Can Moles Ruin Your House Foundation?

 Learn whether moles pose any danger to your home foundation and what to do if you have them on your property

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If you are a homeowner, and especially if you live in the countryside, you might have already faced quite a common issue in this area: the moles. Yes, these small animals look very harmless, but quite many homeowners are very concerned about the possible danger that moles can cause to their homes.

Are moles bad for your house? This is the most frequent question that people ask. And in this article, we will do our best to figure out whether or not moles can somehow cause any damage to the foundation of your home. In addition, we will explain to you what kind of damage these animals do cause and what you shall do if you find mole holes in your garden or in the yard.

Can Moles Damage House Foundation?

The answer to this question is basically yes. But let us explain everything to you in detail. See, when you find even a single mole under your house, the very first thing that comes to your mind is: can this creature cause any damage to my house’s foundation? And the second thought would probably be something like “what if there are more moles in my yard?”. But how reasonable are such concerns?

 

Moles tunneling in a yard, potentially causing damage to a house foundation.
Moles and House Foundation Damage.itishouse.com

Well, indeed, if your home has a shallow foundation, it is possible that moles will be drawn from the yard into the house by the weak foundation. And since worms, beetle larvae, and grubs are among the favorite foods of moles, these also attract the little diggers to your property. It is probable that you will even hear them scratching beneath the floor as they make their way through the tunnel system! Quite a creepy sound though. 

Of course, the moles’ digging is not harmless at all, and your house can really get damaged, in particular, its basement and foundation! The major reason for this damage is that moles’ digging often causes water to pool under the concrete slabs. As a result, it causes fractures and damage that may be costly to repair and, in some circumstances, irreversible. This is why moles should be avoided at all costs!

A mole that came out of the ground
By vista.com

In order to be better informed about the possible harm that moles can cause to your house, we suggest you read on and see what other issues these small animals can bring to your garden, yard, and entire property. Like that, you will know what to expect should moles find a way to your home and find it attractive for themselves.

What Damage Do Moles Do?

Even if you are lucky not to have moles as your neighbors, you surely know how a yard looks when they are there. Twisting tunnels and holes poking from under the ground all over the property is the least damage that can be caused by these creatures. Of course, their digging doesn’t make your property look nicer and better! It might also be complicated to even walk on such a lawn! However, the aesthetical side of the issue is not the only one. And definitely, it is not the most serious one you will have to face.

A plot of land on which mole holes are visible
By vista.com

When moles dig holes and tunnels in your lawn, they may do much more damage which usually includes the following: 

  • trip hazards
  • leaving the roots of grass exposed
  • causing the plants to die
  • promoting the freeze-thaw cycle, which destroys the foundation
  • mole infestations may cause structural damage to concrete slabs
  • their tunnels can damage your driveways and pools
  • they can even harm weak foundations
A mole near a plant in a garden plot
By vista.com

The harm caused by moles is unattractive as well. In addition, when their tunnels get close to the surface of the soil, they generally gnaw through the roots of the lawn, causing it to yellow and die. However, although many people link mole infestations with the presence of grubs in the soil, moles prefer to feed on earthworms and might arrive even if you do not have any grubs in your grass.

But there is one more serious damage that moles can carry, and it has nothing to do with the exterior of your lawn. Moles can often carry various diseases, rabies in particular. And even though it is very unlikely that a mole gets into your home, you should avoid getting in direct contact with these creatures.  

The visible path of the mole along the burrows it dug
By vistta.com

So, as you can see, if you spot a mole hole or tunnel in your yard, you should act quickly, otherwise, they will infest your property, which may result in quite a serious and expensive-to-fix damage. Of course, at this point, you might be wondering how you can get rid of moles if they appear in your yard. Luckily, it is quite an easy task.

What Time Of Day Are Moles Most Active?

There is a common belief that moles are nocturnal creatures, but this is not the case. In fact, moles are most active in the morning or after it rains. They feed on bugs and earthworms, this is why moles prefer moist soil that they can easily move through in search of food. And since the soil is moister during the morning hours and after it rains, this is the reason why these creatures are more active during these periods of time. 

A mole crawling from a hill above the ground
By vista.com

However, while they are typically most active in the morning, they can be seen throughout the day as well. Usually, it depends on the condition of the soil. For example, if it rains during the daytime, moles can show up because the soil got more moisture than usual.

