The Q&A Archives: Mounds of dirt, bulbs being eaten, moles?

Question: I have been finding mounds of dirt in my flower beds. Upon examination, I have noticed many of the flower bulbs to have been eaten. My question is do my flower gardens have moles and if not what type of pest do I have? I would like to rid my property of them before I plant my vegetable garden. <br><br>Thanks,<br><br>Tim Young

Answer: Moles don't usually eat plant matter, focussing instead on insects. Rodents such as mice and voles use their tunnels like a subway, and they do eat roots and bulbs. The culprits may well be gophers...and I'm afraid there's no getting rid of them, only living with them. A good way to foil them is to plant your garden in a cage! You need to excavate the garden area to a depth of 18-24" and line it with an underground barrier of hardware cloth. If you splice pieces of the hardware cloth together to fit the space, be sure to overlap them to prevent a chink in your garden's armor! Overlap the corners as well. A great side-effect of this effort is a well-areated soil - you can use it as an opportunity to mix organic matter into your garden!If you are concerned about the amount of work involved in dealing with these subterannean critters, take more time to get a solid ID on the pest. Your extension agent (ph# 702/784-4848) can help you with this piece of the project. We can help you with other, less drastic suggestions if the culprit is a mole. Good luck!

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