TomCat Mole Killer?

katefisher(Z7_NorthernCA)May 30, 2006

Well as of yesterday I discovered evidence of our first annual visit from the moles. I'm trying to deal with this in an adult rational way this year so read about a product called 'TomCat Mole Killer' and am wondering if anyone has experience this this product. Thanks.

Kathryn

Here is a link that might be useful: Tom Cat Mole Killer

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username_5(banned for no reason)

Tomcat is made by Bell Laboratories. They make the same thing in pellets and other formulations.

That this particular product is shaped like an unnatural colored worm is meaningless. Just a gimmick.

The product is highly toxic to people and pets and therefore must be only used in the underground tunnel of the mole where nothing else can eat it. World Health Organization lists the active ingredient as extremely hazardous and the US EPA lists it as highly toxic. It is a single dose poison capable of killing children and pets.

What all this means is if you have tried less toxic means of controlling the problem and they have all failed, this means is certain to kill the moles dead as dead gets ASSUMING they eat it. The worm shape is a gimmick. Moles may not be the brightest critters around, but they can smell the difference between a worm and a chemical stick.

If this is the way you have chosen, see if you can't save yourself some money and skip the worm shape, just get the toxin. The ad for the product touts the worm shape as something revolutionary. If so, then why does the same company make it as pellets which the ad for this product says is ineffective?

    Bookmark   June 2, 2006 at 1:42AM
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takt

Username_5 is incorrect. I work for Tomcat so I am speaking with some knowledge.

Here's the deal. Moles are insectivores, and get 90% of their digestive needs from earthworms (the other 10% is grubs and the like). We have/had over 300 moles in captivity in our faculity. Bromethalin (the active ingredient - Poison) is extremely toxic. Moles have high motabilism -- so high that they eat about 80% of their body weight in food (again mainly earthworms) a day. Most poisons work too slowly to kill a mole (moles excrete it before it is absorbed into their system). Bromethalin works on a cellular level - so works quickly. The reason it is listed by the organizations listed is because it is toxic and it does not have an antidote. One worm can/will kill one mole.

Please know that 6 worms will not kill a normal sized dog -- more would, but we chose 6 for the public for two reasons. 1. It will treat a normally sized yard and 2. Not enough to kill pets.

We have scientific data to show that the Tomcat Mole Killer is the only bait that works .... period. Because it is the only bait moles will eat -- the earthworm shape is not a gimmick it is essential.

Now -- the best question username_5 pointed out..." why does the same company make it as pellets which the ad for this product says is ineffective?"

This is tricky -- the straight forward answer -- The zinc phosphide pellets work great for Gophers, rats, mice -- i.e. rodents. But it won't work on moles. It is difficult for laymen to tell the difference between a mole hill/mound/run and a gopher's. Therefore, if someone wants to spend the $5 for the pellets vs the $18 for the worms, we didn't feel we should take the pellets off the market.

I hope that all makes sense. Thanks!

tim

    Bookmark   June 11, 2006 at 5:51PM
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tiffy_z5_6_can(5/6)

Take a cottonball, dip it in ammonia, place in hole, and moles will move on. Works for me. You can leave the cottonball in the hole since ammonia is basically nitrogen and the cottonball will biodegrade.

I had a serious problem in a raised garden bed atop a rock wall. They made this 150 feet long and 5 feet deep garden their home. Until I put those balls in there.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2006 at 9:41PM
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mollymaples(Northwest,z5)

Tim, Thank you for your response, I am all for research. The problem is I see the mounds, but can't seem to find the holes. Are they around the mounds? So, if I find a hole, do you drop the worm in or do you need to push it in, away from the surface? I do have two dogs, well only one that does a good job and killing them, and a cat that is a REALLY good varmit killer, mostly moles, and I don't want them to get ahold of the poison, even if it doesn't kill them. Could you give me tips on success and I will go out and try it. I have already done the gum and cat doodoo and urine, but I am losing the battle.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2006 at 12:31AM
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takt

Okay -- so you see mounds, but not surface "runs" in the yard? Mounds are normally signs of deep tunnels (which would be a mole).

