Moles Back At Work

During the month of October, we noticed a bit of new mole activity. Setting traps and disposing of these critters has always been a yearly activity. In the pastures and hayfields, the mounds made by the critters makes the field rough for the equipment and dulls the cutting blades of the harvest equipment. In the yard and garden, the moles made a mess and destroy rows of plants with their ground movements. In the fields, for the cows and humans alike, twisted ankles are a possibility from holes made by the moles dangerous depressions . Continue reading

Moles At It Again

A large mole in a trap.Four traps were set after a barrage of mole mounds showed up in the garden, under the fruit trees, near the river by the bridge and one messing up the area around the filled-in culvert.

Out of the four traps, three of them had caught a critter,. We now believe that the one in the garden was the same one under the fruit trees.

On average, 50% catch rate is the norm. Three out of four with all of them caught in the first 24 hours is pretty amazing.

These varmints, if left to grow and breed during the winter months, could create widespread damage by summer next year. Mole holes are particularly troublesome for cows hooves because both are nearly the same size. An unsuspecting cow that happens to turn her ankle could have problems that nag for months causing loss of weight and strain on unborn calf. In the garden, whole crops could be lost to the digging. The moles eat the valuable earth worms that we encourage to aerate the ground that can compact easily.

For now, the moles are under control. we will have to see what the rest of the winter holds for us and the critters.

Ripe Raspberries

With the end of the strawberry crop, the focus is now on the raspberries. At first it was just one or two getting ripe at a time. Now, every 3 days we are able to pick a quart or two at a time.

Aside from eating them fresh by the handfuls, we are enjoying them in the evening over ice cream and have been freezing a few for winter. If I get a cooler day this coming week and when not busy in the hay field, a raspberry cobbler will be bubbling away in the oven (I am hoping this will entice a hay-bucker or two to not only stop for a visit, but to hang for a bit and throw a few bales around for a fruity desert reward).

PS This is just a side note, but as I look out my dining room window this morning, I see a suspicious looking spot in the lawn. A new mole is beginning to work in the grass. This slow-motion invasion must be the off-spring of the monster mole that was caught during the winter.

Current score, moles 4- Mike 3. Stay tuned for further mole adventures.

Moles 3- Mike 3

For those of you who are keeping track, the third mole has now been dispatched!

My miniature golf course, er, patch of lawn is now rodent free. I am hoping that the rest of summer will not entice any more moles to this space.

Instead of being on mole alert, I can devote more time to important things, like watching the blueberries ripen or the grass grow. Or maybe I’ll go spend some quality time in the hay field. Ah, so much to do with so little time!



Update- Moles 3, Mike 2

Mike got that last mole that was causing so much trouble in the little patch of yard outside the dining room window. He ended up setting 3 traps and finally he caught the little bugger. He was not much bigger than a large mouse, it was amazing to see how much lawn he was destroying.

Just a few days later, the truth was revealed. The reason there was so much activity in the lawn was because there really was more than one varmint causing the trouble. Mounds started showing back up over the last weekend.

This third critter has been re-using the tunnel system from the previous 2 moles, he went undiscovered until Mike got #2 caught and #3 re-opened the mounds we had stomped flat.

I guess that the good news is, the soil beneath the attempt at a new lawn must be healthy, happy and loaded with worms. Otherwise, we would not see this proliferation of moles.

With a deep sigh and deeper determination to win at this mole vs. man game, the traps are set again.  With all the holes, flags, dips, and mounds, my little patch of lawn looks like a miniature golf venue.



Score at Half, Mole 2 – Mike 1

There is a war going on just outside my dining room window. It started when the snow was still covering the frozen lawn, extra-large mole hills were popping up through the snow. Mike sets several traps and  dispatched that mole fairly quickly.

Since the catch we had seen no more activity in this area that is only about two pickup spaces big, until about a month ago. Smaller mounds started popping up. Mike set a trap, but the sneaky critter would dig on the opposite side of the garden when the spring-loaded device was in the ground, or plug the trap with grass and dirt so that it could not snap.

After about a week without catching Mr. Mole, Mike placed a second trap. New mounds showed up on either side of the traps and in between them too. The second week passed without success.

Traps were moved and re-set as the mounds appeared. It’s like a slow motion game of ‘Whack-A-Mole’ from the arcade. The underground thug has been dangerously close to the newly planted lilac, daphne and lavender bushes that were planted this spring. The third week came and went and still the little bugger has been digging.

Jumping into the game, I jammed the garden hose down the offending hole at the highest point in the yard and let it run for about 10 minutes, I was just hoping that I could flush the little sucker out and I paced around the lawn thinking he would come out coughing. No sign of the mole appeared. Three days went by without a single mound, the day I said out loud that I thought that I had drowned him, he started mounding hills all over the grass. Apparently, I had only watered enough to bring all the worms to him.

Mike has now set a third trap.

It’s all a matter of time before Mr. Mole will be gone. Until then, the war continues.


New Years Nuisance

Outside the dining room window, a New Years nuisance was working furiously in the lawn.

This busy mole made one of the largest mounds I had ever seen. I put a snow shovel next to the mound to show the size.

Since trapping is not my forte, I dispatched Mike to take care of the pesky critter. He set two traps, while we waited more than 24 hours for the desperado to come back to work on his runway paths, the traps sat idle.

Finally, one trap was sprung, Mike was successful, but not before the nuisance made a mess of the yard.