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Why Are Moles Destroying My Lawn?

As a homeowner, you naturally desire a healthy lawn or yard that creates a serene ambiance that fills you with satisfaction. If you’ve worked to cultivate the perfect carpet of manicured green, a mole showing up can really put a thorn in your side. They tunnel at remarkable speed, causing ridges and dirt mounds all over your perfect lawn. This causes many lawn owners wonder, “Why are moles destroying my lawn?” In this article, we’ve outlined some factors that may draw these burrowing creatures to your yard, along with a few recommendations for preventing it. 

Why Are Moles Destroying My Lawn?

1. You have problems with your turf

Mole hills
Molehills | Image by meineresterampe from Pixabay

Moles may choose to inhabit your lawn because underlying turf issues are present. When your lawn has weed infestations or experiences damage that hinders proper drainage, it creates an environment that supports numerous creatures, including worms, snails, and insect larvae. This environment creates easier access for moles as they search for their food source, so addressing these turf problems is important to discourage mole activity.

2. There are available food sources on your lawn

One more reason for the increasing number of moles throughout your lawn is the presence of available food sources. They primarily consume insects, grubs, and earthworms discovered within the soil. These animals have a heightened sense of smell, enabling them to detect and locate their prey hidden beneath the ground. 

So, when moles show up in your yard and seem to be sticking around, they have probably found a lot of worms and grubs beneath your grass. Earthworms are good for your soil and lawn, so you don’t want to try and kill them. Grubs, however, you don’t want to reach infestation levels. To avoid this you can treat your yard once or twice per year to specifically target grub control. You can either do-it-yourself or seek professional lawn care.

3. You water too much 

Moles are often attracted to lawns that are excessively watered, as this creates an inviting environment for them. Excessive lawn watering causes the soil to become soft and consistently moist, replicating the ideal habitat that moles seek. As a result, the moisture may entice the moles and begin to make their way toward your carefully maintained lawn. 

Therefore, it’s important to ensure that you provide your lawn with an adequate amount of water, but not to overdo it to prevent overwatering. Additionally, it’s advisable to refrain from watering your lawn on days when it’s already raining and cut back during rainy weeks. If you water often, try dialing it back to one or two good waterings per week. 

4. Poor lawn maintenance

Molehills
Molehills

Many homeowners often overlook certain lawn problems due to poor maintenance without even realizing it. If you fail to regularly maintain your lawn by mowing, fertilizing, and aerating it, the grass will weaken and become vulnerable to an infestation of insects and grubs.

Your yard may attract these burrowing creatures due to these poor practices, which can lead to more serious problems. To address this, we highly recommend consistently engaging in mowing your lawn weekly throughout the growing season. 

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Make sure to apply the appropriate fertilization to your lawn and inspect the drainage and irrigation systems in place to identify any potential leaks or malfunctions that may hinder the proper distribution of water. Being a responsible lawn owner will greatly help in keeping moles away from your lawn.

5. You’re keeping organic debris and stumps in your yard

One of the causes of this problem may also be the presence of organic debris and stumps. The presence of underground decaying stumps provides moles with a consistent food source in the form of insects and larvae. To deter moles from your property, we recommend that you take the necessary steps to remove all stumps that are currently present on your property. 

You can achieve this by uprooting or deep grinding, which will reduce the likelihood of moles inhabiting your premises. You should also regularly rake and clear organic debris to reduce moisture in your lawn.

molehills
Molehills

6. You have bird seeds all over the ground

Scattered bird seeds in your lawn may also attract moles. If you have a bird feeder in your yard, scattered bird seed and shells can likely be found on the ground below. Birdseed isn’t directly consumed by moles, but the seeds and accompanying animal droppings foster favorable conditions for underground insects and larvae that moles want to eat.

To avoid this, you should make sure to maintain clean ground around the feeders. You can prevent the accumulation of seeds and droppings by installing a catch tray underneath, purchasing seeds that have already been de-shelled, or periodically sweeping beneath your feeders. 

Sources:

  • “Moles in Home Lawns”, J. M. Roberts, University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension, revised 2/01, maine.gov