Moles



Mole plaguing us all
You dig in the soil and laugh
One means fifty more

Winter is the time for Aut’s really bad haiku (5/7/5, if you please)
Spring is the best time to zap a labor of moles. (That's actually what you call a group of them, as in "Oh crap, killing these things is going to take a lot of labor.")

The mole isn’t a bad animal. He’s a nuisance. He’s also clever in physical
form, has poor vision and, in the case of the Star-Nose Mole, can eat a juicy earthworm faster than the human eye can process (around 120 milliseconds.) Moles are fossorial or underground dwelling mammals.

Moles do not eat plant roots. They dine on your garden’s grubs and earthworms. You need the earthworms to keep your soil in a prime state. The grubs aren’t of any use at all. The mole tunnels through your soil, often disrupting the earth to the point where the plant roots can’t thrive or to where the soil around the roots doesn’t hold moisture. They’ve been dubbed “lawn terrorists” by quite a few gardeners due to the tunnels breaking up the nice green grass. (You can determine the direction of a run by visually connecting the dots of up-heaved soil in a line.)

We’ve all seen video of placid fat moles scampering over tables or carpets, waddling through yards or held gently in the hand. Not all moles are docile. They can and do bite. They might take on a larger animal such as a cat or dog. Like a shrew, they have sharp and pointy teeth. If you really must handle a live mole please make certain that your chosen critter is not sadistically pissed off at that moment. (continued after video clip.)



How to rid your yard of them?

Poison works but can have an effect on other animals, especially those who might eat the dead mole.

Traps are lovely. Humane traps are much better. Most mole traps are not humane.

Wear gloves when you handle the trap so that the moles don't smell any human scent. Check the traps periodically as moles have plenty of runs and you might have stumbled onto an old one.

Smoke bombs, pipe bombs, grenades and claymores are effective but tend to scare the neighbors.

Shotguns. I have a personal issue with this method. Most people do not take the time to verify that it is a legal extermination method. The pellets in the mole’s body might be ingested by another animal. Depending on the ammunition, you can damage underground pipes (especially old pipes buried shallowly.)

Any sound method might spook your moles away for a week. New moles can detect abandoned tunnels and move right in.

No matter how many moles you kill (or catch and release) you can bet that there are plenty more to take their place. They don't obey fence lines at all; absolutely no respect for property lines. One mole in your yard might indicate twenty in your neighbor’s property. You’ll do nothing more than rid your yard of the current tunnel occupants.

”I’ll dig out the parameter of my property and pour two-inch thick concrete barriers!”

Moles do move above ground, you know. One small step for mole-kind; one giant leap for a pregnant mole sow in need of a nursery.

Mole, damn you odd beast
You’ll fear my traps and poison
Die die die die die!


On a lighter side…

I like moles. I really do. I’m fond of shrews as well. This is something that I don’t often admit, given the fact that tiny beasts took over once the dinosaurs died out. I’m currently working on a book involving these animals (with a lemming thrown in for good measure.)

Roadchick inspired this post, by the way. She has mole woes. I wish that I could send her a copy of The Killer Shrews. That is an infestation. It might cheer her up to know that these don't live in her yard.

3 responded with...:

Roadchick said...

It wasn't so bad when they confined themselves to the back yard. Now they're moving around to the front, and that is not allowed. My neighbor has a dachsund that would dearly love to help with the problem, but she creates as much lawn damage as the moles.

~sigh~

As much as I hate it, I'm going to have to kill the grubs. I can't afford enough traps to make a dent in the infestation.

I'm actually all for the shotgun method, but I suspect that the neighborhood association would frown upon that solution.

N'tran said...

I'll have to remember the word fossorial.
Descriptive.

N'tran

Autrice DelDrago: said...

N'tran! I've missed you!