Mole Musings

A couple of weeks ago I trapped mole # 11 for this year. Mole activity has become quite visible recently with extensive mound building in a couple parts of my yard. I have tried trapping several places, several times, and have come up empty handed. I know they are there. For the most part, these are located in unirrigated parts of the yard where the soil is very sandy. In most cases, moles pushed the blocked soil plug on through without lifting the trigger pan. Where I have tried trapping deeper runs with the scissors trap near mounds, the runs are so large that I think the mole is encountering the trap itself and burying the trap with soil.

Most trappers agree that trapping is much more difficult when the soil becomes quite dry, which is another reason I am hoping it will rain. Most of East Texas has dried out after a very rainy spring and early summer. Trees have had a tough time the last 3 years, with 2 years of extreme drought and saturated soils for several months this spring and summer. That may be why I was so successful catching moles earlier this year. It’s time for a good, slow, soaking rain.

A friend and Master Gardener told me the other day that he has caught 5 moles in the same tunnel in course of just a couple of weeks this fall. Most literature talks about the solitary nature of moles, so he was quite surprised. Apparently a well-established mole tunnel system can be visited and used by many neighboring moles, especially if the resident moles have been trapped out.

I’m thinking about ordering a little gizmo called a woody that slips over the trigger plate of the scissors trap. It has a small wooden block attached which hangs in the tunnel (instead of a soil block). Supposedly makes the trap much more efficient, especially in sandy, dry soil. I’ll let you know how it works for me.

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