• Are Moles Bad To Have In Your Yard?

     

    You cannot be mistaken to know that a mole has invaded your lawn or garden. You’ll quickly notice multiple piles of soil – mounds that resemble a small volcano where the soil clumps are thrown out through the center and rolled down on all sides.

    Moles, the extraordinary small mammals, spend half of their lives underground searching for food, beneath those annoying mounds of soil. In nature, they are woodland animals but can quickly take over and spread through adjacent lawns in residential properties. And the longer you allow moles to tunnel in your yard, the more difficult they become to control.

    Although it’s not very likely to see them above ground, the hills and tunnels a mole leaves behind can be real eyesores in your yard. Not only will the molehills look like an unsightly lawn mess, but will also devastate your landscaping. The hills, however, are just a by-product of the animal’s industrious digging. The tunnels can do major damage to your lawn.

    Mole burrowing activity varies throughout the seasons. The lawn damage is usually most noticeable during spring and early summer, but also in the fall. This is when moles are most active and are closest to the surface. In summer, the damage usually subsides when the soil dries out and moles excavate mostly at a deeper level.

    Luckily, a mole is mostly a solitary, unsocial, and highly territorial animal, so if you eliminate one mole, most likely there isn’t another one nearby. If you find an elaborate sequence of tunnels, it probably is just one mole that is a very active builder. However, new moles can move into existing, abandoned tunnels within 24 hours.

     

    How Long Will Moles Live in the Yard?

    In general, moles have small home ranges and the animal will rarely stay in the same area for a longer period of time. Their activity in a particular area may only last one or two weeks until there’s no more food to be found. So, once all the local soil insects have been eaten, the mole will move on to a better hunting ground.

     

    Are Moles Bad To Have in Your Yard?

    Despite the damage that moles cause to a yard, they are not that bad. In fact, they are mostly good, bringing lots of benefits to your lawn.

    In terms of damage done to your yard, moles are usually blamed for eating bulbs and the roots of ornamental plants. Although they can cause havoc with their burrowing and mounding, moles do not gorge on homegrown produce.

    In fact, voles, chipmunks, and mice are the real culprits. Mole runways can be used by rodents that feed on bulbs, seeds, and roots, and these rodents will cause direct damage to your lawn, garden, or fruit orchard.

     

    What Do Moles Eat?

    Moles are insect eaters. Their diet consists primarily of earthworms, but grubs, beetles, snails, slugs, spiders, centipedes, and other bugs are also on the menu. On average, a mole consumes 40 pounds of insects per year. The mole’s main food source are earthworms, and the animal will eat about six big worms every day.

     

     

    Do Moles Damage Your Yard?

    Without a doubt, moles can locally be destructive.

    They push mounds of soil to the surface and their tunnels create holes and weak spots in the lawn. The burrowing results in lines of raised ridges in the ground and ugly-looking mounds of soil.

    They create easily noticeable trails of dead grass throughout the yard. When moles burrow close to the surface, it can cause harm to grass roots, leaving behind brown patches.

    While tunneling for insects, moles can disrupt the roots of vegetables and other plants, and uproot turf. Their shallow tunnels will lift the soil and allow plant roots to dry out. Their digging through root systems of plants can kill the seedlings and expose bulbs and roots to the surface.

    Their runways provide underground routes for other rodents searching for food. Their tunnels may suit other pests that will go after plant roots.

    The molehills can be dangerous to walk over and might result in trips and falls. Mole burrowing activity will create holes in the lawn and a tunnel can easily cave in when accidentally stepped on, which might lead to your injury.

     

    Benefits of Moles in Yard

    On the other hand, we must not forget that moles are great contributors to the ecosystem.

    If you have moles in your yard, it means you have healthy, rich soil, as these animals will feed on any earthworms and pest insect larvae found in the soil.

    Moles will also eat grubs that are harmful because they destroy grass roots, and also beetles that feed on decorative plants. They effectively eliminate ants, snails, and termites.

    Moles are known as natural aerators. They dig underground tunnels which loosen soil and form channels for air and water to move freely through the soil, which helps plant growth. Thus, mole tunnels promote the health of the soil by turning, aerating, and draining it, and fertilizing and mixing its nutrients.

     

    To Conclude,

    Trapping moles can be labor-intensive even if there’s just one mole to catch. There is no one-time solution to control moles, it is a process that requires continuous maintenance.

    So if you’re not willing to battle the moles by yourself, your best bet is to hire an experienced exterminator in your area. You’ll want someone who can provide expert advice and can create a mole removal strategy that is effective and humane.

