Controlling the Eastern Mole
February 5, 2015
Few things in this world are more frustrating than spending valuable time and money on a landscape only to have it torn up by wildlife. Moles’ underground habits aerate the soil and reduce grubs, but their digging is cause for homeowner complaints.
A Word to the Wise!
March 15, 2014
Seems like some “mole outfits” especially in the St. Louis area are again trying to use Phostroxin or Fumitoxin (lethal gas) as a means to control moles. It appears that this futile attempt at mole control comes around every 10 to 15 years. It won’t work and can’t work. First of all, moles are woodland animals. Just that. They live in the woods and visit your lawn through old established tunnels from time to time.
In a twenty-four hour period, there might be twenty-two hours a day when there are no moles in your yard. Going nuclear at the wrong time can’t kill moles that aren’t in your lawn. These gases are also very dependent on ground moisture to work at all as atmosphere and humidity will control whether the “tablets” reach lethal capacity or not. Too much ground moisture and they dissipate too quickly and are gone in less than a day. If the ground moisture is too little as during summer months, the gas will never reach lethal concentration. There are no chemical or poison methods to control moles. Traps work because placed in the main runs, they will remain in place and lethal until the mole or moles return.
Reiterating the Facts
August 31, 2012
This is our 26th year providing mole trapping as a full time service. During this time, many new traps, poisons and sprays have been taunted as innovative and effective. Since I have to make my living by providing a viable and effective service, I want to reiterate a simple fact and truth. The Out-O-Site scissor mole trap is the most effective mole trap ever made. If you are considering controlling your own mole problem, the Out-O-Site trap is the only trap worth your time to learn how to use. I have used this trap exclusively since 1990.
March 14, 2012
Newborn moles showing up a month early in Western Hamilton County Ohio. The unseasonably mild winter and soft ground allowed male moles to rut earlier than normal. Dispersal is usually noticed in mid April but we’re starting to pick them up now.
A Good Article on Moles
July 4, 2010
University of Arkansas
The Mole Girl
The Moleman is now a Registered Trademark.
October 20, 2008
U.S. Trademark Reg. No. 3,506,933
I’ve spent many years teaching and sharing information about moles and their control. I have provided honest service and reliable work since 1986 and have never had a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. The trademark is to protect my good name.
Learn How to Use Traps!
May 1, 2008
Nothing new on moles. Learn how to use traps! Years back, I thought the internet would be a good way for homeowners to get factual information about moles and maybe how to control them. It’s actually been a disappointment and when one surfs the net for information on moles, it’s just one nutty solution after another. Poisons that don’t work, European traps that have never worked. Spray this and sprinkle that. Same old, same old. If one thing worked, everyone would know about it and all would do the same thing. Trapping will work, but it’s not easy or fun. That’s it.
The Prolonged Drought
August 27, 2007
The prolonged drought (11 inches missing) of 2007 is causing mole problems for those watering lawns and plant bedding’s. The drought doesn’t make trapping moles any easier either. Moles are still numerous in areas that will experience periodic cicada in late May 2008 as these moles aren’t so dependent on surface insects and worms. These areas include Kenwood, Indian Hill, Montgomery, Sharonville and most of Loveland.
A New Twist by Incompetent Mole Trappers
March 31, 2006
A new twist by incompetent mole trappers is a combination of trapping and poison worms offered together as an expensive, short term service. You would think that if they were any good with traps, they wouldn’t need the poison. Or if their poison worked they wouldn’t need traps. Their services are not guaranteed, so you have no recourse when you realize that these folks don’t know what they’re doing! For heavens sake, get some references before you go this route.
Beware of ADVERTORIALS
March 16, 2006
Beware of ADVERTORIALS in magazines like Pest Control Magazine. These article like pages probably are paid advertising made to look like editorials. I’ve yet to hear anything good about Talpirid or Tomcat (gummy looking poison like worms designed to fool moles and people) that wasn’t paid for and promoted by the manufacturer. “Gee Bell Labs, can you control moles with a poison bait applied monthly?”
