Mid-winter Mole Activity – Turfgrass Science at Purdue University

Mid-winter Mole Activity

Mole activity is becoming more apparent with the recent warm weather. Large piles of soil on the lawn surface are evidence of the moles subterranean mining. Unfortunately control of this pest still depends on trapping or possibly a mole-hunting cat or dog. Techniques such as drowning with water, poisoning with car exhaust, shocking or vibrating devices, poisons, chewing gum, human hair, underground electric fence, or other “sure-fire” remedies simply do not work. Insecticides to control white grubs do not work either because moles have a diet that includes mostly earthworms (NO! We do not want to get rid of earthworms!!). Harpoon traps are the most common and easiest to use trap for most people, but remember that it takes a lot of practice and skill to become efficient at trapping moles. More information can be found in ADM-10, “Moles”. There is also excellent information available at http://www.themoleman.com/, which is the web site for a reputable mole trapper in Cincinnati. A newly released mole bait called Talpirid (bromethalin is the active ingredient) reportedly mimics the mole’s natural food source. This product shows promise but it’s too early to confirm how effective it will be. We will watch very carefully and bring you a report as soon are we are confident in its performance.

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