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  • The Mole That Got My Goat

    July 18, 2006

    Mole_3Summer 2006. The year my mother lost it. She was never the same again.

    This is what I imagine that Sean will tell people about me when he is grown man. When he comes to see me, he will be alone, without his children, because I will be one of those crazy old people who frighten small children. He will find me sitting in a rocking chair clutching a shovel, wearing a far off expression and angrily muttering something about !#@$% moles and rocking so hard that I scoot the chair clear across the room.

    2006 was the year a mole got my goat.

    We have a mole in our backyard.  He is destroying everything, including my sanity.

    A year or so ago, we foolishly spent several thousand dollars having our backyard professionally landscaped with trees, bushes, flowers, ivy-lined stone paths, flower beds. It was so lovely.  Then the mole showed up about 15 minutes after the landscaper left and the check cleared the bank.

    When we first saw the tunnels and mounds, we had no idea what was going on. Every morning, Sean and I would go out into the backyard in our pajamas astonished at what had happened to our yard overnight. And then we would get busy stomping down the tunnels like two crazy people frantically trying to make wine, only to find more tunnels the next morning. Which lead to more stomping and then stomping became what Sean and Mommy did together every morning.

    I have since exhausted Sean’s college fund on various products trying to get rid of the mole. Please don’t email me about caster oil sprays, poison peanuts, sonic devices or traps. I’ve done all that several times. I’ve even cut up sticks of chewing gum and shoved in their little holes (oh, the imagery!) so that they might die an agonizing death as they explode from the ultimate case of constipation.

    The chewing gum tip came from my own mother who knows about everything because she’s retired and has all day to surf the internet in her quest for interesting information, like creative ways to kill vermin or fun things to do with twenty packs of chewing gum. She even knows that moles have little underground condos with different chambers for different activities. According to my mom they have a dining room and a pooping room, which at our house is one and the same since we have a toddler.

    So I’m at Wal-Mart and I put the 20 packs of chewing gum on the checkout line and the cashier looks at me and says, “That’s a lot of gum.” I agreed that it was a lot of gum. And then, just because I wanted to mess with her, I actually told her what it was for.

    The chewing gum didn’t work. The moles continue to destroy our yard, except for now they are doing it with minty fresh breath. Now that I’ve given them gum, I wouldn’t be surprised to come home to find them sitting on our sofa, eating our Cheetos, watching our cable television and helping themselves to our Pinot Grigio.

    The next thing I tried was blasting them out with the garden hose. I would stick the garden hose down the hole, kink it up and then have Sean turn on the water full blast. The problem is, we have an iron fence and there is a jogging path that runs behind our house, so I cannot even conduct my insanity in privacy. I have to endure the humiliation of having our neighbors jog by and witness me giving my yard an enema or my toddler and I dancing around on mole holes in our pajamas at the crack of dawn. The moles were not fazed in the least by the garden hose experience. First chewing gum and now Wet N’ Wild! Why would they want to leave? Perhaps I’ll serve popcorn and soda on Thursdays!

    The last tip I received came from my friend Kurt. He emailed me an article written by a man who like me had tried everything. He finally got rid of his mole by sitting out in his yard in a lawn chair under the light of the moon armed with a shovel and a can of beer. When he saw the mound move, he would quietly set his beer down and then jump up and whack the mound with the back of the shovel.

    And the scary part is, I have a shovel and a lawn chair. And it is starting to sound like a reasonable thing to do.


    1. Christy in TN says:

      As long as you don’t catch them on your couch watching Caddyshack …. 😀

      July 18th, 2006 at 2:01 pm

    2. Deborah says:

      I was thinking the same thing as Christy in TN…’ll have to watch Caddyshack all over again…

      July 18th, 2006 at 2:44 pm

    3. Blog Antagonist says:

      Oh my, I sympathize. We had the same problem shortly after we moved into our house. Our cat died, and the moles moved in. Like you, we had no idea what it was at first. We got another cat. Problem solved. My big fat Tomcat keeps the yard clean as a whistle and around here, (deep south) that means no poisonous snakes to worry about. And I save a bundle on cat food. :?)

