Every day, we receive emails through our website from people who have questions related to agriculture or services provided by our department. Answering emails is part of our efforts to provide the best customer service to North Carolina residents. The following question was answered by Jim Burnette, director of the Structural Pest Control and Pesticides Division.
You can submit your own question about agriculture or NCDA&CS services at this link: www.ncagr.gov/htm/contactus.htm
I am in dire need of advice. Our almost 2-acre lot was invaded by moles last spring/summer. Our yard now looks like a muddy tunneled mess and my four kids are desperate to get out and play. What is the best way to eradicate the moles and gain our yard back?
Believe me we understand your frustration with mole damage to your yard. Unfortunately, moles are protected under wildlife laws in North Carolina. That means that the N.C. Pesticide Board cannot register any pesticides labeled to kill moles. Companies and individuals using a pesticide to treat for moles can be fined up to $2,000 by the N.C. Pesticide Board. There are a number of options, including trapping and reducing the food sources.
Homeowners often confuse moles and voles. Moles are carnivores and eat grubs and insects. Voles are rodents and will gnaw on trees and eat bulbs, stems and grass. There are vole treatments registered in the state. The baits used to treat voles are very similar to those used to treat for mice. Because moles and voles have different food sources and eating habits, vole treatments do not kill moles and cannot be legally used against moles in North Carolina.
An effective way to reduce the number of moles in your yard is to treat for grubs. There are too many products to mention that are registered in North Carolina to control grubs. Many are readily available at any hardware or large format retailers such as Lowe’s and Home Depot.
The following websites are great resources for telling the difference and treating for moles and voles:
- Mole control: http://www.johnstonnc.com/mainpage.cfm?category_level_id=299&content_id=998
- Vole control: http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/nreos/wild/wildlife/wdc/voles2.html
- Moles vs. Voles: Who’s your culprit? http://wayne.ces.ncsu.edu/2013/08/mole-versus-vole-whos-your-culprit/