Spring is almost here and the daffodils are blooming. I went to take pictures of a few beautiful blooms in my front flower bed, only to find the dreaded "mole runs" scattered about. I know the little creep is in there...I have seen evidence of him in the last few weeks...mole runs...even saw him "bumping" along one time but even with my well honed, quick mole reflexes, I somehow missed him. I believe there is a deep cavern under my front flower bed where they can quickly retreat. I expect my entire front porch to disappear into it one day.
If you are unlucky enough to have been cursed with moles, you completely understand my frustration, and subsequent obsession, with the little monsters! I spent years, and hundreds of dollars, pouring poison peanuts down mole runs, only to find out they are carnivorous and don't even eat that crap.
Myth buster #1...Nothing but a spade shovel (or pitch fork...I have both) and quick reflexes will kill the little monsters. I have tried every old wives tale out there, mole traps, and treatments for grubs...you name it, I've tried it. Forget it...you are wasting your time and money. And the more time you waste, the more time they have to construct an underground nation below your yard.
So I have found there is only ONE sure fire way of killing the little boogers. Mind you, you will NEVER rid yourself of the creatures...once runs are established, you won't get rid of them...kill one, another moves in. But on average, I kill 10-12 year.
This process requires a great deal of skill and patience. First, about an hour before you have an hour or two to spare (hahahaha!) smash down all the fresh mole runs.
Myth buster #2...moles are NOT nocturnal and basically run all day. So it doesn't matter when you do this.
I use to take my coffee, cigarettes and paper outside every morning...walk down the runs, grab a lawn chair and my spade shovel, and settle in...in my bathrobe...and watch...and watch...and watch. And when I saw the little booger "digging" I would pounce on him with my spade shovel, screaming and cursing at the ground. I wasn't aware of what a sight that must have been until my new neighbor cautiously mentioned my frightening ritual. She had NO idea what I was doing. She thought I was "watching my grass grow" but had no idea why I was spearing it violently with a shovel while cursing at it.
I use to just pounce, spear the area where I knew the mole was digging, and leave it be. The thought of digging up a bloodied corpse was more than I could stomach...but I discovered that sometimes even my best aim MISSED!!!! So I started digging to make sure it was infact dead...only to find that sometimes it was only injured or worse, completely unscathed. At first, I would humanely "relocate" the moles to large pastures where the only damage they could do would be to someone's livestock (JUST KIDDING! I took them out to the woods away from homes and livestock).
But honestly, after awhile I was so fed up with the creatures that it didn't bother me to pop them out of the ground alive and beat them to death with a shovel. Problem solved...until their friend moved in. But I was waiting for them! I was certain word would get out and they would stop coming to my yard. Obviously they don't communicate with one another.
Myth #3...Lots of "runs" means tons of moles. Nope. They are pretty much territorial and usually there is only 1-2 moles per acre. That means that one mole is tearing up your entire yard...seriously...one. They can dig 100 or more feet in a day...so they are fast and constantly on a hunt for food. As a matter of fact, the "runs" you actually see in your yard and flower beds are their "feeding runs." They actually have other runs deeper and entire little caves even deeper...which is where they hang out in the winter (told you, an entire underground nation). But they must eat a tremendous amount of food, thus the reason for their very active digging.
Myth #4...Get rid of the grubs and the moles will go away. WRONG. Moles love grubs but they also eat a lot of earthworms. And you DON'T want to rid your yard and beds of earthworms. Several years ago I put down Milky Spore in my yard....it has made a HUGE difference in how much the moles run in the yard...usually they stay in the flower beds. Well nourished soil, easy to dig. Lots of worms and grubs.
Myth #5....Moles kill your plants. Wrong...again, they are carnivorous. They eat meat, not plants. If something is eating your roots, it is probably a vole or other rodent, not a mole. Moles may inadvertently kill a plant by disturbing the roots, but most well established plants won't be bothered by them. If your hostas or bulb plant roots are being eaten, you have a completely different problem.
I have a friend who has a few little Jack Russell terriers...there are some dogs who will hunt and kill moles. I have a cat who I think is hunting them. And if you have an animal that is proficient at hunting and killing them, you probably won't have much of a problem. But then you have a problem with a dog who digs and big holes in your yard from that activity.
If you ask me I think you should just use the mole hunting ritual as a way to take time to relax while enjoying your coffee and quiet time, communicate with nature (your grass) and work off some serious frustration. After all, how often can you legitimately beat something to death without it being frowned upon by law enforcement.