the core aeration — always a good idea — and stop looking for trouble! Apply it to the mole-affected lawn in liquid or granular form and it will impart its distinctive scent underground, where it will annoy the heck out of subterranean troublemakers like moles, voles, gophers and groundhogs. A nice amount of rain keeps soils moist and workable—the perfect environment to enable mole movement as they “swim” through the soil. And my next-door neighbor is also hosting them. Additionally, the digging that moles do aerates and shifts the soil and allows better incorporation of organic matter. Moles are omnivores that prefer to feast on grubs, earthworms, and other bugs. Like WTOP on Facebook and follow @WTOP on Twitter to engage in conversation about this article and others. Many people approach the problem of moles by focusing on grubs—that if the grubs are gone, then moles won’t be in the lawn. Grubs in your lawn can make the ground feel spongy. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. This is also why some believe eliminating grubs in the lawn can discourage moles. It can take weeks for him to leave, and the chemicals used on your lawn to eliminate grubs are expensive and form a danger to wildlife, kids, pets and ground-feeding birds. website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area. Widely available via mail order and some hipper garden centers, nematodes are also effective after the soil warms up in the spring. Does Sonic Pulsing Really Get Rid of Moles? You can treat your yard regularly with surface insecticide granules or a spray. Copyright © 2020 by WTOP. BTG is the newest form of “Bt”, a family of naturally-occurring soil organisms, some of which have pest-controlling powers. Have the neighbors’ chip in on a pallet and Howard County might become a mole-free zone! (This is what happens when the Nats stop being fun to watch.). Moles must eat 60-100% of their body weight DAILY in order to survive. Moles thrive on a diet of earthworms, grubs and cicada larvae. “Milky Spore” is widely available in powdered form. Then they turn into beetles, which feed on your decorative plants. Trying to get all this done by late September.”. To prevent moles, get rid of their potential food source by spraying your garden with milky spore disease or beneficial nematodes, available online … All rights reserved. They do, however, make an ungodly mess of lawns with their close to the surface tunnels. He has been the host of the nationally syndicated Public Radio show “You Bet Your Garden” since 1998 and Garden Editor for WTOP since 1999. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. By Kathleen Cue, Nebraska Extension Horticulture Educator (6/22/2020)It’s been a good year for moles. It'll discourage moles from entering and prevent them from digging their way in. Get rid of grubs. Yes. Moles eat grubs and other unwanted insects, alleviating this damage. Yes — castor oil preparations. Send him your garden or pest control questions at MikeMcG@PTD.net. What Do Moles Eat? In my experience, moles often arrive unannounced, Val. This This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area. If there are enough grubs in your lawn when you use it, it should stay effective for many years. The solution to getting rid of skunks is to get rid of the grubs … Along with keeping out moles, this great habit can protect your home … They feed on roots, which can trigger drought-resembling dead patches. WTOP Garden Plot editor Mike McGrath tells you how. prisons, 3 injured in Anne Arundel County shooting, Maryland man pleads guilty in slaying, shooting two detectives, Pentagon reports $5B in improper payments to civilian workforce, Congress, employee groups ramp up pressure to block Schedule F executive order, Air Force ready to begin deploying portions of ABMS next year, State Dept gives thanks to Foreign Service’s 'exceptional' volunteer workforce. If you were to trap a live mole (good luck!) Does Valerie in Howard County have other mole control options? Fall is a time to get as fat as possible for the coming winter and spring is a time to put weight back on. Most often, it’s the best kept yards that have the worst mole … Their first reaction is to apply a grub insecticide when mole activity begins in spring. He replies: “I do not have a lot of thatch that I can see. They even eat fire ants. Her work has appeared in the Dutch newspaper "De Overschiese Krant" and on various websites. Bill in Fairfax Station wants to dethatch, feed and overseed his lawn, core aerate and apply lime. Anyway, Bill should have a core aeration performed to reduce soil compaction, which can work wonders for a tired turf. Poisonous gel-type baits that resemble insects and earthworms can also kill a mole as long as they're placed in an active mole tunnel and eaten by the mole. COVID-19 cases on the rise in Md. Traps must encircle or straddle an active tunnel or be suspended above it. Garden Plot: Is it safe to plant summer tomatoes? When the mole encounters the trap, it's often a harpoon or scissor-like closure that triggers and kills him. Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you. What Do Mole Eat - Reducing Food Supply. Moles do not hibernate and are quite active during the winter months. Editor’s note: Mike McGrath is on vacation; this week’s Garden Plot was first published on Sept. 7, 2018. WTOP.com | Alexa | Google Home | WTOP App | 103.5 FM, Garden Plot: ‘Good luck and good night’ — at least for now, Garden Plot: As Graham Nash sang — ‘mulch your tomatoes well’. According to Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences, getting rid of a mole's food supply may trigger him to dig even more to look for food, increasing the damage.
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