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These insect-eating, underground dwellers are found throughout the country and prefer moist loamy soils to dig, avoiding sandy or clay soils when possible. Contrary to popular opinion, most moles don't eat plants. Their diet consists mainly of insects, earthworms, beetles and grubs. However, their feeding tunnels in spring and summer are shallow enough to disturb lawns and seed beds. Their tunnels can also create runways for rodents such as voles to find your prized flower bulbs or root crops. Moles rarely stay in the same location for long, and if you're patient they will naturally leave your garden in search of other food sources.

Prevention and Control

You can repel, exclude, or trap moles.

  • Some gardeners have had success repelling moles by placing moth balls, human hair, noisemakers, or in their tunnels.
  • University research has shown that castor oil sprayed on lawns and gardens will repel moles from your landscape.
  • The best control for persistent problems is trapping. Moles are most active in early morning, in evening, and after a warm rain. You can use live traps or lethal traps placed in the main tunnel to eliminate these pests. For more information, read Animal Trapping Techniques.

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