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Mole or gopher or what?

We have some type of animal making tunnels in our yard. One or two mounds pop up everyday. It started in an area with several trees but now it's heading away from any plant life. We dug up a few mounds the other day and could only find a tunnel in one of them. Our soil is very sandy and keeps filling in where we dig. The tunnel we found is about 2-3" in diameter. Does it matter what this animal is? Or will any trap do?

I was searching on this forum for ideas and found suggestions for two different traps that can be found at hardware stores for around $10-$15. I think the posts were a few years old. Is this still the way to go? Thanks
 
They are probably moles, gophers are much larger. There are several trains of thought on them. One is, they are after the grubs in your yard. Get rid of the grubs and the moles go away. You will get lots of answers on how to do that, me, I don't care. I just plant onions where I don't want moles, mainly in the garden.
 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Everything that blooms and grows, the garden angel scatters and sows...in the land of corn and pigs...Iowa Zone 4-5

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With gophers, the tunnels "tend" to be further underground and not noticeable above ground. They push up big mounds of dirt that they clean out of their tunnels.

If you see tunnels above ground, that is more likely a mole. In my experience, moles are tougher to trap than gophers. You can just "live and let live", stomp down the tunnels and wait for them to leave. If you decide you want to trap them, I prefer the spear-type harpoon traps which are the easiest to properly set for beginners. Some of the clam-shell type traps are cheaper and work well, but I think they take longer to learn how to use for best results. If you want more info, let me know.
 
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Zone 3 NW Wisconsin: Left the city in '98, hardly been back since!
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These tunnels are underground enough that we only see the mounds of dirt but the tunnel is very small in diameter. At this point I don't mind the "live and let live" plan. We're only starting to build our garden so we don't have any veggies in harms way yet. My mom mentioned that we had a burrowing animal problem when I was younger that resulted in the tunnels collapsing the yard. We had craters all over the place. I'd like to avoid that. So, I think I'll look for those traps you described just in case. Thanks for the help
 
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Thats kind of how I do it. Live and let live until things start to get out of hand. I have 5 of these traps and if the yard starts to get too tore up, I blitz the area with traps and usually get things back under control.

I tend to find the traps cheap at yard sales, so if you aren't in a real rush, save yourself some bucks that way.
 
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Zone 3 NW Wisconsin: Left the city in '98, hardly been back since!
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I just kind of leave them alone too. I plant onions in the garden where I don't want the moles, they really hate that.
 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Everything that blooms and grows, the garden angel scatters and sows...in the land of corn and pigs...Iowa Zone 4-5

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Misha, I have gophers and they are a nightmare. Mine have shallow and deep tunnels. Use a trap to find out what you've got. Gophers have big buck teeth and eyes. Moles do not. Don't get your bare hands on the trap because it leaves your scent and they will avoid it. Getting them out of the trap is another disgusting process.

I just searched on southern Nevada and it says there are gophers there. As soon as you start watering your new vegetables they will find that dampness and help themselves.

Until you know for sure that you've got gophers or moles, you might want to put your tomatoes in chicken wire baskets, pumpkins, melons, etc. The lettuce might be shallow enough and short lived enough for you to cut it before they discover the roots. Just make them yourself by folding some galvanized chicken wire in 1" only, not the larger stuff, in half and twisting the ends shut.

- Tom
 
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Moles don't like castor oil, it makes their fur all nasty. But there was an article in OG about them a few years back that they are acutally beneficial to your lawn. They eat grubs, (bleck if you've seen the gross larava), they airate your soil. Just walk on the tunnels near the soil surface and on their mounds. ...They are really cute little critters if you get a chance to see one..Under developed eyes if any, black, sleek, ultra soft fur. I really think they are beautiful creatures. but I'm not a huge kentucky blue grass lawn fan...like my darling husband. He set out poison pellets this spring and it almost broke my heart...honest I'm not a bleeding heart liberal, but I love all animals...except those dang marauding white tail dear...Rats on long legs!!

So try some castor oil...gardensAlive.com has mole med...won't hurt the critters, they'll just want to move to a better neighborhood.
 
[hr]The whole world is a narrow bridge; the important thing is not to be afraid.
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I got to thinking, that I ought to think like animals think, and what keeps animals away from each other's territory is urine.

Here's a product made with fox urine to be put in the holes and tunnels:

http://www.outsidepride.com/store/catalog/Fox-Urine-p-17871.html

But if it were me, I wouldn't bother to buy something else's urine :^O
 
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Remember with moles -- they are digging to find food. That means that most of their branch tunnels are used only once. If they "strike it rich" in one area, they will keep extending that tunnel, but you really have to analyze the tunnel pattern to see which ones are dead ends and which ones are the main arteries. Stomping down tunnels, marking the stomped down area with a flag, then seeing which ones are opened up later can help you pinpoint your control efforts.

I have never used urine to drive off moles, not sure how that would work. I beliee it would depend on whether moles have an inherent fear of that predator. Living their whole life underground, they might not have a clue that the smell of fox urine represents danger. And if they do get a sense of danger, would that might merely mean they will tunnel away from the smell to another area of your yard? ?:|
 
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Zone 3 NW Wisconsin: Left the city in '98, hardly been back since!
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Thanks for the ideas everyone! We were getting about one mound a day for a few weeks. I had no idea what they were but I finally dug into one the day before I posted the original message. Since then no other mounds have appeared anywhere! Could I be so lucky? I'll keep in mind the suggestions but I think it/they have left my yard for now.
 
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