I have been invaded!!!
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!
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.
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.”
Now 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-
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!!!