I am often asked if yard moles hibernate in the winter, and the answer is no. Moles are active all year round, and if you do not have any active in your lawn at the moment, consider yourself lucky. The fact that you are reading this leads me to believe you may have some mounds in your yard right now. I always reference the ambient moisture to relay how active moles may be. Look at the driveways and gutters in the morning for earthworms. Moles love earthworms, and if the worms are near the surface, the moles will be too. In extreme cold and heat, the ground surface is too unpleasant for the worms and they dive down to milder, moister climes. The moles simply follow. This explains why lawns that are irrigated in summer tend to have more mole activity. I took this picture in Portland yesterday after the brief snowstorm, showing snow on the valley floor, and the captured mole. (Yay!)
These are generalities to be sure. In my experience, I have seen all kinds of weird cases and exceptions.
If you plan to tackle the job yourself, remember a few things:
1.Know your enemy. Is it a mole or gopher? Mole mounds are more typically conical like Mt. Hood. Gopher mounds are blown out on one side like Mt. St. Helens.
2. Buy the right product for the job. Anything that says it will control moles AND gophers will often do neither. I use traps for mole removal and gopher removal, because the stuff in the store simply does not work.
3. Consider cause and effect carefully. Sonic mole chasers do not work. If they did, wouldn’t pest control companies use them? (Same is true for those sonic pest devices you plug into the wall.) If you have used these products in the past with success, chances are they just moved temporarily to find a better source of food.
In most cases, I prefer a client who has tried to do the work themselves, I feel they appreciate my success and what I do in general a little more. Except for moles, it is less expensive if we get to the problem sooner rather than later. Since we treat each mound, you can imagine there a difference in price between 3 mole mounds and 43. There is a lot of bad information out there, I have had some do-it-yourselfers cause more damage to their own lawn than the moles themselves. They were trying to install a whole host of traps excavating huge amounts of earth, only to find out none of the traps were effective on the Western mole. At Exodus Pest Control, we try and take a more surgical approach to your lawn-knowing that once the mole is gone you’ll want the grass back.