Mole Removal & Trapping in Central VA
(434) 270-0488 or toll-free at (888) 893-1975
We currently offer ongoing mole trapping and vole control programs for golf courses, and in taking over the mole control on these courses either from the maintenance crews or from other independent contractors, we have repeatedly seen several key factors that often cause mole and vole control programs on golf courses to fail. All the courses we do have had mole and/or vole control programs of one form or another in place before bringing us on, but none of them had achieved the kind of near 100% control that is possible with the implementation of an optimized trapping program. Listed below are several of what we feel to be the most important factors in determining success.
1. Trapping vs. Fumigation and Baiting of Moles
There is a common misconception that trapping is not as efficient as poisons when dealing with large populations of moles and voles as often exist on golf courses. Nothing could be further from the truth–we’ve seen many courses where populations of hundreds of moles and voles survived poisoning efforts, but were quickly brought down to near zero with an optimized trapping program.
The success of poisons varies widely depending on soil composition and moisture content. Soils that are on the sandy or dry side allow the poisons to diffuse into the soil, and you simply don’t build up a sufficient concentration to kill the moles and voles. And baiting and fumigation are completely ineffective in controlling moles, as their long narrow tunnels make it even less likely that fumigants will build up to lethal levels in their tunnel system.
Trapping can be a devastatingly effective control technique. It’s also a relatively hassle free from a regulatory perspective. No pesticides to buy and store, and no pesticide permits, licenses or notices of intent are required.
2. Mole Trap Shyness and Trap Avoidance
If you look closely at the Macabee trap shown at right, you see mole hair between the tines of the sprung trap, but no mole. Macabees, Easy Sets, and other similar traps may catch juvenile moles on a regular basis, but they just don’t have sufficient spring strength or the proper mechanics needed to catch the larger adults consistently. Many larger adults are pinched in traps, but wriggle free to live another day. And they do learn from their experience. Moles that are pinched in ineffective traps and manage to escape will quickly become trap shy and almost impossible to trap. Once they know the danger associated with that foreign object in their tunnel system, they will repeatedly pack dirt against it or simply avoid it altogether.
Creating trap shy moles through the use of marginally effective traps is a disaster for any mole and vole control program. Your staff will spend countless hours of wasted time repeatedly re-setting traps for the same trap shy moles and voles with minimal results, and the trap shy moles and voles will continue to breed and produce offspring that will re-invade tunnel systems on a course. You may continue to catch many naive younger moles and voles, but without eliminating the larger breeding adults, you will never disrupt the breeding cycle and achieve real population control.
When we take over doing mole and vole control on golf courses usinig our stainless steel traps, we’ll literally haul out buckets of trapped moles and voles. The superintendents on these courses are often shocked by how efficient our trapping program is compared to results they obtained with their staff using rusty Macabee traps or similarly ineffective traps. Theyr’e also consistently shocked by the size of the moles and voles we catch, as they’re used to seeing the juveniles that their staff catch with less powerfull traps, and they’re not used to seeing the full sized adult moles and voles that we take out with our traps.
3. Spot Treatment vs. Population Control for Moles
We’ve noticed on many of the golf courses we’ve taken over that due to time constraints, the maintenance staff tend to “spot treat” moles and voles when they get into highly visible areas such as greens, tees, bunkers, and out in the middle of fairways, but often pay less attention to them when they’re in the roughs or other less critical areas. In our view this is a short sighted approach to mole and vole control, because even though those moles and voles in the less critical areas may not be a major concern, they do continue to breed and thus produce an endless supply of moles and voles to re-invade the critical areas of the course.
A more effecitve approach that will result in far better control and will also eat up significantly less staff time in the long run is to shoot for 100% control throughout the grounds. Mole and vole control becomes a vastly easier proposition once you get the population low enough to break the breeding cycle. You’ll always have to trap moles and voles invading from the perimeter, but this is a very easy proposition compared to constantly trying to keep pace with the natural increase of a breeding population.
Consultations for Moles
We do a lot of work on golf courses as part of our service business, and we enjoy talking with golf course superintendents about mole and vole control, so if any of you have questions about mole and vole trapping or need advice about getting going with a truly effective trapping program, please feel free to call us for a no cost consultation.
Call Virginia Professional Wildlife Removal (434) 270-0488 or toll-free at (888) 893-1975.