As if moles tunneling in the lawns during the spring and summer was not bad enough, they also do their dirty work in the winter too. According to Wildlife Specialists at Michigan State University, moles may continue to build their tunnels year around.

During a cold winter, moles move several feet down into the ground and become less active although they do not hibernate. In a mild winter when the top 4 or 6 inches of soil does not fully freeze or during a mid-winter thaw, moles can move back up toward the surface. When spring arrives, homeowners discover the damage done to their lawns.

The Specialists feel that the total number of moles has increased in recent years. This is due primarily to mild winters which allow these insect eating mammals to feed longer into autumn and to begin again earlier in the spring. Also, more insects survive in mild winters thus increasing the mole's food supply.

What can be done? Unfortunately, there is nothing that can be done in the winter to control this problem. Trapping or direct killing are still the best methods of mole control. For the shallow tunneling Eastern mole, there are now some effective repellents available but these need to be applied on unfrozen ground. Spreading insecticides, poison pellets, chewing gum, crushed glass, flooding the tunnels and other home remedies are not effective in combating moles according to controlled studies at Michigan State University.


Note: We have provided some general information and observations on this topic aimed at the home gardener. Before you take any serious action in your landscape, check with your state's land grant university's Cooperative Extension Service for the most current, appropriate, localized recommendations.


Copyright 2000-