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Moles or Ground Hogs under my lawn

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by HazyDavy, Oct 10, 2004.

  1. HazyDavy

    HazyDavy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 102

    I just recently put down top soil mixed with Composted Cow Manure on my lawn. The back/shady section of my lawn near the woods is being invaded by either a mole or ground hog. It doesn't seem to be adversely affecting my lawn yet. Most of that grass is new about around 4 inches high. Should I be concerned? If so, how do I get rid of them/it?
  2. Dchall_San_Antonio

    Dchall_San_Antonio LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 327

    Be concerned because they are eating insects under your turf. It is the insects you need to be concerned about. When your soil gets above 50 degrees F, you can apply beneficial nematodes. An early application allows the population of BN to multiply before the real onslaught of insects come to visit. If you can hammer each insect with a million nematodes they will never establish and the moles will have nothing to eat.
  3. HazyDavy

    HazyDavy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 102

    Hmm, I read that earthworms are a mole's favorite food(along with grubs of course). Also, someone here posted that grubs are mainly found in the sunny, warm section of the lawn. This section gets very little sun. Maybe an hour per day. I'm not even sure my grass will survive. I may have to turn that section into a flower garden of some sort.

    I also did put down Milky Spore in July. Not sure how much good it's doing. I had lost of Japanese beetles in my yard in June. Once they disappeared is when I put down the MS. 1 more thing, my soil temp now is above 50 degrees, and probably will be for another 3-4 weeks at least. Daytime highs are running around 70, and nighttime lows between 45-50.
  4. May get rid of all the food that moles like, BUT they can still invade looking for food
  5. HazyDavy

    HazyDavy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 102

    I'd hate to kill all of the earthworms that I've worked so hard to accumulate, then still have a mole problem!!! ;)
  6. Eugene23

    Eugene23 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    I would suggest ditching the lawnpanel and installing a raised perennial bed with perma-till as the border under the mulch to control moles. That way your vermiculuture experiment can continue while you have cool plants to look at. Eliminate fescue turf when possible. I live in the Raleigh area and fescue has, will and will always be problematic. Go with a warm season grass or make a planting bed. Good Luck.

    RICHIE K LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 647




    www.kulakandcompany.com :blob3:
  8. HazyDavy

    HazyDavy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 102

    There are quite a few nice fescue lawns here in NC. Right now my lawn is pretty nice. We'll see how it looks next summer tho.

    I am leaning towards some sort of bed in that area. I don't think it gets enough sun for any kind of nice grass to grow. Anybody know of any kind of decent looking perennials I can put in that area other than Ivy?

    I think I heard that human hair keeps deer away too. BTW, I saw 3 deer on my front lawn last evening. Doesn't look like they did any damage to my lawn, and amazingly enough they didn't eat my roses. :)
  9. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,341

    Fescue is one of the more hardiest grasses available. It has been found to thrive as far south as the tip of Florida and as far north as Alaska. Fescue can be problematic but the problem is usually associated to the soil conditions instead of the grass itsself. There is no reason that fescue cant do well in Raleigh Nc. as long as the soil is properly conditioned for its survival. If you are having problems with fescue in the Raleigh area I would suggest that you take a look at your soil to see what the real problem is. Granted with the naturaly occuring potassium and low ph that is present in the Raleigh area, warm season grasses such a centipede will do well. They also suffer from the occassional icestorm that is bound to occur in that area. Long periods of freezing weather can actually kill dormant Centipede. Bermudas such as Yukon, will also do well as they will retain their color longer than the more common varities. Growing season does become a factor for the warm season grasses. Depending on the customers desires for green, bermuda may not be as good a choice as the fescues. Bermuda will be late greening up and will go dormaint eairlier that it will in more southern zones. This means more brown grass months. Zoyia is also another common choice in the Raliegh area, some swear by it and some swear at it. Again growing season plays a large part on how long it will actaully stay green for the customer. In the end it all depends on the customers expectations and whether they want a lawn that will stay green year round or if they are satisfied with green in the summer months and brown in the winter. Of course you can always overseed the warm season grasses with rye to provide green in the winter months, if you can get your customers to agree to pay the price.
  10. upidstay

    upidstay LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Messages: 1,575

    First off, moles does NOT equal grubs. That is an old lawn care wives tale. They do eat grubs, but their primary diet is worms. And worms are our friends, right?? Seeing as this is an organic forum, I would recomend the old style traps. You know, the ones that spring shut and bust thier little heads? Walk on the tunnels to collapse them, or use a light roller if the area is big. Monitor the area daily and see which tunnels are repaired first. Those are the main feeder tunnels, and put your traps there. I had several customers have great luck with them. I also had cat who loved to eat moles...dug up half of the lawn getting them, but got rid of the moles!! Castor oil can work sometimes too. Put down at 6oz/1000ft. Then water it in heavily (1") Also, mix in a little detergent too, like ivory liquid or some insecticidal soap to keep it mixed up. Has to be agitated well and often. Don't use it in cold temp (50 F or lower) as it gums up in your sprayer. Apparently they don't like the taste either. Works about 1/2the time. Good luck.
    in case you get the urge, don't ever pick a mole up. I worked with a guy who acidentally dug one up, and decided to pick it up. it tore through heavy leather gloves and proced to shred his palm up something awful. got under his glove and went to town. was really pretty nasty what this little thing did to him. permanent damage, the whole 9 yards. i guess digging through dirt and rock all day make for some sharp claws

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