Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Mole Motel

Back when we had first seen this house, I had noticed that there was a mole problem on the east side of the house. I could see numerous mounds and signs of tunneling near a dead black cherry tree over there. I didn't get overly concerned because I have dealt with moles in the past. But the east side of our house isn't visible to the road or even to us for the most part and I let them be even after we moved in.

Then last week I noticed that the mole, or perhaps another mole, had moved into the front yard on the south side of the house and judging from the excavation, was building a hotel under our front sidewalk. Not wanting to have moisture and then freezing/cracking problems later due to a sidewalk now over a mole motel instead of solid dirt, I decided to draw the line. I bought a couple containers of mole poison and set off to poison the sucker. Each day, I would go out to inspect for new signs of activity only to see tunneling along another three feet of sidewalk complete with huge mounds of dirt every foot or so. I would poke holes into the mounds down into the dens which extended quite a ways under the sidewalk and dump in more poison. This continued everyday for a week until the damage now extended down more than a dozen feet of my sidewalk.

Somewhere along the way, during my war against the mole, I decided that if a mole this hard to eradicate was a sign, I needed to get rid of all moles and went after the one in the side yard. I'm not sure if it was the same mole that had just left for my motel sidewalk or if I got him in the first shot but one dose of poison took care of that problem because I haven't seen any activity out there since. Out front, this will be day two of no activity if I haven't seen any new diggings by nightfall.

If I do see activity, I'm not sure what I will do. I have thought about sticking a garden hose down one of the holes and flooding the sucker out but as dry as it has been, I'm worried that it might take hundreds of gallons of water just to moisten the dirt enough where it can hold water. Perhaps I'll just cave in and put a sign out by the road advertising vacancies in the mole motel. I would just need to find out what to do with the grub worms that they would inevitably pay with.

Author's Note: The moles came back on day three and I have been battling them for yet another week. Yesterday I went out and bought poisoned worms that are gummy in nature and tried those. Hopefully those work better than the white pellets that they are evidently immune too.


warren said...

I had a mole problem in TN...he ripped up a ton of our yard. One day I was lucky enough to see some movement at the end of his tunnel. He was doing his business and had no idea I was above ground right near him. He didn't survive my boot-though-the-tunnel

Ed said...

I've been reading that the pellets are the least effective poison so I have switched to worms. Next will be ultrasonics which is supposed to be most effective but also most expensive. If I could just catch one moving, I would dispatch it with my heal post haste.

sage said...

Call Bill Murray, he can give you some advice on how to handle those underground varmints... Of course, moles are a whole lot uglier than ground hogs

Ron said...

I'd loan you my dog, but either you or I would have to be in an enclosed vehicle with him, and I wouldn't wish that on anyone.

Just a couple of mornings ago, he was out in the garden with a live mole, though. They don't bother me as much as voles... but I don't mind it when the dog finds free food. The day before that, fresh squirrel was on the menu.

Ed said...

Sage - I've thought about Caddyshack more than once these past couple weeks.

Ron - I do need a good varmint dog. We never had moles back at the farm when we had several dogs and a posse of farm cats roaming about. I finally got the darn thing but it took some effort. I think I have a post on that coming up for Monday.