Elusive prey presents unique hunting season challenges
Posted: Friday, January 11, 2013 8:00 pm
By: By David Critchlow Jr.
I hate to make a mountain out of a molehill, but I have a problem — a mole problem, that is.
I was first alerted to the situation by a couple of dirty-nosed dogs sometimes referred to as family pets.
After their weekly baths recently, the dogs sprinted out the doggy door, which is nothing out of the ordinary as they always switch to a hyperactive mode after a good scrubbing.
What was different, however, was they returned soon thereafter with muddy noses. A quick stroll around the house didn’t reveal any fresh diggings and a walk by the playhouse, which often serves as a hiding place for bunny rabbits underneath, didn’t show anything either.
All it took was a glance across the backyard to figure out what the problem was.
There was a maze of narrow ditches dug near the pecan trees.
While the dogs were doing a nice job of destroying the moles’ tunnels — and my yard as well — I needed to find a better way to rid my yard of the pesky varmints.
My first thought was of my childhood when my father would set up steel traps around the yard to eliminate the rodents. As I recall, there wasn’t a whole lot of success but a whole lot of cussin’ associated with those attempts to eradicate the funny looking earth-dwellers.
A visit to a local store provided many different options, including the aforementioned trap but other items as well, from poisonous grubs to sonic spikes. Grubs are part of any mole’s healthy diet — unless it’s a poisonous grub — along with earthworms and insects. The makers of the sonic spikes claim their devices emit a high-pitched signal that sends the moles digging for cover elsewhere.
I’ve ruled out the poisonous grubs, because I figure they will end up being eaten by the moles, which will, in turn, be eaten by my dogs and I only want to get rid of the moles — unless the dogs continue chewing up everything in sight and dragging it into the front yard.
I’m going to give the sonic spikes a try, but if they don’t work I’ve got some other interesting possibilities from the Farmers Almanac and the Internet, as well as some suggestions from so-called mole extermination experts.
A few of the tips include:
• Stuff Juicy Fruit gum or gummy bears into their tunnels. Apparently this sticks to their dental work.
• Ex-Lax. Doesn’t affect the dental work, but creates other problems for them, obviously.
• Pitchfork the tunnels. The neighbors would probably get a good laugh out of this one — as would the moles most likely — as it would probably do nothing but aerate the yard and cause me to have a heart attack.
• Gopher gassers. I don’t know if these gassers are similar to the wind-sprint gassers athletes do, but I’m pretty sure the moles will not go along with this.
• Dip an ear of corn in roofing tar and place it in one of their tunnels. Apparently moles hate the smell of tar, which is why you never see them on the roof.
• Sprinkle powdered red pepper in their tunnel entrances. I’m guessing sneezing in close quarters can cause the tunnels’ roof to collapse on them.
• Get a big mallet and when they pop up out of the ground, whack ’em on the head. This may work in the popular carnival game, but I don’t think that success would be carried over to the real deal.
• Step on tunnels and then sit in chair with shotgun waiting for moles to fix the tunnel. Might be fun, but the neighbors may not approve.
• Call Carl Spackler, the character played by Bill Murray in the movie, “Caddyshack.” If the neighbors don’t like the shotgun idea, I don’t think they’re gonna be any happier with dynamite. (Law enforcement may have a few issues with it as well.)
• Leave it to the dogs. This may eventually work and I’m fairly certain the dogs would proudly let me know about it by bringing the prize moles in the house to show them off. It wasn’t a pleasant sight with rabbits and blackbirds in the past, so I don’t see how moles will be any different.
• Get a dermatologist to remove it. “Holy moley,” I responded initially. “Not that kind of mole!” After looking over the other suggestions, however, that may work just as well as anything else.
David Critchlow Jr. may be contacted by email at email@example.com.
Published in The Messenger 1.11.13
David Critchlow Jr., Just A Thought