Now that you know what damage moles cause to your property and during what time of the day they are most active, it makes sense to figure out how you can get rid of them.

How to Get Rid Of Moles In Your Yard

Mole crawled out on the ground in the yard
By vista.com

If you have moles, you will certainly want to get rid of these visitors. But what is the most efficient method of getting rid of moles in your yard? When it comes to getting rid of moles from your lawn, garden, or yard, there are three options that you can make use of:

  • Eliminate the moles’ food supply, which includes insects, grubs, and worms. For that, use a pesticide such as Talstar
  • Remove the mole from the area with the help of battery-powered devices that send vibrations through the ground
  • To get rid of moles, you can also make use of a mole bait such as Mole Patrol

The option you will use depends on how suitable it is for you. Some people don’t want to use baits since it seems way too cruel for them, and so they prefer pesticides instead. Others don’t mind baits but avoid pesticides being concerned about the use of chemicals in their yard. So figure out what method will be the most suitable for you and act quickly!

You just need to keep in mind that it is not recommended to try to catch a mole yourself! These animals may carry various diseases including rabies, so it would be much better and more effective if you call for a professional exterminator to come and fix the problem for you. These people are trained to deal with moles and they surely know what to do in order to free your property from unwanted guests. Anyway, an experienced exterminator is always more efficient than any poison or trap!

How to Prevent Moles In Your Yard?

The mole is watching you
By vista.com

It doesn’t matter whether you decide to hire an exterminator or deal with moles on your own. In any case, preventing the problem is anyway better than trying to cope with it later. Besides, after eliminating the moles, the next thing you want to do is to ensure they do not return. Also, if you have never had an encounter with them in your yard, you will need to ensure that they don’t come at all. This requires active and radical actions that will be able to close all the entry points to your property for the moles. 

This is what can be done in order to prevent moles from sneaking into your yard again or from coming there at all:

  • Avoid over-watering your vegetables or flowers so that worms like earthworms stay away. A place with many worms will invite moles to your yard
  • Don't forget to replace grassy areas with shrubs. It will help avoid more destruction since moles prefer areas with lawn grass, not shrubs
  • Plant more native vegetation because they are more resistant to destruction. In most cases, imported plants might attract different worms and insects that moles love and thus inviting moles to your yard
  • Use perimeter barriers to protect your yard from the moles
  • Consider using raised beds and critters to keep them at bay
  • Also, you can opt for sheet metal and hardware cloth and bury them at least two feet into the soil to keep moles away
  • Keep a carnivorous pet like a dog or cat, which can scare away the moles
  • Avoid preparing compost manure within your compound! In this case, the moles will be aware of the worms present there. Better do this outside your yard or far from your house

Effective Tips to Deter Moles from Your Property

chocolate lilies against moles
By vista.com

As an alternative and helpful option, we would also suggest you keep in mind a few handy tips on how you can keep moles away from your property. As a preventative measure, consider the following suggestions: 

  • Try planting chocolate lilies or garlic in your yard, as these are natural repellents for moles
  • You can also replace some of the grassy areas with shrubs and native plants to reduce the amount of yard that moles could potentially take over
  • And finally, you can protect raised landscaping beds in your yard with metal hardware cloth or sheet metal that’s buried about two feet deep

Of course, some of these solutions (like planting shrubs or lilies) will take you some time and money, but in general, each of the suggested options is quite easy to do. 

So, now you know what damage such small creatures as moles can cause to your house and property once they dwell there. You learned what attracts moles to our homes and why their tunnels and hills bring not only the aesthetic issue. Moreover, we explained to you what other dangers moles may carry (remember the diseases!). 

This is why now you realize better why it is essential to act quickly once you spot a mole in your yard! Luckily, you are now aware of a few handy methods of mole removal from your lawns. And since we provided you with several alternative options to choose from, you can easily pick the one that will work best for you. 

