5 Ways to help stop moles damaging your garden turf

You’ve spent all that time and money to get your lawn just right. You prepared the ground the way the experts said, you bought high-quality garden turf, and now you’d just like to sit back and enjoy your hard work.

But, don’t get too comfortable, because moles are just waiting to wreak havoc beneath your beautifully installed and manicured lawn, and dealing with these burrowing mammals, isn’t always easy.

But, thankfully, in this article, as well as telling you a few mole facts you might not have known, and busting a few mole myths, we give you 5 tried and tested ways to help you deter and prevent moles damaging your garden turf.

A few mole facts

As with any garden ‘pest’, it’s handy to have an understanding of what you’re dealing with prior to going on the attack. So, let’s look at moles a little more closely –

What are moles?

Moles are mammals that live most of their lives underground. They’re quite stocky in build, covered in black velvety fur, have a wedge-shaped body, shovel-like front paws, a short tail, and they’re about 6 inches in length.

A moles favourite food consists of earthworms and other underground grubs and larvae, most of which they find in healthy, nutrient-rich, well-watered soil, which sadly, is often the soil beneath most well-kept lawns.

Some mole myths busted

As with many animals, there are a lot of myths about moles, some of which have come from folklore, and others from books, TV, and films etc. Below we’ve busted some of the more common mole myths

  • Moles are blind – In fact, moles aren’t blind, but they do have tiny eyes, which are covered by a thin layer of skin – perfect for a life of burrowing underground.
  • Moles are rodents – This is another misconception about moles, but it’s not true. Moles are actually insectivores, animals that eat insects and grubs, not nuts and seeds like rodents.
  • Moles are nocturnal – This is another fallacy about moles, but in fact, moles are busy all day and all night long, but they tend to do more damage to your garden turf when it’s quiet, namely at night.
  • Chewing gum frightens moles – Hard to believe, but some people believe sticking chewing gum into mole infested lawns is a deterrent. It’s not, and all reputable, pest control professionals are in agreement.

Are moles beneficial to garden turf?

Yes and no. A moles activity of burrowing beneath the ground in search of food does have the positive effect of aerating the soil and creating more drainage, all of which helps garden turf to thrive. The problem arises due to the mounds of earth they leave behind and the fragile network of tunnels which weaken the lawns surface.

How do you know if you have moles?

Moles can burrow up to 4 metres per hour, so as you can imagine, if you get an infestation beneath your lawn, it won’t be long before the damage becomes apparent.

The signs to look out for include –

  • Fresh mounds of soil – Moles are burrowers, and the soil they remove has to go somewhere, hence, mole hills on your lawn.
  • Areas of dead grass – OK, dead grass patches on garden turf could happen for a number of reasons, but if they suddenly start appearing out of the blue, don’t take moles off the guilty list.
  • Squishy patches – When moles move into an area, they create a complex network of tunnels as they search for food. And because these tunnels are just below your garden turf, it’s only natural you’re going to feel a little more give beneath your feet.
  • Uneven ground – Again, this has to do with the tunneling and the earth being forced to the surface of your lawn as the moles do their thing.

What are the 5 ways to help stop moles damaging your garden turf?

As we stated in the intro, moles aren’t easy to deal with, but there are tried and tested methods you can try to help stop them damaging your garden turf, some gentle and some a little more drastic. Methods include –

  • Mole netting – Mole netting is simply plastic mesh that you lay and pin directly beneath the turf. Although best installed prior to laying your garden turf, it is possible to carefully lift your existing turf, install the mole netting (ensuring a 3-4 cm overlap on joins) then re-lay the turf. Mostly used a preventive measure, mole netting works by deterring the moles from entering the area in the first place. So, if you’re looking for one of the most humane solutions for protecting your garden turf from moles, mole netting is definitely a good place to start.
  • Smoke repellents – Smoke repellents are another fairly gentle way to deter or force moles to leave your garden turf alone. Although it may sound unethical, the harmless smoke is created by heating castor oil, which when filtered into the tunnels via a small canister, leaves a slippery film on the walls, which in turn prevents earthworms and grubs (the moles main food source) from entering the tunnel.
  • Ultrasonic deterrents – Ultrasonic deterrents are stake-shaped devices, that when forced into your garden turf vibrate, causing sound waves of around 400 to 1000 Hz. These sound waves are said to stimulate the moles nervous system until it feels extremely uncomfortable, and either stays away from an area or leaves an area it’s currently occupying.
  • Mole deterrent bulbs – Certain bulbs, such as Caper Spurge, Daffodil, Tulips, Hyacinths, Lilies, and Garlic are said to grow roots that repel moles. Usually sold as ‘anti mole bulbs’ that you plant in various areas of your garden turf, the jury is still out as to whether they actually work, but for those whose lawns have been devastated by moles, anything’s worth a try.
  • Mole traps – This method isn’t for everyone, but using mole traps that will actually kill the mole, is an effective method many gardeners, particularly commercial gardeners use in the control of moles. If done correctly, preferably by a professional, the mole will die instantly, so some people consider it a humane method, but as with a lot of pest control methods, whether it’s humane or not is a subjective matter.

Cheap turf UK

If you’re looking for cheap, but high-quality garden turf produced in the UK, get in touch with Ivinghoe Turf. Having been supplying turf and turf aggregates for over 35 years, we cover all your turf needs, whether in the domestic or commercial sector.

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