It’s possible to discover a soft spot in your heart for the mole that’s consuming your yard if you recall that the tiny carnivore is controlling the pest population. Moreover, its unsightly tunnels are aerating the soil. It could be tricky to maintain this warm feeling when you notice your trophy maple sapling withering, but keep in mind that the esophagus likely is not doing the harm directly — a root-eater might have invaded the mole’s tunnels.
A mole announces its presence on your lawn with two telltale signs; those are surface tunnels that resemble raised veins, and molehills — volcano-like heaps of loose dirt. The molehills connect to main runways which have feeding tunnels branching off, and based on the activity level of the mole, there might be many of those divisions. Moles are constantly digging fresh feeding tunnels looking for grubs and larvae, and they do so at a speed of 1 foot every 3 minutes. In case you’ve got a mole, it is likely lonely, because moles don’t like to share land with each other.
Eroding the Soil
Moles don’t eat tree roots — or even any roots, for that matter — because they are carnivorous. If you’re digging around the roots of a tree in your yard, it is because there are insect larvae there, and even if there are many larvae, the esophagus might dig several tunnels to get them. This can erode the earth round the roots, which, in turn, may not get enough water, and the tree could wilt and also perish. This behavior is most likely if the tree is in loose, moist soil, because that is the kind of soil in which moles prefer to dig.
Moles can directly damage your tree roots by giving access to rodents, like voles, that do want to feed on the roots. Voles are about precisely the same size as moles, and they might take over an abandoned tunnel. Unlike moles, voles are social, so that there may be many of these. In case voles have invaded your lawn, you might see one, because they occasionally come above ground. Beside attacking roots, voles also go for the bark, and you might notice 1/16- to 1/8-inch wide gnaw marks to the lower trunk of your dying tree. Even though you can not see them, the roots of the tree usually have the exact marks.
There are lots of folk treatments for a mole problem, however, the perfect way to get one from your lawn is to trap it. You might find the notion of cutting or cutting a mole with a lethal trap disagreeable — in that case, set a live trap by burying a java can close a tunnel entry. The issue with this approach — and with trapping in general — is finding an active entry or an active tunnel. If you would like to protect a particular tree, a much more effective approach may be to build a hardware fabric barrier around it. The obstacle must extend at least 2 feet deep to be effective.