Mole control?

Anybody have some words of wisdom on how to prevent the tremendous amount of damage moles are doing to my yard? Nearly half the yard is like walking in a spongy marsh or a freshly plowed field, tunnels everywhere.

The history: There has always been the occasional mole now and then, taken care of with a trap.

A few years ago we had a major grub infestation in the area and the mole population exploded. Initial research said to get rid of the moles, get rid of the grubs. GrubEx and Milky Spore solved the grub problem but the mole damage got worse. Further research said, yeah, now the moles have to travel farther to fill their bellies so they do even more damage.

Researching poison baits said moles don’t eat those little pellets but dogs and cats do, so passed on that and bought the new (very expensive) rubber worm-like mole bait … still have to locate the active tunnels, just like using a trap, and then stick the $2 worm under the ground and hope the mole eats it … meanwhile the little bugger is still tunneling a couple hundred feet a day while trying to find him … Buried $24 worth of rubber worms with no visible effect.

Tried the smoke bomb things. Still have to locate the active tunnel which can take several days while damage still going on. Eight smoke bombs = one dead mole.

Saw the cat stalking a jiggling patch of grass and got one with a pitchfork. Very satisfying but not the, uh, final solution.

My dad said he had two neighbors who applied something to their lawns and watered it in that forced the moles to the surface and they picked them up, put them in a shoebox, and used for fishing bait. Both guys are dead and dad can’t remember what they said they used. Anybody heard of something like that?

I assume those electronic stakes that are supposed to drive the moles away are probably about as effective as the Rid X things on the infomercials that the critters they are supposed to repel end building nests on top of the device.

Only thing that actually works so far is the trap, but that can days to find the right spot and these guys do a lot of damage in the meantime. Considering the windmill contraption as the next thing to try.

Anybody got anything?

the straight tunnels which are used repeatedly for transit are the places for the traps. the meandering tunnels for feeding may not be revisited and is not a good place for traps.

in an area you can easily see, stomp down a half a foot or so of tunnel. if you see it raised up again in a day or three it is an actively used tunnel and good for a trap.

Got any dynamite?

Or perhaps a mallet?

Spring loaded traps are about the only effective method that I know of. You will need to get a couple of them. Stomp down a spot on transit (straight line) mounds, set the trap and wait. It may take a while to get all of them – and you need to get them all. Just thinning the herd doesn’t help.

You can ask around for a mole hunter. Almost any town has one or two older guys who have the traps and the expertise. Around here the going price for a mole hunter is $7.00 per kill.

Mrs G’s grandmother was a demon mole killer. She followed the three spade system. She would go out barefoot in the dewy early morning and when she saw or felt one moving one spade went in its path, the second to block its retreat and the third did the little bugger in. It was effective but it required an awful lot of time and effort. The old lady seem to get quite a bit of pleasure out of it. A three mole morning chippered her up for the whole day.

Yeah, I have the trap technique down … problem is it’s so time consuming to walk an acre and a half, stomp down and mark a part of the straight tunnels, then wait to see if any of them come back up … and then set the trap … and all the while there are a few hundred feet of new tunnels every day. Maybe more traps. /sigh

It’s really bad this year. Every couple of weeks I have to drag the roller around to flatten the whole mess and get a fresh start. Hoping somebody comes up with a nuclear option or a preventative measure … I’m surrounded by woods so there are always more to come.

I’m the type to catch bugs and flies in the house and put them outside but I can definitely understand the grandmother mole killer’s glee … the most satisfying one I’ve gotten rid of was with the pitchfork.

I have 2 cats. Any mole activity is short lived, and they end up on my dining room floor. At least 4 this year alone. I’m not trying to sound flip, but I’d get more cats if I were you.

Or snakes, or just cozy up to someone who keeps 'em. Maybe stuffing snake skins and dirty snake bedding down holes will convince them to move on to safer pastures. I have no idea if this works with moles or not, but it seemed to scare the pants off NajaGramp’s occasional gopher colonies.

Three cats and a Dalmatian patrol the property; I do get the occasional offering of a field mouse left on the doorstep but so far only one mole.

Been doing more research … The new gummy worm type poisons seem to work but are very expensive (bury a $2 worm every 10 feet in active tunnels and hope a mole eats it) and require the same time consuming tracking technique to locate active runways as trapping. Older grain based poison pellets aren’t the kind of things moles are attracted to; they eat only live wormy / grubby critters, and since they are fastidious about keeping their tunnels clean they sometimes actually push the poison bait out of the ground, where it becomes a danger to pets and kids. Moles have also been reported to push the electronic vibrating stake things out of the ground.

Some people do get results with spraying the castor oil and soap solution based repellents but it is a temporary measure, needs frequent repeating, and is expensive … looks like nearly $100/month for my property.

Digging a trench two feet deep around the property and filling it with rocks, concrete or chicken wire … nah.

It appears most of the home brew methods, moth balls, Juicy Fruit gum, urine, etc., that some people report having some success with are most likely more due to the fact that the moles just decided to move to a new hunting area rather than any actual effectiveness of the method.

From what I have seen on university agricultural extension sites and the professional pest removers it sure looks like traps are the way to do it … other gadgets and potions pretty much receive glowing reports only from the sellers.

More traps, I guess … and I still might try one of those clattering windmill things on a steel pole, more just for fun than from any actual expectation that it will work.



Oh, man … beautiful. I want it.

I had a co-worker who claims he got rid of a huge mole problem when he got a Jack Russell terrier. I hear Dachshunds are good mole hunters as well.