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St. Louis, Is A Mole Living in Your Yard?

a stylish mole living in St. Louis wears sunglasses

March means moles! Let’s dive into the underground world of Eastern Moles, the species living in the St. Louis area, exploring their habits, impact on lawns, and effective pest control strategies. Understanding these elusive creatures can help maintain a healthy and mole-free lawn.  

1. Meet the Eastern Mole 

Physical Characteristics 

  • The Eastern Mole is a small, stocky mammal with velvety fur, adapted for a life underground. 
  • Their eyes are tiny, and their ears are concealed within their fur, making them well-suited for their subterranean lifestyle. 
  • Their front limbs are powerful, equipped with shovel-like claws for digging intricate tunnel systems. 

Habitat and Behavior 

  • Eastern moles prefer moist, sandy soil and avoid dry sands and heavy clays. 
  • Unlike gophers, moles are primarily carnivores, feeding on insects such as earthworms, grubs, beetles, spiders, and insect larvae. 
  • Did you know moles are active day and night?They tend to be awake for about 5 hours, then sleep for 3 hours, repeating this cycle over a 24-hour period.  
  • These industrious diggers can create extensive networks of tunnels, aerating the soil and improving drainage, that is… when they’re not ruining your yard.  
  • Moles breed in late winter or spring and four to six weeks later have a litter of two to five, typically born in March, April or May. This explains why now is the time homeowners begin to notice a lot of mole activity.   

2. The Impact on Lawns 

Tunneling and Mound Formation 

  • Eastern moles construct shallow surface tunnels for foraging and deeper tunnels for nesting and protection. 
  • Their tunneling disrupts grass roots, leading to unsightly ridges and mounds on lawns. 
  • Molehills are telltale signs of their presence. 

Feeding Habits 

  • Moles will eat the equivalent of their own bodyweight per day to fuel their constant digging and foraging. 
  • However, their feeding behavior can damage plant roots and disturb the lawn’s aesthetics. 

3. Identifying Mole Activity 

4. Effective Pest Control Strategies 

Prevention 

  • Maintain well-drained soil to discourage moles from tunneling. 
  • Regularly inspect your lawn for signs of mole activity and address any issues promptly. 

Natural Repellents 

  • Plant daffodils, marigolds, or castor beans, as their strong scents may deter moles. 
  • White grubs are a food source for moles, although even a grub-free lawn may have moles if other food sources are present. In the absence of other food sources, controlling grubs may eliminate moles. 

Professional Pest Control 

Conclusion 

Understanding the moles living in St. Louis empowers homeowners. By striking a balance between coexistence and management, we can appreciate these remarkable creatures while maintaining beautiful, mole-free lawns. 

Remember, a healthy lawn is a harmonious ecosystem where humans, moles, and other wildlife coexist.