Information worth Mentioning
October 21, 2005
This is really not news, but with all of talk about poisons, I thought it worth a mention. An important thing to remember about moles is that they will always take the path of least resistance. They will recolonize a vacant mole tunnel before they will dig a new one. I don’t think there was ever a more lethal threat to a mole than Phostoxin – (hydrogen phosphide gas) in dry pellet form.
The problem to applicators who used Phostoxin was the same as those trying poisons today. They are not prepared for the many follow-up calls over the course of a season. Homeowners can be led to think that control methods are a one or two shot deal and they’re not.
“Hype” Spin and Marketing won’t Control Moles.
February 10, 2005
Somebody should have explained that to EPA before they approved Talpirid or Tomcat as an effective bait to control moles or maybe its that EPA knows so little about mole behavior, they have to accept a manufacturers word on the subject. Apparently this would be nothing new for EPA, as they also approve the use of Kaput, Mole Patrol, Poison Peanuts, Castor Oil Sprays, Phostoxin and Fumitoxin as other safe and viable methods to control moles.
Ads in Magazines
September 23, 2004
I am running into a lot of ads in Pest Control magazines touting Kaput (a gel bait) as an effective form of mole control. The ads are run and paid for by the manufacturer and it is their opinion that the product is effective. Dr. David Rickard (registration director for Bell Laboratories, Inc. Madison, WI) says in this months edition of Pest Control Magazine, “Neither grain baits nor gel baits were accepted by moles in their (Bell Labs) study.”
Dr. Rickard probably has an ax to grind because the same magazine has a full page ad touting Bell Labs new product, poison for moles shaped like worms. Seems that the mole will mistake the fake worm for the real thing, garf a few and spend the next 24hrs quietly dying in its tunnel. I’ve never read of a poisoned mole dying anywhere but on top of the ground, where breathing is better.
Quoting Dr. Rickard, the product “resulted in a complete reduction in visible mole activity.” “The reduction was maintained through the entire seven-day follow up period.” And so if we are to believe Dr. Rickard and Bell Labs Inc., we have a mole bait that will control moles for at least seven days.
What Helps to Accelerate Mole Litters
April 4, 2004
Unseasonably mild temperatures coupled with the fully mature cicada Brood 10 have help to accelerate 2004 mole litters. Some litters have appeared as early as the second week in March. I don’t know if this extends out of the Brood 10 area, but newborn moles are showing up a full two to three weeks early.
March 26, 2004
Received new China made Victor Out-O-Site shipment today. Among the improvements are literary unbendable setting tools. If you want to narrow these, you better use a vice. The same material seems to be used on the spring. Much stronger spring than on the old the old trap. The old spring was almost too much spring, so watch your fingers and improve your hand strength. The added spring tension makes the trigger less sensitive and harder to discharge.
The jaw spread has been increased a full half an inch on about half the traps. Poor quality control makes the spread too narrow on the other half. Out of a dozen in a box, half will need serious adjusting to make them usable. The trigger is narrower allowing less contact with soil for triggering. A tunnel choke should compensate for contact and sensitivity trouble.
A note of caution: Because the setting tools are wide at the hook ends, they can wedge between the end of the spring and side of the trap and be difficult to remove after the trap is set. Tugging at them can set the trap off with the tools still attached. And because the new spring is too tight, the handles can hurt. The Taiwan (old trap) required about 28 lbs. of force to set. The China (new trap) needs around 34 lbs. The setting handles on the old Taiwan trap were about 17 1/2 inches apart at the setting ends. The handles on the new China trap are nearly an inch wider or 18 1/2 inches apart at the setting ends. I think the new trap is going to be difficult if not impossible for most folks to handle. Poor job Woodstream!!
The unseasonably mild weather has given us a jump-start trapping out adult moles before newborn become a problem. March and April can be trouble trapping as they are usually wetter months. The extra moist soil allows speed-bumps (needed to properly set Victor Out-O-Site traps) to get too soggy and dissolve. We are using Little Woodies more often because they hold shape and function in the very wet conditions. Moles populations should be larger (cicada based acceleration) this year and litters will be early.
