Moles...

want2swim

Well-known member
Jun 30, 2011
57
We have a mole problem. I hate the stupid things! They have ruined the side yard (not pool side, about 1000ft away from pool), we have trapped and the cat does a great job killing them....

Today is my first day home after 2.5 weeks of being gone. Besides coming home to a slighty changing pool (few algae spots, nothing a quick shock won't cure), everything was fine, or so I thought...

I got into the pool to dive for leaves and scrub the walls/floor really good. As I was walking, you can feel the dips from a freaking mole that has made a nice set of roads under the pool :grrrr: :grrrr: :grrrr: :grrrr:

Does anyone have any suggestions on what I should do at this point? My SO is not interested in tearing down the pool, but i think that next year we are going to tear the pool down, lay rock/rock guard and possibly pavers down. I know this will cut down, but I cannot do this until he gets home next year.

I'd say we have another month of swimming left, maybe even 6 weeks....
 

Dr_Obbins

Well-known member
Mar 19, 2011
48
Cave City, KY
Got moles here also. :grrrr:
Outside of making a bumpy pool floor, the haven't caused any damage. But, I wouldn't be surprised to go outside one morning and find the pool drained from a hole in the bottom. :shock: Once that happens, then I will implement a counter measure.
 

want2swim

Well-known member
Jun 30, 2011
57
The liner is all messed up, they have sure done a fine amount of intricate road work!

How long has your mole problem been? This is pretty recent in the pool area. We've done a lot of the mole "cure alls" without much success. Even the cat has had it's fill of them! I'm just worried about the frame caving in, or a hole in the liner...
 

thepiratemorgan

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 16, 2010
185
Central NY
A little bit of sweat involved, but you can bury wire mesh to about 10 or so inches deep all around the pool. Deeper the better as moles can have "runs" 3 feet deep (kind of impossible to bury wire mesh that far) and make sure the mesh holes are smaller than "chicken wire". Be careful, just pull back any sod / mulch, dig a narrow channel, bury wire mesh, GENTLY tamp back soil, replace sod / mulch.
Moles are usually solitary creatures, only get together but once a year to mate, in fact, they will attack each other if they come together in the same "run". Point is, when you get one, you SHOULD be done. Problem is, sometimes a new one moves into the dead one's "runs". So the process starts anew.
Now here's my question, are we actually talking MOLES or VOLES?? You do have the obligatory "Mole hills" don't you? Without mole hills you don't have moles. You may have voles, "field mice", that have surface "runs" with the occasional subterranean "run". They can be a pain because they constantly reproduce and happily live alongside each other. Now, here's another caveat ... they LOVE to follow the old "runs" of moles. So a mole creates a "run", you kill it, or he abandons it because he no longer finds food through it, and then the abandoned "run" becomes a freeway for voles ....********!!! The wire mesh method above would have to be almost window screening to keep them out. They can squeeze through nickel sized holes if they need to.
They do have mole repellants at hardware stores, usually castor oil that you spray over affected area. They also have baits, "smokers", and shotgun shells. All of which can be dangerous to children and pets. Another method is to control the insect population, mainly earthworms and grubs (japanese beetle larvae). But that method involves harsh chemicals, the killing of needed insects (earthworms for soil aeration), and may take a year or so to see results. There is another method, can't remember exactly, but it involves treating your lawn with a certain spore(?) or something else natural, but I think that took a year or more to see results
Can you tell I used to have major mole (and vole) problem at my last home? I have a small problem (not near my pool, thank goodness) at my current home and I use the "control insect population" method as a way to keep them at bay, so far so good. Hope this helps!!
 

want2swim

Well-known member
Jun 30, 2011
57
Thanks everyone!
I thought they were moles, but apparently they may be voles. I'm not sure, because the cat has caught both the field mice and the moles. We have a few mole hills though, but I have some of those top trails. How confusing! In some areas of our yard you walk and you sink a bit, it's quite hard on my ankles when I cut grass!