      They are wily little devils though. I swear they can think like people.

      July 18th, 2006 at 2:55 pm

    4. veronica says:

      We had moles two years ago. They ate all the yummy grubs in our dirt, and then they went away. I think the cats killed one. No troubles now.

      Some of our friends with a lovely vegetable garden have a dog who catches the moles. He’s amazing. He sees or hears or smells them or something while they are still in the tunnel. He races to the tunnel, sticks his snout in, and comes up with a dead mole. It works for them. So don’t tell PETA, but what you need is a mole-killing wonderdog.

      July 18th, 2006 at 3:14 pm

    5. Shalee says:

      Yeah, Caddyshack was the first thing that came to my mind too.

      The lawn chair and the shovel idea? Make it a wine and double up on the chair and shovel, and I’ll come and hunt with you. That’s one hunt I could get into.

      July 18th, 2006 at 4:31 pm

    6. chilihead says:

      What came to mind was, “What? Cheetos and Pinot Grigio? That is just wrong.” I know there’s a joke in there somewhere, I’m just way too tired to look for it right now.

      July 18th, 2006 at 4:46 pm

    7. Barb says:

      I was going to mention Caddy Shack but I see everyone got there before me. I’m sorry, I know this isn’t a funny situation, but I’m dying here. Such hysterical images running around in my head. I hope you plan to let everyone know how you resolve this little problem. Most fun I’ve had all day!

      July 18th, 2006 at 4:55 pm

    8. Terri says:

      I’ll bring the beer and an extra chair just to watch the show!

      July 18th, 2006 at 5:24 pm

    9. Kristin says:

      I am LAUGHING myself STUPID over here… call me and I will bring my own shovel… I don’t think I can bear to pass up a real live game of Whack-A-Mole!

      July 18th, 2006 at 6:53 pm

    10. chelle says:

      yup if you can’t get a cat or dog … borrow one! They love to chase moles!

      July 18th, 2006 at 7:00 pm

    11. Sarah says:

      Go practice on the “Whack-a-mole” game at Chuck E. Cheese first!

      July 18th, 2006 at 7:10 pm

    12. Jessica says:

      We had moles when I was young and my grandma put Juicy Fruit gum in the holes. She seemed to think that was the only thing that worked. We also had a mole catching cat. That might have been key.

      July 18th, 2006 at 7:28 pm

    13. Kailani says:

      That is so funny! Although I’m sure you probably don’t think so. I guess it’s because we don’t have moles here so all I can relate to are scenes from movies. The one that comes to mind is CaddyShack!

      July 18th, 2006 at 8:15 pm

    14. Angela says:

      We play Whack-a-Mole at Chuck E. Cheese, I’d pay to see a live game.
      “which at our house is one and the same since we have a toddler” made me laugh so hard!

      July 18th, 2006 at 8:17 pm

    15. Todd says:

      Very funny! If it is to work, the gum indeed must be Juicy Fruit. The moles take other flavors and feed them to the grubs who grow fat on them.

      And, seriously, look for something called Poison Peanuts … just make sure Sean knows they aren’t real peanuts and they must be kept out of his reach.

      July 18th, 2006 at 8:56 pm

    16. Antique Mommy says:

      Todd, I’m telling you, I have gone through no less than six of those yellow, conical shaped containers of poison peanuts, at what? $10 a pop. My moles think they are circus peanuts and enjoy them with a little Dr. Pepper which I serve over crushed ice.

      Sean knows far more about mole products than any two year old should including the traps.

      July 18th, 2006 at 9:13 pm

    17. Tess says:

      omg, Kristin took my whackamole joke. 🙂

      July 18th, 2006 at 9:42 pm

    18. Chappyswife says:

      You are HILARIOUS!!!

      July 18th, 2006 at 11:02 pm

    19. Paulette1958 says:

      Oh my Gahhhhhhh (as a vietnamese friend would say!!! I tell her it is taking the Lords name in vane and she tells me uh ahhh I not put the d on it!!) This is Hallarious!!! We have a chucky cheese here where you take your kids and they have a mole whaking game with a big ole hammer, 8 of them pop up and you whack em before they go back down. Thats what this reminds me of. I am dying here, toooo funny.

