Although small and furry creatures, considered cute by many, moles can wreak havoc on gardens, sports grounds, vegetable gardens and fairways. This is a result of their constant digging, which you may notice in the form of multiple mounds of upturned soil littering your garden.
If you have a healthy garden, there is a high possibility that it will attract some mole inhabitants. In just a few minutes, you’ll learn more about pesky moles. Also, find out what pest control Cape Town companies such as Pest Managers can do to help you get rid of them.
Why are moles considered to be pests by pest control Cape Town companies?
Garden moles have the capability of digging tunnels up to 4 metres long each hour. In turn, they create a series of intricate burrow structures for themselves and any nearby moles to use. Before you know it, your garden could be the home to a complex network of tunnels and populated by one or several moles. This may not sound so intimidating, considering the fact that moles are not known to carry any diseases, nor are they prone to attacking humans or pets.
The issue lies in the damage that they are capable of doing within your property with their constant digging. Their tunnelling usually damages the roots of young plants, as well as exposes spots of debris and stone that can damage machinery on your property such as lawnmowers or grass-cutters. For those in the agricultural industry, the presence of moles can be disastrous. Not only can they wreck crops and devour bulbs, but their holes are dangerous for grazing livestock whose feet can plunge into the tunnels and become severely injured.
At the first sign of a mole infestation, it is critical to reach out to your trusted pest control Cape Town company to alleviate the situation. But before we explain how to look out for an infestation, you should know more about these interesting, yet bothersome creatures.
All about garden moles
One of the most interesting things about moles is their heightened sense of touch and vibration. This makes sense, as they need to compensate for their terrible sense of smell and eyesight. They use their sense of touch and vibration to find and capture their food, and in doing so, tend to turn up a lot of soil. Moles tend to inhabit areas that are filled with worms and their insects, seeing as they are largely insectivores with around 80% of their diet consisting of earthworms.
It comes as no surprise that most people have never set eyes upon a mole before, as the creatures lead a subterranean lifestyle. However, you may be interested to know that they have velvety fur, cylindrical bodies and small ears and eyes. Further, while their hindlimbs are rather underdeveloped, their forelimbs are short and strong, featuring large paws that are critical for their never-ending digging.
Moles grow to around 15 centimetres in length and weigh in at around 75 grams to 130 grams. Their fur is a slate-grey colour with a velvety consistency and look. In the Cape, we also have a very special type of mole that does not live anywhere else in the world: the Cape golden mole.
This mole’s eyes are completely covered in fur, yet they can still tell the difference between light and darkness. The Cape golden mole lives in and around the southwestern part of the country, and it can also be found on Robben Island as well. These moles have coats that vary in colour, some with coats of dark brown and grey with a significant sheen of violet, bronze or green.
In general, a female mole will have 1 litter of young each year with 3 to 4 babies each time. Breeding season occurs between spring and the summer months, but for the rest of the year, moles are mostly solitary. Unlike many mammals, moles do not hibernate during the winter. This is because they are unable to put on excess body fat that would be able to sustain them during hibernation. As a result, they must continuously eat during the winter.
How to identify a mole presence in your garden before calling your pest control Cape Town company
It is unlikely that most people will ever come face to face with a garden mole. However, there are rare sightings of the strange looking creatures popping their heads above ground. However, this does not prevent you from being able to spot a mole presence in your garden. There are various signs to look out for:
- Fresh mounds of earth on your lawn that appear to have sprung out of nowhere
- Raised ridges on your lawn
- Stones and debris on the surface of your lawn
- Plants and crops looking weathered (due to their roots being disturbed by tunnelling activities)
If you notice a few, or all of the following, it is highly likely that you have a mole or multiple moles in your garden.
The importance of moles
Before we begin addressing pest control measures for eradicating the presence of moles on your property, it is imperative to lay out exactly how important moles are to the ecosystem. Like every other creature, they have their place in maintaining the environment. Contrary to popular belief, moles only cause indirect damage to lawns and property.