I like the idea of burying mess, but I'm worried about the current damage that is under the pool now, and how it will affect the pool in the future? I know we have chicken wire here, and it seems pretty small. We do treat for grubs,etc in the front yard but the rest of the yard (3+ acres) is just grass, so it would be a huge pita to treat. We've had an exterminator come out and set bait traps, and thought they were gone, but apparently not.

LOL on the rodenator! Actually, we had a party last year, and a propane tank and lgihting equipment was involved (and some beer). Let's just say that the good ol' boys did more damage to my yard than the moles/voles did!

I kept the cat out last night ( we have a bad coyote problem so I tend to bring it in at night), and there was two field mice on the front porch (and a dead quail, darn cat!).

Is there anything else that could be digging these tunnels? We do have armadillos but they just generally dig craters in the yard...I know we have skunks too, especially since one sprayed near our pool a month back, yuck!
 

thepiratemorgan

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 16, 2010
185
Central NY
want2swim said:
Thanks everyone!
I thought they were moles, but apparently they may be voles. I'm not sure, because the cat has caught both the field mice and the moles. We have a few mole hills though, but I have some of those top trails. How confusing! In some areas of our yard you walk and you sink a bit, it's quite hard on my ankles when I cut grass!
You probably have both, moles can have long "runs" before making another mole hill. Then when he abandons the "run", voles (field mice, the ones with the short tail) use the "run" as a highway. Sucks big time!!
Moles have coverings over the eyes and sharp long claws on there front feet. See here - http://mnwildanimalmanagement.files.wor ... 6/mole.jpg

That rodenator thing looks real cool, would love to go around and blow up peoples yards ... just not my own though. Well, then again, if my situation at current home worsens .... well, we might have to blow something up. :whoot:
 

Dr_Obbins

Well-known member
Mar 19, 2011
48
Cave City, KY
OK the moles have got me aggravated this year. :evil:
I don't know how well you can see in these pictures to get the right perspective, but the trenches are 1" - 3" deep.
1.This one is along the wall.

2. Coming out from the wall to the center.

3. Spots along the wall where he changed his mind and turned around.

4.This is the other side of the pool. I can't see the outside because it is under the deck. There is mole activity under the pool though.

Currently my thoughts are to do nothing. I figure fixing it will be about the same $$$ now or if the liner happens to rip later. Overall the pool still looks round and level. What you you think?
 

AimeeH

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Apr 2, 2012
2,028
Columbia SC
Hhhhmmmmm. I have pulled two small rodents out of my pool in the last week. One was in the pool the other found in the skimmer. I assumed they were moles but maybe voles? Either way......freaked me out. I'm used to expecting frogs and snakes. This is the first year I found rodents. Bumped the swg up after seeing the one in the skimmer.....just couldn't help myself. Felt all yucky. It has been an unusually wet spring here.....don't know if that has anything to do with it.
 

Charlie_R

TFP Expert
May 8, 2013
2,156
Mexico, MO
Something I have heard about, but have never actually tried.

It is essentially the same trick used to bring earthworms to the surface. Long spikes driven into the ground and a low voltage applied to them. Put a pattern of them around your pool, and hook then up alternating from + to -. Moles etc don't like the low "tingle" that this will give them. A plus if you like to use worms for fishing.....
 

pensfan76

Well-known member
Jun 27, 2012
73
I had a major mole problem in my front and back yard, luckily they never made it under the pool. I bought 2 of the solar mole chasers from Harbor Freight for $10 each, within a few days i didn't see any holes reappearing and my neighbor was all mad cause she has moles now. I bought 2 more and have 3 of them around the pool, overkill and paranoid i guess, but i don't have the problem anymore, 1 thing you will have to get used to is the noise they emit every 30 seconds to drive them away, i either got used to it or i'm tone deaf now
 

K9anakin

Member
Jun 9, 2013
6
What thepiratemorgan was talking about is milky spore. What It does is kill the Japanese Beetle grubs that the voles are hunting. What I was told is to broadcast it on the lawn like you would fertilizer. Then do it again in a few months and should get rid of the grubs. Once the grubs are gone the voles will move on to another yard.
 

