LESLIE CRISS: Good lesson: Get rid of the grubs to manage

By Leslie Criss/NEMS Daily Journal

In shallow holes moles make fools of dragons”
– Chinese proverb

“They’re working by night and by day On their problem, like moles. Have mercy,
O Heaven, I pray, On their meddlesome souls!”
– Ambrose Bierce

I’m not sure exactly when it
happened.
But large parts of my lovely yard have been turned into a series of tunnels.
I felt the tunnels before I saw them.
Walking down the hill in my front yard, I felt like I was walking on some sort of moist and mushy muck. But it hadn’t rained in days.
Then I remembered. I’d seen this before years earlier in my yard in Vicksburg.
And I’d consulted my good friend and county agent Terry Rector, who shook his head back and forth a few times before rendering his diagnosis.
“Moles. Or it could be voles,” he told me.
In my Tupelo yard there’s no mistaking the creatures that have tried with all their might to destroy parts of my yard.
It’s moles. And I don’t like them.
The fact they bear a fierce resemblance to a rodent is the first strike against these tunneling terrors.
That I’ve lost sleep over them is secondary.
No, I haven’t lain awake at night thinking of the moles in my yard. But my dogs have.
And at some point, usually around midnight or later, their thoughts overwhelm them. They wake me up. I let them out, supposedly to do their business.
But what they do is put noses to the ground and track these living creatures.
Then they dig. And dig.
Thus far, I’ve not seen a single bit of evidence the dogs have been successful at capturing any moles.
I’m beginning to believe the delight for the dogs is in the digging.
That, of course, is not helping the mole population. And I am not happy.

Mole 101
If I’ve asked one person I’ve asked 50 – how do you get rid of the vexatious varmints?
Believe me, there are all manner of remedies, from sticking those little spinning flowers in the yard to pouring poison into the tunnels to pouring gasoline into a tunnel and chasing it with a lit match.
I’m happy to say, I have tried none of those.
For every two people who offer suggestions for mole removal, there’s a third person who says this: “To get rid of the moles, you must get rid of the grubs. That’s what the moles are after. If the grubs go, so too the moles.”
Alrighty then. Seems like I’m right back at the beginning. So, what’s a grub?
Grubs are the larval forms of certain types of beetles.
Though they look quite nasty, grubs are apparently delectable delicacies to skunks, raccoons, birds and, yes, the maligned mole.
I heard about and tried a treatment for grubs.
Now, I just have to be patient and wait.
And see if my hungry moles will move on to someone else’s yard.

Contact Leslie Criss at (662) 678-1584 or leslie.criss@djournal.com.