Update on Mole Problem
A while ago, I had asked for advice on Castor Oil to control moles. Well, I found a supplier in Vancouver. But, it did not work at all.
The same applies to the smoke cartridges. In retrospective, I feel the smoke cartridges (Giant Destroyer) at best annoyed the critters and made them move a little bit for a few days.
At the UFA store, I discovered Gopher traps called "Black Box", made by a company called Victor. I do not know how well they work with gophers but they sure do a great job catching moles. In fact, I caught 13 of the critters in as little as 3 weeks !! The advantage of the traps: there is no guessing (as with the Castor Oil or the smoke cartridges) - I know I got one when I empty a trap. When I consider the area/ route at which activity stopped after I had caught one, there is no way the smoke cartridges can have covered even just 5 % of the tunnel system.
I few things which I learned in the process:
The tunnels are seldom directly under the dirt piles. They are right at the edge. In my previous posting I had complained that I cannot find the holes - this explains it. I had been misguided by several articles/ pictures which compared the dirt piles to a minature volcane with the "pipe" right in the centre of the dirt pile.
I try to set the traps in a 30 degree angle to expose the hole at the end of the trap to as much light as possible.
There can be more than 1 mole per hole/ tunnel.
When the moles move in, they come in packs of 4-6 animals. All the articles that I have found on the Internet claim there are generally 1 or 2 per acre - dead wrong. This includes articles from the US Extension Service which should know better.
A few moles will throw dirt into the trap; in fact they pack it solid with dirt. One just has to persist, clean the trap and set it again. I never cleaned a trap more than 4 times before I eventually caught the "dirt thrower".
Most articles warn that there is not only the immediate damage to the garden but, the extensive tunnel systems attract mice, rats and other unwanted critters. One may want to add weasels to the list. I caught one weasel too - not that I had intented to. Before the weasel got into the trap, I found several times a trap tossed 1-2 ft away from where I had placed it - I guess it must have been the weasel exiting a tunnel.
I do not think, I will ever get rid of the moles. There are probably hundreds in the vicinity. So, I will watch the perimeter and trap before the critters dig up my flower beds.
just noticed, the words "dirt" and "garden" are double underlined and look different from the rest of my text. How does that come about - never had it happen to me before ???