Tunneler ID please: Mole, gopher, mole cricket, shrew, or vole (p

ladybugfalcon(9b FL)February 15, 2007

I just want to identify the source of these mounds in my yard. I'm in South Florida. Before I can try some of the creative methods (i.e., chewing gum) of ridding my yard of these pests, I need to know what they are.

I've read other posts and have learned it's probably one of the folloing: voles, moles, mole crickets, gophers, shrews. Thanks!!! From yard mounds

From yard mounds

From yard mounds

From yard mounds

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

voles and shrews are smaller than white mice up here .... they make holes about the size of a quarter or so.. and do not push up the excess soil ...

those are classic mole tunnels.. in MI ... god knows what you might have down there.. lol ...

spear type traps are the only thing that works... not gum.. not water.. not gas ... you have to kill them ...

tramp down the tunnels.. until you find an active one.. then set the snare or spear gizmo ...

some think that treating the lawn to remove the things its eating is another way to reduce populations ...

good luck

ken

    Bookmark   February 15, 2007 at 4:39PM
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maineman(z5a ME)

ladybugfalcon,

I'm not familiar with Florida's or Michigan's wildlife. Here in south central Maine, our voles can be considerably bigger than a mouse, as big as a half-grown rat. I shot a large vole recently with my 22-caliber air rifle. It had invaded the area where I am excavating for the foundation of a new greenhouse. Actually, it was the biggest vole I have seen, but we have caught several on sticky traps that were as big as the very biggest mouse. We have dozens, perhaps hundreds of voles here on this property. Voles are vegetarians, while moles are carnivores.

Don't count on Juicy Fruit chewing gum controlling any of your pests. I suspect that is some kind of suburban/urban myth. The stuff has sugar in it, so if they chew it, it may cause cavities for them, but I don't think that is an effective pest management strategy. (grin)

MM

    Bookmark   February 15, 2007 at 5:27PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

google voles.... google moles.. then google vole tunnels and lastly mole tunnel ... after the sites load at google... hit the IMAGES button near the top to hone in on links with pix that interest you ....

at the link below... just past half way down... classic picture of moles tunnels.... and one ugly mole .... lol

you will probably be amazed.. how few there might be .... one critter can do a lot of damage ....

good luck

ken

Here is a link that might be useful: just past half way down

    Bookmark   February 16, 2007 at 8:44AM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

Almost every mole control you have ever heard about is not effective in any way. The baits now being sold that kind of almost look similar to earthworms are effective, provided the mole decides to use the tunnel you put the bait in again. If you bear in mind that one mole needs about 1/4 acre of territory, and that in spite of appearances, the damage done to your lawn you most likely only have one mole. all you need do is with the traps is have it in place where the mole will travel next. Of course, once you kill that mole there is a vacany and another mole will move in.
The single most effective (and expensive) method to keep moles out is with a castor oil spray, 1 pint of castor oil applied to 2,500 square feet. Many of the commercial sprays I have seen have less than 1 pint of castor oil in them and they are supposed to cover 10,000 square feet and they will not be effective.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2007 at 8:06AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

ABSOLUTELY moles. Mole cricket holes and tunnels are much, much smaller. I have a good castor oil recipe, but I'll have to dig it up from somewhere. You can't simply apply plain castor oil (as the above post seemingly suggests), but need to create an emulsion.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2007 at 6:18AM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

Common sense tells you that you do not apply 1 pint of castor oil plain over 2,500 square feet. Common sense should suggest that there is a mixture, which I did not list because this is an expensive treatment, at $4.89 per 1/4 pint the last time I looked at the pharmacy.
Research at Michigan State University Turf Grass school found that applying 1 pint of castor oil mixed with water in a 1 quart hose end sprayer and applied over 2,500 square feet would keep moles away for 6 to 8 weeks.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2007 at 6:54AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Don't get your knickers in a twist, kimmsr! lol...you just left out part of the helpful information. Actually, plain water and castor oil won't make an emulsion either, but a bit of soap would help the process.

By the way, ladybugfalcon, the castor oil treatments really can help...unlike some of the other 'home remedies' you've heard of. I really like the chewing gum fable. I've heard that it MUST be Juicy Fruit, though different sources dictate that either needs to be chewed up a bit OR that it must never touch human hands. What a riot.

Most people, however, find that mole traps are very effective, once you get the hang of them. They aren't for everybody, though.

