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 Silver Surfer
Hello, Two weeks ago we had 168 square metres of turf laid to replace the previous front lawn, which was a total mess, and it looks lovely BUT we have what appears to be an Army of moles working their way all over it. Only one molehill above so far, but lots of splits where the joins are. As well as that we have hundreds of Crane flies which are probably laying their eggs in the lawn, as we found Leatherjackets in the ground when the old lawn was removed. Can anybody tell me what we can do to get rid of both moles and Crane flies please?

You can use Nematodes to kill off the leatherjackets - it needs to be applied when the soil temperature is 12C or above.

As for the moles, did you have moles before the lawn was laid?  I don't think that splits in the joins are necessarily indicative of mole action.  

If you do have moles they're probably after the leatherjackets so getting rid of them will hopefully send Mr Moldy Warp looking for lunch elsewhere. 

star gaze lily

We get them in the back garden now and again, they seem to go along to our neibours too causing havoc in many gardens. I'm afraid some of our neibours have had someone in to get  rid of them, it does the trick for a few months but they seem to return.



Dove - did you read the Alison Uttley 'Little Grey Rabbit' stories too? 

Never met anyone else who knows them.

Sorry - off topic!

The splits are probably just from lack of water, or turfs not being laid tightly enough together Silver Surfer. Has it been very dry?



 moles sometimes make runs just under the surface leaving a low line of raised soil. This would push up turf. I've never tried to stop them, Idon't have a lawn, I have some grass


Apparently, moles absolutely hate noise. I have read about a method in a gardening magazine here that apparently works. Knock some metal/iron rods about 8 inches deep into the ground in the area where the moles are wreaking their havoc. Hit something regularly against these so that quite a loud sound is produced which spreads underground. One must, however, do this quite frequently, so it works.

Sounds daft, I know, but may be worth a try.


Nutcutlet said: "moles sometimes make runs just under the surface leaving a low line of raised soil. This would push up turf."

But would they just run along the joins of the turves - surely turves are laid in a Stretcher Bond like in a brick wall? Silver Surfer referred to "splits where the joins are" .  Can't imagine moles zig-zagging 


Moles are solitary animals, except when they get together in Spring.  It will be one mole at this time of year.  The splits indicate lack of water or as others have suggested the turves were not packed tightly enough.  The Autumn rains will sort the lawn out for you, but not the mole.

 Silver Surfer
Thank you all for your replies.
Dovefromabove - Yes there were molehills, but on the other side of the fence, and just before the turf was laid we did notice some bumps along the sleepers where the edge of the grass is now. We have been watering it almost every day, apart from when it rained, for the past two weeks.
The splits are only in that part of the grass nearer the sleepers along the edge of the front border.
We have got two battery operated gadgets buried in the border on our side of the fence, which vibrates every now and again, but that doesn't seem to have put it off.
I had better get some Nematodes before the weather turns colder.

Well I am very sorry Silver surfer,b ut getting rid of moles is well nigh impossible. I have tried every method ever suggested on any website and nook and TV. None of them work. Scissor traps will catch them if you can find the run as opposed to the shallow feeding runs. Here the runs are below a thick layer of rick rubble, so are almost impossible to dig down to.

I have been told that running a pipe from the exhaust on the lawn mower or leaf blower would put carbon monoxide into the run and as it sinks it would kill the blighters. Sadly I have not yet found a way of attacking a pipe to the machines.

And before the flak starts about killing things, try explaing to visitors why the Iris garden is dead, or the £250 Daphne Jacqueline Postil died. Or worse still rushing the elderly womean to hospital when she sprained her ankle when the mole run collapsed uner her foot.

In a garden this size we think there are three seperate moles and they are slowly destroying it.

star gaze lily

We've never tried this, but have also heard that pushing broken glass down the 'hills' could work as they are little'bleeders'  For their size they cause alot of trouble in the garden. I've almost hurt my ankle a few times walking down our garden.


Does not work. They just dig a new run next to the one with the glass  in it. Our Damson Wood is on the site of an old household dump, they tunnel through that and bring up all sorts of glass and metal,

Woodgreen wonderboy

No experience of moles, thank goodness, but have suffered leatherjackets... crane flies lay their eggs in recently disturbed ground and laying a new lawn would qualify. If you can get through this first season , or the nematodes work, you should be OK from now on. best of luck with your efforts.


OH 'rescued' a cranefly in the house this evening and carefully carried it outside to free it in the garden unharmed 


 Silver Surfer
I've sent for some Nematodes today, and we have some granules containing Caster Oil to sprinkle over the area, when we can walk on it - which is supposed to be another week yet. I don't think we will wait that long.
Our neighbour said that if we get traps he will set them for us, but at the moment we're not happy about killing wildlife, only to taint/remove its food supply.
The Craneflies are another matter - we go around the bungalow every morning and a couple of times during the day and swat them to Cranfly heaven. Lost count of how many we have sent there.

Woodgreen wonderboy - how did you deal with your craneflies & leatherjackets?

Berghill - we have been told that each mole has its own territory, and that if we kill this one leaving the area mole-free, another mole may take the area over. It is soul-destroying though when you've spent a lot of money in a garden for this damage to happen.

It does not help that the fields all round us are full of them as are the roadside verges. I counted over 100 hills in one small part of the field this afternoon. Only just been seeded with wheat too.

Seen more crane flies this year than ever before. There is so much recently ploughed land here that they rarely lay their eggs in the garden.

for the moles if you buy a musical card from the card shop and take the little music maker off it and put down the hole in a small plastic bag (to stop damp) the noise drives the moles away.tried and tested and it works.


Woodgreen wonderboy

I used nematodes... quite a few years back now and I can't remember the actual details but all neighbours in new houses with new lawns had the same problem and we all sprayed at the same time and... bingo, it worked for all of us. Subsequent years you will see crane flies but they are not laying on your land.

 Silver Surfer
Thank you Woodgreen wonderboy (love the name). I'll keep my fingers crossed that the nematodes work for me too.

tom9760 - great idea, I'll try to find one with a really boring tune!!

Berghill - my husband had already thought about running a pipe from the car exhaust down the run. He can think again!!