UK Mole Wars

posted in: Life in UK | 4

They drew first blood, not me. If it is a war they want they’ve come to the right place.

Those immortal words of Johnny Rambo reveal my current state of mind. One look at my yard and you’d understand why I’ve decided to seek a more terminal solution to eradicating the moles that have decided my yard is now their yard. As they are discovering, they’ve made a fatal mistake in judgment. Unfortunately lethal solutions are hard to come by in the UK. I can smoke them out with Castor oil bombs (worked for three days but I think in the end just made them mad), or use an organic, ecofriendly mole repellent that disolves in water and that you apply through a sprayer (useless, moles rutted right under it an hour after application).

I could try the sonar option where I drive this probe in the ground, feed it four D-sized batteries and the frequency supposedly drives them crazy then drives them to the neighbors yard. What a waste. Thing costs $30 and word is the moles become used to the frequency and return – possibly deaf, but more determined than ever to turn my yard into a subterranean freeway.

So, I’ve opted for a more lethal solution, but for effective application of lethal strategies, I sought advice from someone experienced in these matters. Someone who has proven his prowess in dealing with subterranean rodents. Someone, who has the mind…of an animal.

Carl Spackler.

Think like a gopher (Click for classic Caddy Shack scene)

I’ve taken Carl’s advice and stepped up my attempt to crush my enemy. I struck a blow last week when I patiently stood sipping a cup of coffee as the waning light began to dip beyond North Downs. Suddenly, I saw the ground twitching about 15 feet in front of me. I calmly placed my mug on the deck box, slipped quietly in the shed and grabbed my spade. I stalked the spot, squatted on one knee and rehearsed the thrusting action I intended to use. Finally, and with adrenaline surging through my body, I raised the shovel and thrust it into the ground with the determination Queequeg would have thrust a harpoon into the side of Moby Dick.

And it worked! I struck a fatal blow. The sense of satisfaction at my kill left me feeling more as if I’d gone on safari and killed a lion with my bare hands. I was tempted to pull a Henry VIII and put the carcass of my enemy on a pike and publicly display it as an example to other moles as to whose dominion this really is, but decided not to gloat until I was certain the problem was solved.

Unfortunately, it isn’t. I hear moles travel in pairs and unfortunately I believe the bereaving mole remaining in my yard has decided to make my life – or at least my yard – one big rut. Frankly the challenge is not the mole. The challenge is finding a terminal solution in the bleeding heart country of England. When asking at garden centers for something lethal, I’ve gotten shocked expressions. “You barbaric Colonist!” I can practically hear blurting from their minds. “How can you be so cruel to such a tiny creature.”

Easy. Look at my yard.

After a significant amount of searching I opted for the only terminal trap I can find.A claw trap. (There are a number of lethal options in the states and I’ve used the harpoon trap with GREAT result, but unfortunately is not available in the UK). So far it has been useless. I stand a better chance of waiting for the mole to emerge and chasing it around the yard flailing at it with a shovel.

So, the war rages on and when the growing number of people ask me how I’m making it against my yard rodents, like Rambo I respond, “day by day.”

4 Responses

  1. Rob Phillips

    Awesome post, Chris. I too am ready to do whatever it takes to solve my mole problem. Bought the battery-operated spikes. Moles love them and I just trip over them when I’m mowing the grass. Tried the poison pellets. Moles eat ’em and breed mutant babies as big as possums. Tried stomping them but just bruise my heel and my ego. Tried flooding ’em out. Even poured leftover paint in a hole. They just put up picture on their freshly painted walls. I hate moles. I want them all to die and I don’t care if Al Gore buys carbon offsets for all of them. Can’t use the traps because they might catch the “cute” little chipmunk that’s drilling holes everywhere the moles leave untouched and my wife won’t let me whack Alvin, Simon, Theodore, or whatever the heck his name is. Also, I have voles. Yes, v-o-l-e-s. They are like moles only they don’t leave tell-tale mounds of dirt, just holes against the foundation of your house. Am thinking of calling Bill Murray but am afraid he’s gone soft based on his recent artsy movies. I figure one day my house will just fall into a giant sink hole caused by all of these tunneling creatures. All I can do is what any old coot like me does: stand in the back yard in my bermuda shorts and black socks and shake my fist at them.

  2. Chris

    I too am becoming an old coot, but difference I guess is that I now stand around in Argyle knee high socks extending beyond the top of my Wellies and Bermuda shorts.

  3. Anita

    Easiest solution I know: borrow someone’s black lab for a couple of weeks. Ours was never happier than when she was rooting out, digging for and offering up the (dead) treasure of yet another mole!

  4. Chris

    We have a fox that slips into the yard at nights and I think the fox tried the same thing. However, I’d rather have the moles than the foxes. The fox leaves us a little poop package on the patio most visits.

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