So, please let me know if you also have surface runs, or if you only have mounds.

We'll go from there.

Thanks

tim

    Bookmark   July 4, 2006 at 8:17PM
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aartwmich(Z5 west mich)

I have runs and mounds. The mounds are hard as a rock, I would have thought that the mounds might be where they emerged?

    Bookmark   August 25, 2006 at 5:01PM
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fatso(z5 OH)

I have no doubt that Tomcat works IF the mole eats it, but why would it eat a chemical concoction? Aren't they mostly blind and thus unable to see the shape? It seemingly wouldn't smell like a worm or grub.

Moleman http://www.themoleman.com/news.html and others say this stuff doesn't work, and only trapping really works on moles.

Don't get me wrong, I'd love it if it did work, but I'm unconvinced.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2006 at 6:41PM
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takt

Fatso,

"IF a mole eats it, but why would it eat a chemical concoction..."

My company is the world leader in Rodent Control, with an 80% market share. I tell you this because mouse and rat poison is a major component of rodent control. For a mouse/rat to eat poison, it has to have a palatable formulation. Formulation is the key!

Our people are experts in formulation. And they have developed the worm to be palatable to a mole -- so they will eat it.

I have videos of moles eating our poison worm -- not only that, but I have videos of moles eating our poison worm when they have access to real earthworms.

As for the moleman, he is doing what he thinks is best. I will never say trapping doesn't work -- it does, but it is very labor intensive.

However, these poison worms work -- he just isn't convinced. In the past, no poison worked -- now this one does. It may take time to convince those that have been spurned in the past.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2006 at 12:16PM
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oppy

After placing the Tomcat worms in the runways, a few days later I saw the runway moving and killed the mole with a shovel. Can I remove and store the worms I placed in the ground back in it's container to use next month, or has the effective poison in the worm leached out such that it is rendered useless for future use?

    Bookmark   September 17, 2008 at 10:26AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I wonder what a 'normal sized' dog means? What about a cat? Or a 'normal sized' child? How about grub and worm eating birds?

There's no way that anyone can convince me that using highly toxic chemicals in this manner is safe, appropropriate or even responsible.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2008 at 12:13PM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

I agree with rhizo, why would anyone put a toxic poison in or on their soil?

    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 7:35AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

And one that has the potential to be attractive to so many innocent critters?

    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 10:23AM
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ronalawn82(z9FL)

katefisher, I have no experience with the product but this is what I did find out.
"Bromethalin" and "Bromodialone" are different products.
The former is a nerve poison while the latter is a blood thinner. Bell Laboratories does not list "Tomcat" on their products list.
This I know. Bell Laboratories have been pioneers and innovators in the field of rodent control. Moles are not rodents.
This is what I do have experience in. For many years I was one of twelve field personnel in one company in one country who carried out field trials with rodenticides. These experiments were done under formal and strict guidelines and were replicated with other companies in many countries. They were all submitted to the Manufacturer(s) and were further scrutinized.
This is what I am nervous (pardon the pun) about. I am not assured that the same rigorous testing goes into products now; I tune out the sound bytes which proclaim "Clinical studies prove!" I tune out the pitch by Technical Sales Representative which bombard me with glossy brochures, slick videos and fast talk but cannot address my concerns that revolve around terms like LD50 and TLV.
To conclude, the forum is IPM and the first concept is 'The most benign treatment at the lowest effective dose'. Additionally, we have a weighty responsibility for sustainability, defined by the EPA as, "Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs".

    Bookmark   September 20, 2008 at 6:43AM
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katefisher(Z7_NorthernCA)

I'll have to take time to read some of your responses:) This post is from so long ago I forgot about it, way back to2006.

For what its worth we ended up buying traps that were never used and some garlic stake things that you put in the ground as a harmless repellent to moles/gophers and maybe vampires. I did not use or purchase the Tom Cat Mole Killer product.

