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Effective Mole Control
Animal lovers might look at a picture of a mole and think, “aww, how cute!” That’s an understandable response: These distinctive furry little mammals are not without their charms. If you’re fond of critters in the Talpidae family, we can see why you might admire them. Many (though not all) species of moles look rather sweet, including the Scalopus aquaticus, the most common mole species found in the St. Louis area.
“My Yard is on its Way to Being Healthy Again!”
Called them to get rid of moles that had completely taken over my yard. The technician Patrick was prompt, professional, and knowledgeable. Within 3-4 weeks he had removed 5 or so moles and my yard is on its way to being healthy again. Great experience!
– Jeremy B.
St. Louis Moles
Scalopus aquaticus, is also known as the eastern mole, or the common mole. Like many of its cousins, its most defining facial feature is its snout. Another important characteristic of the eastern mole is its paws, which are designed for optimal digging. These paws, which make it so easy for the eastern mole to shovel dirt aside as it burrows and carves out tunnels, are among the qualities that make them so annoying to homeowners, and so challenging to get rid of!
At about 6.3 inches long, these common moles are a bit smaller than another variety of Missouri mole, Condylura cristata. Typically, Condylura cristata range between 6.89 to 8.07 inches long. But their size is not what makes Condylura cristata notable: this species is commonly known star-nosed mole, because of their very unusual snouts!
The snouts on a star-nosed mole are adorned with 22 fleshy appendages— when looked at from certain angles, these appendages resemble the points on a star. These appendages are not there for cosmetic reasons, they contain 25,000 tiny sensory receptors. Research has shown that these moles use their distinctive snouts to gather and process important information about their environment, not unlike the way that many humans gather and process information visually through our eyes.
Another species of mole found in the St. Louis area is the Hairy-tailed mole (Parascalops breweri). Unsurprisingly, this species of mole is recognizable by its tail, which is noticeably hairier than the tails of other moles.
While the different species of moles have different identifying characteristics and may differ somewhat when it comes to their ideal environment, they also share many features and have much in common when it comes to behavior. For homeowners in the greater St. Louis area, it is these common qualities and behaviors that are important to be aware of!
Moles Create Risks for Your Lawn, Garden, and Home
All species of moles found in the greater St. Louis area are underground digging machines. They use their shovel-like paws to dig burrows and to create systems of tunnels that allow them to get around to wherever they need to go. Depending on the time of year and the particular species, as well as the characteristics of the local environment, their tunnels might be close to the surface or deep underground. Regardless, moles often leave clues for humans to indicate their presence. These clues are unsightly at best, but at worst can be dangerous to individuals and even create invisible structural hazards.
On the “unsightly” end of the spectrum, moles indicate their presence by leaving piles of displaced dirt on your lawn. As they create their tunnel networks, that displaced dirt has to go somewhere. When you notice mysterious mounds of dirt on your lawn, whether just one or two, or a whole series of them laid out in no clear pattern, you’ll want to call Pure Pest to look into the possibility of moles.
Logically, it makes sense that as a mole tunnels into the earth and deposits dirt topside, it will need some sort of hole to function as a doorway for shoving all that earth up from the ground onto your beautiful lawn. These holes are the most basic danger that moles present to humans and their pets. Often they are hard to spot, creating tripping hazards. These mole holes are also ideal for spraining ankles! Your lawn looks its best and is safest when it is free of ankle traps, dirt piles that are both unsightly and create obstacles to navigate through, and of course, when you are not surprised by an unwelcome guest digging in your lawn while you try to enjoy a relaxing evening with your friends and family.
For example, if there are enough tunnels underneath a sidewalk that there are areas lacking support, the sidewalk might break or crack. Moles digging around a playset in a yard might cause the anchors to come loose. A shed that rests on the ground might become unbalanced if the ground becomes too uneven or not dense enough to fully support the weight.
Moreover, if a mole finds a way to burrow into the foundation of your home and create an entry point to the interior, they’re essentially creating a pathway to welcome in other types of pests!
In other words, while moles may initially seem to be a largely cosmetic problem, confined to the outdoors, you don’t want to assume that there’s no real risk or danger. It is best to call in an expert to advise on the scope of the problem and what, if any steps, are needed for remediation.
Don’t DIY a Mole Solution, Call Pure Pest!
Unlike some other pests, moles typically don’t move in with a whole group of friends and neighbors. Usually, the only time you’ll be dealing with more than one mole is if a mother mole has decided that your yard is the ideal spot for her to raise her babies. Mole babies become independent and learn to dig for themselves relatively young, even considering that the average mole lifespan is 4-6 years.
However, though moles, especially male moles, like their alone time, it is not unheard of for females to live in overlapping territories. A Pure Pest expert can help you identify whether your yard is serving as a major intersection for more than one mole tunnel network, or if you’re dealing with one busy mole or a mom and her family.
Once your technician has identified how many moles you’re dealing with, and assessed the environment for clues on what type of mole, they will design the best solution to ensure your home is protected from mole-related nuisances and dangers.
Though moles are small, and not typically considered dangers to humans, we strongly advise against trying to DIY your mole problem, for many important reasons. First of all, you really want to make sure you know what you’re dealing with and that you’ve correctly identified moles as the source of your problem. Secondly, you want to make sure you’re selecting the best method of mole control. Poisons are generally not considered to be either the safest or most effective solution, as it is hard to know where to leave the bait and spreading it widely is of course could be dangerous to other, more welcome wildlife or even pets and children.
Traps are generally considered the most effective way of dealing with moles, but without the proper training and experience, it is hard to know where to place the traps since moles spend most of their time underground. Moreover, traps are only effective if they are the right size and style for the environment and species you’re dealing with. It is easy to spend a lot of time and money setting up the wrong type of traps, or setting them in the wrong places. Your Pure Pest technician will know what to use and how to design your mole control strategy, saving you time and solving the problem faster.
If you suspect that a mole (or more than one mole!) have moved into your property without an invitation, call Pure Pest today. Our experts will look the problem and whatever it is, mole or otherwise, we will help you get rid of unwelcome guests and return your lawn and home to its most beautiful and safest condition!