Mole Extermination - Pest Control Moles
Moles live underground and inhabit the lawns of residential homes, golf courses, cemeteries, and parks, as well as fallow fields, forest edges, or pastures where moist, sandy loam soils are common and digging is easy.
Moles are approximately 4-8 inches in length from nose to tail. They have short, powerful forefeet with broad outward-turned palms and prominent digging claws, small eyes and ears, short, black or brownish-gray velvety fur, and a somewhat elongated head and snout. The snout of the star-nosed mole, as its name suggests, is characterized by a prominent fleshy protuberance with 22 short "tentacles" radiating from it. These tentacles are believed to aid the animal in sensing its environment and are found in no other mammal. Eastern and hairy-tailed moles may be distinguished by differences in their tails. The tail of an eastern mole is short (0.6-1.2 in.) and naked whereas that of the hairy-tailed is slightly longer (0.9-1.4 in.) and covered with short, stiff hairs. Male eastern and hairy-tailed moles typically are larger in size than respective females whereas both male and female star-nosed moles are approximately equal in size. Tactile hairs on the snout, forepaws, top of the head, and tail enhance a moles sense of touch; moles have a poor sense of smell and are virtually blind (but they do detect light and dark). Although many people believe that moles are rodents, like mice or rats, they actually are members of the scientific order Insectivora, which includes animals like shrews and bats. The diet of a mole consists of earthworms, snails, slugs, and insects (both adult and larval stages), but also may include small amounts of vegetation and seeds taken inadvertently. Moles destroy very few plants or bulbs by direct feeding, but may dislodge plants while tunneling in search of food. Because they expend a tremendous amount of energy when constructing tunnels, moles often remain active day and night year-round in their search for food. They often consume an amount of food equal to 60-100% of their body weight daily. To satisfy this almost insatiable demand for food, one mole can dig up to 150 feet of new tunnels each day. They are most active in early morning and late evening on damp, cloudy days during the spring and fall and may be seen above ground at night or when they disperse to new areas.
Moles typically are solitary creatures, although the star-nosed mole is somewhat more social than either the eastern or hairy tail mole. The only time individuals are seen together is during the spring (February-March) breeding season or when a female is rearing young. After a 4-6 week gestation period, females produce one litter of 2-5 young (up to 7 with star-nosed moles) each year. Nest chambers are constructed 12-18 inches underground, often beneath a large stone, tree, sidewalk, or roadway. Young moles leave the nest at about 5-6 weeks of age and become sexually mature by the end of their first year. Moles may live up to 4 years in the wild.
Moles construct two types of tunnels-those at or near the ground surface and those deep (6-20 in.) underground. The networks of interconnecting trails visible above ground and just under the surface are feeding tunnels that often are used only once
Deep tunnels are the highways that lead between feeding areas and the living chambers and also provide cover against predators. Hairy-tailed moles have been observed using the same burrow system continuously for up to 8 years, but this is not common. Although all species of moles make feeding tunnels, eastern moles usually create the prominent ridges of heaved soil visible at the surface whereas star-nosed moles typically are responsible for the large (1-2 ft. diameter, 4-9 in. high) "mole hills" that give the appearance of a basketball being pushed up through the soil.
Determining Soil Composition or Plasticity for Moles
Soil composition or plasticity is the determining factor in the amount of gas mixture that is injected in the burrowing animals' tunnel system for successful results.
If the soil is composed of a denser material such as clay with minimal moisture, the amount of gas necessary to inject into the tunnel would be considerably less compared to soil that is lighter in density as with sandy or loamy compositions.
More simply, dense dry clay soil helps contain the underground shockwave by allowing the shockwave to travel deeper into the tunnels without absorption of the shockwave by the tunnel. This type of soil composition may require the minimal amount of gas during the application process.
Tunnels in light sandy or moist clay soils have a tendency to absorb he shockwave and may require more gas during the application process.
Locating Mounds and Tunnels
Mole surface tunnels require a different application method compared to pocket gophers, producing mixed results that may create more surface disruption than the original tunneling made by the mole. This is because of the highly disruptive force of the Rodenator process, creating a high pressure shockwave through the tunnel system which often opens up the tunnels to the surface.
Applications to a surface tunnel will result in the shockwave traveling short distances in the tunnel, thus requiring additional applications to get to the mole's den site.
By treating the surface tunnels, the user is basically following the shockwave to its point of termination, re-opening the tunnel, and continuing the application until the shockwave is felt underground to the mole's den site.
Secondary Tunnels (Mounds)
The secondary tunnels of moles are the result of excavating deeper tunnel systems to locate food sources or to prepare for seasonal changes in the mole's habit.
Mole tunnels directly below the mounds are normally vertical or at a very steep angle, thereby producing dome or conical shaped mounds. These vertical tunnels may go down as far as 24-30 inches below the surface before branching into the main runway.
Treating a secondary tunnel system is extremely effective wit the Rodenator, resulting in a high elimination rate and very little disruption of the surface areas.
Making Your Application
It is important that during your initial application, that you make note of the tunnels and where they are located.
Treating mole surface tunnels or mounds near foundations, walkways, patios or under buildings and sheds, may not be advisable due to the radiating shockwave. Damage to foundations and concrete work, and underground tanks may occur.
When performing the application, please observe the safety protocols as detailed in the Operators Manual for Open Hole Burrows - Position and Stance, especially for R1 users.
It is recommended that you follow safety procedures when working near structures, underground and above ground storage tanks, wellheads, and debris piles.
Opening a Surface Tunnel
With the Rodenator Gopher Shovel, start your application near the feeding tunnels (jagged ridge tunnels). Open the tunnel large enough to insert the nozzle of the Rodenator.
Injecting the Gas Mixture
Inject the gas into the tunnel using the Gas Timing Chart for Moles. Perform your application with a watch or stop watch to accurately dispense the gas into the tunnel.
Igniting the Gas Mixture
Immediately after releasing the gas flow lever, depress the ignition button to detonate the oxy/fuel mixture.
Continue with Application to Surface Tunnels
Continue the application on surface tunnel by proceeding to the end of the tunnel where the shockwave terminated. Open the tunnel, insert nozzle, inject gas mixture and ignite.
Note: If your application is successful, your last application will result in the shockwave or concussion going deep underground to the mole den site.
This will be noticed by a loud thump, followed by a slight heaving to the surface.
Treating Mole surface tunnels with the Rodenator process will result in a loud bang, similar to the sound of a shotgun or rifle. Hearing protection for the operator and bystander is required.
Treating surface tunnels may cause flying debris. Head, eye and face protection is required.
Mole Timing Chart (Surface Tunnels):
Surface tunnels only - 10-30 seconds
Mole Timing Chart (Secondary Tunnels)
|Clay Soil Composition||Time|
|Wet, Muddy or Saturated||Not recommended|
|Black or Heavy Soil||Time|
|Wet, Muddy or Saturated||not recommended|
|Loam or Medium Soil||Time|
|Wet, Muddy or Saturated||Not recommended|
|Sandy or Light Soil||Time|
|Wet or Saturated||Not recommended|