Thursday, March 31, 2011

Molehills into Mountains on Minnesota Acreage

Ever hear the saying, "You are making a mountain out of a molehill?" It is used when someone is making a big deal out of trivial issue. BUT if you are trying to sell your home and a mole make a hill in your yard, it's not so trivial! Especially if you have spent thousands on landscaping for your property. Their destructive activity could cause concern to any lawn-loving Minnesotan and potential home buyer.
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 their runs will crisscross around your yard deep beneath the earth. Moles and Vole trails are the windy runs just below the surface of your lawn. There have been years where the ones in my yard look similar to an aerial view of "spaghetti junction" where 35E and 694!
Spring is a busy reproductive time for these little pesky creatures. As the ground thaws, homeowners the activity is going to begin. 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 when the snow finally melts and the ground thaws.As a REALTOR® working throughout the Twin Cities north metro, I know that buyers from the city often become concerned when they see several huge dirt piles in a seller's front yard. It seems that these creatures have a knack for knowing when a home is put on the market and choose that time to dig a huge molehill. 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 from time to time stumble as the ground sinks beneath them when they discover a newly dug mole or vole trail. It can be a huge concern to a home buyer as these trails tend to ruin the sod and other landscaping.
Whether you are a buyer, seller or someone who owns a home on acreage, maintaining your landscape is paramount. 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 buying, selling or relocating to Minnesota and need help from a professional REALTOR®, give me, Teri Eckholm of RE/MAX Specialists, a call or visit my website for a FREE Relocation Packet or Homebuyers Success Packet. I specialize in acreage and lakeshore properties in the north and east Twin Cities metro area including Ham Lake, Lino Lakes and all communities in the Forest Lake School District! Serving Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota.

Copyright 2015

Top 10 Reasons People L♥VE to Call OAKDALE, Minnesota HOME

Oakdale, Minnesota has its roots in agriculture, railroads and resorts. Early settlers to the area in the 1800’s chose the name for the groves of trees that enhanced the landscape. It started as a township organized in the 1850’s but it was over a century before Oakdale became a city. At one point Hudson Road at the south end of the city was an established stagecoach route to Chicago. Two railroads stations were an important part of putting Oakdale on the map. Lake Demontreville was once a popular summer home area for wealthy city dwellers, though it was once a part of Oakdale Township, it is now in neighboring Lake Elmo. From its humble beginnings, Oakdale became a city in 1974 and is noted worldwide for being headquarters for 3M and Imation. It is no longer a farming community. In the 1990’s the city became a growth suburb and expanded in population from just over 18,000 to nearly 27,000 residents which is where the estimates are today.Here is a top ten list of reasons why Oakdale Minnesota is such a great place to live:

#10—Oakdale Summerfest. The annual event held every June features everything to celebrate summer! Parade, Oakdale royalty coronation, carnival rides, baseball/softball tourney, crafts and more are combined to make this a memory-making event for area residents.

#9—Fish or Swim. Oakdale’s Tanners Lake is fabulous places to share a day with friends at the beach or on the dock! Tanners is a wonderful place to spend an afternoon.

#8—Tee Off at Oak Marsh. Play 18 holes among the wetlands on this centrally located 70 par course. Not a golfer? The pros at Oak Marsh can help you learn. Even if golf isn’t your thing, you can enjoy a fantastic dinner and view. The
Oak Marsh clubhouse is known for hosting everything from class reunions to wedding receptions as it boasts a full service banquet facility.

#7—Awesome Schools.
Castle, Eagle Point, Oakdale and Skyview are the public elementary schools within the borders of Oakdale. All are part of the North St. Paul/Maplewood/Oakdale District 622 along and Skyview Middle School and Tartan High School. GO Titans! Additionally, there are several private schools in the community including Paidea Child Development Center and Transfiguration Elementary

#6—Parks and Open Spaces. Dozens of parks and open spaces to explore, picnic and play at are scattered throughout the City of Oakdale. There is one a short walk or bike ride away from nearly every residential community. Explore and enjoy!

#5—Industrial Innovation! Oakdale can celebrate being home to innovative corporations including
Imation and 3M! Okay technically 3M Corporation is on Oakdale/St. Paul border but many Oakdale residents work at this company that is world renown for creating exciting new products.

#4—Entertainment! Looking for a great movie or place to eat? Oakdale has an eclectic variety of choices for every age group.
Yelp and Metromix searches for Oakdale indicate there are culinary choices including Mexican, Chinese, Italian and Lebanese dining options.

#3— Discover Nature. Hands on exhibits and 220 acres of prairieland to explore make
the Oakdale Nature Preserve and Discovery Center a fun family destination. Discover art; learn about nature; hike, bike & cross-country ski along miles of trails; or just sit back and enjoy view of the 28 acre lake from the observation dock. There is much to do at this award winning facility in the heart of Oakdale.

#2—Eclectic Options for Living. Whether you want the convenience of a low-maintenance townhome a 1950’s rambler or bungalow, or a recently constructed, modified two-story, you can find an affordable option to rent or purchase in Oakdale.

#1—Friendly People. The number one reason for living in Oakdale is the welcoming community atmosphere. Isn’t that what most people search for in a place to call home?

Copyright 2011