Thursday, August 7, 2008

Of Moles and Men (or how I lost my sanity)


The day we moved into the new house - the very day - molehills started appearing in the nice front lawn. Not just one, oh no, but several - every day. The absence of the realty sign must have given them a signal to go forth and destroy the lawn with their burrows and endless tunnels.

Every morning, I dutifully go out with a cardboard box and scoop up the dirt that the mole has expelled onto the lawn. I stuff some down the hole to close it up and give a little silent prayer to whomever is in charge of moles that these moles will move to the forest that is next door, literally, to my house.

Sometimes before the afternoon has even passed, there will be fresh holes in the lawn. Sometimes it takes until the following morning for the trail of molehills to wind through the grass.

Last week, I bought some mole repellent, which purports to drive them away with some scent they don't like. The idea is that each day you sprinkle another section of the lawn and thoroughly water. By the end of day four, they have been driven off the land to less stinky pastures.

By day three, they had circled the mole wagons and were back at the beginning of the lawn, making three extra big hills, just to prove a point.

And that, ladies and moles, is when I went crazy. Spade carrying, hose toting crazy. I scooped up the dirt but left the holes open. I turned on the hose and gave a good long squirt of water into each hole, hoping that a sudden wave of water might run them out of town for good.

No hills this morning. Not yet. Sure, my grass looks like swiss cheese at the moment, but there are no new hills. If a new one pops, I'm going to be forced to get a trap. I hate to do it, really, but this can't go on. I can't let them destroy the front yard and that's what they'll do if I let them keep burrowing under the whole thing.

I've heard bubblegum down the holes works, as does human hair. I can just picture a new hill with hairy wads of pink bubblegum poking out of the top like some gummy mount vesuvius. I've tried those sticks that emit sounds with no result. I don't want to use poison and the repellent did nothing. So that leaves traps. Unless, the sudden blast of water drove them out - at least for now. I'm sure this won't be the last encounter with a mole.

I've read an awful lot of kids' stories that have a Mole as a character (Wind in the Willows comes to mind) but somehow, I can't quite picture our moles hunkered down in their burrow, smoking pipes and sporting tweed jackets. I'd be more inclined to take tea with them if they were.

UPDATE: A new molehill is now right next to the old hole that I flushed with water.

*Photo found at
this site. Shudder


Anonymous said...

I read your story of woe. My company makes repellents. Call our 800 number and I can give you some ideas to help you out. Regards, Jeff

Lorraine said...

Oh, geez. We had moles on the farm where I grew up. Now, as a kid, that was kinda great because we could easily scoop up the dirt to use for our various building projects without having to dig ourselves. But they drove the parental units crazy. My dad did the hose down the hole trick but as I recall it only deterred them for a while, as opposed to getting rid of them.

I'm sorry. Maybe Ratty will come by in his boat, take them all on a picnic and they'll decide to move in with him in his little riverbank house.

Humble wife said...

If you have a cat this problem goes away quickly. I am embarrassed at the body left on my porch morn after morn.

I used to watch from the window my kitty sitting above the mole hole.

I am not sure if you are a kitty person, as I was not one years ago...but my kitty is a stealth hunter. We had to close the kitty door, and let her in, so we could see what she may be carrying in~~ once she brought in a live mole, to play with.

rosemary said...

Our 2 acres of mowed dirt is infested too....we gave up. Moles can have more babies than you have water. Forest next to your new house....doomed.