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Q. What is your recipe for getting rid of moles?

A. Good luck! Here is what my alma mater says:

Moles can be the most common and frustrating lawn pest problem. The animals eat soil insects such as grubs and earthworms. They do not feed on flower bulbs or plant roots.

There is currently no satisfactory chemical control. Trapping is at present the best technique for mole control.

Moles have two types of tunnels. One type is used only once the other type is used regularly. The trap must be set on those tunnels the moles use regularly. A less scientific method is available when the tunnels can be observed for a day. Step on those regularly used tunnels so they are completely pushed down. Look at the tunnels often through the day. When the tunnel is being pushed up turn on the garden hose and push it into the tunnel near where the mole is working. The mole will be forced to the soil surface where it can be killed.

Q. What is a good method to prevent moles from tunneling in the lawn?

A. Both gophers and moles can be rather difficult to control. First of all these pests are in your yard for one primary purpose that is a viable food source: grubs and earthworms. If you eliminate their food source you should be rid of them also.

"Merit" is a good grub control product which you can apply to your yard right now. Unless you cannot live with an earthworm population leave them alone as they are nature's natural soil conditioners.

Give them a good dose of castor oil. It is safe to use around pets and children. Moles are carnivores that make themselves at home in lawns rich in grubs and insects. When their food is seasoned with castor oil they will go elsewhere for meals. Mix up a spray of 3 parts castor oil to 1 part dish detergent; use 4 tablespoons of this concoction in a gallon of water and soak the tunnels and the entrances. Castor oil comes in a ready-to-spray (RTU) formulation and in a dry form that can be applied with a spreader. When using the liquid form just attach a hose to the bottle and spray your entire property. In heavy infestations castor oil products would be used in conjunction with poison baits.

Or purchase Mole-Med a commercially available repellent with castor oil as its active ingredient. Check out your soil for the presence of pests; if you have a lot of moles you probably have an oversupply of grubs and bugs.

"Mole & Gopher Gas Bombs" can be set off in the tunnels; the key however is to find active tunnels. Otherwise the effectiveness will be compromised. Traps can also be used to eliminate the problem. Again though you must find the most active tunnels in which to set the traps. In some instances you will need a combination of control measures to completely eliminate this problem.

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