Mole vs. Garden

Aug 19th

We have an unwanted guest in our garden. One that takes pleasure in upturning my beets, tunneling through my carrots and building mounds right in the middle of my onion patch. The insidious nature of this beast should not be underestimated. It leaves baby lettuce withering from lack of root-to-soil contact. It laughs as it shoves my red baron onions out into direct line of the blazing sun. It has even tried to topple my towering tomatoes. This creature of the dark is a mole.

For three months we lived in mole-less bliss. We have dealt with moles in the past – tunneling in the yard and leaving their calling-card unsightly mounds of soil. But we had purchased a whole slew of those solar powered buzzing ground stakes and hadn’t had a mole siting in months.

Then one day we noticed something funny. Only one or two of the stakes were buzzing. I thought they were defective – until I realized the button on their side had been slid to “off”. My husband and I are stumped. Who would do such a thing? I confronted our tenants (kindly of course) and received vigorous headshaking “no, not us!” I asked my mother-in-law (as if that was even a possibility). And have had to conclude that one particularly bright mole figure out how to stick a paw out of the soil and switch off the buzzers. Really, that is the only explanation I am left with!

Within a couple of days of noticing the buzzing stakes had been turned off, IT arrived. The first hill was small, almost not even noticeable. I wondered if Todd had dug something up or was trying to plant something. But the next hill left no doubt. We have a mole on our hands.

During the past few weeks the battle between mole and human has escalated. I fear we may be entering Caddy Shack territory. We have set traps, sprinkled red pepper flakes EVERWHERE, sat quietly for hours watching for movement – pitchfork in hand – and have yet to rid ourselves of this beast! Twice we have even seen his little face nudging up the soil. Twice we furiously attacked the surrounding ground with shovel and fork only to find the sneaky bugger escaped through his tunnels. I’m usually a “live and let live” kind of gal, but this, this is too much!

Last weekend we decided to drop the $$$ and purchased a Molecat – basically a gun that shoots blanks cartridges and kills via blast power. It’s been in place for two days and so far, nothing. The mole must instinctively know we’ve upped the ante. But we have high hopes.

For now, the only solace I take is knowledge that at least I have healthy soil in my garden – or the mole wouldn’t even be there in the first place. But that’s cold comfort when your garden is being turned into a war zone.

Photo Credit: “Mol 3” by Dieder Plu – Mol. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mol_3.jpg#/media/File:Mol_3.jpg