For years the control of moles in our turf has been an area of confusion for homeowners. In North Carolina, the mole has not been considered a game animal suitable for hunting so there has been no open hunting season on them. Home -owners with mole-caused damage could apply for a permit to hunt moles, generally with a trap, or hire a licensed Pest Control Agent to do the job for them. Unfortunately, many choose to ignore the law entirely.
Due to some recent changes in North Carolina pesticide laws, it is now legal to use specific chemicals to control moles in turf, homes, golf courses, etc. However these chemicals cannot be used in pastures or within 100 feet of natural or man-made wetlands, or bodies of water. Elevations of 4,000 feet or higher are not permitted as well.
Currently manufacturers are submitting their products for registration. Some have already been approved and may be available in local garden centers or suppliers.
If you feel the need to use one of these chemicals, check with your local garden centers for applicable inventory. READ THE LABEL before you buy to make sure that it is one of those products approved for use in controlling moles in North Carolina by homeowners. (Some products have been approved only for use by licensed professionals or for the control of rats, not moles.) Look too for other warnings or restrictions on the label. Are you comfortable how the material is it to be applied? Look for other signals or cautions. For example, the new label may warn that the active ingredient is also toxic to canines so you’d obviously want to take special precautions around dogs.
It’s safe to say that even with these new products hunting moles will not be easy. As with a trap, you still must find an active molehill, runway or tunnel in which to place the poison or the smoke generator. Just any old runway won’t do.
In the final analysis, you may decide that the mole, and there probably is only one, is doing you a favor by aerating your lawn, and choose to let nature take its course.
Article written by Glenn Palmer, Extension Master Gardener Volunteer.
MOLE PRODUCT ALERT Blog: July 2, 2015 by Dr. Rick Brandenburg, Entomologist. NCSU
MOLES Blog: July 7, 2015 by Cyndi Lauderdale, NCSU Extension Agent, Wilson County, NC