When I was cutting the grass today I was amazed at how many mole runs (interspersed with occasional dirt mounds) were zig zagging across the back yard. I took great pleasure in stomping down the pushed-up soil after I passed over it with the mower.
I try to co-exist with Mother Nature, but the mole evidence really bothers me!
I know that the moles are just doing what comes naturally; the annoying raised surface tunnels are actually their runs for traveling between their den and their feeding areas. I know that their digging makes the soil healthier because the tunnels permit air and water to penetrate into deeper soil levels. I know that a mole's diet consists primarily insects found in the soil, (some of which are serious turf pests) so they're actually doing me a favor by getting rid of them. Still, it's hard to get past the visual annoyance of those ridges in the grass.
I wondered just how many moles were responsible for the mess in my yard. A little research told me that moles are solitary animals, who live alone except to breed. There are usually somewhere between four to six moles per acre, so my one-third of an acre lot probably only has one or two. Considering how much damage they've done, they're very busy critters.
My former neighbor was a kind, gentle man, but he took his lawn care seriously. When a mole dared venture into his domain he'd stalk it and kill it with a shovel. He offered to do the same thing for us. (I took him up on his offer one time, and told him he was free to come into our yard any time he saw more evidence.) However, now he's gone and I'm not going to go through all the time, effort, and money to try and remove the moles. I guess I'm going to have to learn to co-exist with them.
Five years ago today: After Dark