People make a “to-do” about moles. They might be the most disliked animal in suburbia. We have them at Winding Pathways and are sharing tips on what we do about them.
Human Created Problems
Suburban and urban soil has a common problem. It is too often compacted. Construction companies often scrape topsoil off a yard before building a house. Then, they drive vehicles in the yard. When a family moves in, they soon create a dog run, drive their cars on the grass, and play on the lawn. Too many footsteps by pooches or people compact the ground.
Nature Has Solutions
Lawn plants struggle to thrive in tight soil, but nature has a remedy. Fossorial animals live in the soil and include moles, gophers, shrews, ants, worms, and others. Their burrowing constantly mixes and softens the dirt they live in, making it easier for plants to live.
Moles or Gophers?
People often confuse moles with gophers, but it’s easy to tell them apart. Moles prefer living in moist shady places and are at home in suburbia. They eat grubs and worms. Gophers, in contrast, are more likely to live in rural sunny pastures with dry soil and mostly eat roots. Mole hills are symmetrical, like mini volcano cones. Gophers, in contrast, make elliptical hills.
What Do You Really Value?
Ironically, most people who trap or poison moles profess to love a rich, green, “healthy” lawn, ignoring that nature loves diversity, not monocultures. Moles help make healthy lawns happen. Granted their hills of dirt and heaped linear tunnels can be unsightly and catch lawn mower blades.
Here is what we do at Winding Pathways:
- Thank our moles for helping make the soil soft and fertile.
- Rake out their hills before mowing.
- Stomp down their raised tunnels so our lawn mower does not catch on them.
- Enjoy the diversity of life in our yard.
Moles are as fascinating and beneficial as the butterflies that pollinate blooms or the cardinals who pluck seeds from feeders. They deserve respect for their valuable work.
Thank you for this! I will be kinder to our “friends” in our yard!
We thank the moles for stirring up the soil after all the clay and compaction from post-derecho construction.
Happy mole day! A place for everything and everything in its place!