View Full Version : Castoroil for moles??

09-20-2003, 02:46 AM
Someone asked me today if I could get castoroil in large quantities. They heard that spraying it one the lawn will make moles sick and they will leave. Has anyone ever heard of this? Or is it just another myth? If it works then Great!!! Moles are really bad around hear lately. And if castoroil does work on moles where can I get a lot of it?

Hometown Lawn Care
09-20-2003, 06:40 PM
hahaha sure it also kills your grass, and D.E.P will sue you so badly if they ever found out about that...

I know this my oil heater tank blew up and went all over my grass, the D.E.P agent said even the slightest drop can cause at least 3 feet of damage...

We got a heavy fine even though it wasnt our fault.

I don't suggest using it...lol...my opinion

Darryl G
09-20-2003, 10:53 PM
Hometown - Don't you think there's a little difference between diesel fuel and castor oil? Being that one is edible and the other isn't.

Were you thinking he said Castrol oil?

Sorry, I don't know if it works, but I can't help but think that there's some cofusion here.

My wife started using a really simple method for moles this year. Basically find a main tunnel, dig a hole, put a coffee can in the hole so that the top is just below the bottom of the tunnel. Then just fill the can 1/2 way with water and wait for the poor little sucker to fall in and drown. Works like a charm.

Not very practical for customers lawns, but we have beets and carrots from our vegetable garden for the first time.

09-21-2003, 12:04 AM
Actually, the product MOLE MED is castor oil. It is a irritant to the moles and will drive them out of the area if you apply when the moles are present. You must irrigate deeply though, or apply prior to a good rain.

So yes castor oil is safe and will help control mole problems.

09-21-2003, 01:46 AM
Mole Med will work temporarily to fend off moles. Will need to be reapplied on a regular schedule to remain effective. If you are applying for someone to control moles, you are using a pesticide, and you must be licensed and use products registered for such use. Even if you spend the time to figure out how and at what concentrations to apply plain castor oil, it is illegal to sell this treatment to someone else. (Unless you spend the millions of $$ and supply the mountains of documentation and research to get your concoction licensed with EPA and your state pesticide regulatory agency.)

09-21-2003, 03:47 AM
I'm sitting here laughing at my mental image of a yard full of moles, doubled over, barfing their guts out from drinking castor oil.

I had a question about the Mole Med product being a repellant and not a pesticide, but I found the answer. Thanks to Jim, who sent me the website for the US Code on ENVIRONMENTAL PESTICIDE CONTROL licensing, I got this definition...

(a) Active ingredient - The term ''active ingredient'' means -

(1) in the case of a pesticide other than a plant regulator, defoliant, desiccant, or nitrogen stabilizer, an ingredient which will prevent, destroy, repel, or mitigate any pest; So clearly you need the license to apply Mole Med.

Many homeowners use water traps on their own property to contol chipmunks and squirrels. Haven't heard of it for moles, but it makes some sense. Getting rid of the bodies is easy for homeowners with hot compost piles going but for others they sometimes wish they had called in someone else to handle the burials. One guy reported getting 15 chipmunks in one night. I guess they can't tread water very long.

I'm not aware of an organic way to handle moles that would be practical for professionals. Live trapping with something like a Hav-A-Heart trap? Dogs? Cats? Trapping might work for you.

Hometown Lawn Care
09-21-2003, 05:04 PM
ahahahaha I was thinking Castrol, sorry ahahah

09-21-2003, 08:17 PM
I guess according to the definition of a pesticide it would be illigal for a non liscenced person to apply limestone to a lawn because it repels ticks. That makes sense. NOT.

09-21-2003, 09:46 PM
Originally posted by PaulJ
Someone asked me today if I could get castoroil in large quantities. They heard that spraying it one the lawn will make moles sick and they will leave. Has anyone ever heard of this? Or is it just another myth? If it works then Great!!! Moles are really bad around hear lately. And if castoroil does work on moles where can I get a lot of it?

First thank you all for your responses.
I am licensed to apply pesticides but nebraska added a "vertebrates" category lately requiring more licensing. I do not plan on getting this category or combating these critters for pay for customers.
The original question was from my wifes boss who I do fert and weed treatments for. He has a big mole problem and had heard about castoroil and asked if I knew where to get some. Just thought I would ask here. I did see mole-med and some other products in a gemplers catalog that I might show him. I have already had to tell a couple customers that I wasn't licensed to go after moles and wasn't sure what to do against them. I would like to be able to give them some suggestions even if I can't actually do the treatment.

again thanks for the help and if you have any more idead let me know.

