We have so many little mounds of dirt you can hardly find the yard. I understand that although we have many mole hills, we likely do not have many moles (1 or 2 moles per 1-1/2 acres is normal). When we had a large dog in our yard, we did not see so many hills. Unfortunately, we no longer have a large dog and the hills have at least quadrupled. Is there any way of minimizing this problem that will not cost a fortune?
A small to medium breed terrier makes a great varmint dog.
The prescence of moles is a sure sign that you have a "mole cafeteria" on your property. IOW, your lawn is infested with insects which are the/a desired food source for the moles. Very frequently this infestation is due to japanese beetles and their grubs.
Not only are the grubs a delicacy for the moles, but they will also chew off the roots of your grass....killing it. You can use mole traps such as those sold by Victor to spear/kill the furry buggers, but that won't do anything for the grub problem.
The best appraoch is to treat the lawn to kill the grubs. When their food source is gone, the moles will leave. Two birds with one stone, so to speak. This can be done with a "grubicide" or with a product called milky-spore. The grubicide will do the job faster and for less money. (If you buy a grubicide, make sure you buy one that states "season long control" and make sure you follow directions.) It needs to be watered in very soon after spreading it. I usually do this by spreading it immediately before a "sure-thing" rain event ....or sometimes even in the rain by loading the spreader under roof and then covering the hopper with a plastic trash bag before heading out into the rain to spread.
However, using a grubicide is a not a guarantee of true long term control by any means. Next year's crop of japanese beetles may lay their eggs in your lawn again.......sprouting another population of grubs. Milky-spore offers a much longer term control, although it takes a while to become well established. When it does, look forward to 20-30 years of reliable control. However, it is way more expensive than the grubicide treatment.....and more time consuming to properly apply.
Note also that IIRC......milky-spore is only effective on grubs and so if you have other insect problems or a totally different type of insect problem, it won't work for you....or may only work to resolve some of the problem/cafeteria for the moles. Best to identify your problem(s) first before choosing a weapon. If you turn over a a spade-full of dirt (or two) ....you should be able to see/find the grubs in that dirt if you indeed have a grub problem.
Last edited by goldhiller; 12-25-2008 at 09:24 PM.
I also have a major mole problem. I can use the grubicide on the front yard but no on the back where the dogs are - I breed dogs and have a lot of them. Am I correct in assuming the milky spore is safe for the dogs? They keep trying to dig up the moles (and have been successful on occasion) but the damage to the lawn is almost worse than the moles!
I am at my wits end.
I live on large acreage and have significant mole runs. I do not want to spend the money on chemical treatment so I run a heavy roller behind my lawn tractor and it has significantly reduced the number of moles/runs. If you don't want to buy a roller, make one using a SoniTube with a PVC pipe through the middle. Fill it with concrete and once it dries it works well (you can place a piece of rebar through the pvc pipe and use chain or rope to drag). I also use a couple of mole traps, although the junk they are selling at Home Depot and Lowes doesn't last long.
I have had a similar problem for a few years and am trying a new approach this year-- castor oil. The idea is to make your yard so horrible for them, they will move away.
Might be worth a try...
The remedy is:
2 tablespoons castor oil
2 tablespoons liquid soap
Mix together to shaving cream - like consistency then add to a gallon of water. Spray the mixture or soak a rag in the mixture and leave in the area where animals are present.
If this mixture doesn't work, add more castor oil.
Have others tried this??
A response to this problem on an organic gardening site.......
"You probably have moles because you have mole food in the lawn - grubs. Try spraying beneficial nematodes to kill the grubs."
Which brought up another question, and the answer from same source site........
"Here is a good source for beneficial nematodes:
Gulf Coast Biotic Technology – (800) 524-1958
Here is a good list of where you can order beneficial insects:
http://www.dirtdoctor.com/organic/garde ... n/id/2680/"
Hope this helps. Will be trying it out at the new house, different soil means new problems I haven't had before. As all my runoff goes through a neighbor's horse barn and backyard, I will be going more to an organic type program than I have used in the past.
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