Having a healthy lawn comes with a price -- one that some homeowners might already have experienced this year.
Healthy lawns -- those that have been fertilized, aerated and watered -- provide a haven for grubs and earthworms. That means moles aren't far behind.
"A lot of people think moles are little rats," said Ray Tuten, the owner of Southern Landscaping in Evans. "But they aren't. They have fur on them like rats, have a short snout and a short tail, but they have clawed feet."
While moles are said to be able to eat their body weight in grubs and worms in a day, they don't dine on grass, as some people think.
"They don't really eat the roots of the grass," explained Tuten. "They just eat all of the insects, particularly the grubs and earthworms. They make tunnels under the grass and get to those insects."
Tuten says the air space left between the roots and the ground created by the moles' digging causes grass to die. To avoid dead grass, he suggests going back and stepping on the tunnels, pushing the grass back down and closing those air pockets.
"The best practice is just to eliminate the moles altogether," he said.
Tuten recommends using an insecticide, such as Sevin, to get rid of the insects that moles feed on.
"If you can control insects at the very beginning of the growing season, that's your best defense," he said. "That way you won't have moles."
If the pesky creatures are already wreaking havoc in the lawn, however, there are several methods -- some that work, others that might not -- that can be explored.
For instance, Tuten recommends a mole bait or poison that can be put in the main tunnel -- usually the straightest of the tunnels that have been formed -- and sealing it off. The mole will return to the bait, ingest it and die.
Another method is to set out a mole trap. Some people find success with it, while others do not. Cats and dogs also can be great mole hunters, often dragging their catch to the porch for their owners to find.
Tuten warns, though, that moles will seek better hunting grounds once they have eaten all the insects in a specific area of the yard.
"They will move," he said. "They won't stay in one area unless there's a lot of food source."
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