09-22-2003, 12:31 AM
What is wrong with trapping, Paul? Especially for a DIYer, it helps to have a carcass so you know you are accomplishing something. Even if you have several in the area, you don't feel as frustrated if you actually see you are reducing the population.

Here's a good doc on moles, if you want to give him something in print: <a href="http://www.entm.purdue.edu/entomology/ext/targets/ADM/ADMPDF/ADM-10.pdf">ADM-10</a>.

09-22-2003, 11:42 AM
That's some great infoon moles. I will show it ot him and save a copy for myself.

So if you can trap one or two moles on a small lawn yo may have them all? I was thinking that one would be trapping forever tryoing to get rid of them one at a time. but that may not be the case?

thanks GroundKprs

09-22-2003, 02:41 PM
Moles are territorial, just like most other animals. Normal area of forage for one mole is about 1 acre, and he will defend his territory. In high populations, may go down to 1/2 acre. So generally, trapping the mole in your yard will eliminate your problem. BUT, when he is gone, another mole can start to use his tunnels, even if you have stomped them all down.

This year, in a new house surrounded by woods, I have trapped three moles in the same tunnel. After I got first one, it took about 3 weeks for another to move in. Got him right away in same location I trapped the first. It was quiet for 6-8 weeks, and last week I noticed tunnel heaved again when mowing, and got the new one. In this location, it is much easier and cheaper for client to trap, rather than spray something like Mole Med repeatedly over an acre and a half.

It takes patience to learn to read the main tunnels, but once you have it, trapping is simple. My best is about two hours after being called on a mole I had him. If your client wishes to learn himself, emphasize that he should just crush tunnels with one footstep in several locations, and mark these with stakes; then check the next day to see where it is pushed up again. This will help to learn to ID the main runways, where you want to set traps.

Generally, moles are not a single occurrance, but a long term problem to manage, especially in outlaying areas or lots near parks or undeveloped lots. Another great info resource is your own UNL: Prevention & Control of Wildlife Damage (http://wildlifedamage.unl.edu/handbook/handbook/). Moles treated here under "Other mammals." World of info on this website on all types of wildlife.

09-22-2003, 04:27 PM
Speaking of moles, I have been a dedicated mole hunter for about a decade now. I have found that the only way to keep moles out of your life is to never allow them to enter into your life for any extended length of time. If your yard becomes infested with these destructive little critters, and are allowed to dig intricate tunnels under your turf, and dig shelter deep under the soil surface, then your battles will never end. And the best way to catch/kill/trap a mole, so homes are not established, is with patience and a shovel.

Moles are hard workers, but would much rather move into an existing home than build a brand new one for themselves. Usually they will try to build a home on your turf because they can't find one vacant. The mole would prefer to eat not dig. They are loners that rarely come into contact with other moles, except to reproduce. So usually the damage that you see in your yard is from one occupant at a time. So, when you see that a mole is sharing your residence with you, send him on his way. Again, do not allow them to establish a home.

Now you can spend your hard earned money on many different cures, chemicals, and contraptions. I haven't found one that is very reliable or efficient. Sure, moles eat grubs and controlling your grub population wouldn't hurt. But, their main food source is the lovable earthworm. Again, the existing shelter and feeding tunnels are the draw, not neccesarily the food availabilty. Your best bet is to catch them while they are active feeding. With their hand in the cookie jar. Moles in Kentucky are active feeding and digging during the 11:00am - 1:00pm hours and the 5:00pm - 7:00pm hours. If they have existing tunnels just under the surface (4" - 10") they will move through these tunnels searching for food. If not, the will dig new tunnels. Now, knowing all this, let's catch them.

To be a successful mole hunter, follow these simple steps. Remember you must be persistant and patient.

#1 Locate any and all feeding tunnels (do this early in the day).

#2 Collapse these tunnels by stepping on them, all of them.

#3 Visit the tunnel locations during the peak feeding times, looking for activity. You may have to do this several times before you locate one (during that feeding time).

#4 When you see activity, look along the tunnel (if you periodically visit the areas this tunnel should be short) for the signs (the ground moving) of the mole.

#5 Once located (being very quiet and light with the feet) place the shovel a few inches behind where he is digging. Then shove the tool into the soil and pop that little guy on to the surface.

#6 Don't let him get away (they are fast). Pick him up with the shovel and place him in a can or bag or something.

#7 Drive the mole to the next county and drop him off on the side of the highway.

#8 Fix your lawn by raking and seeding.

#9 Prepare for the next mole to invite himself into your yard. And yes, you will have more unwanted guests.