      July 18th, 2006 at 11:35 pm

    20. Julie says:

      I have absolutely no advice to give but had to tell you that you made me laugh so hard I nearly woke the kids up.

      July 19th, 2006 at 12:14 am

    21. Org Junkie says:

      You are so funny! I was laughing out loud at your story. It reminded me of the time Regis on Regis and Kelly was talking about his mole problem. Sounds horrible but it sure makes for a funny story. Good luck with it. I really look forward to reading your blog each day!

      July 19th, 2006 at 12:36 am

    22. Brenda says:

      I know your situation isn’t funny, but your telling of it is hysterical. Minty-fresh mole breath cracked me up! My first thought was Whack-A-Mole. Caddyshack didn’t cross my mind until I saw the comments. You are hilarious!

      July 19th, 2006 at 8:17 am

    23. Kim S. says:

      You are a great way to start the day, with a smile.

      July 19th, 2006 at 9:03 am

    24. the "other" Sarah says:

      Sorry you are dealing with the frustration, but thanks for sharing in such an entertaining manner! If you set up a stake-out in the lawn with a shovel, we need pictures!
      My Dad has tried all sorts of things in the battle against moles/gophers (not sure which one). His trick now is to stick a road flare down the hole and light it. Smoke ’em out! He says. Apparently they suffocate? I have not seen this in action, but if you give it a try let me know what the neighbors think of the smoke billowing out of the holes in your yard! Ha!

      July 19th, 2006 at 10:04 am

    25. Kit says:

      Pleeeease tell me if it works. Our moles are huge here in South Africa, about the size of a rabbit and their holes are correspondingly enormous, small shrubs disappear overnight.
      You made me snort inelegantly with laughter. I totally feel for you and luckily don’t have any neighbours to witness my attempts at emulating you. I am sorely tempted by the garden hose idea and I know the kids will love it!

      July 19th, 2006 at 2:46 pm

    26. Linda says:

      Thank the mole. Because without him, I wouldn’t have had the best laugh I’ve had all year. Great post. You’ve outdone yourself. Good luck!!!

      July 20th, 2006 at 7:36 am

    27. Suebob says:

      I’m alright! (now that song will be stuck in my head…)

      You can borrow my dear Goldie. She dispatches moles (and any other small moving animal) with zest and diligence. She may dig up part of the yard doing it, but it will be better than having a mole.

      July 20th, 2006 at 5:34 pm

    28. Will says:

      When I moved into a new (for me) house in 1990 there were these wierd contraptions hanging in one of the sheds in the garden and a phonenumber written there on the wall. Turns out they were mole traps and the number of the local mole-trapper.
      *That* place had severe mole problems.

      July 21st, 2006 at 4:20 pm

    29. Aunt Murry says:

      I got rid of my tulip eating, mound makin’, mole with the neighbor’s cat. Salem used to like sitting on my porch swing and I told him that if he would like to continue to do so he would get rid of the mole. Apparently, it worked.

      July 22nd, 2006 at 9:35 pm

    30. Kathy Kelley says:

      Thanks for stopping by my blog with info about this post. Frustrating, I know but thanks for the entertainment. Yes, we had the yard professionally landscaped too…. I would suggest a wiener dog. Not just any wiener dog. Make sure you get one who chooses the position of Homeland Security in your family. Our other wienerdog (the wannabe dachshund) runs the other way when the mole starts tunneling. Of course the yard is rid of the moles but we have no grass and the bushes are barely hanging on.

      August 22nd, 2006 at 10:10 pm

    31. Nancy says:

      Ok, I know this is an archived post but I am snowed in and so have been reading anything and everything!
      In answer to the moles, although your solutions are MUCH more entertaining….the solution is actually rather simple.
      Grub poison.
      Moles tunnel and eat the fat grubs. No grubs, no food source…..NO moles!
      The trick it to hit hard in the spring when the grub population explodes. If you wait until summer or later, you are wasting your time and money. You can find the poison and instructions at a local co-op or nursery. It really does work!
      Good luck…love your blog and sense of humor!

      January 21st, 2007 at 11:08 am

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