kyser

Well-known member
Jun 5, 2013
47
Orange City, FL
I once heard a lady get royal ticked off on a gardening radio show. She called in to complain about moles and the gardening guy told her stop feeding them. She went from annoyed to down right belligerent immediately, insisting that she " has never fed the moles!" This lady had no sense of humor. The gardening guy had to drop the call before he could explain that she was indeed, albeit inadvertently, feeding the moles by not ridding her yard of grubs. It made for great radio!
I did have a neighbor that fed the moles in her yard. She would take half a sticky of Juicy Fruit chewing gum(she swore by Juicy Fruit) and stuck it in the trails. Happy mole comes along gets a sweet treat, but between the sand and the chewing gum it does not end well(for the mole that is!).
 

applgrl

Well-known member
May 22, 2011
49
If y'all can see the dirt mounds in your yard, away from the pool, then here's a potential solution: Blackhole brand gopher trap. It's intended for pocket gophers and small moles, beasties between about 5-10 inches in length. YouTube video "How to set a Black Hole Gopher Trap":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-osEATs2TP8


You need two traps. Dig up the mound until you find the tunnel running both ways. Dig out enough space to set the two traps, sitting in line with the tunnel, not too steep an angle. Firm up the traps with extra soil. (When the traps are new you might need to bend the catch wire a little so that it stays set.) Set a trap going each way, and wait. Don't bury the traps like the instructions state: leave the exit hole open, seems to me that gophers like to check out the breeze coming in their back door. Check every twelve hours, get a non-squeamish person with gloves to empty the trap.

Repeat as necessary until you stop seeing new mounds of dirt/tunneling activity. Bad news: newcomers will re-infest existing tunnels, so encourage your neighbours to trap too. Best of luck, persistence pays off.
 

Frank Raff

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 20, 2013
19
East Bethel, MN
I've had the same problem with moles/voles over the past few years. Only two things have worked for me... killing the grubs they feed on and spreading dried Bobcat urine around the perimeter of my yard. Here's a link to the site I bought mine at...
http://www.thepeemart.com//peestore/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=5_28&products_id=32
May seem strange to spread to Bobcat urine but they apparently are a natural predator to moles/voles. I started by spreading it around a smaller area working my way out over the course of a few weeks. Now I just spread it around the perimeter of the yard every month or so and it works great :party:
 

porkandbeans

Active member
Jun 6, 2013
42
SoCal
I have gophers that test my patience. The Juicy Fruit method is the easiest to do but could take a while. They might not take it if suspicious or they could take it and store it for later. I hate the ******** and dread the day they mess around the pool. I have had no luck yet with repellents, gas, or traps. I hesitate to use poison because of my dogs. Might try the fox urine pellets next.
 

ar15

Active member
Apr 5, 2013
27
I'm getting ready to put down a pool and moles have been trailing through my leveled out area. I put down some "mole scoot".

I'll see if it works, hoping so... I don't want to end up with the problem you have. I'll be looking into the urine for the perimiter too... sounds like a good idea.
 

TGMcCallie

Well-known member
Jul 11, 2008
119
Flintstone, GA USA
want2swim said:
We have a mole problem. I hate the stupid things! They have ruined the side yard (not pool side, about 1000ft away from pool), we have trapped and the cat does a great job killing them....

Today is my first day home after 2.5 weeks of being gone. Besides coming home to a slighty changing pool (few algae spots, nothing a quick shock won't cure), everything was fine, or so I thought...

I got into the pool to dive for leaves and scrub the walls/floor really good. As I was walking, you can feel the dips from a freaking mole that has made a nice set of roads under the pool :grrrr: :grrrr: :grrrr: :grrrr:

Does anyone have any suggestions on what I should do at this point? My SO is not interested in tearing down the pool, but i think that next year we are going to tear the pool down, lay rock/rock guard and possibly pavers down. I know this will cut down, but I cannot do this until he gets home next year.

You have a grub problem that has caused the mole problem. The moles are in your yard eating the grubs. What you need to do is kill the grubs. Use Scotts Grub control on your yard. It may not do much for this year but hay it is still only June and you can get the june bug and Japanese beetle grubs. Next year start this in early spring and your moles will leave your yard and go somewhere else to feast.



I'd say we have another month of swimming left, maybe even 6 weeks....