    Give Westchester Wildlife an opportunity to prove what a professional mole control company can do for you. And all you’ll have to do is relax and let us deal with your mole problem.

     

     

  • Do Chipmunks Dig Tunnels in Yards and What Damage Do They Cause?

     

    The cute, ground-dwelling chipmunks are members of the squirrel family and are considered pests for all homeowners.

    As chipmunks always seek a habitat that provides them with shelter and comfort, they build extensive burrow systems next to or directly beneath natural or man-made settings.

    There are two types of burrows they dig. Shallow burrows in which they seek safety and rest during the day, and complex, deeper, and more spacious burrows where they store food, nest, and hibernate during the winter months.

    The burrow is their home base from which they rarely travel more than a third of a mile.

     

    Do Chipmunks Dig Tunnels in Yards?

    So, chipmunks do dig tunnels in yards, it is however quite difficult for a homeowner to find these burrows.

    Don’t look for piles of dirt in this case. Chipmunks build their tunnels without any dirt lying at the entrance and exit holes. These openings are very small, just 2 or 3 inches in diameter.

    Have a look around your yard and search underneath stones, fallen logs, stumps, woodpiles, and any areas around your lawn, as these are inviting places for these small creatures. In addition, patios, basements, stairs, or any well-hidden sites near your home can fit a chipmunk’s needs.

    You might be surprised to discover one or more burrows. Although a chipmunk is an expert tree climber, you can usually spot them scurrying on the ground in the vicinity of their burrows. That’s because they spend most of their lives either on the ground or in their underground burrows.

    The burrow system consists of several openings, nesting chambers, a couple of storage chambers for nuts and seeds, side tunnels, and separate escape tunnels.

    To create such a den, the chipmunk will remove a huge amount of soil from around and underneath your house! It will then remove all the soil excavated from digging the tunnels, carry it in the cheek pouches, and scatter it away from the burrow hole. This will effectively camouflage the entrance to the den.

    As the living chambers are often far from the burrow entrance, it makes it difficult to get rid of chipmunks that become a nuisance on your property.

     

    How Deep Do Chipmunks Burrow?

    Chipmunk’s burrow excavations can be huge. The main tunnel can extend 2 to 3 feet deep under the ground and reach 20 to 30 feet in length.

    The tunnels within the burrow system vary in width and may run alongside extensive tree roots. The chipmunk is also continuously expanding its burrow system each year.

     

     

     

    What Damage Can Chipmunks Cause to Your Property?

    Despite their innocent looks, these nuisance pests are capable of doing damage to your home and yard. They will leave signs of their presence in two ways:

     

    Structural damage

    On a residential property, chipmunk burrowing can cause some destructive, structural damage. Since they often choose to dig their tunnels under sidewalks and driveways, near the concrete patios, porches, stairs, retention walls, and the foundation, this activity can weaken the supports leading to damage to these areas.

     

    Ruined gardens

    Chipmunks will also happily chew up your vegetable seeds, flower bulbs, fruits, and plants in your garden. They will help themselves pet bowls and bird feeders as these are a tempting snack for them.

    If you have trees or shrubs in your yard, you are unintentionally offering them cover and a great place to climb.

     

    Can Chipmunks Ruin Your House Foundation?

    The burrowing activities of chipmunks can be a big problem for your house foundation and landscape structures. These pests can cause a lot of damage with their extensive nest burrows and can undermine a whole part of the foundation causing a drop over time.

    Burrowing and the subsequent influx of water loosens soil beneath a structure, and the excavated space underneath will cause the integrity of the structure to weaken. It will result in cracking and, eventually, collapsing of the unsupported slab. Water may even appear inside your house.

    When new burrows are not large enough to cause serious damage, chipmunks are considered just a minor nuisance. However, when a well-established colony of chipmunks is allowed to thrive on the property, it can inflict significant damage to structures by undermining their foundations.

    And old burrows are always taken over by new chipmunk generations that keep on building new tunnels.

     

     

    Lastly, if you’ve allowed chipmunks to live in your yard for too long, you might face the consequences.

    If you’re having chipmunk problems, or you have a colony of chipmunks digging in your yard or underneath your house, contact us today. Westchester Wildlife company provides expert chipmunk trapping and removal services since 1982, in Westchester County, NY, Dutchess County, NY, Putnam County, NY, and Fairfield County, CT.

    We can humanely remove chipmunks in your yard, from under decks or sheds, or anywhere else. Don’t let chipmunks chase you off your property. Get in touch now!