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Advice Needed! Mole populations are unmanagable!

 
Tara Foote
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We have worked very hard to increase the biodiversity on our 3\4 acre plot, as well as building soil. The first three years, we had moles, but hey...they were aerating soil and eating grubs, so no biggie. This year, apparently all the female moles forgot totake their birth control pill...all at once! We are overrun! We have entire food production beds caving in. An elderly relative has fallen and twisted an ankle,so we just cant allow anyone in the back yard anymore. They are all over the yard, but are more concentrated there.Im being advised to use poisons, but there must be another way! We have tried traps, gum, we got outdoor cats...and yes they have killed a handful...but nothing seems to be making a dent. The grub population is dramatically falling, I rarely find one in the soil now...but now they are after my earthworms. I feel as though we have created a beacon that calls moles to the promised land! I would greatly appreciate any advice that doesn't involve dumping toxins into my soil...
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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You might consider installing some sparrow hawk and owl nesting boxes, not only on your own place, but in the neighborhood in general.
 
Tara Foote
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Thanks, we will try that. We used to have owls and foxes visit frequently...until we got new neighbors. That may be part of the problem...the cats just aren't enough in the predator department.
 
mark andrews
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I had success with these. There a lot of other types on the market.
http://www.amazon.com/DK-1-Gopher-Traps-Pocket-Traps/dp/B00LU2OA0S/ref=sr_1_38?ie=UTF8&qid=1449031324&sr=8-38&keywords=Mole+Trap

Mine really love Jerusalem artichokes!!!
 
hunter holman
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Our Rottweiler is really good at catching groundhogs so if you have a dog that might work
 
A Walton
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Are you using garden boxes? I put a double layer of chicken wire at the base of anything I don't want the moles to get into. It has worked in the valve boxes of my water system. I was going to try it in my garden boxes next year as well but not sure how that will work with root vegetables.
 
Dillon Nichols
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I think a dog has potential; maybe a terrier or dachshund?

If they're really eating everything in site, the population will probably crash as they exhaust food sources... not that that helps you right now!
 
Candes King-Meisenheimer
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Location: Chino Valley, AZ (Home of Mother Nature's Menopause)
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I live in an area that seems to be ground-zero for the mole's evil partner in crime, the gopher. But, I have very few problems with them anymore. When I took over my family farm 5 years ago the place was infested with them to the point that you described. Ground caving in where food plants and trees were growing, etc. (The entire property was in very bad repair as it had effectively been sitting fallow for 15 years) We had sink holes forming in the old orchard (which is now a healthy food forest) and we lost a few older trees because of them. There was only one food garden on the entire 5 acres that wasn't affected: my mom's old sitting and herb garden. Upon close inspection I discovered one solitary Mole Plant growing in a corner under an overgrown covey of monsterized rose bushes. I researched the plant (which is also called Gopher Purge) and decided to propagate it around the perimeter of the property. Low and behold, within a year there were no more gophers.

Now, there is a note of caution when growing Mole Plant: It's poisonous. If you have small children or pets that are prone to tasting things there are certain precautions that should be taken. On our farm the only free-roaming spontaneous eaters are the farm cats. They don't gobble things down so much as give them a brief taste, which will only irritate their mouths, not kill them. So, I don't have much to worry about. However, I've seen some really neat solutions on other people's properties as I've shared the seeds and sprouts. Since the above-ground portion of the plant is rather small (around 8") the simplest thing to do it cage it. I think the coolest cages I've seen were some old bird cages that the property owner had picked up at yard sales. She took the bottoms off and simply set them over the Mole Plant, then used ground staples to anchor them. It was a nice touch of whimsy, and very effective.

Once the Mole Plant matures nothing gets through below ground. Then the cats can take care of anything that pops it's head up. The combo of the two saved our farm. Hope that helps.

~Candes

 
Bill Erickson
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Excellent reply, Candes. Here, have an apple.
 
Dillon Nichols
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Awesome info Candes, welcome and thanks!

How close together did you plant around the perimeter?

Are you finding that Mole Plant is spreading from the propagated plants? A little, a lot...?

Is this the same plant you're describing? http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Euphorbia+lathyris
 
John Polk
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It's poisonous. If you have small children or pets that are prone to tasting things there are certain precautions that should be taken.

I have read that goats are immune to the toxin, but they will pass the toxin in their milk.
 
Tara Foote
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Well, since my initial post we have tried some new approaches, however I haven't been very successful in decreasing the population yet. We already have some rescue dogs(none are terriers)but they do seem to enjoy digging for moles. I have small children,but I am considering using plants that repel moles and caging them, the plants...not the kids . This has been an effective way to keep the kids away from some of the medicinal plants I have. We are also currently looking into burying an underground fence of chicken wire around the raised beds to help deter the moles a bit. Thanks to everyone for the ideas!
 
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