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mole

Q: I have moles and I have been told they will destroy my grass if I don’t get rid of them.

A: I am going to answer this question by quoting portions of a publication by Dr. William Kern, Jr., a professor from the University of Florida. “The eastern mole prefers loose, well-drained soils. It has been found in dune sand and rich forest humus. Moles are beneficial because they eat mole crickets; beetle larvae (white grubs, wire worms, etc.); ants and ant brood; moth larvae and pupae (cutworms and armyworms); and slugs. They also help to loosen and aerate the soil. In loose soil, moles can tunnel up to 18feet per hour. Their living space is in tunnels and chambers 6-12 inches below the surface. Soil from these deep burrows is pushed to the surface in small mounds. The damage caused by moles is almost entirely cosmetic. Although moles are often falsely accused of eating the roots of grass and other plants, they actually feed on the insects causing the damage. The tunneling of moles may cause some physical damage to the root systems of ornamental or garden plants and may kill grass by drying out the roots, but this damage is usually minor. When mole tunnels become an intolerable nuisance, moles may be captured and removed without a permit by homeowners, renters, or employees of the property owner. If a lawn service or pest control technician is hired to trap nuisance animals, that person must have a Nuisance Wildlife Permit issued by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). No poison (bait or fumigant) may be used on native wildlife without a Poison Permit issued by the executive director of the FWC. Because suitable traps are available for mole control, it is extremely difficult to justify the use of poisons. The use of vibrating devices to drive away moles has not been proven effective in scientific trials. In fact, the presence of mole tunnels next to highways would seem to be evidence against the effectiveness of these devices. The same is true for the use of mothballs to repel moles. The mole blocks off the treated tunnels and moves to a different part of the yard. Many people claim that putting sticks of Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit gum into moles’ tunnels will eliminate the moles. This is another method not proven in scientific tests.”