Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Our Fury Buddy


                                             Mole Tunnel

                                                      St. Augustine Runner - SeaHume
                                             Repel Those Moles!

Horticulture Hotline 03/27/24

By Bill Lamson-Scribner


Moles are always a hot topic in the Lowcountry. I try to limit my writing about them to only once a year (or less – it has been 2 years); however, after walking through some neighborhoods and listening to the complaints in the Possum stores, it looks like the time has come. Moles are about ready to mate and have baby moles, so expect the activity to continue.


As with deer, raccoons, and possums, all the development has squeezed the mole to move into your yard. The mole that was happy eating insects and worms in a vacant lot is now moving to your yard as a house, apartment complex or shopping center is being constructed on its old home. I have even noticed some buffer areas between different neighborhoods that were once forest like being cleaned up and landscaped. Again, less habitat for the mole. Moles really do not have any natural predators to keep their numbers in check, other than some dogs and cats, so their numbers keep increasing.


The weekly mowing (noise, vibration, wheels of the mower – run a mower over your yard all winter – will help with fire ants also) of your yard during the summer and the tight, actively growing grass seems to lower the mole activity some during the summer; however, the moles are out tunneling for food now. Once the grass starts actively growing and weaves itself together, along with regular moving, hopefully, the moles will move.


  I still recommend a 3-prong approach when controlling moles for the less adventurous people that do not want to trap and look at a dead mole.  These 3 steps are:


  1. Kill the mole
  2. Manage its food source
  3. Repel other moles from your yard


Moles tunnel through your yard looking for food.  They usually have several main runs through your yard as well as secondary tunnels.  The secondary tunnels are where they collect their food, and once they have a gone down a secondary tunnel, they mark it with a scent and they will not return to that tunnel.  To kill a mole with bait or a trap, you must be able to locate the main tunnel.


A good way to locate the main runs is to take a stick and poke holes in the tunnels in your yard.  Next, mark where you made these holes.  The next morning come and check to see if the holes are plugged. If they are plugged, then you know you have a main tunnel.  The mole will only plug holes on the main tunnel.  That evening, open one of the holes that the mole plugged the night before and place bait (or trap) 5 feet on either side of the hole that you reopened.  When the mole comes back to re-plug the hole it will have to walk right over the bait (or trap).  These baits are very tasty to the mole, so the mole will usually eat the bait and die.


The baits that we regularly hear good results about are Mole Patrol and Talpirid.  I prefer Mole Patrol because it is one third the price and has 6 times the amount of bait placement as Talpirid.  Stay away from poison peanuts.  Moles do not eat peanuts. They eat insects and worms.


Controlling the food source is the next most important factor in managing moles on your property.  Depending on which doctor (PHD) you believe, the mole eats 85-125% of its body weight every day.  In human terms a 100 lb. person would eat 85-125 lbs of food per day. That is a lot of food! Think of Michael Phelps and all he eats from swimming in water. A mole is swimming in soil!


Using a product like Above and Below on a regular basis will do a good job in managing the mole’s food source.  Monitor your insect populations with a soap solution to determine how often you need to apply insecticides.  Use two ounces of lemon dish detergent in a five-gallon bucket of water and pour it slowly over your soil in the areas where you think you might have insects and see what comes to the surface. You might be surprised!  Some products get tied up in the thatch to kill surface insects (like ants), so be sure to get a product for sub-surface insects.


Castrol products (MoleGo, Mole, Vole and Gopher Repellent) and other repellents (Mole Stopper) work good as perimeter treatments to keep moles from re-infesting your property. Be sure there are not any moles on your property before you put out this barrier or you will trap them inside your landscape.  Make a 10–20-foot band treatment around the perimeter of your property.  Reapply these repellents as the label recommends. 


If you yard is free of moles right now, you can skip #1 and just manage their food source and repel them at the perimeter of your property.  Be sure your yard is free of moles before you skip #1 in this process.  If you take away the mole’s food source and he is in your yard already, he will really tear up your yard looking for food!


If all this sounds like too much work, try the mole and rodent smoke bombs or hire a professional!


Pine Pollen and oak pollen have been kept in check by the frequent rains. The Lowcountry is beautiful right now! SeaHume is making the grass explode in a healthy way.


Always read, understand, and follow product label. The product label is a Federal Law.


Bill Lamson-Scribner can be reached during the week at Possum’s Landscape and Pest Control Supply. Possum’s has three locations 481 Long Point Rd in Mt. Pleasant (971-9601), 3325 Business Circle in North Charleston (760-2600), or 606 Dupont Rd, in Charleston (766-1511). Bring your questions to a Possum’s location, or visit us at You can also call in your questions to “The Garden Clinic”, Saturdays from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM, or listen to the replay of Saturday’s show, Sundays from 11:00 to noon on 1250 WTMA (The Big Talker). The Horticulture Hotline is available 24 / 7 at