Critter Control: Moles
These little critters tunnel up to 200 feet per day and eat constantly. Moles will starve in a few hours if not fed, so they are constantly on the look-out for food.
Their presence indicates good, fertile soil. Their burrowing aerates the soil, and carries surface soil and water down to the subsoil. With their voracious appetite, they can consume up to 200 sawfly cocoons each day.
Moles can literally destroy a lawn or garden overnight with their digging. They particularly like seeded areas, recently excavated areas or those areas next to rocks, borders, and beds.
Lots of insects, particularly grubs, and worms. They can consume their body weight in food each day.
Their raised ridges, three to five inches wide, crisscross the lawn and garden in a zig-zag manner. Huge mounds of soil with no entrance holes magically appear out of nowhere. Mole tunneling destroys grass/plant roots because anything in the ridge areas is uprooted and therefore, dries out quickly. Also, mice and voles use the runs to dine on your delectable plants.
- Without an ample food supply, moles soon look for
food elsewhere. So get rid of their food—soil insects. Apply a Milky Spore disease (Bacillus popillioe), Diazinon, or Merit® grub control at the recommended rate. There are a couple of problems with this method:
- it takes about a year to work, and in the meantime
- as their food supply dwindles, moles dig even more to find food. So the digging gets worse before it gets better.
- Use one of the mole baits containing zinc phosphide for quick, easy and effective chemical mole control.
- Liberally apply one of the commercial repellents, like my liquid Mole Repellent, for fast, easy and safe control.
- Leave the burrows raised and add paradichlorobenzene (mothball) flakes or the fungicide thiram to the runs every six feet.
- Daffodils, spurge, and castor bean plants, strategically placed in your garden, all act as mole repellents.
- Stink them out of house and home by applying my All Purpose Pest Prevention Potion: 1 cup of ammonia, ½ cup of dish soap, ¼ cup of castor oil, and ½ cup of urine in a 20 gallon hose-end sprayer. Saturate the runs, and water in well.
- Stick numerous tin windmills, similar to children's toy pin wheels, or “Mole Chasers” into the ground. The vibrations from the rotary motion underground drive them crazy. The wind whistling over the tops of pop bottles does the same thing.
- The blood of moles does not clot—they bleed to death even from slight wounds, and avoid being scratched. So push small thorny twigs (raspberry, rose, barberry) down into the runs. Broken glass, kerosene, and human hair will also work.
- Used kitty litter is effective in signaling that predators are lurking about in the area.
- Trapping, using an old fashioned spring-activated harpoon, a choker loop trap, or a scissors-type trap can also be effective. The best time to trap is in the early spring when the first burrows are seen or after the first fall rains. Find active burrows by rolling or tamping down the ridges, and watch for those that are raised again. These are the ones where the traps should be set. If a trap is not sprung in 2 days, remove and relocate it.