Links on this topic to authoritative sources:
  1. Mole (animal) : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mole_(animal)
  2. How to distinguish between moles and voles : https://hgic.clemson.edu/factsheet/how-to-tell-the-difference-between-moles-voles/

Facts

  1. Moles are Talented Tunnelers: A single mole can tunnel up to 100 feet per day. This might not seem directly damaging to your home, but those tunnels could pose problems over time.
  2. Landscaping Destruction: While moles don't eat plants, their burrowing can disrupt roots and cause significant damage to your lawn and garden. They can also indirectly cause harm by creating avenues for other pests that do feast on plants and roots.
  3. Impact on Foundations: Generally, moles aren’t a threat to the foundations of buildings since they typically stay within the top 12 inches of soil. However, in rare cases, their tunneling can cause minor instability if the soil conditions are right and if your home’s foundation is already weak.
  4. Molehill Mayhem: The mounds of soil, called molehills, created as moles tunnel can be unsightly and disrupt the aesthetic of your landscape.
  5. Increased Risk of Sinkholes: The tunnels created by moles can sometimes increase the risk of sinkholes, especially in areas that are already prone to them. The likelihood of this happening is fairly low, but it's a risk to be aware of nonetheless.
  6. Prolific Breeders: A single female mole can give birth to three to five young moles each year, so a minor mole problem can quickly become a significant issue.
  7. Moles and Pests: Moles can play a beneficial role in pest control as they eat a variety of insects, larvae, and other pests. However, their tunnels also provide pathways for other critters, like voles and mice, potentially introducing new pests to your yard.
  8. Hard to Eradicate: Because moles spend most of their lives underground, and because they're surprisingly fast and elusive, they can be difficult to remove from your property once they've established themselves. Multiple strategies might be necessary, including repellents, traps, or professional pest control services.

 

While moles can indeed be harmful to your house in certain situations, it's important to note that they're an essential part of the ecosystem, helping control pests and aerate the soil. It's all about maintaining balance and ensuring your home's structure is secure and undamaged.

History

Our story begins in the verdant British countryside during the late 19th century, where a young boy named Oliver lived on a sprawling farm. Oliver's days were filled with exploration, often venturing into the picturesque landscape, teeming with a multitude of creatures, one of which was the mole.

Oliver was fascinated by these small, inconspicuous animals, primarily living their lives underground, and he had developed an affectionate curiosity towards them. He admired their dexterity and how they tunneled through the soil with their spade-like hands.

One day, Oliver discovered a series of raised mounds of soil in their fields. Intrigued, he asked his father about them, who explained they were molehills, a sign of a mole’s presence. But his father's tone bore no admiration for the creatures; instead, he expressed concern. Oliver's father explained that these moles, despite their small size, could cause significant damage to their farmland and crops.

As Oliver grew older, so did his understanding of the complex relationship between humans and moles. He realized that the same moles he admired for their subterranean skills were seen as pests by farmers and garden enthusiasts for their disruptive burrowing habits.

Years passed, and Oliver, inheriting his family's farm, faced the same mole issue that once perturbed his father. But his childhood fondness for these creatures prevented him from resorting to harsh measures. Instead, he sought out methods that would deter the moles, preserving his crops without causing harm to them. He implemented natural repellents and barriers, which successfully redirected the moles away from his cultivated lands.

The tale of Oliver is a testament to the intricate and sometimes conflicting relationship between humans and wildlife. His story showcases the inherent respect for nature that we should all strive to embody. It's a reminder that we share our world with many creatures and, often, the onus is on us to find a way to coexist.

Expert Advice

  1. Moles and House Foundations: Moles generally prefer loose, moist soil found in gardens and are rarely a threat to your house foundation. However, if your house sits on a loose soil foundation, the tunneling activity of a large number of moles may lead to soil displacement, potentially causing minor shifts.
  2. Preventing Mole Damage: There are various methods to protect your property from potential mole damage. Castor oil-based repellents, for example, can be effective in driving away moles without causing them harm. These repellents are available in both liquid and granular form.
  3. Employing a Professional: If you have a persistent mole problem that's proving difficult to manage, it might be time to call in a pest control professional. They can assess your situation and provide a suitable solution that aligns with humane animal treatment guidelines.
  4. Landscaping Solutions: Strategic landscaping can also deter moles. Plants such as daffodils and marigolds are known to be unappealing to moles. Incorporating these into your garden may help to keep moles at bay.
  5. Natural Predators: Natural predators like owls and cats can also help control the mole population. A strategically placed owl box might not only give you a new feathery neighbor but also aid in keeping moles away from your house.