Thanks.

Kate

    Bookmark   September 20, 2008 at 12:18PM
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mavgh3

Saw an ad for this product on the weather channel just last night and since my yard is inundated with moles I thought I would do a little research. We are commercial fruit growers here in central Washington state and I have been actively involved in growing apples and sweet cherries for the fresh market for nearly 40 years and we have practiced IPM in our conventional orchards for about four years now.

We had no moles on our home place until the early 80s when they suddenly showed up in our home orchard. The mound was decidedly different from the pocket gopher mounds that we were used to seeing and that we had trapped ever since I was a kid. I suspect the moles moved in some 15 years after we stopped using DDT as the contaminated soil probably did them in for several years thereafter. In any event we have tried everything to control them in our lawn and yard. Don't mind them in the orchard, but in my lawn they are a real problem and I hate the unsightly mounds, which we have to mow over the top with a lawnmower. We tried the juicy fruit gum trick after Paul Harvey commented about using it on one of his broadcasts. What a joke that was! LOL! I definitely contributed to Wrigley's bottom line one summer without success. We also tried the gopher gas tablets without success as well. I am skeptical about this product's effectiveness simply because moles are mostly ground swimmers and unless you can place this bait just ahead of it's nose I don't think it will find it, let alone eat it. I believe that the product will most likely kill the mole if the mole ingests it, but I question whether the mole can actually find the bait simply because ground swimmers take new routes as they continually explore the soil for earthworms.

We humans need three things to be happy; something to do, someone to love, and something to look forward to. Moles are a little different in what they need as are most all members of the animal kingdom. Basically, they all need something to eat, water to drink, and a like member of the opposite sex with which to reproduce and complete their life cycle. Earthworms provide both the food and water source for moles and I am of the opinion that if the food/water source can be eliminated the moles will move on or die out. The only problem I have with killing earthworms is that they are great soil builders. However, a lawn surface application of Carbaryl 4L watered in with yard irrigation would most likely do the trick on the mole's food source. I haven't tried this because I really do appreciate the benefit of earthworms in my lawn and yard, but these moles are getting to be more than we can handle and I am close to the breaking point. The only other thing that works is being in the right place at the right time with a shovel just as they are pushing dirt to the surface. I've sliced three of them in this manner, but it takes too much time and patience and you have to step very carefully and slowly as you approach their rising mounds because they are extremely sensitive to movement both above and below ground. To my knowledge moles have no natural enemies below ground, which is where they spend 99% of their time. TomCat mole killer, eh? I'll have to ask the Wilbur Ellis guys, the Northwest Wholesale guys, and the GS Long folks about this one! If it works and Tim Smith(local WSU cooperative extension agent) agrees, I'll buy a ton of it!

    Bookmark   June 1, 2009 at 6:20PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I am speechless. Surely this is a troll.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2009 at 11:48AM
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wtwacker_hotmail_com

>There's no way that anyone can convince me that using highly toxic chemicals in this manner is safe, appropropriate[sic] or even responsible.

Apparently, some individuals have reasoned that if they can live without chemicals in a dark corner of their basement then everyone else should be able to do so also. Perhaps you haven't had moles take over your lawn and yard? Well, I don't need convincing to know that chemicals were created to make life better for all of us. If anyone is a troll, it is the dolt who lives within the figment of his own perfect world where man and mole coexist peacefully because lawns and yards were meant to look like hell. Me thinks someone has joined PETA and is wanting to place moles on the endangered species list.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2009 at 5:42PM
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laruejames_hotmail_com

I placed the 6 tomcat worms in my yard just a day ago. I will check and see if it works on Monday. Want to give the 5-6 days it suggest before you check to see if the worm is there.

BTW: I will try the cotten balls and ammonia some day.
Wish we luck

    Bookmark   April 14, 2011 at 12:59PM
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jjl1

I realize this is an old thread, but I was reading through it recently. I can say that I've had moles. I've used various remedies. Traps can work. Home remedies have proven practically useless. The Tomcat mole killer worms. They have worked consistently for me as well. These are my personal experience.

