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need help with moles

Benton, KY(Zone 7a)

My poor mother has colonies of moles tearing up her yard.
this has been an ongoing battle for the last 5 years.The neghbors think it's funny.

I need your advice on what to do to eliminate them...or at least get the population under control.

Before everyone jumps in with their 'sure fire' method,let me tell you what hasn't worked.

They love Juicy Fruit gum...And Spearmint, and Cinnamon.
We had every dog in a 5 mile radius donate hair to put in the runs. They nested in it! Got human hair from a beauty shop...they liked it too.

We have flooded the runs with the garden hose.
We have dusted the yard with Spectracide to kill the grubs.
We have a 'spear' made from an old flathoe and it works.You just have to stand there till one starts working(yeah,we know..noon)
We have mole traps,and they get one every now and then.

She lives on a busy country highway,so a dog will get killed by a car(and has)Cats get pancaked too.

Poision peanuts don't seem to be effective.She's been soaking them in antifreeze lately.

So you all see...this is now a mission.We have declared war.

She has about an acre and a half that she mows.Everything on both sides and in back are fields.She lets the hay be harvested each year ,so there are no other yards close by.

Now for your input...what_can_ we_ do_????

Saint Helen, MI(Zone 5a)

What kind of mole traps do you use?
I had lots of moles and traps did work for me until I bought one that looks like 2 "U"s. I can't think of the name. The box it comes in has a funny shape.
The traps will only work if you know the main tunnels the moles use. What I did was flatten a spot on each tunnel and see which ones they repaired and which ones they didn't. Set the traps on the ones they use.

Milo, IA(Zone 5a)

Melody: Moles do not like the smell of castor bean roots, they hate the smell. Their are other plants that deter moles, one is called gopher spurge, I beleive. Castor beans are easy to grow. If she wants to try them, let me know I have seed you can have for a sase.

Milo, IA(Zone 5a)

Melody: The plants name is Euphorbia Lathyrus [mole purge].
I had moles last year and planted the castor beans around the garden, didn't see a sign of them after that, we have 3 acres. I hope she finds something to help, they can do alot of damage.

Glasgow, KY(Zone 6a)

First, the moles are probably infiltrating from the surrounding fields. Second, the plants Sari mentioned are supposed to work, and "crown imperial" bulbs are supposed to work also, because of their scent. Finally, what has worked for me best so far was a gimmicky looking thing called a thumper. It's a green plastic thing that runs off off D-cell batteries that I got from Michigan bulb, Gurney's or something like that. Makes a noise that really bugs them, I guess. But it worked like a charm. We had field mice, voles, gophers and rabbits and since using it, we haven't seen a single one.

Richmond, KY(Zone 6b)

There are several styles of mole trap on the market. Some easier to use than others.

However, one or two traps isn't going to do it. You have to put out quite a few of them---at least one per each active burrow you can find.

The most effective are the ones that actually go into the burrows. But there more difficult to set, because you have to actually bury them. Surface spear types can be effective, but they take a lot of work to set properly. And I'm always concerned about having them where pets and lifestock can get tangled up in the spears.

Rather than buying all those traps and going through the bother of setting them, you might consider hiring a nuisance trapper. Your state fish & game department can give you a list of names and numbers.

Benton, KY(Zone 7a)

All of the ideas so far sound good,it's just that we are dealing with 50 or more main runs,and who knows how many moles.

We have used the product 'Mole Med' that is supposed to be made from plants that moles can't stand.And used lots of it.
Dosen't seem to affect these varmints.

The mole traps she has are the kind that are set with a spring and it has spear like prongs that are on the surface.
These are supposed to puncture the run and hopefully the mole too.We have at least 10 of these set at all times.

Sari,can you find out the name of your trap for me?

Also,has anyone used the electronic pest 'scrammers'? I'd invest in some of them if I thought they would help.They're just too pricey for speculation.

I've seen the thing that sourdoughpete mentioned,didn't think it looked too promising.Glad to hear that someone has used it with success.I think I've got a Gurney's catalog laying around.I'll take a second look at it.

Saint Helen, MI(Zone 5a)

It's called NASH MOLE TRAP
Look at it at they have a picture of it. search on "mole trap". I really worked for me. BTW Kmart and Walmart sell them.

