By Don Rush

Ah, spring is in the air! (Relatively speaking — if you consider it’s the middle of May and pretty gosh-darned gloomy, it is still spring.) And, for me, with spring comes a new awakened sense of smell. All through the bitter winter my sense of smell goes to Tahiti or somewhere. Where ever it goes, it does always come back sometime in April.
There’s nothing better than the smell of the first spring cut of your lawn; or of the lilacs; or of puppy’s breath; or the smell of a new born baby’s head. There’s nothing better than all those smells, except maybe when you walk by a Burger King and smell those Whoppers being flame-broiled.

mmmmm . . . . I can smell the flame-broiled goodness now. Thanks!

I love the smell of Burger King in the mornings, almost as much as I dislike seeing my lawn man-handled by a bunch of grub-chewing, tunneling moles. Last week I wrote (quite poetically, I might add) about the long, long, really long war I have waged against the dreaded Scalopus Aquaticus — also known as the Eastern Mole.
Over the years, I have stomped, trapped, pitch-forked and even tried to drown them out by putting the garden hose in their hole and turning on the spigot. All efforts in eradication were to no avail. They keep on keeping on. Heck, I even figured out after a few years moles do not mind the water. My keen sense of the obvious finally figured out they may even like water because their genus species name has Aquaticus in it — “belonging to the water.”

Ick! Moles give me the willies. The dreaded Scalopus Aquaticus from

And, you readers came to my defense. One dude walked into The Oxford Leader office and just said, “Tell Don, ‘Juicy Fruit.’ That’ll take care of his mole problem.
A Michael M., emailed me this: Don – Moles are crafty and maddening. We have tried smokin’ them out; dropping dog and animal hair, fox urine, chewing gum, even hot pepper down their holes.
A neighbor has installed a trap that decapitates them below ground.
All with limited success.
What I have found most effective is a product called “milky spore.” It’s a white powder applied in small piles above ground – a spoonful every four feet in spring and fall in a grid pattern across your lawn. Lightly water the piles and with help of rain, the substance drains down and kills the grubs which attract moles in the first place. With no food supply the moles move on to greener pastures (hopefully forever.)
Contact your local nursery to see if they stock milky spore or can direct you to a source. Make sure to wear protective gloves and not inhale the stuff.
Good luck.

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Hmmm? Gas mask? Micheal, is the milky spore chemical warfare approach approved by the United Nations or the Geneva War Convention?
From Bill and Susanne M., of Clarkston I received this Intel: Look no further, Don – the Vermont Country Store has the answer! We bought their item #79803 Mole and Gopher Chaser a few years ago, and the moles who were digging up our lawn moved away! It is solar powered and requires one small battery, which lasted until long after the moles were gone. It emits a small beep that isn’t offensive to humans but apparently drives moles crazy. (Our daughter was outside one day and came in, worried that “something electronic” was out there “beeping?”)

Here it is, the answer to my prayers? Can the Mole Chaser bring an end to Mole Wars? Time will tell.

We stored the thing after the moles were gone, until last year, when I was trimming some hydrangea bushes and stepped into a BIG hole. The rock wall behind the house had been excavated! A fox hole? A VERY large gopher?
It had to be the groundhog. Neighbors informed us, when we came here, that groundhogs have lived in the neighborhood much longer than we have. Two or three times a year we would see a furry brown animal ambling across the yard – a good-sized rodent, lower to the ground, but about the same in bulk as a hefty cat. We quite enjoyed harboring an interesting critter, but we didn’t want the rock wall to collapse!
Our family has raised (in cages) a variety of rodents, from white mice to gerbils to guinea pigs. “The poor groundhog,” our (grown-up) kids wailed! “Don’t call the exterminator!” So, we retrieved our trusty Mole and Gopher Chaser!
When the machine was in place in the ground, with a new battery, it resumed beeping! The groundhog moved out one night when we weren’t looking. He couldn’t stand the racket, we think. We’ve put back the rocks and some of the sand in the rock wall. We hope the groundhog is happy nearby (maybe living under a nice compost heap somewhere?)! Good luck with your battle with the moles – The Vermont Store has helped us more than once!

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Interesting info, Bill and Susanne. High-tech might be the ticket! I just popped on line ( and looked up the Mole & Gopher Chaser. It costs $21.95. I might just buy two! Thanks everyone for helping me take the fight to my enemy!
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