How to kill a mole

Tuesday 22 December 2020 - Filed under Default

A few weeks ago, a mole took up residency under our lawn. I don’t have a problem with wildlife but this rodent was averaging a mound a day, presumably as s/he expanded their network of tunnels and foraged for earthworms. You can tell a mole from a gopher because they will create a mound that is round and centered on the tunnel they used to push the dirt up.

Previously I had success on another lawn with my patented flooding method. Then I used a hose as a sort of snake to get down into the tunnel delivering water all the time. I was surprised when the mole, wet and likely gasping for air, emerged from a nearby hole. The mole quickly sought shelter in our garage under some stairs. Thankfully, he had cornered himself so I was able to usher him into a cardboard box for a later release onto public land.

This time, water didn’t seem to help though, presumably because the tunnel network was too large to flood. Looking for solutions, I tried something our gardener recommended called a Gopher Gasser, basically a small firework that makes toxic smoke. I dug a bucket-sized plug out of the lawn, opened the raceway, stuffed a lit gasser into it, and replaced the plug. The next day I had hoped to see no further activity. Instead? A new mound. Gassing didn’t work.

Next, I went to Home Depot and bought their recommended treatment for moles: poison gummy worms. The way these work is that you use a dowel to open up a channel down to an active raceway, then drop the worm down there and pinch the hole closed. The next day after dropping a three worms down three holes, a new mound was pushed up at one of them and I could even see the worm sticking out, the mole seeming sending a message saying, “Don’t try this worm stuff on ME!”

I cleaned up that mound and went back to the drawing board, hoping that maybe he’d have eaten enough of one of the poison worms to do the job. That was more than a week ago. Since then no more mounds. I don’t know much about underground wildlife, but I assume that wherever that mole is he’s become a sign to future residents to move on to greener pastures.

2020-12-22  »  David Sterry