Consumer Care Line
Woodstream Corp. has a Consumer Care line to help with traps and setting problems. Call 1-800-800-1819 Extension 450.
Long and Heavy Dispersal this Year.
Newborn started around the first week of April and just now beginning to ease off a bit. All of greater Cincinnati area experiencing cicada based accelerations in the mole population. Would like to get Woodstream interested in the advantages of the tunnel choke and how it will increase the effectiveness of the Out-O-Sight trap. To date they’ve shown no interest in improving the trap. Patent issued for the “woodie” # 6578314. They sure make using the Out-O-Sight trap a lot easier for us.
Patent pending for “Little Woodie” tunnel choke.
The Moleman makes PCT Magazine.
Sept. 22, 2001
July 1, 2001
Soil conditions went from a dry extreme in early spring to extremely wet in May and June. Mother Nature for you! The unusually heavy rains in May flooded dispersing young moles out of the ground. I suspect a lot of dispersing was just moles trying to find dry ground. Several reports of moles indoors through opened garage doors. Unusual numbers of moles hitting mulched areas around homes. I’m sure a lot of moles dispersed above ground, willing to travel through the high grass. High grass is another subject I could spend an hour talking about. Trying to find an inch high mole tunnel in 4 to 6 inch grass is really fun.
April 30, 2001
Unseasonably dry weather during dispersal means more digging in mulch or irrigated areas. “Clean” lawns can start getting new activity through existing tunnels. Cincinnati rainfall to date is only 6″ compared to a normal 13.5″. The ground is getting too hard for moles to dig new tunnels.
November 20, 2000
Returned 11/17 from France. Pleasure and work together. European moles appear to mound rather than tunnel. I noticed tunnels stemming out from fortresses (large piles of earth that moles occupy in areas with high water tables) only. Other tunnels were marked by small sequential piles of dirt. I bought four mole traps in a hardware store near Normandy. Three of the four were one directional only and the fourth was bi-directional. All four used metal tabs that the mole had to push out of the way to discharge the trap. Out-O-Sight by Victor is the best!
November 20, 2000
Noticing several “new” traps on the internet. Two of them are simply gopher traps that must be used two at a time in opposing directions. The other is a British scissor trap that is now being used primarily in Washington State and Oregon. I have used the British trap and find the opening too small for the Eastern or common mole in the mid-west. All three traps rely on the mole hitting a metal tab to discharge the trap. I have had several emails from UK and Belgium trappers using this trap. The problem seems to be plugged traps. If a mole doesn’t hit the metal tab hard enough to set it off the first time, the mole will generally plug the trap with dirt. I find that moles are generally unfamiliar with metal objects of any kind and will usually force dirt against the objects.
Mole Trapping Time of Year
November 9, 2000
Beginning to get into the most effective time of the year to trap moles. Grass is staying down and once the leaves are up, tunnels are fewer and more obvious. Great trapping until the ground freezes. Remember, moles don’t hibernate!
Victor Mole Traps
August 2, 2000
Spoke to Daryl Cozzens of Woodstream Corp. (customer relations). He reassured me that they will be addressing current problems that some homeowners are experiencing with the correct use of Victor mole traps. They are concerned with problems that you may be having. Feedback can be directed to Mr. Cozzens at 1-800-800-1819 Ext. 300. If you’re doing a good job with the traps, you might pass that along also.
Lots of Emails
March 11, 2000
I’m getting a lot of e-mails from homeowners trying to locate mole trappers in their local areas. Particular areas in Illinois, Nebraska, Cleveland and Dayton areas in Ohio. The mole trappers page is maintained for references. Mole trappers looking for listing information can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 513-662-3017 evenings.
Male Moles Enjoy the Warm
March 6, 2000
Male moles seem to be enjoying the warmer temperatures. Considerable activity through the old tunnels. Females are probably pregnant. Great time of the year to begin trapping. Ground moisture and temps about perfect.