While they do not eat plant roots, and only very rarely eat bulbs, the damage is caused in their hunt for earthworms and small invertebrates in the soil of your garden. Despite this, moles do contribute positively to the soil. Their movements directly cause soil aeration, which in the long run can be helpful for the prosperity of your garden. Further, they eat slugs and other insects that seek to destroy your plants. They are also prey for other animals that rely on them for sustenance.
Although they are undoubtedly pesky, it is clear to see that moles are invaluable members of the ecosystem. For this reason, it is imperative to implement humane eradication techniques. When you contact a pest control company such as Pest Managers, you can rest easy knowing that we only apply environmentally-friendly and humane pest control methods.
DIY mole removal techniques to avoid
Before we launch into the ways in which people commonly try to get rid of moles on their property, you should be aware that the following old wives’ tales, some of which you may have heard, which are ineffective:
- Placing children’s windmills in the soil will drive moles away since they generate vibrations in the ground when the blades turn in the wind.
- Placing glass in the soil
- By putting mothballs in their tunnels
- Growing plants such as caper surge and alliums
The former falsehoods have no scientific backing of any kind, and in the long run may in fact do more harm than good.
Most common commercial mole eradication technique
If you decide to search for a pest control company to assist you with your mole problem, you may be confronted with a plethora of companies all offering different solutions. In order to help you make an informed decision about the pest control Cape Town company you choose for the job, we have gathered the top commercial eradication techniques in order to give you a better understanding of what is involved in each one:
The process of fumigation refers to the use of smoke bombs or other smoke-creating devices in an attempt to kill moles with poisonous gases. The devices will be placed inside the holes. However, many argue that this method is not only inhumane, but also largely ineffective.
This is because moles have incredibly deep tunnel systems, meaning that they can easily out-dig any harmful gases. Further, moles can block their own tunnels in around 2 to 3 seconds, preventing any exposure to the gases.
The poisoning of moles is one very popular mole extermination remedy. Some pest control Cape Town companies may be keen to use this method, in the form of placing poisonous seeds and nuts in the ground for moles to eat. However, this is not an effective technique, either.
This is because this method relies completely on the creatures actually eating the poisoned food. This is rare because nuts and seeds do not form part of a mole’s usual diet. This method is also widely regarded as one of the most inhumane.
Talpirid mole bait
There may be various pest control Cape Town companies that offer Talpirid mole bait as a remedy to a mole presence on your property. This method is just as inhumane as the former, as it relies on poison to kill the moles. The technique involves dropping poisonous worms and grubs into mole tunnels.
This causes a very painful death for moles, as it causes hemorrhaging. The method can also lead to secondary poisoning in the area should another creature consume the mole after its death or even the poison grubs.
One slightly more effective method is the use of insecticides on the earthworms and grubs that make up the main food source for local moles. It causes them to taste unpleasant and therefore makes them an unacceptable source of food. Seeing as moles need to eat their body weight in the above every day, this method is largely seen as effective in many cases.
However, this method can become quite complicated. Insecticides can be expensive, and must be applied frequently, every 3 to 4 weeks and only after heavy rainfall. Around 20 to 40 separate applications can be required for a property with mole problems, which would amount to quite a cost.
This method relies on the belief that sonic noise is distressing to moles, and will cause them to leave your property. However, many argue that moles will either get used to the noise or tunnel deeper to avoid it. In any case, it is said that this method is ideal in the short-term, 2 or 3 days, but not suitable for long-term eradication of a mole presence.
Mole trapping is arguably the most humane method that may be offered by pest control Cape Town companies. It is a long-term solution and reduces the risk of damage to the ecosystem and environment as a whole. Moles will be relocated in the process. Yet, trapping moles can be difficult. An experienced pest control Cape Town company such as Pest Managers, however, will be able to make short work of the situation.
Contact your trusty pest control company: Pest Managers
Should you find your property overrun with moles, or simply covered in mole hills as the result of one very busy mole, we at Pest Managers are the most effective solution. You can rest easy knowing our methods are humane, and our eco-friendly promise ensures we will respect the ecology of your garden and local environment in the process.