killing moles

Has anyone suffered from mole infestation (in the yard) and successfully been able to rid themselves of the annoying little rodents?

I know cutting the food supply is the best approach, and killing grubs is fine by me, but I’ve been unsuccessful in killing grubs with commercial products like Grub-ex.

I would love to hear of your experiences with them, what worked, what didn’t work, and how you were finally able to rid your yard of the destructive mole?

SFP (Death to Moles!)

Stomp down all the mounds in your yard and get in the car.

Go to your favorite old-man’s hardware store and get yourself a can of calcium carbide.

Next day, take the dirt off of any new mounds to expose the opening of the burrows.

Pour in about 1/2 cup of the calcium carbide rocks, pour a bucket of water into the burrow. The rocks will start to smoke (acetylene I think), cover the hole with a brick or something that will make a reasonably tight seal. Repeat with each burrow opening.

This will work until a new population of moles moves into your yard, but that usually takes about 6 months to a year.

The biggest part of moles’ diets is earthworms anyway, so killing grubs won’t kill their food supply, and you don’t want to kill earthworms, because they are part of a healthy lawn’s ecosystem.

Where do you get calcium carbide at the hardware store?

There’s only one way to get rid of a mole.

My question too.

I used to get it here.

Haven’t had to get any in a lot of years. Could be the pansy politicians have made it illegal?

What was it used for? Was getting rid of moles the official use? I’d love to get a chunk of that stuff to play with.

Calcium carbide is what you used in old time miners/cavers headlamps.

Pretty cool stuff. You put water on rocks and you get acetalyne gas out it.

Army/Navy surplus stores used to carry it pretty regularly as well. If you REALLY are desperate, some caver equipment suppliers can still get it for you.

It used to be what the early cars used for headlamps too. Acetylene headlamps

Moles are VERY fast at plugging/sealing their burrow when a threat is sensed. I tried some of the ‘smoke bomb sticks’ and got a few kills each time out of each 10-15 attempts (I think) but my success was not all that great relative to the efforts. My moles were the type that made the mounds above where they dug their ‘den’, and no ‘runs’/tunnels were visible. The mound is usually kind of fan shaped and its not hard to figure out where the ‘hole’ was when they were excavating.

I had best success with using a largish spoon to carefully hand-dig out the plug until I hit the open space (usually around elbow deep) and I then dropped in that Zinc(?) stuff (iirc, comes in a conical/yellow plastic container with smallish pellets of the product. Forget the actual name, but it is common. You must close up the hole carefully to be light-tight or the moles move elsewhere and dig another den. I used a sheet of paper (junk mail, actually) over the hole with dirt across it, fwiw.

For the moles that do their tunneling just barely sub-surface, I have had good luck with using a small diameter poker (pencil works) and poking a little hole into a ‘run’ then dropping in a few dozen pellets and covering afterwards without disturbing the run. To find an active run, I barely mash down parts of the tunnel roofs with my feet and after the mole pushes it back up (from reuse/repair of tunnel, usually within 24 hours, IME), that is where I drop the poison pellets. And pray to the dead-mole God fervently.

I just noticed this Spring’s first mole-signs this morning, so I need to get busy. I almost forgot to mention that the mole repellent stuff (stinky fluid moles detest, think its castor oil?) is not too bad to use for small yards, especially if your purpose is to keep 'em away from certain areas.

Do hardware stores carry spelunking equipment? I know how it was used, I just had no idea what hardware stores would carry it for. Are carbide lamps even being made these days?

Gruesome, but effective.

Prior mole threads: Mole control? - Factual Questions - Straight Dope Message Board , Are cats effective at catching moles? - In My Humble Opinion - Straight Dope Message Board

There are a bunch more older than these; I got tired of picking the mole = animal threads out from the mole = skin defect threads after 6 pages.

There’s always the vacuum truck method for dealing with subterranean mammals.

For more entertainment (long), I recommend How to kill evil Nazi Groundhogs. Do not read while attempting to consume beverages.

This looks like fun:

My dad would use those “stabby spike” traps like above. Also, sticks of Juicy Fruit placed in their holes.

A modern one like Lowe’s or Home Despot? No.

An old style Hardware store that carries just about anything that isnt food, you might find it/them there.

Keep in mind that carbide cap lamps are a very nice way to produce light, even for non spelunking purposes. I imagine coon hunters for one used them for night hunts not so very long ago. The light they give off is much “nicer” and less of a hassle than candles or oil lamps. They were probably better and cheaper in some ways than battery operated lights not so long ago either.

If you do an internet search for carbide lights or cap lamps or miners lamps you can probably find em somewhere.

Moles are insectivores.


I was so happy, sitting here watching the snow melt … did you have to remind of what I’m gonna see under there?

The first thread LSLGuy linked to was mine … see lots of my failed methods there … like, killing the grubs means the moles have to travel farther to find enough worms to eat, therefore, more and longer tunnels … I dream of the Rodenator.