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Monday, April 13, 2009

Making a mountain out of a mole hill…

I have been invaded!!!

180px-Close-up_of_mole

Moles- furry, little, tiny-eyed creatures that burrow underneath the ground, destroy grass roots, and raise molehills, have  invaded and over-run my property and are making my lawn the most unsightly yard in the neighborhood! 

 

IMG_0301 A little background information…….I once had one of the two most envied lawns  in the neighborhood.  I subscribe to a yard service that comes out 10 times during the growing season to spray for weeds and fertilize. I water the grass on a regular basis to keep it as green and it gets double-cut  twice a week. It is  precision edged and if a weed dares to rear its ugly head, it gets eradicated by my pulling it out and spraying a bit of weed killer in what was once its root system, just for good measure.

Yeah, I know- all you “naturalists” out there who don’t believe in chemical use for lawns are probably laughing at me and saying under your breath that I am getting my just desserts. But I hate dandelions, quack grass,thistle, thick bladed rye grass, and anything else that will make my yard look any less than a golf course! And I will do anything to help keep it looking like one.

So, back to the mole infestation….  Last fall, I was outside tending to the grass when I noticed some movement in  one of the planting beds off the main sidewalk. All of a sudden, the movement stopped and a little head popped out of an opening in the mulch. It was the dreaded mole.- the bane of existence for every homeowner who attempts to have the perfect yard. If I would’ve had a tool other than the electric edger in my hand, I would’ve tried bashing it in the head, but since it had startled me, I just stared at it in horror!  I ran into the garage for a shovel and returned to the bed to try and find the little creature.

What a sight I must have been for the neighbors- a wild woman screaming for that little sucker to dare look me in the eye, as I repeatedly poked the shovel in and out of the ground, hoping that I would mortally wound it.  Silly me!  The thing simply retreated into one of his tunnels where he laughed and plotted against me with plans to leave the  mulch bed and make its way under the sidewalk into the……yes, you guessed it…..THE LAWN!!!!

You may know the saying about seeing a mouse in the house, right? You may just see ONE, but there are always more where he came from!  So why did I believe that I had just one lone mole in the yard? DENIAL, that’s why! Little did I know that this creature had most likely moved in with his entire family and  friends.  And why they picked my yard to infest, I know not why. NO ONE else on the street has these things!  I started seeing raised dirt mounds. I could follow their movement across the yard because they pushed their tunnel dirt up toward the surface of the ground. The grass started dying and dead spots appeared. 

molehill

My first line of defense was to go out and buy some of  those stick pinwheels that you can find in the toy stores. I had read  that moles don’t like vibrations within their burrows and that these new found “tools” of mine could generate enough energy to transfer annoying vibrations into what I had come to call “the tunnels of destruction.”

pinwheelNow if you can imagine about twenty or so of these whirling durbishes scattered throughout my front yard, you can see why I got funny looks from the mail carrier, the UPS man, and the many other curious people who walked past my house! I prayed for wind, (a part of nature that I never really liked before because it makes for more bad hair days than usual) so that they could start eradicating my enemy.  I left the pinwheels in the yard for a couple of weeks; but to my dismay, my plan didn’t chase the moles away, I did, however, notice that they seemed to be popping their heads out of the ground a little more often-- I’m sure  it was because they were mesmerized by the spinning motions of all their colorful new toys…. 

The moles’ actions continued throughout the growing season. I bought a liquid mole deterrent that I sprayed onto the yard. I watered it in, and the smell of the chemical was supposed to chase the moles away.  I didn’t care if they went to the yard of the neighbor on the right or the neighbor on the left. All I wanted was for them to be GONE out of MY yard! 

Now, if I thought the damage those little creatures had done was bad before this, the end result of the spraying was pure chaos!  I think the chemical made them CRAZY! They tunneled in zig-zag patterns and were more active than they ever were before. It was like they were on drugs! I was at wits end, but I thought once winter set in, they would die from the cold and I would be free from them.        Ha Ha  Ha…..  they continued to dig all during the winter, and have continued now into spring…….

The trails of these pests are everywhere throughout the yard. Patches of grass are greening, but the trails of dead grass from where the moles have killed the roots  stand out like a sore thumb. It is time for more action and I need to formulate some sort of a plan.

I know that the only thing guaranteed to work is to pave my lawn over with concrete, which is certainly not cost effective or environmentally sound. Not to mention, simply unattractive! So I am exploring an alternate method of eradication-    poison

POISON!!! 