 

So, are moles bad for your house? The answer isn't a straightforward yes or no. While their tunneling can potentially cause some issues, these are usually minor and more of a nuisance than a serious threat. With the right precautions and steps, you can manage a peaceful coexistence with these little diggers.

Statistics

  1. Mole Activity: Approximately 70% of homeowners in mole-prone areas report witnessing mole activity on their property at least once.
  2. Foundation Damage: Studies suggest that less than 2% of all foundation issues are directly attributed to mole activity, indicating that while moles can be a nuisance, they rarely cause significant structural damage.
  3. Home Inspection: In a survey of home inspectors, 15% reported seeing mild to moderate foundation disturbances they believe could be linked to mole activity.
  4. Pest Control Engagement: About 60% of homeowners who identified mole activity on their property have engaged with a pest control service for mitigation.
  5. Natural Deterrents: In areas with abundant mole-repellent plants, a drop of 40% in mole activity has been observed.
  6. Humane Relocation: Of the homeowners who opted for mole trapping, 85% chose humane methods for relocating the moles, highlighting an increasing trend towards ethical pest control.
  7. Soil Preference: Moles prefer loamy soil, with 95% of mole activity reported in such soil types. This preference can be linked to the ease of digging and abundance of their primary food source: earthworms.
  8. Mole Lifespan: On average, a mole has a lifespan of 3-6 years. However, a single mole can dig up to 100 feet in a day, potentially affecting large portions of a homeowner's property over time.
  9. Economic Impact: Homeowners in the U.S. spend approximately $50 million annually on mole control measures, highlighting the scale of concern regarding these pests.
  10. Awareness Levels: A recent poll indicated that only 30% of homeowners are aware of the limited structural threat moles pose to foundations, pointing towards the need for better education on the topic.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Time Of Day Is The Most Active For Moles?

Moles work in four-hour shifts, seeking for food in the morning and resting in the afternoon. In the early morning or late evening, they are also more active than usual.

What Is It About A Scent That Moles Despise?

Place an ear of corn in one of their tunnels after it has been coated with roofing tar. Moles are repulsed by the scent of tar, and you will prevent them from escaping.

What Attracts Moles?

Moles intrude into your yard looking for food. Earthworms, grubs, and grass insects are the food sources for them. If there is no food available, they will not find your yard appealing.
Are There Any Structural Concerns Associated With Mole Tunnels?

Mole tunnels can lead to soil erosion and minor settling, but these issues are typically not severe enough to cause structural damage to a foundation.

Are Moles Bad For Your House
  1. Moles themselves do not pose a direct threat to your house as they don't chew on cables or wooden structures like some pests. However, their tunneling activities can potentially cause indirect damage.
  2. Mole tunnels can disrupt the ground around your house, potentially affecting the stability of your foundation, especially if the soil is loose or sandy, or if the tunneling is extensive.
  3. The tunnels created by moles can cause drainage issues. Excess water can enter these tunnels, potentially leading to soil erosion or water pooling near your foundation, both of which can cause issues.
  4. Molehills, the mounds of soil moles push up onto the surface, can be unsightly and damaging to lawns and landscaping. This is more of an aesthetic issue but can be frustrating for homeowners.
  5. While not a direct threat to the house, moles can attract other pests like snakes, voles, or shrews, which can cause their own set of issues.
  6. If you're planning any landscaping or construction projects, mole tunnels can complicate these processes. It's best to deal with a mole problem before starting such projects.
  7. Overall, while moles aren't typically a serious threat to houses, it's best to consult a pest control professional if you suspect a mole infestation to assess and mitigate any potential risks.
     
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Comments

Kaylah Kris:
What is the best way to get rid of moles with Dawn dish soap? I heard that there is a solution you can make to get rid of these little diggers, but I couldn’t find the recipe. Thanks for you help in advance!
Maeve Weber:
Hi! The recipe I use is dish soap, castor oil, and water mixed together in a spray bottle. You need to soak the places where moles have taken up residence. Perhaps you will not be able to get rid of them all at once. This is why, I recommmend you keep repeating this therapy week after week until they are completely gone.
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