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  • Subject: Moles
  • From: "Hank Zumach" <zumach@execpc.com>
  • Date: Mon, 16 Jul 2001 14:15:54 -0500

Hi All--Recently on one of the lists I posted a request for help IDing the cause of a problem cimicifuga.  It was shriveling up and slowly dying.  There were no other outward symptoms and the plant had been thoroughly watered.  Responses from the list and calls to our county agent suggested a root virus or fungus as the most likely cause.  The same thing began to happen to several astilbes scattered about in various parts of the garden.  I was about to dig up an astilbe to check the roots when I discovered that MOLES had tunneled around and under the plants.  The tunnels apparently left the plant roots hanging in air and therefore unable to take in any water.  The tunnels were deep enough that there were no "humps" on the surface of the soil to indicate their presence.  As soon as I collapsed the tunnels,  the plants began to recover.
Our gardens are in a forested area and mole runs are very common.  Until now, I had thought they always tunneled close enough to the surface to push up the soil.  Obviously not.  In thinking back over time,  this problem has been happening for years and has cost us a number of water sensitive plants.  Until now, we assumed the problems were "just one of those things".  What is discouraging is that we have been unsuccessful in getting rid of the moles.  Over the course of several years we have tried 3 different styles of metal traps and 2 or 3 kinds of poison.  I know we have never killed a single mole with a trap and the poisons have not seemed to have an effect either.  Has anyone found a trap that actually kills the darn things?  How about a poison that is specific to moles ( as opposed to the type that kills off all the worms that the moles feed on)?
Hank Zumach
Stoddard, WI

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