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Vegetable Gardening: What exactly is the problem with moles?

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happygirl345
Pleasant Hill, CA
(Zone 9b)

July 3, 2013
8:16 AM

Post #9584626

All-

I have a few moles in my gardens. I can tell because there are pushed up "trails" here and there, soft spots here and there, and a mound or two. They definitely aren't gophers.

Moles don't eat plants, they only eat worms and grubs. Except for the loss of worms, are they doing any harm? Seems to me they are aerating and turning the soil (which is a good thing). I don't have lawns, so there is nothing unsightly about what they are doing.

My husband is determined to kill them, and I'm just wondering... what harm are they doing?

Any thoughts would be appreciated!

-Patty

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

July 3, 2013
8:29 AM

Post #9584646

Patty - I am sure some people have a love/hate relationship with moles.

You are correct in thinking they aerate the soil with their tunnels.

If I had moles in my lawn, I would NOT try to kill them.

If I had moles in my vegetable garden, and they were preventing me from getting a good crop of vegetables, I would encourage them to go elsewhere.

Your moles could be eating grubs that are destroying the roots of your plants. If you explain that to your hubby, perhaps he will let them live.
dragonfly53
(Terri )South Boston, VA
(Zone 7a)

July 3, 2013
11:10 AM

Post #9584877

The problem is that the grubs they eat are near your plant's roots. The tunnels are used by voles as easy access to your underground buffet. I don't mind the moles myself but I try to always crush down their tunnels so the voles don't use them
happygirl345
Pleasant Hill, CA
(Zone 9b)

July 3, 2013
1:25 PM

Post #9585175

Thanks -- I am pushing down the tunnels whenever I find them... and that's kinda fun.

Thanks for your input! I thought I was on the right track!

kittriana

kittriana
Magnolia, TX
(Zone 8b)

July 3, 2013
1:48 PM

Post #9585207

They Can uproot your plants so bad they die. Also snakes use the tunnels to chase food- toads, frogs, voles...
happygirl345
Pleasant Hill, CA
(Zone 9b)

July 8, 2013
6:46 AM

Post #9591245

I wish I had frogs. I haven't seen or heard a frog near my house in 20+ years.

Thanks, pesticides.

But I am NOT a fan of snakes, so I will work hard to crush the tunnels.

Thanks!

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

July 8, 2013
9:11 AM

Post #9591463

happygirl - when we moved here seven years ago there were no frogs. So we put in a frog pond. Now there are thousands of frogs calling from the neighborhood every night.

Don't know where they came from.
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

July 8, 2013
11:11 AM

Post #9591593

Frog eggs are delivered on the feet/legs of visiting birds. We put in a large pond with no fish and it is now stocked in the same manner.

I agree with the usefulness of moles and feel the same way about armadillos. They till the dry soil and loosen it for the rains. All they are shopping for is grubs and bugs. Folks that hate the armadillos simply need to kill the grubs.

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

July 8, 2013
11:44 AM

Post #9591636

podster
Quoting:Frog eggs are delivered on the feet/legs of visiting birds.


I did not know that. That's probably/possibly what happened. I see birds taking a drink from the frog pond all the time. The base of the pond is sloped so birds that fall in will not drown. The water is run-off from our roof.

A fascinating thing happened this year: Cattails have grown in the frog pond!

There is one very loud frog this year that I have never heard before. It bleats like a sheep!

kittriana

kittriana
Magnolia, TX
(Zone 8b)

July 8, 2013
1:01 PM

Post #9591752

He prob just got older. Comes in rain showers too, eggs from frog and sunperchies travel with storm clouds, armadilloes are known to spread leprosy and rabies as well as dig up graves and uproot your foundations...Not sayin all do, but it is not a good thing when they do. Getting rid of grubs usually involves pyrethrins that cause dogs and cats illnesses and resistance to the poisons by those bugs.
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

July 8, 2013
3:07 PM

Post #9591961

Sounds like we are darned if we do and darned if we don't... LOL

I personally like armadillos but I have a couple of dogs that will run them down and kill them.

I have an acre fenced yard for the dogs, if the armadillos stay outside the yard, they will be safe.

Although when I listen to some folks grumble about dillers, I think I could rent these dogs out for big money.

Now my cats have a field day with the voles. I'm always amazed at how many they kill. Voles must only come out at night as I never see them alive during daytime hours. The pets never seem to bother the moles (or salamanders as they are called around here).

kittriana

kittriana
Magnolia, TX
(Zone 8b)

July 8, 2013
7:52 PM

Post #9592370

They call moles salamanders? Thats strange. salamanders here live in the ditches , ponds and mud...
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

July 8, 2013
8:46 PM

Post #9592422

Amen! I have thought it strange for years. lol
Seedfork
Enterprise, AL
(Zone 8b)

July 9, 2013
6:13 AM

Post #9592631

Armadillos dig up my plants completely leaving them laying on ground in the hot sun with their roots completely exposed, and it is not grubs they are after. It is earthworms that I have worked very hard to attract that the Armadillos are after, and they don't care which of my plants they dig up to get them. An Armadillo in the garden can be a very destructive creature!

kittriana

kittriana
Magnolia, TX
(Zone 8b)

July 9, 2013
7:20 AM

Post #9592746

Yes to the earthworms, not the grubs.
happygirl345
Pleasant Hill, CA
(Zone 9b)

July 9, 2013
2:03 PM

Post #9593152

When I had a dog, I had none of these worries. Four months after she died, I suddenly was dealing with squirrels, cats, oppossums, birds, and now moles. Who knew that girl worked so hard?

Seedfork
Enterprise, AL
(Zone 8b)

July 9, 2013
2:13 PM

Post #9593162

Don't know about moles being called Salamanders, but in Texas that is a Mole Salamander.
http://herpsoftexas.org/content/mole-salamander

kittriana

kittriana
Magnolia, TX
(Zone 8b)

July 10, 2013
9:11 AM

Post #9593989

Ok, add mole to salamander, still that isnt the one in the yards we see...or dont see. Dog prolly didnt have to work that hard at it, as just BEING there helped. Since those 2 bad years bugs and small critter explosions have popped up. Hey you have those mud dawgs in Alabama too!!! Still cant get a grasp on callin a croppie a 'crappie' tho, chuckle.
Seedfork
Enterprise, AL
(Zone 8b)

July 10, 2013
10:42 AM

Post #9594114


It just appears Crappie fishing is called that just about everywhere, that is what it is here in my part of Alabama. "Croppie" fishing here was always assumed to be done somewhere up north. Of course on most days I go fishing it is pretty "crappie".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crappie
http://www.ehow.com/list_6667939_10-crappie-fishing-lakes-texas.html



kittriana

kittriana
Magnolia, TX
(Zone 8b)

July 10, 2013
1:14 PM

Post #9594311

Dunno abt north, but i always heard Tx And Ok call em croppies. I only fish to feed the hungry fish apparently- if I caught one I might have to scale/skin it, shudder. from the looks of my windshield the fish ought to be well fed right now( started gettin thick when I crossed Lake Eufala). Even the snakes ought to be happy right now with all the food running around( as witnessed by all the small fur rags on roadside)

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