Monday, February 4, 2013

Gardening amid the critters that want your garden more than you do

This past week we spent quite a bit of time trying to kill critters.  The biggest offenders were moles.  They started in the front lawn (weed patch) and tunnelled out into the front pasture.  If I didn't kill them soon they'd kill my trees.  Normally Big Dog digs them out and kills them but with her sore leg she hasn't been in the mood.  We've tried stomping on their holes, pouring hot water on them, nothing worked well.  I went to County Ag and they had some smoke bombs that were some sort of critter killer.  I bought some and tried them out. 

At the beginning of the week I took my hoe and was able to open up one of the piles of dirt to find the tunnel.  I stuck the fuse into the smoke bomb, lit it, and put it into the hole.  Then we covered the hole with dirt.  For several days we didn't have any more movement of moles.  No more new holes.  No more racing out to the end of the pasture.  That lasted for five days.  Then the holes started up again.  They didn't go at such a lightning speed as before but still the destruction was happening right before our eyes.  Out came another smoke bomb.  Into the hole it went.  Yesterday I didn't see any more digging.  Today I left before it got light and got home after it got dark.  I have no clue what happened. 

Tomorrow morning I don't have to go to the office.  Yeah, I get to sleep in until 6!  That may not seem late but with my new schedule of leaving the house at 5:30, sleeping until six is really sleeping in.  I will have the morning at home and will be able to get a good look at the front pasture.  Those suckers are MINE!  It's kind of like connect four and so many other games, where your entire strategy is to make it so the other player can't get from one place to the other.  Those moles will not make it to the end of the pasture.  They will be dead before then.  I guarantee it!

I have to go out of town tomorrow and will be gone for several days.  Prior to leaving I have to head back to County Ag to pick up more things to kill critters.  Poison for mice, rats, squirrels, rabbits, and moles.  There's poisoned bait and also the smoke bombs.  If you don't keep the critters under control you will have a hard time gardening.  They will get under your trees and munch on the roots.  Dead trees! 

I have friends who have raised beds.  Each bed has small mesh wire under the bed, the beds are almost 2 feet tall, and the plants do reasonably well.  They also have wire going up the sides of the beds to keep the bottom feeding critters out.  I have another friend who has a fenced in area about 10X10.  This is fenced on the bottom, sides, and top.  This will keep all critters out, except it's not a big enough garden to take care of her needs if she really had to support herself. 

Shooting squirrels and rabbits and eating them is always an option.  I wonder how moles taste?  If TSHTF and I was really hungry, then I guess moles would taste as good as mice and rats.  Until then, it will be a battle of wits and smoke bombs.  I wonder if road flares would work as well? 


  1. I have a cat who specializes in killing moles during the summer.

    1. We have a new kitten (named CAT) and he likes going after things. He will probably be a good hunter too. Oldest daughter brought me a litter of wild cats which I thought would be great for the barn and yard. Then the neighbors started leaving food out for them. They still the neighbors!

  2. I've had some luck with putting gum drops in the mole holes and covering the hole with a piece of wood, but I've had the best luck with the poison from Home Depot that comes in the "cone" shaped package. My father-in-law told me about the gum drop solution. He said that was what they used on a golf course he worked at back in the fifties.

  3. Seems we all who live in this Valley will have critter stories.Yesterday I had a old/new printer hooked up in my classroom. I printed a few pages and it stopped. It's done this in the past, so I pulled out the paper tray like normal. This time a mouse hopped out and into the room. I now have a mouse trap awaiting its victim. Good luck.