Right before I canceled my contract with my pest service, the technician — a very friendly and helpful sort — gave me his earnest thoughts about how to resolve my problem with moles.
“You near any fresh water here?”
“Ah-huh. Right at the back edge of the property there’s a stream.”
Rudy (as I’ll call the technician, having forgotten his real name and having deleted his equally earnest report, a report that used phrases such as “moderate activity at bait station” and “no signs of entry into home”) wagged his head in a slow figure eight, tsk-tsking and clucking. He didn’t seem happy to hear about my proximity to water. “Moles are tricky. They don’t like our bait.” Pausing, he offered, “A pellet gun should take care of the problem.”
Subsequent online searches seemed to echo Rudy’s comments. Don’t waste your money on deterrents, I heard over and over by YouTube homeowners with this same problem. With growing alarm, I started to see that the favored means of eradication — the most effective — fell into two camps: either I was going to have to shoot the varmints or invest in spring-loaded, scissor-jawed traps that you set along their tunnels. I’ll spare you the technicalities of how they work, but knowing that the primary feature is a scissor action, any further elaboration is overkill. (Get it?)
It all presents me with a real quandary, and I don’t know how I will proceed. Selling my home is not a viable solution to my mole problem. Nor is any concession of defeat. I hear that one effective way to invite moles to leave your property is by encouraging hawks and owls to visit more regularly, something that I am loathe to do because I fear they might ignore any loudly issued injunction against harassing my small bird friends.
To my great surprise (and internal disgust), I’ve found myself wondering, how realistic is it to shoot a mole in the dark? (I texted my brother Bob with the question, also asking, do I need a gun license to own/operate a pellet gun? Bob became alarmed.)
Verging on desperation, I find a middle ground solution the most acceptable*. I’ll buy the trap, set the trap, and if it becomes triggered, I’ll call over my neighbor Charlie. With appropriate theatrical flourishes, I’ll suggest that we have encountered the times that try homeowners’ souls, and that tyranny of lawn is not easily conquered. Charlie is a good patriot. . . er, neighbor, and will take up the cause, I’m sure.
*(I can’t see myself even going the “death trap” route. I get as far as imagining pushing the “scissors” through to the tunnel, and I’m overcome with a sense of betrayal.)