Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Moles, Voles and Pocket Gophers…Oh, MY!


These critters are not as scary as lions and bears, but if you have spent thousands on landscaping your property, their destructive activity could frighten any lawn-loving Minnesotan.

Pocket gophers, along with their little mole friends, are the bane of the countryside. These small little rodents cause serious damage to lawns and landscaping across Anoka County. Pocket gophers leave huge dirt mounds above ground and runs that crisscross around your yard deep beneath the earth. Moles and Vole trails are the windy runs just below the surface of your lawn. The ones in my yard look similar to an aerial view of “
the unweave the weave” highway construction project on 35E and 694!

Spring is a busy reproductive time for these little pesky creatures. And gophers, moles and voles can have several litters in a season. If you do not want your yard overrun with dirt mounds and the dead damaged trails on your lawn all summer, it is best to address the pocket gopher/mole problem in early spring.

As a Realtor working in the Twin Cities north metro, I know how buyers get concerned when they see several huge dirt piles in a sellers’ yard. It seems that these creatures have a knack for knowing when a h
ome is listed. I have had several frantic sellers call the day after they have listed with their first ever gopher mound in their yard.
Similarly, when walking a property, buyers will stumble as the ground sinks beneath them when they discover a newly dug mole trail. It can be a huge concern to a home buyer as it can ruin the landscaping.

Whether you are a buyer, seller or home owner maintaining your landscape, here are ideas to eliminate the mounds and trails from your yard.

How to get rid of moles, voles or pocket gophers:
  1. Get rid of their food supply. Pocket gophers eat grub worms that live in the dirt. If you chemically treat your lawn to kill the grub worms, the pocket gophers move on. Usually to your neighbors’ yard.
  2. Mole repellents can also be used to change the taste of the grub worms. This can be purchased at a store or you can mix your own. One cup of dish soap, one ounce of Castor oil and ¼ cup of cayenne pepper mixed together and spread with a garden sprayer should do the trick. Of course this method again just moves the pests to your neighbors’ yard.
  3. Ultrasonic Devices. I had a client who had some success with this method last year. The high pitched sound emitted by the unit is designed to sound like another gopher. Since these are territorial animals, they move on. Again, probably to your neighbors’ yard.
  4. Use a poison for gophers and moles. This is effective but if you have pets or children, there are risks. Your pet could dig up the poison or the poisoned gopher and become ill or die.
  5. Set underground traps. This is an effective method with results that you can see. The wire traps are set underground in near the gopher mound. When a gopher moves through the burrow, he is killed in the trap.

If you are relocating to Minnesota, are looking for Homes for Sale in the north and east Twin Cities metro area and need help from a professional Realtor, give me a call or visit my website for a FREE Relocation Packet. Serving Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota.

Copyright 2007