How fast is a mole?

petalpatsy(7b)June 11, 2008

Mercy! My hands are still shaking! I'm kinda a wimp, and I know I have a mole--he went around my house right at the foundation and left a neat little tilled trail. I bought a mole trap, but I decided against it. Eh, I've got big beds, a big compost pile, all organic. A trowel full of soil pulls out a half dozen worms--plenty to spare, and hey, a mole is aerating my soil.

Since I'm crazy, I was out, at midnight, extending my daylily bed. I'd put it under straw all winter so I was moving that and lightly forking the surface. I was sitting, working at the very edge of my backyard floodlights.

The ground moved. I put it down to my insomniac mind, and wondered if I needed to tell a psychiatrist about it. The second time I watched the ground throb, my mind clicked(snapped?) and...I panicked. I leapt up and stabbed the ground twenty times. Then I fled. It's really too much adrenaline and sudden exercise for a woman my age and weight. :)

Tomorrow...I'll have to go back out there. Will I likely find a mutilated mole? Do you think it would have had time to run away in the two seconds between the leap and the attack?

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My goodness! Don't leave us in suspense! Tell us what happened this morning!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2008 at 10:21AM
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joepyeweed(5b IL)

You're not crazy for gardening at midnight, thats the best time to garden in the heat of summer. But you may be crazy for expanding a day-lily bed. ;-)

My dog catches moles quite frequently. And I know people who do get them with a shovel by watching the tunnels for movement and then slicing the tunnel at just the right its certainly possible you may have committed a midnight murder... but I think it was too dark for you to accurately aim and you have nothing to worry about. ;-)

    Bookmark   June 11, 2008 at 10:21AM
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There's no sign of any struggle--he got away! I did open the tunnel down the bed extension just to see if he died of a heart attack a bit later. Me and my mole live to hybridize another day!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2008 at 12:29PM
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Moles will eat the roots of your favorite plants . Somehow they know which ones these are . They will eat the roots of young trees and kill them . They are a GIANT pest to us farmers and ranchers . They are after grubs and others goodies in your gardens but will just as quickly destroy your prized lawn or pasture . I have not found anything that truly works other than running over their fresh burrows with the truck or having the dogs turned loose . They dig up and kill those moles evey time and the dogs enjoy the heck out of the challenge . OR - you can just live and let live . Peace .

    Bookmark   June 11, 2008 at 7:02PM
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adirondackgardener(Western Maine)

How fast is a mole? (or a vole, perhaps?)

Not fast enough to outrun a well-placed shovel strike when one just happen to be in the right place at the right time with the right garden tool in hand when one emerges from it's hole or is seen forming that weird raised tunnel just below the surface of the soil.

By the way, I do not think you saw a mole, but a vole. A mole is an insectavore, eating some nasty bugs like grubs as well as the earthworms some gardeners have come to love. It will not eat your plants or their roots. And it will not tunnel to the surface. A vole will, however.

A mole looks like a furry sausage with a long, hairless snout and a vole looks kind of like a plump mouse, a mouse that has been gorging itself on your plants. The interesting things about voles is that there are two types, the meadow vole comes above ground to chew on your plants and the pine vole will nibble on the roots from below. Can't say I care for either.


    Bookmark   June 11, 2008 at 11:45PM
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joepyeweed(5b IL)

Moles primarily eat worms and grubs, and only a small amount of plants. Their primary damage is due to their tunnels disrupting the root systems of plants, especially seedlings and grasses....

Here is a link that might be useful: A good article about moles

    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 10:38AM
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Thank you - did not know the difference between moles and voles and now I do . I have only seen dead moles that my dogs have caught . Looks like trench warfare in my yard when the dogs are going after a critter !

    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 11:28AM
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I think it's a mole. Voles are more like mice and my cats leave them on my doorstep pretty regularly. I've never seen tunnels in the past eight years here. According to this link, voles don't really tunnel a lot underground, rather make runways in tall/thick grasses. I've not had any plant damage at all. There seems to be a new tunnel every day and if I half smash in the ones to the compost pile, or the drippy wet place under my spigot it is repaired the next day.

I've never actually seen the animal. Only the throbbing dirt. It's either a mole or a rising zombie trying reach out and eat my brain. :)

    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 12:00PM
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Not faster than a 4-10. Watch for the earth to move and pull the trigger...Bastards! (wear hearing protection, eye protection, never point directly down. Point at an angle, about 12" from ground and away from anything that may ricochet the shot. Be aware of your surroundings and of any city ordinance, if applies)

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 2:52PM
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