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How to cure a Mole problem

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Green Masters, Mar 1, 2005.

  1. Green Masters

    Green Masters LawnSite Member
    Posts: 42

    Two of my accounts have a major mole problem. One of them wants the yard redone which I plan on doing in the fall. For now what is the best way to get rid of the moles?
  2. southernsprayguy

    southernsprayguy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 129

    Mole traps.
  3. Nikon Shooter

    Nikon Shooter LawnSite Member
    from KY
    Posts: 5

    Spreading lime on a yard will get rid of the grubs which is what the moles are there after...
  4. kickin sum grass

    kickin sum grass LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 628

    I needed a good laugh. Thanks
  5. grass disaster

    grass disaster LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,583

    dynamite, lots of dynamite
  6. Don's Fresh Start

    Don's Fresh Start LawnSite Member
    Posts: 1

    I have heard the statement for many years that if you get rid of the grubs the moles will go away. That is not true. The main source of food for moles are earthworms and other soil insects. Moles will forage when they are finding any food. The best way for getting them out is to trap them.
  7. southernsprayguy

    southernsprayguy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 129

    That is the funniest thing I have ever read. Please, by all means, don't take this idiots advice. Use the traps.
  8. all ferris

    all ferris LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,307

    There is a gel bait on the market called Kaput (at lesco) that I have been using and it seems to work. And if that dont work I have a dog that will sit and watch for the ground to move and then he digs them up. The dog plays with them til they die. The down side to the dog is that he makes hole in the yard and I think the moles can dig faster than the dog.
  9. sailinstud420

    sailinstud420 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 343

    here is a little voodoo magic to try on them...

    I have heard that if you take bubble yum chewing gum, chew it up, and stick it in their troughs/holes they will go for it and then it kills them. My friend claims it works like a charm
  10. leadarrows

    leadarrows LawnSite Senior Member
    from N/A
    Posts: 925

    The following methods are the most effective for the control of mole damage in lawns.
    I. Direct Killing
    For Eastern moles, flatten the tunnels and then identify those that are repaired the next day. Flatten them again and check them periodically through the day to see when the moles are active. This is often late morning or early evening.
    When a mole is observed pushing through the tunnel, it may be killed with a shovel or similar instrument. Diligence and patience are required for success. This method rarely works on the starnose mole which burrows too deeply into the soil to be seen.
    II. Trapping Moles
    Eastern Moles - Trapping is the most effective method of mole control. Carefully place traps in active tunnels (i.e. those that were repaired 12 to 24 hours after being flattened). Work the harpoons or jaws of the trap gently through the soil to insure smooth penetration.
    If traps are sprung prematurely, remove a small piece of sod from under the trigger pan to delay the action of the trap. If moles burrow around a trap, the soil has been flattened too tightly or part of the trap is projecting into the tunnel and is alarming the mole.
    Be sure no light can penetrate into the tunnel near the trap.
    Starnose Moles - To trap starnose moles, locate an active tunnel by flattening the mounts of soil. Mounds that are pushed back up in 24 to 48 hours are over active tunnels. Beneath one of the mounds, dig a hole 4 to 6 inches deep to the bottom of the tunnel. Refill the hole with enough soil to cover the tunnel and then set the harpoon trap in the hole.
    If the trap is set in an active tunnel, it should catch a mole within 24 to 48 hours. If not, reset the trap and check for problems such as light getting into the tunnel or the trigger mechanism need adjustment.
    III. Repellents
    There are several repellents available that seem to work quite well on the Eastern mole. These products are Castor oil based. When they are spread on the ground and watered in, they are an irritant to the mole. This causes them to stay out of the treated area from one to three months. One product, Mole-Med, gave excellent results on 25 of 26 lawns during a recent study at Michigan State University.
    Treating bulbs with the repellent thiram prior to planting may repel moles for several weeks. It soon washes off as rainwater moves through the soil around the bulbs.
    IV. Reducing Mole Food Sources
    Moles are insectivores. They feed insect larvae such as grubs but a large part of their diet consists of earthworms. The use of insecticides to reduce the food supply especially in light or sandy soils may help reduce but will not eliminate mole populations. It tends to have little effect on heavy, clay type soils.
    Insecticides such as diazinon, dursban, etc. should not be used unless high levels of insects such as European chafer grubs are causing lawn problems. Routine use of insecticides on lawns for "prevention" purposes should be avoided. Studies indicate that this kills off predator insects that keep certain lawn pests under control naturally.
    Any insecticide treatment will have limited effect if only one section of the mole's burrow is treated such as a single yard in a neighborhood. Moles will continue to burrow through treated areas in search of food. Also, moles will eventually move back into the area from adjacent open fields or wooded areas.
    Control Methods With Limited Effectiveness

    Smoke Fumigation - Smoke fumigation using specially designed cartridges for mole control is difficult. The key problem is treating a wide enough area with enough cartridges to be effective. All parts of the tunnel must be treated simultaneously. Many mole tunnel systems are so extensive that this is not practical.
    Vibrating Devices - Devices such as electrical vibrators or plastic windmills which send slight tremors through the ground will repel moles. Unfortunately, each device has a very limited range of effectiveness so the average yard
    would require dozens of them to be effective. In the case of electronic devices, this gets expensive. Hundreds of yellow whirling plastic flowers in the yard would be unsightly.
    Cats - Cats may kill the occasional star nosed mole but more often, they catch small, grey animals called shrews. These animals are actually predators of young moles so killing them may actually add to the mole problem. Also, cats seem to choose to be mole catchers or not. Nobody knows how to train them to go after this pest.
    Poison Baits - Baits registered for mole control such as pellets treated with arsenic and zinc phosphide are either ineffective or unreliable. Fresh baits tend to work better than those that have been setting on the shelf for long periods.
    Control Methods That Do Not Seem to Work on Moles

    Home Remedies - Mothballs, spreading lime on the soil, chewing gum, broken glass, exhaust fumes and flooding the tunnels are not effective in controlling moles. People have tried all manner of techniques over the years but, in controlled studies, only trapping, direct killing and Castor oil based repellents worked.
    If anyone comes up with a quick, easy, inexpensive way of ridding the home lawn of moles, please let me know. We will share the riches.

    Source: Michigan State University

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