Saturday, July 21, 2007

mole patrol

Sometime during the driveway deconstruction, while I was in the house avoiding the noise and dust, a large mound of dirt popped up in the backyard. It was about 6 inches high and about 7 inches in diameter. When I saw it, there were bees swarming around it like crazy. We usually get a bees nest on our front yard, but typically they form a hole, not a mound. However, it looked like they were making it their home. I decided to keep the dogs away so they wouldn't get stung.

While Jeff was still fuming over the broken driveway, I broke the news that we had another problem - a bees nest.

Jeff said, "Well you know what we have to do for that."

My response, "Spray some Raid".

Jeff looked at me like I was crazy and said, "No, we need to pour some gasoline on it and light it on fire."

Now, things were looking up for Jeff - he had an excuse to start up a fire.

We walked out to the yard so I could show him the mound. Jeff's jaw dropped when he saw it, and he said incredulously "bees made that?"

Okay, now even I was questioning how tiny bees could make a mound of dirt this high, plus now there were no bees in sight. I conceded well maybe it was the mole.

Ah, the elusive mole. We don't know if we have one mole or several generations of the mole. Every year though, our lawn is filled with tunnels that we continuously have to stomp on to get rid of. It seems to be a common problem in this area, as I have heard lots of stories of people's moles and strategies used to try and eliminate them.

A co-worker said he used a large roller on his lawn to smoosh the tunnels.

Another says to roll up a piece of wrapped "juicy fruit gum" and throw it in a mole hole. If the mole eats it, apparently it causes the mole's stomach to explode. Only juicy fruit will cause this - don't think I'll be chewing that again for fear of swallowing it by accident.

My mom started to use solar vibrators stuck in the ground to try and irritate them enough to send them to the neighbors.

Jeff's boss sits in a lawn chair at dusk and watches the tunnels. When he sees something moving, he smashes it with a shovel.

Last year, we put castor oil pellets down that the moles are supposed to hate. Our mole, put all the pellets in a nice pile for us. Bastard.

So, this year we were pulling out all the stops. We got two "solar mole chasers" and put them on the front lawn. I worried it would drive the dogs nuts if we put it in the backyard. We also got some "mole killer", which are worm like objects the moles are supposed to eat and then die. However the box says, they may have to eat more than one for death to occur. Jeff heard that moles eat grubs, so we put down grub killer on the front lawn. Again, I didn't want to expose my dogs to chemicals, so none in the backyard.

It seemed that our front yard methods were working, but I kept finding tunnels going under the fence from the front yard to the backyard. Jeff saw a tunnel moving one day and tried the "shovel method", but with his foot. He stomped on the whole tunnel, and I think he enjoyed it. Jeff thought he got him.

Should we dig up the tunnel and look for a carcass?

I found a hole connected to a tunnel, and dropped some poisonous worms in. I thought I got him, as I didn't see any new tunnels for days. Then, I worried that the mole would spit out the worm and Oreo would eat it. So, I searched the backyard everyday for signs of the worm.

Then came the "bee mound".

Clearly, neither the foot stomping or the worms killed our mole. We just got him to move to the backyard.

Everyday, I find a new mound of dirt and tunnels. I stomp on the tunnels and pick up the dirt with my shovel and use it to fill the holes Oreo has dug. Now I'm thinking that maybe the mole is punishing me for ruining his tunnels everyday and maybe if I just leave them alone maybe he will go away.

Is the mole entertained by all our attempts to kill him? Is he laughing at his ability to continually outsmart us?

I recently went on a garden tour in Clifton Park with my mom and her friend. The peoples' gardens, homes, and yards were all gorgeous. At one house, there were clearly mole tunnels in the lawn. My mom was thrilled to see that even people who live in Clifton Park have moles! If the people who live in a town, that practically has lawn police, have moles I fear there is no hope for mole removal and that the mole always wins.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am trying predator poop in the mole holes. This was suggested to me by an older wise woman. The moles can't stand the smell of a predator in their holes and will move. You are supposed to keep it up until the moles move away. You put the poop in the holes each morning and stomp the holes shut. With two dogs you probably have a lot of ammo.