I read some of the other comments just because I'm open to new ideas, but also cautious about the source. The people on here that talk about the hurting the cute little mole and poisoning our environment with the terrible toxins obviously either don't have moles or have an agenda. So, personally I discount their opinions immediately. Obviously, the guy who works for the manufacturer is going to push the product. This doesn't mean it doesn't work, it just means you have to consider the source.

I would also say the same thing for the Moleman. I'm immediately skeptical of anyone calling himself the Moleman and touting himself as an expert, but I read his site. After doing so, I'm extremely skeptical of him as well. He starts off by saying he only believes in using traps. His experience is with using traps, which tells me he's pretty much determined that traps are the only thing that will work and is unwilling to consider anything else. He confirms this in his FAQ section by saying that he's determined Tomcat mole killer doesn't work because he's never "heard or read" anything good about it. Also, it's pretty much the only product he specifically singles out, which really makes me skeptical. I actually came away from his site feeling like he must have a trap on the market that he's trying to sell, but I don't know.

Anyway, I used the product, it has worked for me. Take it for what it worth.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2011 at 11:05AM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

Keep in mind that we have been trying to "get rid" of moles in our yards and gardens since the 1500's and have not succeeded yet. There is a story of a garden consultant in the 1500's suggesting that one take a straight sided bucket and put it in the ground with is rim level with the gound and then capture a female mole and place her in that bucket. Since she will not be able to escape her cries for help would then attract male moles that would also fall into the bucket.
A mole needs about 1/4 acre and will fight to protect that territory so most eveyone has one mole, not several, unless you own more than 1/4 acre. I have a friend that has trapped moles and has captured about 40 moles evey year for the last 45 years, that I know of, and still has not cut down on the numbers. Lots of people make a really good living selling you "stuff" to control moles.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2011 at 6:44AM
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gabbythecat

Have any of you looked into the research done by scientists - people who do not have any financial interest in mole trapping? Whenever possible I look for information from university web sites. Usually state extension services have good, unbiased, scientific information on gardening topics.

Last year I attended a presentation by George Pinyah, a retired university extension scientist and county extension agent. He has NO financial interest in mole control, but he is a scientist. He said that scientifically none of the "remedies" work. Many of them are toxic. A good cat will do the job - if you don't mind the risk of the cat being eaten by coyotes or encountering other hazards.

Other than a cat, the only thing that is scientifically proven to work is trapping. Yes, I know that in some areas trapping is illegal, but the law is poorly written and terribly defined. Anyhow, the bayonet trap works, so does the scissor trap - that's what we have. You set it in the tunnel according to the instructions on the trap package, and it kills the mole - doesn't just injure it. Put something over the hole/trap like an overturned flower pot with a big rock on top so that an innocent animal/person doesn't get trapped. It's very safe and effective.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 3:30PM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

The online page about mole control from Michigan State University has been retired, but this one from Ohio State University is very close. Keep in mind that there are people out there that will try anything to seperate you from your money, whether what they are peddling is any good or not.
Trapping is the only consistently effective method of mole control yet found. Putting poisons out should be banned since those toxins can get into the water we drink and slowly poison us and we do a good job of that already.

Here is a link that might be useful: mole control

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 7:38AM
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Nhulberg(9b)

I realize this is an old thread, but maybe someone will find it as I just did.

Tomcat absolutely works. I have tried everything over the past 32 years. The only thing that works (other than Tomcat or a real cat) is a spade and a lot of patience.

A supply store for professional gardeners recommend it. I was skeptical, but gave it a try. I have been using it now for 18 months and have killed about 15 moles. Very easy to use. A bit expensive...but worth it...I HATE moles. They are far harder to get than gophers.

I have thrown away my five harpoon-type traps (never got a single mole with those ) and the phony baits.

