Moles are mysterious creatures. Their subterranean activities remain a mystery to many people. Unfortunately, mystery makes many people susceptible to myths about moles. Today’s blog will discuss five myths regarding moles. These five myths need to be broken because they cause many to use ineffective, inefficient and/or illegal and/or potentially dangerous methods for control.
Myth #1. Moles mean grubs
The claim that moles occur in lawns because of grubs is perhaps the most common myth out there. One can only imagine the number of landscapers who are fired because clients believe the landscaper’s failure to control grubs is why moles have entered the lawn. While moles eat grubs, grubs really can’t supply moles with food for a long-enough period of time. In addition, moles also eat other insects and organisms in the grass such as worms. In fact, a lawn can be grub free and still have moles.
Myth #2. Ultrasound can repel moles
Ultrasound is often touted as a method to repel any number of animals. Unfortunately, most animals can’t even hear in the ultrasonic range. Ultrasound is also a very weak sound wave. It can’t penetrate walls nor does the wave persist to any great distance. So how a mole, living underground, will hear, let alone be repelled, by an ultrasonic wave is simply a mystery to me.
Myth #3. Thumpers and windmills repel moles
Vibrating lawn ornaments are often touted as a way to repel moles. The idea is that the vibration makes the mole think a predator is coming, or at least something much bigger than it. Makes sense. But there is no solid evidence (as in research-based studies) that these devices work. Anecdotal reports are mixed as well.
Myth #4. Mothballs repel moles.
Mothballs come in two formulations, paradichlorobenzene and naphthalene. Both have potentially toxic effects. There is no doubt that mothballs, in either formulation, are noxious to animals provided the concentration is high enough. And there lies the rub. Are there enough mothballs in the burrow system to create high enough concentrations of noxious odor to repel the mole? Doubtful. You also encounter another problem, namely violating the label. Mothballs are for controlling moths, not moles. Off label use can get you in trouble with pesticide laws. Finally, mothballs can be hazardous to pets.
Myth #5. Traps don’t work for controlling moles
This myth is absolutely not true. Before the citizens of Massachusetts banned mole traps in a foolish ballot initiative in 1996, I used to trap moles for clients in the Connecticut River valley. I guess environmentally conscious voters wanted people to use toxicants to kill moles rather than a non-toxic mechanical device. If you can figure out the logic of that please e-mail me at email@example.com, but I digress. Bottom line. All the traps work. The key is how you use them.Stephen M. Vantassel, CWCP, ACE, is the owner of Wildlife Control Consultant, LLC. He helps people restore their balance with nature through publishing, training, consulting, and the internet. He has published numerous articles in trade and academic publications along with several books (http://kingsdivinity.academia.edu/StephenMVantassel). He is a sought after speaker and trainer. Copyright All postings are the property of Stephen M. Vantassel and Wildlife Control Consultant, LLC. Text (not images) may be reprinted in non-profit publications provided that the author and website URL is included. If images wish to be used, explicit and written permission must be obtained from Wildlife Control Consultant, LLC.