If you catch moles before they do much harm to your property, then you will only have to hunt from time to time. If you allow the mole to establish tunnels, and even worse, deep homes to reproduce and spend the winter, then you will find that you have a weekly battle on your hands. A battle that will keep you busy for years to come. Again, destroy tunnels, locate and capture.

I hope I covered the basics. Contact me for any questions, comments, or nasty remarks. HAPPY HUNTING!!!

09-22-2003, 05:19 PM
thanks guys

I'm learnign more about moles then I htought I would. No I have to catch some of the little buggers.

09-24-2003, 12:26 PM
Perhaps in KY you can set your clocks by mole activity, but do not count on specific times to trap moles. The pitchfork or shovel trick is often used by frustrated mole victims, but requires a lot of time. Moles eat up to the weight of their bodies each day, so they take in a lot of food, and that is not done in a couple of hours.

Primary feeding time is during morning hours. Myself and a few others feel that one of the uses of the mole tunnel is for the mole to attract earthworms. Where do you find worms? In dark damp settings. They are active above ground in the open only at night. So after a night of surface feeding, the mole tunnel is a neat resting place. And the mole just runs down the tunnel gobbling them up. Have never seen this idea treated in research reports though. Most of my traps in surface runs are sprung between 6am and 10am.

09-24-2003, 01:32 PM
When I was a kid the parents would go over to the neighbor who had the oleander growing, strip a branch, soak the leaves in gasoline, drop them into the mole hole with a lit match, and cover the hole up.

I don't suppose that would fly with the regs you guys have to obey :D

Green in Idaho
09-24-2003, 08:50 PM
Do you mean like the mole on Cindy Crawford's cheek????


I prefer hunting for gophers!
Great pleasure in taking one of those pesky fellows in a trap. :)

09-24-2003, 09:31 PM
Originally posted by Dchall_San_Antonio
When I was a kid the parents would go over to the neighbor who had the oleander growing, strip a branch, soak the leaves in gasoline, drop them into the mole hole with a lit match, and cover the hole up.

I don't suppose that would fly with the regs you guys have to obey :D


Not only would it not fly with the regulation, It will not kill Moles. The moles just shut off the tunnel with some dirt and go on there happy way.

Green in Idaho

Any man that would prefer to catch Gophers to Cindy Crawford......

Green in Idaho
09-24-2003, 10:12 PM

09-26-2003, 10:09 PM
castor oil never worked for us. gas bombs never worked for us either. Nor did the pellets or anything else but spike traps. Work like a charm. I think I paid $9/trap and at this time, we charge $20-30 per head. We only do it for mowing customers at this time.

09-26-2003, 11:42 PM
OK all, I will give you the Rachael Carson special mole repellent. Mr Jim AKA Groundskprs has stated above that if you check mole tunnels do not stay long the foot steps drive them away. Well search old post and you will find that I have stated many times before that tacky lawn windmills on a wire rod will vibrate and drive them away. No I have no university studies on this only my own experience and many wives tales.

Northern tool sells the introductory Al Gore Electric vibrating mole repellent. They work on 2 D cell battery and should last about 6 months. I have never tried the Al Gore Model but think it will work more than 50% but the Bush's will still win here in Florida.

09-27-2003, 12:33 AM
Hmmm, Deep South = Deep (something else)?

Actually, I never saw any studies on vibration either, but I have seen the windmills work for some people. Years ago when I was starting out, got a client who had never taken care of lawn. She came into some money, and decided to start caring for it, and hired me to mow. She was worried about he moles she had always had, and I didn't know much about them then. I saw evidence of their activity before I started mowing, but never had one come back into her yard for the year and a half I mowed. Always wondered if the new vibration sound (to her mole) of mower made place unattractive to the moles.

Why would windmills work so good in FL? Maybe FL moles are more high strung like the FL people.

09-28-2003, 06:14 PM
Originally posted by GroundKprs
Hmmm, Deep South = Deep (something else)?

Why would windmills work so good in FL? Maybe FL moles are more high strung like the FL people.

Mr. Jim

Florida is 1500 miles South of Indiana Could the Soil, Climate and Economy play a part in windmills working?? Could it be that the Florida Mole is Type A and prefers to eat sweet earth worms. Therefore has many more tunnels. Is it possible that the Type A mole has so many tunnels he needs plenty of help to run them. Could in fact the Type B mole of Indiana be a Slower mover that walks his tunnels slowly alone and therefore can be trapped. While the Florida Type A mole has so many tunnels it is harder to time the trapping. Could it be that the type A mole has so many tunnels that he is more willing to move on if the vibration of the windmills is not favorable. Could it be that the Type B Mole only forage as the University approved Studies have shown. While the type A Mole is likely to forage out side the box on occasion?