Anyone who owns a pet will be an animal lover, and as far as animals go, dogs are considered man’s best friend.
And with good reason. They’re fun, fuzzy, cuddly, and they love to play in the yard.
But what happens when a not invited but equally fuzzy animal shows up on your property and starts wreaking havoc.
Pests have been a constant cause of complaint in most households.
Surprisingly, for most dog owners, they usually have another complaint in relation to their pests problems.
And that is their dog won’t stop digging the yard after them.
Does that mean that your dog can sniff out or smell pests like moles even when they’re underground?
This question and even more will be answered in this article.
How to know if your dog has sensed a pest?
To answer the question, “Can dogs smell underground pests?”
The answer is yes, and dogs can sense the presence of pests even when they’re underground.
Dogs have an extremely heightened sense of smell and hearing, and it’s these senses responsible for them being able to detect underground pests even before they surface.
When your dog has sensed the presence of a pest, it’s quite common that they’ll start exhibiting some rather strange behaviors like:
- Your dog might be on high alert; for example, its ears might be standing trying to pick up sounds
- Dogs tend to sniff out something that seems out of place, so you’ll probably notice your dog sniffing around the place
- Barking comes next, most likely at several different spots on the ground where they most likely have detected the moles.
- Digging is the last behavior they exhibit as they try to find the pest.
It’s advised that you also be on high alert when your dog has detected a pest as your dog might take it upon themselves to chase or catch these pests.
While most pests rarely have any diseases they can pass on to your dog, there is also the possibility of your dog contracting rabies.
Plus, all that digging is going to have your dog leaving a dirt trail all over the house for you to clean up.
A short history of dogs and pest control
According to the history books, dogs have been used for pest control for years now.
It all started with peasant farmers who trained their dogs to chase away underground burrowing pests that will spoil their harvest.
In fact, the fashion of using dogs for pest control grew so much that dogs were being bred for that particular purpose, for example, the Jack Russell terrier.
That’s why some dog breeds are particularly skilled in sniffing out and catching these pesky rodents.
Regarding the others, while it’s not advisable for your dog to be left unsupervised while they are chasing down underground pests like moles, there is still the probability that your dogs can be trained to adapt them to catch pests better.
The alternative is that they might not have luck catching any moles or other underground pests or, they might get hurt in the process.
How to prevent underground pests from entering your yard?
To prevent your dog from digging after or chasing underground pests, you have to get rid of these pesky rodents in the first place.
There are several pest control options open to you to help you prevent your dog from going out to chase these pests by taking care of them beforehand. All of these work fine:
1. Yard Treatment
Yard treatment is using chemicals to rig your yard of the rodent’s source of sustenance, i.e., their food supply.
No food supply means no rodents in your yard.
However, some of these treatments can be harmful to your dog.
To prevent this from happening, you should do your research and opt for non-lethal options.
Commonly known as underground fencing is an effective way of keeping moles out of the yard by installing a deeply rooted fence around the entire perimeter of your property.
3. Planting garlic
Moles do not like the smell of garlic and will not be likely to burrow underneath your property when they perceive that smell.
4. Destroying mole holes
If underground pests have already invaded your property, the non-toxic way of getting rid of them is by destroying their holes.
You can do this by pushing the mounds of dirt into the hole to fill it up.
Your dog is most likely obeying its instinct when it chases pests and rodents.
And while you, as its owner, might find it problematic, it’s nothing to be worried or stressed about.
It is important to note that you should also keep a watchful eye on your dog if you notice it in “hunting” mode to prevent them from getting themselves hurt.