HELP !!! I HAVE MOLES ! ! !

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8a)

Please, over night I have gotten four more mounds. What is the best way to eliminate moles. It has to be dog friendly but I hate these stupid mole holes and mounds. Suggestions please. I can't believe I am getting them now. Is there a reason that they start digging when it is colder then a witches booby. I don't get it.

Lake Stevens, WA(Zone 8a)

I had a terrible mole/vole problem several years ago. There seemed to have been a population explosion around here, and my cat had retired from hunting. There were lots of threads about this at the time. I tried various things from Lowes. The one that seemed to work is pellets of castor oil (various brands available). On the lawn I spread it with a fertilizer spreader, and hand-tossed it around in the gardens. I had no moles for 2 years, then last month a few burrows popped up again. I spread the castor oil again, and (fingers crossed) it seems to have worked. I can't see how your dog could get into it at all. It's not a bait, they apparently do not eat it but it repels them. I can't guarantee it- often after a population explosion there will be a crash, so this might have been coincidental.
Good luck!

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8a)

Thanks mlmlakestevens, I will check into that.

Vashon, WA(Zone 8b)

I also had a severe vole population explosion a few years ago, and they are still around, just not in record numbers. So I think your castor oil pellets probably do have an effect. I may try that, if you are sure they are safe to use around pets.

Seattle, WA

Always good to hear new solutions. Moles are irritating if one has a nice lawn. Fortunately, I don't!

Camano Island, WA(Zone 8a)

Ha! Too funny! That's my excuse, too! :-)

Lake Stevens, WA(Zone 8a)

Now they are burrowing in my yard again. I think I will go get more of those castor oil pellets!
Here is a friend's yard in January. Zillions of molehills.
Really they are just helping aerate my hard clay, right?

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Springfield, OR(Zone 8a)

Mlm, that is exactly what a landscape contractor told my stepdaughter. He actually called moles "beneficial!"

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8a)

Okay gang, I have just found a new cure for my mole problem. Juicy Fruit Gum. YEP! good ole Juicy fruit. Depending on your problem you are going to need several packs of gum, like maybe a couple dozen. You take and cut it into lengths on the long side and put it just inside the hole and lightly cover or not. They love it and it does them in. Sorry mr. mole but your digging in my yard is over. I won't even miss you. Am I so awful. It has to be Juicy fruit. ???? not sure why but thats the word.

Lake Stevens, WA(Zone 8a)

Did you actually do this?

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8a)

Neighbor did and it worked great. I am going to get me some Juicy fruit tomorrow. Will let you know.

Sierra Foothills, CA(Zone 8a)

OK, please let us know. I have heard that one before, but I have not tried it.

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8a)

WELL, so far so good. I placed the gum in five holes after clearing away the dirt and finding the tunnel. I cut the stick of Juicy Fruit in half lengthwise and pushed it down into the hole. That was four days ago and so far no new holes. Hummmm..... keeping my fingers crossed and the neighbors don't have any new holes either. Sounds like a winner to me.

Grants Pass, OR(Zone 8a)

Interesting idea. I have not tried either castor oil or juicy fruit before. I am thinking that these may be gophers instead of moles. It appears like there are plugged holes in the mounds that Mimlakestevens posted pics of. Here is a link with good ID info: http://www.thegopherguy.com/pages/pestid.html

Moles are insectivores so it seems unlikely that they would be attracted to juicy fruit, but who knows.

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8a)

I know these to be moles. Have seen them as gifts from the neighbors cat and also the one that my dear friend that passed who owned this house that we live in now that she shot with her service revolver. She splayed it out for the other moles to see so they would be forewarned that this would be their outcome. Hahah.

Lake Stevens, WA(Zone 8a)

That link was helpful, with nice photos. I think I have moles and voles-I have conical mounds, plus some nice holes without any mound, and the squishy places they mentioned. When I had hunting cats I would get "gifts" of voles, and the occasional mole (and other creatures) but never anything that looked like one of those gophers.

