Spring is almost here again. And since every spring brings new fauna and flora, the spring will be no different. Underground, moles will become active again. We will see their hills and their tunnels all around our yards and neighborhoods. These kinds of activities become normal for Oklahomans. So how do we deal with these rodents? Where do moles go in the winter? Let’s take a deeper look.
THE EASTERN MOLE
Here in Oklahoma we have only one kind of mole. This mole is the Eastern mole. It has a hairless pointed snout that sticks out in front of its mouth and a short body length probably 5 to 7 inches long. They have small eyes and openings for their ears that are buried under their fur. The front feet are more paddle-like and can be very large with claws built specially for digging. The hind feet are small and narrow and also have claws. The hind feet or more for mobility as the front feet are used to dig.
Their fur is the most important feature that we find on them. It is a soft velvety fur that is perfect for keeping the dirt from clumping to them and allowing them to move quickly and easily through the underground tunnels that they create. These animals are very solitary, and only come together when they need to mate. This happens one time a year usually in the spring, March and April. Other than that they are secluded in their Burrows. If two moles come across one another, then they become very violent.
Many people think that moles and gophers are closely related. This is not true. It’s also not true that moles are rodents. Moles are actually insectivores and are much more closely related to the shrew. Their diet consists mainly of grubs, beetles and worms found in the soil. They have to eat 70 to 100 percent of their body weight every day in order to maintain the energy level that they need to survive. Digging takes lots of energy. If they don’t consume this amount in a day, they can starve to death. Your Tulsa exterminator will have more information.
Because of their need for so much food, moles have to cover a lot more ground than the average animal. In most cases you will find 3 to 5 moles per acre at the most. They prefer a loose, moist soil that is rich in grubs and worms. For this reason, they often find their way into our lawns and yards. In the search for insects, moles will often dig tunnels close to the surface. When they do this they can leave trails to your yard that are unsightly. it’s these trails that are so disliked by most homeowners. These tunnels can also damage the root systems of plants and grass by exposing them to the air as opposed to the dirt where they need to be.
But where do these creatures go during the winter time? The truth is that they continue to stay active even in the winter. They must still maintain the eating that they do year-round. But moles, worms and grubs do not stay close to the surface during the cold weather. They tend to go deeper underground where they can get below the frost line and stay warm. For this reason most will follow these insects and go deep underground.
Their burrows are already found deep underground where the frost line rarely gets below. These burrows that they dig cause the mole hills that we see sometimes in our yard. When the animal has to dig deep, it has to displace the dirt that is underneath it. In order to do this, it will push that dirt above ground in the form of hills.
HOW TO NOT CONTROL MOLES
There are many different ways that have been proposed to control moles. Unfortunately, most of them are old wives tales. Let’s go through a few of them. Some people have said that castor oil repels moles. There’s no studies that show that this actually occurs. Mothballs and moth flakes placed in the tunnels have also been alleged to repel moles. This is also an old wives tale. It just doesn’t work. Some people have tried planting the barrier of toxic plants such as castor beans, fritillaria or marigolds. There is no research that supports these claims. Call your Broken Arrow pest control company for more information.
Many hardware stores sell vibration devices that are supposed to scare away moles and other subterranean animals. These are also extremely ineffective. Smoke has been used to try to push moles out. If an unknown gas starts to enter the tunnel system that the mole has created, it can detect the changes very quickly. Once it does it will block off any tunnels that have smoke or other gasses in them. Because of this, it just doesn’t work. There have been many YouTube videos of people filling mole tunnels with flammable gas and then lighting the gas. As entertaining and funny as these are, this method is actually very dangerous to do in real life. These uncontrolled explosions could cause someone to get hurt or even buildings to fall in if those mole tunnels go underneath the building. Definitely don’t try that at home.
CORRECT METHODS TO CONTROLLING MOLES
The best way to take care of moles in your yard is to contact a Broken Arrow Exterminator that is legitimate. They’re going to use the combination of tried-and-true methods that are great at getting rid of moles. The first method is to use traps. Traps can be very effective if they’re placed correctly and in the correct spots. Mole trapping is an art form perfected by the mole trappers of England that have been doing it for years. It takes a lot of experience to know where to put the mole traps and understanding of their biology and behaviors.
The second method that they will use is poison baits. Poison baits can be very effective again if they’re placed in the right spots. It’s also important that the correct date is chosen for the kind of small that you have. In Oklahoma we only have the Eastern mole, but still Bates selection does matter. Many baits are shaped like grubs or worms in order to attract these Moe’s to consume them.
IF YOU’RE HAVING A PROBLEM WITH MOLES
If you’re having problems with moles it’s time to contact your local Tulsa pest control company. Here at TermMax Pest Control, we are the best in the business. We service the greater Tulsa area including Owasso, Coweta, Catoosa, Claremore, Jenks, Broken Arrow, Wagner, Sapulpa, Sand Springs, Prattville, Turley and much more. Call us today. We’re here to help!