I’m off to the hardware store to try and find something the average homeowner can use. I will be back with an updated report as soon as I can see some sort of progress. And if I don’t, then it is going to be

ALL OUT WAR!!!

14 comments:

Crystal Rose Cottage said...

I feel for you! My husband is a fanatic about our grass and this home's grass is not as nice as our other yard in our prior home. Good luck....hope you had a nice Easter!

Elizabeth @ things with feathers said...

Oh no! I have heard that moles are very tricky to rout. But it sounds like you've got plans for some heavy artillery, so I have no doubt you'll come out on top. (Nice meetin' ya on my blog today, btw ;-)

Joy said...

We have had terrible, terrible trouble with moles. Husband uses the big guns {poison} and that seems to eradicate them...for awhile.

Jo said...

Now that I've stopped laughing and have caught my breath ... thank you for stopping by, it's so nice to meet you! My money is on you ~ watch out moles! :)

I'm so honored that you are actually asking me for computer/camera advice ~ my friends and family are actually laughing since I am always the one asking for help in this area. I use Picasa (goggle them and download) for the simple fact that it is easy and understandable for the "real" person out there and not someone with an advanced degree in computers. If you have any problems, let me know. I'll ask my husband who actually has a graduate degree in computer engineering (that's why I married him! :)

Can't wait to visit again ~ I just know I'll be a regular.

Have a wonderful evening,
Jo

Jo said...

OK ~ that would be GOOGLE ~ I think I just proved my point! :)

Jo

niartist said...

Thank you Sue, for your comment today. That whole situation really erked me for a while, but I think that after all was said and done, I still posted because the bigger message is to consider the source, don't sweat the small things, love what you do. Hope the moles get the hint when you come back from the home/garden store with your bags in tow! :)

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Oh oh Sue! Those moles better head for the hills as you mean business!

We see them here too, as there is a lot of marshland nearby. They seem to like to dig in thick grass so I guess your beautiful lawn attracted them. I'm curious, do cats or dogs scare them away? Will traps work? You could relocate them somewhere far away.

My son in Colorado has praire dogs, but they are protected by law, and they tolerate them. Those critters are a lot cuter, however.

Good luck!

One Vintage Hag said...

Sue,
Thank you so much for visiting my little blog today ~ delighted that you registered for my giveaway ~ Ohio happens to be one of my very favorite places for tresure hunting ~ so, maybe we can meet in person when I'm there someday.
I'll be back to visit here often.
smiles,
~one vintage hag

Country Romantic said...

Hi Sue,

I agree with you...I hate moles too. This is the first time we've ever had them. My husband ran a roller over the lawn last week to try and make it smoother and put out some pellet poison. I saw one of the little boogers run in on my porch and drink out of my dog's water bowl. I tried to catch it but they are quicker than they appear. I also heard about windmills from Harbor Freight that look good and will detract them from the yard. I'm ordering one online. Please let me know if you find anything that works for certain. :)

Hugs & Blessings,

Katherine

Country Romantic said...

also...my dog killed a few. I was so proud of her. :)

Here's the link to harbor freight wind mills for moles, there are two to choose from:

http://search.harborfreight.com/cpisearch/web/search.do?keyword=windmills

Susie Q said...

You silly girl you! Look what you made me do...I just did a Danny Thomas patented spit take all over my monitor! I needed that giggle and I will still be giggling for a while longer..
I am putting my money on you Sue. You mean business and those moles have NO idea what they are in for. I hope they have insurance.

Love and looking forward to Thursday!
Sue

Rue said...

Sue, the only thing that comes to mind when reading this post is "DOG KILLER" LOL Remember that from National Lampoon's Vacation? Insert squirrel instead of dog LOLOLOLOL

xoxo,
rue

Lynn@ The Vintage Nest said...

Hi Sue, You DO have a gorgeous lawn. I gave up a long time ago trying to get the perfect front lawn. And what's really weird is the fields around the house have gorgeous green thick grass with no effort at all. But the front lawn...the one Bobby G. works on constantly gets chickweed, bare spots....you name it and yes, moles too. At one time we had tunnels all over the place and then they just disappeared. Hope you win the battle! Have a great weekend. xo Lynn

Utah Grammie said...

Ewwwe! I've never seen a mole before (other than on a witch's nose) -they're pretty icky - and that coming from me- who (used to) think there wasn't an ugly animal out there!
Someone, I won't mention any names, Ms. Mole, needs a manicure- quick!)