Preparing for Fall Lawn Pests
Just like there are people who enjoy summer more than fall and vise versa, there are also pests who prefer to come around more often during certain seasons. Lawn pests such as moles, voles, and pocket gophers are active throughout most of the year, especially during spring, summer, and early fall. Each of these pests cause immense amounts of damage to beautiful lawns all across the United States, tunneling their way into areas that provide them with adequate food and shelter sources. Well-tended lawns are often the most attractive to these pests, and once they settle in and begin multiplying, they can cause massive destruction to your property.
Moles typically live their entire lives underground, meaning that these pests are expert tunnelers and know how to survive without ever exposing themselves to the outside air. This fact makes moles quite difficult to get rid of once they have taken up residence on your property. These pests are insectivores, meaning that a moist, healthy lawn filled with earthworms and grubs is an ideal place for them to feed and thrive. Moles are especially attracted to moist soil that has large amounts of organic matter mixed in with it and provides plentiful amounts of their favorite food sources: worms, snails, grubs, and beetles.
Commonly confused with moles due to their very similar name, voles are small, furry pests with short, stocky bodies and partially-hidden ears. Voles are also referred to as “meadow mice” due to their tendency to live and create their underground burrows in fields or meadows. Voles are particularly attracted to properties with wide, open lawns and properties near parks or golf courses, so these areas are more likely to become infested. Yards with gardens, fruit trees, flower bulbs, and other vegetation provide voles with their favorite food source while also providing them sheltered areas to hide in. Unlike moles, voles do not create raised tunnels. Instead, they burrow close to the surface and create narrower, more elaborate tunnels in search for tasty vegetation. These rodents leave small holes in your lawn, often near gardens or fruit trees.
These medium-sized rodents are able to tunnel deeper than any other lawn pest, sometimes even digging several feet below the ground. Similarly to moles, pocket gophers spend most or all of their lives underneath feet of soil, searching for food sources. Pocket gophers enjoy feeding on forbs, grasses, bulbs, shrubs, and tree roots, which often causes severe issues with the growth of those plants. Underground wires, piping, and cables are in danger of being damaged or destroyed when they get in the way of a pocket gopher’s tunneling, sometimes resulting in leaks or power outages.
While there’s not much you can do once your yard has become infested with any of these pests, there are some steps you can take to make your property less appealing to them.
Avoid planting crops that these pests enjoy on your property. Instead, try planting vegetation that gophers and voles don’t typically feed on, such as sage and daffodils.
Reduce the moisture in your soil. By packing down the soil and cutting back on how much you water your lawn, you can make your yard less attractive to lawn pests.
The best way to make your lawn as unattractive as possible is to eliminate the food sources and any particular conditions that these pests prefer.
If your property is already infested with moles, voles, or pocket gophers, the most beneficial thing you can do is to enlist the help of a pest control professional as soon as possible. The damages these pests inflict on lawns are often very difficult and costly to repair, so identifying a pest problem in the earliest stages is very important. We can help with that! At Schendel Pest Services, we provide homeowners with standard pricing for all of our wildlife control services. Call us today to schedule your free inspection!