January 28, 2007

WVU On Moles

Filed under: homeowning, mole — Brian @ 11:56 am

From the insect people at West Virginia University (PDF link), a pronounced dearth of options. Under “Reductional Measures” (Reductional – what a fine new adjective):

Changing environment — Moles may be … controlled … by reducing their insect food supply. While this method may take time to become effective, its benefits will persist as long as the animal organisms on which moles feed are kept at a low level. Some insecticides are toxic to all forms of animal life, including man. This should be considered when planning to control soil insects.

Understatement is the key to scientific writing. I’m reminded of the writings of the scientists who developed the atomic bomb. Of the high density metal they used to enclose the core – whose purpose is to reflect newly-liberated protons and neutrons back into the core, where they can split more atoms in order to vaporize more things more completely – they said something along the lines of “the effect of the tensile strength of this material is negligible.”

That is my canonical example of understatement.

Here, I take it to say, “if you kill everything, the mole will be dead.” I have dogs. And kids. And neighbors. Not even the neighbors are on the “things to kill” list.

Trapping — Limited populations of moles may be satisfactorily handled by using specially designed traps.

All of which seem to be ineffective, or equally dangerous to dogs and children, which is ground we’ve covered.

Fumigants — …The extensiveness of the burrows and their surface locations, which often causes leakage, makes it difficult to fill all tunnels, runways, and nest cavities with lethal amounts of gas.

[childish bean joke omitted]

I might still try a smoke bomb here and there. I figure even normal smoke bombs can’t be healthy, so I can get a bag of whatever I can find at the prank store. (They still have prank stores, right?)

But the only thing that’s been effective so far has been wet latex paint. I haven’t given the Juicy Fruit a fair chance, either.

I think the next step is to carefully dig up a section of the tunnels near the molehills (which indicate where he’s dug deeply) and fill half of them with latex paint, and the other half with Juicy Fruit that’s been rolled into grub shapes and marinated in worm juice for a day or so.

That sounds perfect. Who’s with me?


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