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GARY CHURCH Greenspace

I guess the best thing to do when you have a problem is just to admit it.

I have moles.

A few of them are on my back, but you probably aren’t interested in them. It’s the moles in my back yard that may spark your interest.

I couldn’t help but notice the mounds of dirt suddenly appearing in my yard. There aren’t any in my neighbors yard, just in mine. That just shows they really wanted to get in my column.

Moles can make tunnels in your yard at a rate of 100 feet per day, searching for food.

What actually are those mounds?

They are the soil that was excavated to build a three-room efficiency apartment underground. The living quarters can be as deep as three feet. It consists of a living room with a big Sony HDTV, a pantry to keep snacks in while watching the Steelers, and a bathroom with a potty to sit on while reading my column.

I, as a young garden center employee, was misled as how to get rid of moles. I was taught by a certain lawn fertilizer company that moles eats grubs. If you get rid of the grubs, the moles will leave.

This is partially true. Moles do eat grubs. Grubs make up 20 percent of their food. 

So what makes up the other 80 percent?  Those slimy, squirmy, gross-looking worms.

Now if you take hot dogs away from me, I can still survive on chicken and beef. If you take away grubs, a mole can survive fine on worms. Killing grubs will not make the moles move.

Using a mole trap is the best way to kill them, but those things scare me.

A lot of people have had luck with castor oil in granular form that they spread on the lawn to repel the moles. This will make the mole move to your neighbor’s lawn, or another portion of yours. It does not kill them.

There are mole poison peanuts that you stick in a hole. The trouble with those are, moles aren’t squirrels, they don’t eat peanuts. They like real meat. 

Finally, someone came up with the idea of putting mole killer in a product that resembles a worm. I recently went out looking for this product and it is available at Lowe’s and Tractor Supply. It is under the brand of Tomcat Mole Killer.

You get six worm look-a-like bait for around $20. Place one in an active mound or runway, and the mole eats it. On the ad video, the mole actually prefers the bait to the real worm. 

Moles live alone, but in late February they do hook up with a mate. If you want to get rid of them, now is the best time before Mrs. Mole gets pregnant and you have little moles building their apartments.

I would like to remind outdoors columist Ralph Martone and his wife, Denise, that the mole worm baits should not be used for fishing lures.

I also must thank the couple for the lovely gift they each gave me Christmas Eve. There is a little friendly rivalry between Raph and myself over our columns. I was a little taken back (very little) when Denise got front page and Ralph got a whole page when the deer photos were in.

That’s all over now, because they presented me with the full, laminated pages of their articles, and they even took the time to autograph them. How sweet!

I was so proud, I put the pages on display, right beside the mole holes in my back yard, just in case the bait didn’t work.

Make your space a green space.

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