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Moles Got The Munchies

Saturday August 25, 2012

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Mr Pest Control

Question:

I noticed several bait pellets with zinc phosphide listed for moles. I thought moles primarily ate worms and grubs. How does this bait work on moles if their normal diet doesn't include this type of food?

Mr Pest Control

Answer:

You are correct that a couple of pelleted baits do have moles on their labels, but these generally have been fairly ineffective against these carnivores / insectivores. Moles will eat some small amount of plant material in addition to their primary diet of meat, and perhaps it was this slight deviation that caused them to take an interest in pelleted grain-based baits. But, without a doubt, at this time the superior bait for moles appears to be Talpirid, those soft worm-shaped baits that are extremely attractive and palatable to moles and which contain bromethalin as the active ingredient. This single-feeding active works quickly and requires a single bait "worm" to be lethal. 


I can tell you from personal experience that Talpirid is wonderful. I had my own marauding mole in my yard a year ago and I gave it over a month to leave on its own, which it chose not to do. In that month it circled my entire yard twice, disrupting neat gravel pathways with its large surface tunnels, pushing bedding plants and even large flagstones up out of the ground, and here and there created a large pile of dirt as it cleared its tunnels. I finally decided it had to go and a local PMP placed Talpirid in several of the freshest surface tunnels. I never saw another sign of this mole and have managed to get the appearance of my nicely landscaped yard back to normal. 

Where grubs (beetle larvae) are plentiful this may be the major diet of moles, and for this we can thank them for the benefit they provide. In California earthworms are going to be the most abundant "meat" in the ground, so that becomes their primary diet, and obviously they are not so beneficial if they are eating up our earthworms. I was a bit surprised when I looked into moles a bit more and found that some species, such as the common Townsend Mole in the West, can be very large - up to 8 inches in length - which is why they are powerful enough to cause so much damage. 

Trapping is another popular option for mole management, but even experts tell us that this can be very time consuming and thus expensive for the customer. A single mole may result in over $100 of your time to set traps, recheck the traps, remove dead moles, reset sprung traps, etc. The benefit of trapping is the non-toxic nature of it and the assurance that a trapped mole is definitely removed from that property. 

Mr. Pest Control

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Please note, Mr. Pest Control is answering questions supplied by PMP customers across North America. His answers are generated from industry and manufacturer-provided information. The answer may not be specific to the laws and regulations for your State, Province, Territory or Country. In addition, products mentioned may not be registered and or available in all areas. Always check with your local Univar office for specific information to your area. Always read and follow label directions.

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