Grants Pass, OR(Zone 8a)

Glad it helped. I figured out that I have both. :/

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8a)

Guess his Juicy fruit ran out of juice. He came back for more or his cousin did.Of course its pouring rain right now so I can't go out to give him more just now. Worked great for a week or so.

Lake Stevens, WA(Zone 8a)

I don't know if it worked. It seems to me that moles will sporadically build a new tunnel, creating the mounds, then spend some time feasting in the new area before tunneling again. This is how it seems to work here anyway.

Grants Pass, OR(Zone 8a)

mlm, that seems to be the way it goes here. Gophers will do that also, digging up everything in the yard for a few days or weeks then all of a sudden all activity just stops for a while. I suspect that they just quit making new tunnels and feed on their stashed veggies for awhile.

SeaTac, WA(Zone 8a)

I have a serious pest problem that has just exploded in my gardens! They are all over and getting worse :(. My dog has been eating whatever it is and one day had a big bite mark across his face that I had to take him to the vet for.. My problem is I am too much of an animal lover to deliberately try and kill something, but the way that the holes are getting worse and invading I know it's becoming a problem.. The tunnel system seems to be along the sides of my property, mostly in my border beds and not in my grass. They also seem to run along into under my deck/patio.. I think moles must have made the tunnel system originally because there was mounds at first, so I read to live with them you scoop the excess dirt and they won't create more mounds and holes because you do not block their original ones. But, the new holes seem to be smooth and not mounding.. so another animal must be living there?

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Lake Stevens, WA(Zone 8a)

Hmmm, I am afraid it may be a Basilisk. Those are big holes. And pipes (This is a Harry Potter reference, to a gigantic poisonous snake).

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8a)

My husband knows all about the Basilisk and which movie. He tried to talk apostle tongue to our moles but they didn't answer. They must have their own language and it isn't the same as the Basilisks.
I just started noticing the tunnels too, but I am too sick to do anything about it right now. Can't hardly type much less walk or hold a piece of Juicy Fruit gum. That did work when I used it last summer.

SeaTac, WA(Zone 8a)

HAHAHA! lakestevens that is SO funny!

So I have been hunting my yard with a flashlight to try and catch what the animal may be in order to help solve my problem.. I caught a racoon swimming (or walking depending on how shallow he was it was dark) on my beach under my dock! He looked like a juvenile (under 1 year) but still pretty big. I also caught a rat trying, but failing, to go up my bird feeder.. but couldn't because of my baffle.

I am having a tough time thinking the racoon makes such a intricate underground system.. and would have thought raccoons would have eaten rats.. I am sort of afraid to investigate holes further if it is racoons.. but am all for trying the juicy fruit gum, my one worry about the gum is that is may harm my hummingbirds. I watched this youtube video of a person saving a hummingbird stuck to gum on the ground! I have a few families of hummingbirds that live in my trees right above!!

Lake Stevens, WA(Zone 8a)

Ros I agree to be cautious if it may be coons-they will bite if cornered, so don't look too close. Come to think of it, the same goes for basilisks-you can look but only if your eyes are closed. Those of you who don't read childrens books please forgive my juvenile humor. I just can't help it.
Maybe we at DG should all go together and buy a wildlife webcam, to be loaned out to each other. I wonder how much they cost.

Sierra Foothills, CA(Zone 8a)

Oh, what a great idea!

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8a)

With the juicy fruit gum, you slice it in half lengthwise and push it up into the hole with a stick or long poker of some sort then you close off the hole. The moles will eat the gum and go away and I don't want to know what happens to them so long as they are gone away from my yard. Sorry mole lovers. You shouldn't find any remains in your yard. Usually there are no remnants but best laid plans sometimes will fail.

Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

Here in WY we don't have either moles or voiles. When I lived I NY during the 70's, particular Long Island, moles were common. My landlord hired someone to get rid of moles with a trap placed in the main hole. He caught them. Most likely you can buy traps and do the job yourself. The traps kills them.

