Asked April 23, 2018, 1:37 PM EDT

I live off Fort Harrods Drive in Lexington in Ridgewood Apartments. These are one story dwellings each with a patio and about an 8'x8' square of soil which we can plant, have birdhouses, etc. The area has plenty of mature trees, birds, squirrels, chipmunks, and an occasional opossum passing thru. This spring the majority of the residents are now being plagued with moles. I would like to plant flowers and/or vegetables, but I'd like to know if the mole or moles will eat my flower and veggie roots and cause the plants to die. I spoke with the landlord, and they don't seem encouraging in getting rid of these pests. So my question, are they actually a problem and should I put all my plants into pots and not directly into the soil. How do I learn to live with moles, and do they offer anything positive? Thank you so much for answering all my questions and concerns! Karen Deaton

Fayette County Kentucky

1 Response

Moles do indeed have benefits that are often overlooked. They are natural aerators, loosening the soil as they dig. Their main diet consists of grubs, earthworms, beetles, and insect larvae, so that means you will have less grubs that do actually feed on grass roots and they’ll ignore your bulbs, roots, and young plants. Now they can tunnel around young or small plants and injure them or uproot them, but they are never feeding on the roots.
Quite often we find that when moles deplete the food source in one area they will move on. So hopefully that will be the case for you. Because unless you can get all of your neighbors on the same page about working towards mole removal, any attempts you make will probably be futile. Please feel free to call us at the Fayette Extension Office, (859) 257-5582, for any further questions or concerns. Thanks!