Mole control as a business

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by METRO FS, Oct 11, 2012.


    METRO FS LawnSite Member
    Messages: 48

    I have recently completed a mole control manual and DVD aimed at starting and operating a profitable mole trapping business either full time or as an add on service to an existing lawn care business. I will not go into details so I do not violate the advertising rules of the forums. However, I would like to guage the interest of members of this forum to see they would be receptive of this type of business opportunity. If there is enough interest I will commit to advertising on LawnSite with full details and price. Please let me know what you think - Thanks.
  2. Toro 455

    Toro 455 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 238

    I tell my mole eaten customers to get some Talprid mole bait. I'm not licensed for vertibrate pest control so I can't do it for them.
    I had a large mole colony in my own back yard. My wife bought some off brand mole bait. With one worm she wiped out the entire colony.
    You may want to consider getting licensed for vertibrate pest control.
  3. agrostis

    agrostis LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,545

    How can mole control be a full time job ?

    METRO FS LawnSite Member
    Messages: 48

    Moles are considered nuisance wildlife and in some states no special license is required to trap them. For example, in Missouri & Arkansas no special license is required to trap them. In Kansas a simple test is all that is needed to get a permit. Other states may have their own regulations regarding nuisance wildlife. Keep in mind that moles are insectivores and not rodents and poisoning is relatively ineffective. In some states it is legal to poison rats and mice but illegal to poison any other animals.

    Also, moles do not live in "colonies" as some believe. Moles are solitary animals creating and living within their homerange. Just one or two moles can create a significant amount of damage giving the impression that there are more.

    As far as mole control as a business it is a niche business that is in great demand in various parts of the country. As in lawn care you have a group of clients that take pride in their lawn and realize that it is an asset. They have invested heavily in sod, landscaping, irrigation and maintenance and don't want moles destroying it. Just like lawncare you are providing a needed service that the customer is willing to pay for. There are various service plans that can accommodate most customer's needs and as you build your client base each year you receive service requests from both new and previous clients. Just do a quick search for "mole removal", "mole control" or "get rid of moles" in your area to enlighten yourself a bit more on this type of service. With mole trapping and removal you are able to set your own schedule - rain or shine. Also, some of the peak trapping times are during your slow times so it helps supplement your business. As you build your route you are generally checking your traps every 5-7 days. This should coincide with your mowing schedule. The more traps you have set the greater the percentage of mole captures. So, if you have customers with mole damage you can profit from it or give the money away and refer it to an area mole trapper - like me!
  5. hdtvluvr

    hdtvluvr LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 511

  6. herler

    herler LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,139

    You better know your stuff because customers with horror stories of folks who came out and charged good money with great promises who in the end turned out to be totally incapable of getting rid of the moles for good are at least as abundant as these miracle cures, just as well off start doing your research because if you promise a customer to do something and you are long gone with their money by the time they realize the result was nil, I can promise you that will put you out of business faster than that rodenator gets rid of the first pest.

    Clue you in, they're not that easy to get rid of.
    We're talking folks who have spent anywhere from $60 to $600 and the moles are still in their yard,
    these folks are no longer dealing kindly with anyone but known and licensed practitioners.

    Then guys like me will do it for a whole lot cheaper than money anyone's thinking of making.
    Tell you what, Harbor Freight's got this little solar mole chaser for like $10 that seems to work as well as anything else I've tried.

    Here now I like the way this guy's talking, it's a story to get anything done but at least it looks like someone knows a thing or two and once again that is always the first step, find out what all is involved.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2012
  7. Toro 455

    Toro 455 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 238

    Thanks for the compliment....But I can't take credit. To maintain my pesticide license I have to take refresher courses in my field. I had an extra hour so I sat in on verteribrate pest control because I had moles in my yard.
    These classes are given by professors of agriculture from Ohio State University, one of the finest horticultural research facilities in the nation.
    What I took away from the class was thet mole chasers are worthless, trapping is ineffective, controlling moles by eleminating grubs does not work. What does work is mole bait, IF you follow directions on the box.

    Like I mentioned, I'm not licensed in that category. If I'm caught working in an unlicensed category I'd face fines, possible jail and loss of license. I won't even kill moles in my OWN yard. Had my wife do it. We had moles so bad there were sections where the ground would cave in under your feet. Deep burrows, not just surface feeding tunnels. With one application she wiped them out. With the leftover bait she killed the moles in the neighbors yard. $16 at Lowe's total cost.
    I'm just trying to give Metro a heads up. There are better cheaper ways to control moles. Go to Lowe's and look for mole bait. Maybe they don't sell it in your state. If they do you may have to stick to trapping skunks etc.

    METRO FS LawnSite Member
    Messages: 48

    "You better know your stuff because customers with horror stories of folks who came out and charged good money with great promises who in the end turned out to be totally incapable of getting rid of the moles for good are at least as abundant as these miracle cures".

    EXACTLY... and that's why anyone offering the service needs to have the skill set necessary to solve the mole problem. Believe me, I have heard many, many stories of wasted time and money from customers that hired companies to eliminate their mole problem with poison with no results (as well using sonic repellers and other gizmos). By trapping you effectively remove the lawn damaging mole and have proof of it. Not to get into a big debate, but the poisons do work IF the mole eats it. However, when a mole detects an unnatural substance or something that doesn't belong in their tunnel they will dig around it, push it out to the surface or just plug the tunnel. If you use this approach on moles there is no way to prove the mole is dead when using various mole baits or poisons. Keep in mind that any credible and professional lawn care provider is aware of the risks of drift and run off when using pesticides and fertilizer. There is also a risk of secondary poisoning when using these various mole baits and poisons as well. Another draw back of using Talpirid for example is that it can be rendered useless in two simple ways - rain and humidity can break down the bait faster than normal conditions and chemicals that are applied before or after (within a few days) of applying Talpirid can affect the bait by contamination, ie., irrigation and lawn treatments. This in effect would generate call backs which reduce profits. Another point - if Talpirid is so effective why did Bell Labs introduce their own mole trap?

    There is an entire industry built around mole trapping and manufacturers and developers are constantly introducing new products and there are even franchises available that specialize in mole control. Trapping is still said to be the most effective means of mole control and all you have to do is take a moment to wrap your mind around it to realize the potential profit you can add to your existing business.

    These topics and many more are discussed in the handbook. My goal with this thread was not to get off topic but to simply address a subject that seems to crop up intermittently. At this time I respectfully ask that only those that are interested in "mole control as a business" respond to the thread. To debate methods or for other questions there are other threads we can do that on.

    BTW - skunks are the smell of money! ;-)

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