Extremely effective.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2013 at 1:16AM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

The mole that inhabits your yard or garden may simply up and leave for no apparent reason and that is why some people think the "control" they tried worked.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 6:55AM
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Axel(12b/Sunset H2)

Is there anyone in any forum that can vouch for these worm baits? I've tried them, and after $80 worth of worms, nothing, just more problems with moles. I hear about a lot of people who say they "THINK" it works, but they don't offer conclusive evidence.

Most of the time the worms don't get eaten. Once in a while they do, but the mole problem still doesn't go away, and without a dead mole, there's never any proof that this stuff works.

Seems like it's priced high to convince people they're buying something that actually works.

I am moving on to trying out some traps. I'd like some good recommendations.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2014 at 2:09AM
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Nhulberg(9b)

"Is there anyone in any forum that can vouch for these worm baits."

Yes...I can. Unequivocally. See my May 2013 post. I have now been using this product for three years with extreme success. I don't always get them with the first worm, but by the second try they are gone.

Yes, it is expensive. Lately I have been cutting the worm in half, just to be a bit thrifty. Seems to work just as well, but I need more experience to be sure.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2014 at 10:54AM
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Axel(12b/Sunset H2)

How do you know you got the mole? I've been using this stuff and the Talpirid worms, and I've not seen any decrease in activity. We're talking 40 worms so far, without results.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2014 at 11:46AM
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Nhulberg(9b)

Moles are voracious eaters, consuming 70-100% of their body weight each day. So, IF you have only one mole in an area, and you continue to see activity after three days, then you didn't get him.

To my knowledge, I have never had more than one in a single location, since I get after them right away. Surely, it gets more complicated to tell whether you have got him if there are several.

Moles can travel a fair distance, but mine don't seem to cover more than 100-150 sq. ft. in a day. So, I put out the bait and check back a couple of days later. Sometimes I have trouble finding a tunnel, so I have to wait a day and poke around in a new area.

It would seem illogical to me that you would have more than three moles in an area of, say, 150 sq. ft. So, if you keep baiting that area and continue seeing activity, then something is wrong. In my experience, either activity ceases in 1-3 days (i.e. he is dead) or I have to rebait. No point in waiting a week.

40 worms is a huge number (and huge cost!). So, unless you have 100 moles in your yard, then something is wrong (as you note). Maybe try rereading the application instructions and watch the video to be sure you are getting the worm in the hole.

As you tell, I am passionate about killing moles, and eager to share my experience on this subject. I am an avid gardener and moles drove me NUTS until I found this bait. Gophers are pretty easy to kill (I prefer wire traps), but not moles.

Good luck, axel. Go get 'em. I and the other mole-hating gardeners wish you success.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2014 at 3:08PM
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Axel(12b/Sunset H2)

So you've had to use this product for 3 years? Doesn't seem to be effective if you keep having to use it.

Just because activity winds down in one area after about 3 days is not proof that these worms work. Moles are highly territorial and can roam on as much as an acre. They could very well wind down their activity after 3 days and move to another chunk of their territory, only to come back after a while.

In the six months that I have used the worms I have never seen a ceasing of activity on my 3/4th of an acre. Activity does cease in one specific area a few days after a worm has been eaten. But if I look carefully, I find fresh activity somewhere else.

So from my vantage point, these worms are snake oil. No visible dead mole = no proof it works.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2014 at 4:29PM
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Nhulberg(9b)

axel_sc,

"So you've had to use this product for 3 years? Doesn't seem to be effective if you keep having to use it. ." I use it..no more mole. Three months later if there is no mole it is pretty obvious that a new guy has moved in.

I also have about 3/4 acre. The biggest problem always in in my 10,000sq. ft. lawn, where they presumably hunt for worms and grubs.

"...these worms are snake oil. No visible dead mole = no proof it works. " Well, you aren't going to see a dead mole unless you dig up an entire area. The corpse could be in any tunnel. I think it's more like

No activity = proof it works.

Apparently it isn't working for you. It doesn't take six months to know whether it is working. As to me, you can tell I'm ecstatic.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2014 at 4:57PM
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