Greenfield, IN(Zone 5b)

I have mole problems too, the neighbors cats (lots of them) don't seem to help. The house was empty for 3 years befored we moved in. I just ordered Mole-Med from Gardens Alive! Well, now I hear it doesn't work. I used the coupon on the front of the catalog, so its free. I will probably buy a few choker loop traps, they don't seem as dangerous as the spear type since I have small children. We had a ton of Japanese Beetles last year & I've noticed damaged grass, I assume from the grubs. So I will remedy that also (even if it doesn't help with the moles.) Once we moved in & started mowing, the mole activity declined. I've only seen a couple runs in the back, but since winter hit I've noticed a few runs out front by the road (maybe they are visiting the neighbors). Trial & error I guess. Julie

Benton, KY(Zone 7a)

Thanks everyone for your help. It's great to have gardener friends!

I think what we should do is concentrate on keeping new moles from moving into the vacant runs of the moles we kill.

karma_Happy_Toes...thanks for the input.Maybe I ought to try the gopher purge.We have done the castor beans with no success.The garlic sounds intresting too.If I can keep the perimiter free,then maybe the traps can catch the rest.I'd be glad to send you a sase for seed.

By the way Brook,I called a retired game warden friend and he's going to go out and see what he thinks.We've got to set coon traps too because they are destroying her bird feeders.

We never had wildlife problems when we were living at home.The neighborhood was full of kids and pets.We kept horses and had our barrel racing field right out back.There were bicycles and all sorts of activity.Now all the kids are gone and it is a neighborhood of retirees.

Ocklawaha, FL(Zone 9a)

Sourdoughpete has a good idea, but don't spend money on it!!! My Grandpa made these things called "Whirley-gigs"....everyone thought they were useless, tacky lawn decorations, but they were good for driving the moles nuts. He started out making the airplane from the beer can, with propeller, and then went to cutting the pieces from tin. My mom has one, it is simple, not fancy, not very pretty either, and it sure makes a heckuva squeaky metal against metal sound...but those moles hate the sound! It keeps them out of her flower beds on the whole side of the house. When the wind blows, it makes the propeller go around (It is very similar to the pinwheels we used to have as children) only made from metal. Will take a picutre of my mom's tomorrow if you haven't found anything better and will post it.

Waynesville, MO(Zone 5a)

I just read something on this...outdoorliving from betterhomes.A couple for New York says"don't use poison.moles are good,they eat grubs and churn the soil.Too many are trouble.Control the numbers by useing 1 cup castor oil,1 quart water and one tsp dishsoap.Pour this into the underground passages."

I don't think it is to kill them,just control.How about making them "a garden of there own".can not beat them,make them there own!LOL


(Zone 5a)

I've heard dog fur (you can get from a groomer), or dog poop. Just put it in the holes.


south central, WI(Zone 5a)

This will be a new one and of no use in your population; but I kept a watch on the runs and when I saw the earth move. pushed a spade in behind and used a shovel to scoop the mole out and into a bucket, I then took him to the sanctuary, where he will be a part of Nature's plan. The second time worked even better. This is because, I did not run out in my robe and slippers,stumble out of the slippers and fall on the spade in the dirtiest part of the yard (under the birdfeeder), cutting open my knee-before scooping him in the bucket. The first had to wait in the bucket until I got back from the ER with stitches and antibiotics. I think I made the best story of the day for them. My neighbors have one of those thumpers and I think they come over for peace and quiet and the grubs and seeds. I do not recommend my plan as a really useful one for that many moles, the thumper may work better, also the year we got rid of the beeetle grubs=no moles.

Saucier, MS(Zone 8b)

We have used everything you have listed. With no luck!! Our County
Agent said to treat for Grub Worms
that is why the moles are everywhere.
They feed on these Grub worms. So lawns need to be treat. We have 6
acres, would cost us a ton of money.
We have Castor Beans everywhere, Smoke
Bombs, Traps( 3 kind), Wind mills that
rattle te ground, dog's & cat's, you
name it we have tried it. You have to get those Grub Worms, then the moles wll leave.


Valley Falls, NY(Zone 5a)

Honeybee is RIGHT! It IS the jap. beetle larva they're after. Best ORGANIC way to treat the grubs...."milky spore" comes in powder form and you spread it like grass seed in the spinner. It's kind of like dehydrated, ravenous, microscopic critters that LOVE to dine on beetle larva. They live in the soil for 20 yrs. Well worth the investment to rid yourself of moles & japanese beetles!

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