Unless you fear that you have a severe problem, you could simply keep the tunnels stamped down and hope that they lose interest in your yard. A few mole visits don't necessarily mean that you have to take action.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2007 at 2:41PM
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roxy_girl(7b Weatherford TX)

I've tried the castor oil spray, the look alike worms and I still have the mole! *grrrrr* Does anyone know if the sonic pulse mole chasers work? They are supposed to work on a area up to 10,1000 sq. feet. HELP I'm desperate!

    Bookmark   February 20, 2007 at 12:29PM
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ladybugfalcon(9b FL)

Hi guys. Thanks to all who've replied. Since my original post, here's where I am now:
1) They are moles (not mole crickets, voles, etc.)
2) Sweeny's Poison Peanuts dont' work that great.
3) They apparently love the little nuts that fall from the Palm trees.
4) I'm headed to Lowes again today to find another remedy. The sonic thing is about $40, so I'll save that till last.
Here's the latest pictures.
From yard mounds

From yard mounds

From yard mounds

    Bookmark   February 21, 2007 at 10:19AM
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roxy_girl(7b Weatherford TX)

Ladybug I'm going to keep checking in to see if the sonic pulser devices work for you, I broke down and ordered 2 from Jung seed Co. for $22.95 each. As soon as they arrive I'm having my son install them...wish me luck!

RG
Dena

    Bookmark   February 22, 2007 at 12:36PM
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ladybugfalcon(9b FL)

--UPDATE--
The moles are worse now. Sweeny's Poison Peanuts did not work at all. Here's my latest attempt: Dr. T's Mole Out Repelling Granules
I first poked holes into the tunnels with a sharpee. I did this every 5 inches all along the tunnels.

Then, I filled the holes up with the granules. I first put the granules into an empty water bottle to make it easier.

I will let you know how things turn out. I am bound and determined rid my lawn of thes pests. Next on my list is the neighor's cat, but that will require a different set of tactics.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2007 at 3:22PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Just so you know, ladybugfalcon...moles could care less about anything remotely connected with your palm tree. They are carnivores. Maybe that's why those poison peanuts didn't work. ;-)

    Bookmark   March 27, 2007 at 4:35PM
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khurdjj12

I agree with the reply to the chewing gum post, I don't think it will work, these things are really hard to get rid of. I have a gopher problem myself. I have a friend who successfully trapped some of his, and thought he had gotten rid of all of them, but then they returned. I used a "Every liquid in my garage" method, and successfully got rid of them for most of the summer, but now he/they are back. I tried it again last night, and so far he hasn't covered up the hole again, so I'll post again to tell of my findings.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2007 at 11:31AM
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khurdjj12

Well everyone, I think I may have my gopher. The everything on the garage method didn't work this time, and the hardware store was out of traps, so I bought the smoke bombs. I was able to see that he was active between three holes, so I stuck 4 bombs in them. Haven't seen him or it fix the holes yet, although it may be fearful due to those smoke things still in them, will just have to wait and see. It snowed last night, so am in a wait and see mode, will post again. Thanks.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2007 at 11:30AM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

Moles are carnivores, meat eaters, and their most favorite food is earthworms, although they will eat grubs, too. Spreading grain products in the hope the moles will eat them is a large waste of time, energy, and money since the moles will not eat that stuff. One thing to keep in mind is that as soon as you eliminate one mole that creates a vacancy that another mole will move into, so you will always be fighting these wee buggers unless you poison your soil so nothing will live in it.
If you have not yet talked with your local University of Florida USDA Cooperative Extension Service people, now would be a good time to do that since they may have some updated information about mole control.

Here is a link that might be useful: UF CES

    Bookmark   November 23, 2007 at 7:40AM
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Belgianpup(Wa/Zone 7b)

I don't get all that excited about moles. They are very useful. Moles are important predators of insect larvae, centipedes, millipedes, snails, slugs, grubs, ants, sowbugs, termites, beetles, and crickets and other invertebrates, as well as earthworms. They can have a lot of affect on the communities of their prey.

They also act to aerate and turn soil where they live through their extensive tunneling activities, and their tunnels take in rain so the soil can absorb it.

They usually have two sets of tunnels. The deep ones are the home tunnels, where they rear their young. The more obvious shallow ones tend to be used only once, as they're 'mining' the soil for worms and insects.

The only way I've actually known people to chase them away is by putting cat poop down the tunnels.

Sue

    Bookmark   November 30, 2007 at 5:07PM
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