One little mole run didn’t appear to be a major problem. I told myself it was just one of those nusances we all run into in life. I just had to figure out a way to deal with them. I started with a mole trap that when nudged dropped a spike into the run spearing any mole that had the bad manners to tunnel onto my property . It sounded mean but fast, and it caused no lingering pain like with poisons. The trap didn’t work for us though. It was too hard for me to pull the spring-loaded lever into place. My husband tried to help but he couldn’t get it to work either. I ended up taking the unused trap back to the hardware store.
My neighbor told me to drop a piece of ex-lax or chewed gum into the run. I tried the ex-lax but it didn’t seem to help. By the time I waited to see if it had worked the mole run had expanded and I found another run nearby.
A friend told me to drop mothballs into the run. She didn’t say how many mothballs to drop or how far apart to put them. I didn’t ask because at the time I had already dismissed the idea. It didn’t seem likely I’d stand there like a statue with my shovel raised waiting to whack any mole that tried exiting its home.
I read that moles feast on grubs. Get rid of the grubs and the moles will go away. I’m a gardener though and anything that kills grubs will also kill earthworms. I crossed another solution off my list. Maybe we can co-exist. I gave up for awhile and thought about something else. Big mistake! The moles continued to move further into my flowerbeds. Soon they were uprooting my daylilies with their constant tunneling.
My husband got involved when he noticed the grass was getting pushed up in the lawn. Deprived of moisture and nutrients the grass above the run was starting to die. The ground was also getting chewed up by the mower blades. Everytime he passed over a mole run in the lawn a little bit of grass and dirt got ripped out. Before he could mow the yard, he had to walk over the mole runs to level the ground first.
Now working better as a team we decided to try solar spikes. Not sure if they would work, we’d hesitated earlier to purchase them. They cost about $20 a piece. Frustrated from a longer period of concern, I was ready to buy half a dozen whether we could afford it or not, but my husband assured me that we only needed two.
We placed one spike in the front yard and one in the back. Then we had to wait for the sun to charge the batteries. It didn’t take long though before we could hear a humming sound. The hum lasted for several seconds, then it would stop briefly, then start again. The sound is magnified underground so the moles are tormented by this annoying sound all day and all night. The batteries last a couple of days once charged so they continue to hum at dark or in rainy weather. The sound is supposed to be too irritating for the moles to tolerate, so they abandon their home and take up residence in your neighbors’ yard instead. Since my neighbor had complained of problems with moles before they showed up in my yard, I didn’t feel too bad about sending them back to her. If the spikes worked, I’d be sure to tell her about them.
After a few days I found runs with holes in them where the moles had exited. I was so relieved I ran inside to tell my husband, “They’re GONE! The moles are GONE! The spikes are working!”
He was so excited he had to see it for himself. We walked around the yard and I pointed out the exits. I danced a little dance of joy and my husband started stomping down the raised tunnels to level out the newly abandoned runs. We were mole free! mole free at last! My plants in the garden and the grass in the lawn soon started showing signs of recovering. The petunias that had just been hanging on began branching out, and they filled the bed with their wonderful lavendar and purple blooms.
We were mole-free for most of the summer. In October, though, I noticed a run at the far edge of my flowerbed. I moved one of the spikes closer to the run and the mole appeared to abandon it within a day or two. My husband and I decided we would need to buy at least one more spike next year to secure the outer boundaries of the yard.
The problem with solar spikes is that you can’t leave them in the ground during freezing temperatures. I had to remove them when it got cold and though the ground isn’t frozen now I can’t put them back until the threat of freezing is gone. Without the irritating noise, the moles have moved back into our yard again.
Moles have their young during the winter months so I’m looking at an explosion of moles by the time spring gets here. I have way too many runs popping up outside already. I don’t like using poisons, but I don’t see any other possibilities right now. When the threat of freezing disappears I’ll buy a couple more solar spikes to extend the outer boundaries of my yard. Things have gotten so bad I’m now embracing the notion of mothballs and a shovel. Anyone care to join me in a game of reality whack-a-mole?
- How to get rid of moles in your garden (telegraph.co.uk)
- How to get rid of Grubs and Japanese Beetles (levahnbros.wordpress.com)