Small tunnels in garden

bart1(6/7 Northern VA)July 19, 2013

This year, along with record numbers of chipmonks, squirrels and rabbits, I have noticed a lot of tunnels in the garden and the lawn. The dirt bulges up a little bit and it's easily compressed (which I do with my feet whenever I discover them).

What's causing this and should I take action? Moles, voles or something else? I haven't noticed any damage to the plants yet, but I'd like to do something before it's too late.

Should I be concerned or just live and let live?


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sunnibel7 Md 7(7)

Moles make the tunnels but many times the voles will move in and the wreak havoc with you plants. Collapsing tunnels is good, the voles usually do not want to dig the tunnels themselves. There are often deeper tunnels this time of year (for the coolness) that you can't see or collapse. You can kill the moles, which will reduce the voles setting up shop as easily. And/or you can set mousetraps for the voles. A mole can also take out a large plant by tunneling through the roots in it's wandering. The good news is that a single mole covers and amazingly large area of ground, though I guess that's also the bad news. Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 11:30AM
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bart1(6/7 Northern VA)

Thanks! I'll take action.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 2:14PM
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My cat, Smokey, usually has a few moles on the doorstep for me each week. Cats work wonders!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 11:27PM
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shermthewerm(8 PNW)

Cats can be effective. My cat will even capture moles from my neighbors' gardens & bring them home. Unfortunately, I've seen her "playing" with her imported mole & then losing it in my yard.

She will sit patiently next to the mole hills waiting for any sign of action & then start digging as soon as she does. She gets quite a few. Other than the kitty, I don't take much action, even though they do quite a bit of damage to my yard/garden. When they start doing major damage, my husband will go out at dawn & play whack-a-mole with a shovel.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 12:27AM
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Cats and dogs, too, are pretty essential in bringing voles and moles under control. In my experience here in the southern appalachians, both are worse after a snowy winter.

With one good hunting cat and two young dogs, this is the first year we've gotten a full crop of potatoes in three years because of voles. The big snows of 2010 led to a vole, mole and mouse population explosion around here.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 7:30AM
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