I love wildlife also but not at the expense of lawn and plants. Luckily I don't have them. I did have a young rabbit that appeared suddenly last summer. Lived on grass and weeds but didn't want to take a chance on loosing expensive plants. Bought a trap on Ebay baited with lettuce and carrots. Caught it right away and turned it loose out of town.



SeaTac, WA(Zone 8a)

Speaking of wildlife webcam.. My neighbor found some night vision binoculars a long time ago and I remember him telling me when I first bought my house 3 years ago he could see animals in the bushes very clearly.. maybe I will ask to borrow them from him to figure out what exact animal it is living in the holes!

I wonder if rats have the same result on the juicy fruit gum as the moles? I just need to make sure I know what is exactly living, because I have spotted racoons and big rats now and possibly mole holes? I want to make sure I plan the best way to force them out!

I was researching the best ways to deal with this and in Washington state it is illegal to use rat traps.. I thought that was strange because in Oregon and Idaho you can? Apparently poison or smothering with smoke is listed as an option, as well as just coexisting. I tried the coexisting but that just made things worse. Also I am so against poison with my neighbors having outdoor cats and my dog, along with falcons/birds in the area! I don't know if I could personally smoke them out and smoother them, but maybe that would be the most humane as they would just sort of quickly suffocate? I never thought in my life I would be contemplating genocide of something on my land!

I have been taking 5/8 gravel and filling the holes or covering with larger rocks (after I ran out of all my clay pots that I was covering the holes with by sort of burying the bottoms down). I have seen 1 big new hole since that I covered, so at least it is slowing down the new holes and or making it more difficult for the animal to run freely underground until I figure out what they are for sure.

I took a photo of my clay pots in the hole, you can see how deep the clay pot is.. and how wide it is.. the holes are SO big :(

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Vashon, WA(Zone 8b)

Gads! That must be basilisk!!! Vole holes are only about 2 inches in diameter at the most. you will have to learn parseltongue, or whatever that snake language is called, immediately, to save your plants and animals form being turned into statuary.

Lake Stevens, WA(Zone 8a)

Check out todays Seattle Times article in the Gardening with Cisco column-he says he tried lots of things and one that did help is pouring a blenderized slurry of mint leaves down the holes!

SeaTac, WA(Zone 8a)

Thanks for suggestion on reading the article! Very interesting!!

Here is the copy and pasted article for anyone interested..
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Keep moles out

Even though Washington State University researchers say trapping is the only effective way to rid our gardens of moles, several years ago Washingtonians voted to make trapping moles illegal.

Ever since, gardeners have had to rely on folklore remedies to try to repel moles. The problem is figuring out which, if any, home remedies really work.

Iíve experimented with some and found most to be ineffective. One popular method that didnít work for me was to stick a piece of double bubble gum down the mole hole. Evidently the mole is supposed to chew the gum, before blowing a huge bubble that pops and suffocates him.

Some folk remedies were totally disgusting. Even if it works, no one is going to talk me into putting dog-doo down the mole hole. Iím not all that keen on visiting my local barber to collect hair to stuff down there, either.

A caller to my radio show actually recommended pouring gas in the mole run. Needless to say, I was horrified by the environmental consequences of that suggestion.

Although most folk remedies failed to pass muster, one that worked for me was mint. See if my recipe works for you by running a couple of big handfuls of pliable mint stems and leaves through the blender with just enough water to make slurry. Then mix the blended concoction into a large soup pot half-full of water. Bring to a boil and simmer for at least 20 to 30 minutes. This will make a concentrate that can be diluted to make about 6 gallons of mole blaster.

Pour the diluted mixture into mole holes whenever mole activity is detected. The moles evidently hate the smell of mint and, if all goes as planned, the varmints will pack their bags and take up residence in your neighborís garden.

