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Sunday, May 3, 2009

Sunday Favorites and My mountain of Mole Hills

It's Sunday Favorites Time, sponsored by Chari at Happy to Design. Chari's innovative idea gives us a chance to share a previous post and offer others an opportunity to read something they might have missed the first time around. For me, as a fairly new blogger, it is a valuable tool to "put my blog out there" since only a few faithful followers know I exist out here in blogging cyberspace. Thanks, Chari! I've chosen to re-post the first in a series on my ongoing battle with what has made me the scourge of my neighborhood- the mole.


I have been invaded!!!

180px-Close-up_of_mole

Moles- those 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:

xinex said...

Oh my, I did not know those moles can cause that much damage and anguish? What happened? Did you ever get rid of them? Thanks for sharing the story....Christine

imjacobsmom said...

I feel your pain. Yes. I have the dreaded mole family in my yard and gardens, too. They have undermined my Beebalm and Iris' and such. I too had the prettiest yard in the neighborhood. I think, because we water our lawns, they like our soft moist soil. Please tell me you discovered a way to rid yourself of them, because I sure haven't. ~ Robyn

Lori E said...

We have had moles off and on for years. Apparently if you have moles you have grubs in your lawn that they have come to eat.
I have used rose clippings stuck in the holes with some success as they cut themselves and die. Cruel yes but if I break an ankle in my yard because of their tunneling then we have a problem.
Just when we think they are gone they reappear. Good luck.

Florida Sue said...

You don't have a couple of cats by any chance? We had some digging here in late winter, but they moved on once the cat kept investigating the goings on...Best of luck!

Terry & Dennis Macri said...

Moles!!! I know what you are talking about. They are horrible, and you feel bad posioning them but what is a girl to do?

Bellamere Cottage said...

I'm sorry, I shouldn't laugh, it is SUCH a dilemma.......We're in a pickle around here........they passed a law...you CANNOT kill the little bugers...Now what??? We were driving through our fair little town when my grandson was little.....we passed some deer along side the road......my hubbs circled around so my little guy could see them better.....travel on a few hundred feet.......mole hills.........my grandson: "Look Papa!!! Deer poop!!!!!!!!!!"........kids sure come out with some good ones, don't they???

Blessings!
Spencer

Stacey said...

We've had them too. They turned our yard into a mushy mess one year. We'd sink when walking out there. They do make an ugly mess. We tried everything to no avail. Eventually they moved to a neighbors. I'm sure they will return one of these days. :)

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

All out WAR?? You mean like bombs and tommy guns? OH MY! Can I watch? So...how much are the tickets? I wouldn't miss this for the world! I would NOT be surprised if someone offered you a movie deal! At this point my money is on you! Go gettum Sweetie!!!

I am teasing you! Poor baby! I don't blame you one bit for being ticked. I would be too!!
Hugs.. and smiles.. :)
Mona

Chari said...

Hi Sus...

My friend, I'm so happy that you decided to join in with all of the fun of "Sunday Favorites"!

Girl, I just have to tell you that my honey was sitting here with me while reading your post...it led to an all-out online search about moles! Neither one of us knew much about moles, although we do have problems with them in our area. Ohh my goodness...they really are pests!!! After all of our reading and research...we came to the conclusion that they go for the yards where there is an abundant supply of earthworms...and of course earthworms love well watered yards. Hmmm...I'm so curious to know if you got rid of them? Now you'll have to do a "follow up" for all of us! Hehe! I'm just so sorry to hear about your fabulous yard...it is absolutely gorgeous! It must be heartbreaking and frustrating to have something like a mole come and wreak such havoc on it!

What an interesting post...your choice to repost this for Sunday Favorites led to a 2 hour search about moles for us! hehe!!! Thanks for sharing it with us...I sure do hope that you were able to rid yourself of these little pests!!!

Just wanted to say thank you for adding yourself as a follower to my blog...I feel so honored! I look forward to getting to know you better...it was so nice to meet you!!!

Warmest wishes,
Chari

Chari said...

Ooops...just little ol' me again. I just realized that I mistyped your name in my last comment! Sheeshhh...really I CAN spell Sue!
So sorry! Hehe!

Chari

Balisha said...

Hi,
Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. We have what we call our "resident mole" Our backyard is his playground. The tunnels go back and forth across the lot and we sink in when we walk there. We do have grubs in our lawn...lots of Japan Beetles here soon and that's where they come from. We could get rid of them if all our neighbors would, but not everyone wants to bother....so we go on with this problem.The little girl next door follows the trail and stamps her feet to bother them.

Kim @ Manning Family Tree said...

OMG! I was laughing throughout your entire post. I could just picture you and those moles. It reminded me of Caddy Shack! Too funny. We don't have moles in southern California, we have gophers. They cause the same kind of damage. Luckily they haven't found my house. Knock on wood! Let us know who wins the war! And thanks for visiting my blog & leaving me a comment.

Joy said...

good luck with the moles. My dh had to fight them at our old house but so far we have been lucky at this place.

Kathleen said...

I hate moles!