i see where people say they stab moles when they see the ground moving. i'm curious as to what time of day you're seeing activity. i have yet to catch one this way. or, maybe, is it weather conditions? lmk, please.
They are pretty much active when it suits them. Certainly not entirely nocturnal as common mythology about them holds. I WILL tell you for certain that they are most active when there is less human activity around. The 'mole catchers' on the golf courses in the South lay in wait, quietly, as the sun comes up. They can get several in a morning, with a pitchfork.
A quite rainy day would be another ideal time to lay in wait. Pull up a lawn chair and be patient. ;-)
I usually kill about a dozen moles a year. When I see a new run in my lawn I push the tunnel down. In the morning before going to work I would take a look to see if the tunnel is pushed back up. If it is, I will sit there and see if the end of the tunnel is moving. If not, I push it back down. Sometimes I will check during lunch time and before and after dinner. I have caught moles at all of these times. I use a broken shovel handle. If I see movement I push the handle in the ground and pull up quickly slinging the mole in the air and once its on the ground I just step on it. You can also use a water hose and just start filling the tunnel with water. They will pop right out if they are in there. I occassionally will catch a vol with water.
I too see them active during they day and night. I've had great success catching them while working in the garden all times of the day. One method I sometimes use when I don't want to sit and wait for them is to cut a palm branch, any stick small in diameter but about 3-4 feet long will do, and stick it straight down into the end of the mole tunnel if you can find it. He WILL be back. When the mole passes by the stick I can see the stick moving from pretty much anywhere in the garden. I then quietly walk over to the end of the tunnel and wait with two shovels until he starts digging again which usually isn't long. When he does start digging, jam one shovel about 6 inches behind him first to block his easy retreat, then the other in front to block his advance. Using the shovel behind him just dig the little critter up with the lump of dirt and dump it into a box and take him to the woods and release him. I've cleared my yard several times with this method but eventually I always have a new one move in. I must have some tatsty grubs in my yard. I've never used the terminal method. I just don't see the need even though they DO often cause me alotta work, especially having to re-do a sinking paver walkway. I may be forced to put a layer of concrete under it to foil the little suckers. Just one humane method among many, I'm sure.
I was greatly amused and impressed by the ingenuity of 2 responses. Thinking like a mole appears to go a long way towards catching one...or two or three.
I was hoping to put the useless cat to work, but so far all training has worked in reverse. Tom
Just a point to remember, moles are actually poisonous so don't allow your pets to play with them. I only found out after two of my ferrets died after they came across one.
moles are actually poisonous
Where DO these notions come from?? The only thing that could be remotely considered toxic or poisonous about a mole is if it was already contaminated with some sort of toxic repellant or "mole killer". Or if it had a contagious disease like rabies.
My cat routinely kills moles (along with any other small 4 legged rodent-like critters he can find) and may or may not eat them, depending on his mood. I call him the "great orange hunter" :-)) And the dog will often play with any bodies that cat may have discarded. No worries!! (they are both current on their rabies vaccines).
I've never seen a mole hill work..but then I'm not the most patient person on the planet.
You could probably convince me that the hills just magically appear :) if I hadn't seen dogs dig moles out of them.
Actually, I think that there are some mole species that are mildly venomous....but it's shrews that are notably so. Clearly, the shrews have more reason to be venomous but I find it a little 'unusual' to think that their bites could kill a much larger animal. I had outdoor cats many years ago who would gladly battle shrews and usually had little scars on their faces to show for it.
Dbarron, it's pretty entertaining to watch a mole raise a ridge while tunneling through soft soil. You do have to be in the right place at the right time. :-)
one might wonder.. why something that lives underground.. perhaps even being blind.. would look at a clock and decide what time of day would be best for hunting ... digging.. tunneling.. and ruining my life ...