The key to success seems to be persistence. Moles donít give up prime property without a fight, so be ready to apply another round of ďmint mole blasterĒ any time new activity is noticed.

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I started to notice animal tracks on the top of my grass.. in the photo I posted you will notice there are some brown curved lines that are running from holes in the ground to my fence..

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Lake Stevens, WA(Zone 8a)

Major highways :)

Grants Pass, OR(Zone 8a)

Do you have ground squirrels in your area? I really like the wildcam idea mlmlakestevens.

SeaTac, WA(Zone 8a)

I have squirrels, but grey ones!

Grants Pass, OR(Zone 8a)

Moles typically don't come above ground, and they don't leave their holes open. So.... That's why I was wondering about ground squirrels. Gophers will leave open holes also and the Western Pocket Gopher is a pretty big guy and can make a hole nearly 3 inches in diameter, which is nearly as big as the grey ground squirrels I have seen further north in western Oregon.

Bellevue, WA(Zone 8a)

Castor oil is wildlife friendly, it can be consumed internally or rubbed on your skin to help draw out toxins (usually you start with the bottom of your feet and can work up to rubbing it on your stomach - caution - you need to wear an old cotton t-shirt or socks which may end up with permanent dark stains). I would guess that the smell of it would permeate the soil and make it somewhere that they are not interested in hanging out.

I have also heard of putting peppermint oil on a piece of cotton fabric, then putting it in the holes to drive them away (ideally a strip of bed sheet tied around a landscape staple which is driven into the ground inside the opening of their tunnel). The objective is to keep the smell there without them being able to remove it. A mint slurry would serve the same purpose.

So I am guessing that they are very sensitive to smell and that if you make your yard 'unpleasant' for them (could be considered minty-fresh in other circles) they will move away.

I will have to try these too, I have some sort of burrowing rodents in my yard too. I have not seen any new holes in some time, so I am guessing that they either left, or are not insectivores...or they are getting a regular feeding (most likely of my precious earthworms) without the need of additional tunnels.

Lake Stevens, WA(Zone 8a)

I saw a billboard in Everett that the Everett Home and Garden Show is next weekend. A featured speaker is a zoologist who studies moles. How does he do that? I am picturing something like an 8 foot tall ant farm. I logged into the website to see when he is speaking, but the site is all screwed up and last years speaker list is there instead of this years. I sent them an email that the website needs updating. If I can figure out when he is speaking and can go, I will report back on what he says.

SeaTac, WA(Zone 8a)

OH MY GOD.. I think I am on the verge of tears. I am so upset. I went outside this morning.. and it looked like my garden underwent an attack of bombs. So many plants shredded and destroyed. I had built a retainer wall all around my house and it seemed to stop the big holes and animal traffic.. and then .. THIS.. (see pictures)..

It's really like a bomb. dirt spray everywhere. Bowl shaped like explosion. 2-3 feet wide in a bowl form and 2-3 feet deep. Not like the other holes, they were clean holes without dirt spray in this way. I thought maybe an animal digging but the dirt spray goes out 15 feet or more in all directions.

I had just finished this bed that took me almost a month of work.. The last picture is what it looked like just the day before..

I know a small hole was in this area before I built the retainer system around my porch (that I dug down with pest designed protection so they couldn't dig underground to bypass). I also put a pathway with pavers and crushed granite to prevent the holes.. I seriously spent a month leveling, building a porch pest protection and retainer, and rain runoff river rock stream for my house downspout.. I also just finished putting 3 yards of compost over my whole yard..

Has anyone had this happen before? I don't know what else to do, but I am 100% getting a night vision camera to catch it, I will save money if I just buy a camera that can do this versus replacing any more plants..

I just about fainted seeing the "bombs" this morning.. I am under attack!

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SeaTac, WA(Zone 8a)

Also, what should I do to the "bomb" sites. If I fill it, will the hole return somewhere else? I am worried this is going to happen again. :(

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