How Can Moles Damage Your Lawn?

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Living mostly underground, you probably won’t see the extent of the damage that a mole can leave behind. They build pretty impressive tunnel systems, almost like we build a house. They have separate chambers and runways for different things. In one chamber, a spherical nest will be built by the mother before she is ready to give birth to her young. There will be another chamber in which she stores earthworms, just like we keep food in the fridge. The mole has a slightly different method of making sure the earthworms can’t wriggle free and escape. Quite barbarically, they will bite off the heads of the worm before transporting them to the larder chamber.

Different generations of the same family of moles can live in the same mole tunnel system, but not at the same time, usually one after the other. These creatures like to be left very much alone, and that’s what makes them difficult to track down and then remove. If they don’t want to be found, they won’t be found. They’ll go deeper and deeper underground, into another tunnel system that you probably didn’t even know was there. It makes trapping them impossible, especially live cage trapping. Kill trapping can have positive results, but only when the traps are placed in the exact right spot. With so many tunnels and pathways to explore, it can sometimes be down to pot luck whether you put your traps in the right places. Even the professionals get it wrong from time to time.

Of course, all the time the mole is left underground in those tunnel systems, it has the opportunity to create more tunnel systems. If there are enough of these, the ground will become unstable. That’s not the end of the world if you have a lot of land and it’s in a place that no one ever visits. If that's in your back yard, however, someone could fall down into a tunnel and suffer with a rather nasty injury, even broken bones. That someone could be a child, not aware of the dangers of mole hills and tunnels and unstable ground.

Even on larger land areas, mole hills and tunnels can be dangerous, but this time to animals. Horses have been known to fall through tunnels and injure themselves, and there really is no coming back for a horse with a broken leg.

When the mole hills and tunnels get closer to your property — the actual building — you then need to start worrying about the structural safety of that building. It doesn't take much for walls or floors to become unstable, and a complex mix of tunnels and chambers right under your home is going to do it no favors at all. If you have a particularly bad rainy season, a lot of water can then pool under your home, giving you a reason why you shouldn’t look at flooding the creatures out either.

Not only that but other nuisance wildlife will use the tunnels that moles have left behind. Rats and mice can use them, and larger pests will claw and dig at them until they are big enough to get into or build a nest for their own youngsters.

These are all things that can be costly to repair and very dangerous for people and other animals, and a bad mole problem can have negative effects on agricultural land as well as residential properties. Mole hills disturb the earth as well as anything that’s growing in it. A tunnel right through the vegetable patch in your garden is enough to uproot everything you have planted there. You can easily have three to five moles on an acre of land, although they are very solitary creatures and don’t like to get too close to each other. If you have many acres of agricultural land, with crops growing, they can be destroyed in virtually no time at all. The mole isn’t eating the crops, but just disrupting the roots and preventing them from growing.

All nuisance wildlife come with their fair share of havoc, but the mole can be especially dangerous, especially as the tunnels can be underground and undetected for quite some time.

Go back to the Mole Removal page, or learn tips to do it yourself with my How to Get Rid of Moles guide.

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