The two species of mole found in Michigan are the eastern mole and the starnosed mole. The starnosed mole usually occurs in wet soils. Moles are not rodents, but insectivores. They lack the rodents' longer incisor teeth for gnawing. Thus, their main diet consists of earthworms, grubs and other insect larvae. Although these moles sometimes eat vegetative matter, they are often blamed for damage to bulbs, roots or seedlings caused by mice.
Moles make long, winding ridges in sod or soil as they tunnel just below the surface. Excavated soil pushed up from the burrows becomes the familiar mole hill. Generally, they are beneficial. They destroy large numbers of insects, and their tunneling aerates and irrigates the soil. However, when they become obnoxious or destructive, landowners often feel that the disadvantages outweigh the advantages. At this point, control is often desired.
Rolling lawn areas sometimes effectively eliminates moles from lawns especially if done in the early morning or late evening. Borders of marigolds or castor beans may repel moles from gardens. (Note: Castor beans are very poisonous.)
The prong or harpoon type trap is the trap most commonly available in hardware and farm and garden supply stores. Operating directions are furnished by the manufacturer.
It is important to place the trap on an active burrow that is used daily and not on a foraging burrow that is used only once. To determine which tunnels are active, flatten a short sections of burrows. Those sections that are raised within 24 hours are active burrows. Place the traps on those sections. Move any trap that fails to catch a mole within three days.