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Small girl screaming because there are moles and other pests where she is playing.
Small girl screaming because there are moles and other pests where she is playing.

Do It Yourself: Mole Control

Welcome to our new Molebusting Consulting and Training program for the Do-It-Yourselfer. Here are some highlights of the program.

If I want to do it myself, which home remedies should I use?

Unfortunately, the answer is none. There are many fallacies in the world of moles. Any story or account of a comprehensive mole remedy is sheer happenstance and bound for re-infestation. Juicy Fruit gum, car exhaust, vibrators, daisy windmills, human hair, and broken glass do not work.

Ok, so what do you suggest I do then?

There are two proven methods to mole control. Trapping and Baiting*. Trapping is hands down the best option when it comes to mole control. Traps are proven in the field and what we have built our business on. Traps are a sure fire way to kill moles and ensure that the dead mole will no longer damage your property.  Baits also have a role. There are only a select few baits that are appropriate and proven. We recommend the worm.  It is essentially a lethal rubber killing machine in the form of an earthworm.  You can also apply a repellent, the repellent is sort of an add-on to an already strong combo. The repellent is not going to be very effective alone, but can help to produce results in combination with the bait and traps.

Alright, I will use traps and bait, I may consider the repellent. Where should I start?

Before you can place any traps or worms or utilize a repellent, you have to own them.  You can purchase them at:

Traps:

Home Depot: Victor Out-of-Sight Scissor Trap

Wal-Mart: Victor Out-of-Sight Scissor Trap

Menards: Nash Choker Loop Trap

Baits:

Menards: Tomcat Worms

Lowes: Tomcat Worms

Home Depot: Tomcat Worms

Wal-Mart: Tomcat Worms

Repellents:

Sears: Scoot Mole

Home Depot: Sweeney’s Repellent

You only listed two different types of traps and one bait?

We decided to save you a lot of money and time, by giving you links to things that we know work for sure. Tomcat Worms are scientifically proven and we use the Nash Choker Loop and Victor Out-of-Sight traps.

How many traps should I purchase, and what amount of bait to compliment that?

There is no true answer to this. One mole can dig up your entire yard in a day. So to say you need 3 traps for 3 moles is impossible.  We would recommend picking up 6 traps and 2 boxes of worms.  Three choker loops and three scissor traps should do the trick.  This will give you versatility on where you can place the traps.  We will touch on this later.

Ok, I just purchased my traps and bait. I’m ready to begin!

Whoaaaaaa, simmer down.  First we need to realize that this can be a process and may take a lot of will power. You will not be a mole killing machine in your first week. You should however, learn a lot.

I understand this is not an overnight fix and am ready to dedicate myself to the betterment of my lawn!

We are going to look at the various techniques we will use and when to use them.  Couple of ground rules first however, traps go in travelling runs and bait goes in feeding areas.

Travelling Run:

A surface (or just below) run that connects two mounds or feeding areas.  You will typically see these right at ground level. If they are not evident at ground level you may have to peel back the turf and dig a little bit. If you can’t find it at first, keep looking, they are down there somewhere. Also, as I was, you will be surprised to feel the tunnels; it’s actually a very smooth and obvious structure. Almost in the shape of a PVC pipe.

Feeding Area:

An area of the lawn where they may be a lot of shallow runs and mounds, coming and going in several different directions.  Sometimes this area can several thousand sq. ft.  Basically, when looking for feeding areas, just look for areas where your lawn is very lumpy and soft, accompanied by several mounds.

I at least have an idea of what I am looking for. Now where should I place these traps and bait?

Baiting is the simpler of the two so we will start there.  Place the worms a couple feet apart from each other but centrally located towards the middle of the feeding area.  Do not break the worms in half.  The mole needs to eat the entire worm to ingest enough of the active ingredient.  You have to use a lot of worms so the mole has a better chance of finding them since they break down and are no longer effective after a couple of days of being in the ground.

Let’s look at how we are going to use the traps:

Choker Trap:

We are going to place choker traps in a couple of different areas. The most common of the two, is big fat juicy surface runs.  Yes, the runs that devastate you every time you see it. You will do a lot of your trapping on these since these are like mole super highways.  The choker trap can also be placed in the feeding area.  Simply look for a nice surface run within a feeding area and place the trap.

Scissor Trap:

These are more difficult to set but are a lot more versatile.  The scissor trap is going to play its role when you cannot fit a choker or the run is too deep.  You will place the scissor trap at an angle on runs along fence lines, the foundation of the home, landscaping, etc…  You will also utilize the scissor trap when the run is below the surface.  Like we talked about earlier, you need to pull back the turf and dig down to find the run between two mounds or feeding areas. This is where the scissor trap gets the name: Out-of-Sight.

You have successfully placed your traps and bait, what do you do now?

Like we talked about earlier, it is a process. Let the traps sit for at least a few days unless one has sprung.

It has been a few days since I placed my bait and traps, I’m ready to go back out.

Great! If you have gone back out after a couple of days, you are already ahead of many of the homeowners that attempt and fail. As the number one problem is people place traps/bait/repellent and don’t revisit it again. Then they think “Well, that was a waste.”  Now is where your will power and perseverance come into play. If you caught one, great! If not, don’t be discouraged, it’s a tough road ahead. Utilize the same philosophies that we talked about above and repeat the process of putting in more worms and relocating the traps if they have not caught anything.

When I got outside some of my traps were missing. What happened?

Unfortunately this can happen.  On the bright side, the traps typically have not travelled far.  When a mole is trapped, it usually secretes substances. These are picked up by larger predators and they drag the trap, containing the mole, into nearby shelter to eat.  This is usually nearby landscaping, a group of bushes or the wood line around the property. 10-15 minutes of searching usually yields the location of the lost trap.

I have been battling moles for a few weeks now, and I think the problem is gone. Do I need to do anything else?

Not a whole lot can be done other than killing the present moles.  Moles will always come and go, it’s a fact.  The length at which they can be gone does vary however.  One thing you can do to help keep them away is apply a repellent. Repellents can be liquid or granular.  You will need to apply them to the perimeter of your property on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, even if you are not seeing fresh mole activity.

Congratulations! You have completed a “Do It Yourself, Mole Control Program” (Tuff Turf Molebusters Certified)

Tips and Tricks from the Pros:

See this video on how to set choker traps:

1. Do not handle the traps or bait by hand, moles can and will pick up on the scent

2. Don’t waste any time placing traps or bait in mounds, while bait can be effective in these areas, there are better options for your budget

3. If you see holes, this is not a mole, the mole rarely comes out of the ground

4. If you think you see/saw a mole, see rule number 3. (Although there are rare cases in which the mole can be viewed above ground)

5. We offer used traps at discount pricing

6. Bury the mole right where you trapped it, this mole has dug his own burial chamber

7. Mark the areas that you have placed traps/worms, this will allow you to locate them much easier, especially if you have gone underground with a scissor trap