Thursday, October 23, 2014

Holy "Mole-y"

When I was cutting the grass today I was amazed at how many mole runs (interspersed with occasional dirt mounds) were zig zagging across the back yard.  I took great pleasure in stomping down the pushed-up soil after I passed over it with the mower.

I try to co-exist with Mother Nature, but the mole evidence really bothers me!

I know that the moles are just doing what comes naturally; the annoying raised surface tunnels are actually their runs for traveling between their den and their feeding areas.  I know that their digging makes the soil healthier because the tunnels permit air and water to penetrate into deeper soil levels. I know that a mole's diet consists primarily insects found in the soil, (some of which are serious turf pests) so they're actually doing me a favor by getting rid of them.  Still, it's hard to get past the visual annoyance of those ridges in the grass.

I wondered just how many moles were responsible for the mess in my yard.  A little research told me that moles are solitary animals, who live alone except to breed. There are usually somewhere between four to six moles per acre, so my one-third of an acre lot probably only has one or two.  Considering how much damage they've done, they're very busy critters.

My former neighbor was a kind, gentle man, but he took his lawn care seriously.  When a mole dared venture into his domain he'd stalk it and kill it with a shovel.  He offered to do the same thing for us.  (I took him up on his offer one time, and told him he was free to come into our yard any time he saw more evidence.)   However, now he's gone and I'm not going to go through all the time, effort, and money to try and remove the moles.  I guess I'm going to have to learn to co-exist with them. 

Five years ago today: After Dark

12 comments:

  1. I came to terms with the moles year before last. Their little runs meander through the garden. Of course, I don't mow the "grass."

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    1. I think the key is to 'come to terms'. I'm doing that with a lot of things in my life.

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  2. We had a mole problem, too...before we had the cats adopt us. They are pesky!
    We even had one that would come in the house under the dishwasher! Even blind, he knew his way around. haha. Unlike mice, cats don't eat moles...I read that they don't taste good to them. lol.... but they will catch/kill them. At least you don't have grubs and other insects.

    Had to laugh at you stopping the tunnels as you mowed.....bet the neighbors wondered what you were doing. :)

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    1. With all those cats, I bet your yard is free of all KINDS of critters! Too funny that you had one coming in the house. It must have felt like an extension of his tunnel...

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  3. Wow. Who knew a mole can do so much damage. I like your attitude though. You will have a happier healthier yard.

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    1. Goodness knows my yard can use all the help it can get!

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  4. We have the squirrels here. They don't tunnel, but they dig holes all over the yard to bury their "stores." I feed them, however, all year long, so I can't complain. The birds are out there, too, and I've had to move my outdoor furniture as they have pooped all over it. Yep, nature can be a pain.

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    1. Now that our trees are getting larger we're getting a resident population of squirrels, too. So far I haven't had any issues with them.

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  5. maybe that's for the best, all God's creatures...

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    1. I'm trying to keep that thought in mind :-)

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  6. My neighbor bought some sort of alarm thing that supposedly scared moles away. You could hear it when it was really quiet in the neighborhood (while people were at work during the week, mostly)--it was a very subtle beeping noise. He said it worked.

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    1. Stephanie, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! Thanks for the tip. I guess if the mole issue becomes important enough we'll look into non-lethal measures.

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