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Ground Hogs, Squirrels, and Moles - How do I get them out of my yard

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by NoPaint, Jan 24, 2009.

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  1. NoPaint

    NoPaint Member

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    I have ground hogs and moles eating the roots of my Hosta plants and killing them. Then I have squirrels eating the fruits of everything else. This has been for over a decade and I really would love to repel them from my yard or do something to get rid of them. Any suggestions on getting rid of any or all of the 3 would be real helpful.

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  2. Brian VT

    Brian VT Minister of Fire

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    Have you seen the movie Caddyshack ?
    Pellet guns are effective too.
  3. NoPaint

    NoPaint Member

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    I should have mentioned I want alternatives to using pellet guns. Probably an effective thing but I don't think its for me!
  4. ChipTam

    ChipTam Burning Hunk

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    Your question reminded me of a story my wife likes to tell. When she was a child she would spend time at her aunt and uncle's farm out in the country. One day she happened upon Uncle Jim about to dispatch a mole which had been caught in his mole trap (a rather nasty little gizmo with a spring and sharp prong.) My wife looked at the mole and told Jim that the poor mole had a bloody paw. So, Jim went into the house got some micurocrome and a tiny band aid. He dabbed the paw, bandaged it and then placed the mole in a coffee can in order to deal with it after my wife left. All of sudden, the mole tipped over the coffee can and was gone. My wife said that she heard Jim say some words she had never heard before.

    ChipTam
  5. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    Get a cat and a dog to hunt them.
  6. NoPaint

    NoPaint Member

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    I was thinking a cat is the only way too. There used to be one around here and we didn't have a single one...now that its gone they are back.
  7. Cazimere

    Cazimere Member

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    Not a very bright idea.
  8. ansehnlich1

    ansehnlich1 Minister of Fire

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    Look, you have a couple choices...

    1. kill 'em
    2. catch 'em
    3. fuggedabout'em

    I always take number 1 as my answer to the problem due to the guaranteed success.

    Number 2 seems humane, however, it takes some skill to get a trap, catch 'em, and release 'em.

    Number 3 has it's merits, sometimes, like in the case of squirrel, you can feed 'em away from your residence, but prepare to buy a whole crapload of ear corn and sunflower seed.

    Oh yeah, you could get a dog, or cat, but that kinda falls under the category of number 1.

    I just LOVE the Giant Destroyer.....

    http://store.doyourownpestcontrol.com/PestControl/Catalog/Moles_1220.html
  9. Cazimere

    Cazimere Member

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    #4 learn to live with em.
  10. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    Cats and dogs also work as a detterent.

    I heard that propane being heavier than air works well as a giant destroyer.

    I saw a guy on TV that converted an old vacuum truck from septic tank use to sucking gophers right out of the ground. Called himself Dog Gone (something or other).
  11. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    I kill them with the have-a-heart traps. They are like a scissor trap. We have moles here that push up mounds all over the lawns and pastures. I've gotten two so far and my fields are moundless. Across the property line there are hundreds of mounds.

    Another neat trick is to combine ammonia and bleach to create heavy chlorine gas which will fill their tunnels.
  12. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    If you're not into the killing thing I would recommend the Hav-a-Heart live animal traps for the squirrels and groundhogs. After you catch them you can take them for a ride and release them and let somebody else deal with them . . . I'm not sure if they have live animal traps for moles.

    I had a squirrel problem a few years back and used the live animal trap to get rid of the buggers . . . although I learned the first time or two that you really need to take them several miles from your home since the first few buggers returned in a day or two.

    I've never had much of a woodchuck problem and with four cats moles (or any small varmint for that matter) doesn't make too many visits to Firefighterjake's homestead . . . and one cat (my smallest cat for that matter) for some reason has a deep-seated hatred and fascination with squirrels which she seems bent on catching even though they're about the same size of her.
  13. hensonconst1

    hensonconst1 Member

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    Get rid of their food source on your property. moles eat grubs mainly you can get a grub killer that goes on your lawn, and the moles will have to find another yard to eat in. Squirrels of course nuts. so maybe cut down all your nut baring trees. but I prefer to kill Squirrels. They are a fine meal. I not sure what ground hogs eat.
  14. SaratogaJJ

    SaratogaJJ New Member

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    Spot-on with the grubs comment. Grubs are a favourite of moles especially, so get rid of the grubs, get rid of the moles. Two ways you can go here; chemical or organic. If you want quick n' easy, the chemical route is Grub-X, which works well, but make sure you read the instructions how to apply it correctly.

    If you want to go organic, it's called milky spore. It's basically a organism that kills Japanese Beetles exclusively. Very safe to put on your lawn; it won't affect kids, dogs, cats, etc. The only downside is that it requires 3 treatments per year, for 2 years. Once you've done that though, your lawn should be protected from grubs for about, oh, 15 years or so. If, in addition to your rodent problem, you have grubs, then you may find this an attractive option.

    The other option is to make it inhospitable for your rodents. Dogs are good for this. However, they make pelletized castor oil, that apparently rodents can't abide the scent of. You spread it on your lawn - preferably right before some rain, or otherwise you use a sprinkler to wet it down - and the castor oil sinks into the dirt and the critters pack up and move out within about 24 hours as they try to get away from the odour. Your local Agway or garden supply store should have some of this stuff; it's sold as MoleMax. It comes as granules or in a liquid spray form. I find the granules are easier to spread around. You'll probably need to apply it maybe once a year or so, depending on how much it rains/snows where you live.
  15. burntime

    burntime New Member

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    C'mon hunting season!
    Pellet gun, a 5 gallon bucket filled half way with a board going up the side and some sunflower seeds sprinkled in. You gotta be quick to get em out though ;~) Really, if you catch them are you going to let them go in someone elses yard that will have to deal with them? My cousin did this with squirrels, he let them go at a park, got caught and a big fine. Easier to use em as fertilizer.
  16. NoPaint

    NoPaint Member

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    Thanks for the help guys. I will try the traps once the weather heats up.
  17. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    Squirrels are easy to catch in Have-a-Heart traps. I take a hickory nut (that's what they eat in my yard), pre-drill it, and wood screw it loosely to the bottom of the release mechanism (there's already a couple small holes for your screw). Takes the hassle out of baiting and re-baiting.

    Moles are different. A real challenge. I've been fighting them for years. They're destroying my hillside, creating serious erosion (tunnel wash-outs in heavy rain), threatening the foundation of my patio and house (also on hillside), and making it more and more difficult to get wood up and down the hill with the lawn tractor.

    I've used the "spikes go down" and the "scissors go side-ways" traps with some success (I like the scissor trap, but it's dangerous for kids... and fingers). You have to find an active tunnel, which can be hard if tunnels and mounds are everywhere, and you back up to woods with lots of leaf cover, where a new mole replaces the dispatched one pretty quick. But it can take several misses before one success with the traps.

    If you see a mole digging a new tunnel (raising the ground in a rhythmic fashion at the end of a tunnel) you can pop them out with a shovel. I've gotten three or four like this, but it's not for the faint of heart. After a certain level of destruction, even the Mrs. is on-board with mole assassination. They are cute little devils, though.

    I may have to try those worms. The old style pellets don't work for me and that Castor oil stuff is expensive, especially if it doesn't work. Moles are the toughest, most destructive pest I've ever come across.
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