Don't Rush Me
Mole Wars III
The Saga Continues!
May 05, 2010 - A long, long time ago, in a yard not far enough away, the grass grew green and lush; worms and grubs lived in peace. Life was good for many a moon.
Then I bought the property. And, the forces of darkness marshalled their forces. And Mole Wars began. Worms and grubs were murdered unmercifully. The lush green grass was crisscrossed with yellow, the only reason I knew the moles were back! (You can't hear grubs and worms scream for help.)
I am becoming battle-fatigued. It has been four years of skirmishes. Thing is, I thought I had won the war last spring. I brought in a hired gun to protect the Double R (Rush Ranch) and before long the desperados were bushwhacked, dry-gulched, trapped, hung out to dry, kilt-dead.
And, once again the worms and grubs were free to roam the space a few inches below the greening grasslands of the Double R. Discouraging words were seldom heard. Then it snowed.
Winter hit and under the cover over white stuff, the blind furies returned!
Just so my neighbors know, I have not suffered some mentally debilitating injury. I am not insane. I was not, earlier in the spring, in some macabre-like trance, dancing to a beat only I could hear.
I was merely taking the war back to the moles. I was saving the worms and the grubs, smashing tunnels, sending the VC back to . . . ahem . . . I was prepping my yard for spring cleanup.
Grounds keeper and exterminator extaordinaire, Bill Murray once said you had to know your enemy to vanquish him. In the last four or so years, I have learned plenty of my enemy, Scalopus Aquaticus -- the common Eastern Mole.
Moles, besides living in dirt, are solitary varmints. They continue tunneling and eating and hookup with other moles in the winter, have babies in May and then go on their way, by themselves, tunneling and eating. (In that respect, I like to think of them as the great white sharks of the dirt world.) Come to think about it, moles is just as dangerous as them thar' great whites, with their black eyes all rolled up, full of death. Heck, I almost twisted my ankle stomping on one of their tunnels.
And, just like in the movie Jaws, I needed to find me a Captain Quint. Somebody colorful, somebody who knew funny songs about bowlegged women, and had a way with the Queen's English that would make her blush. I needed a man who wasn't afraid to get dirty.
A few evenings ago, I shone the Molelight up into the dark night sky. The distress signal worked. The next morning Dave Kugler drove up my driveway in his shiny, white pickup truck.
While not quite as colorful as Capt. Quint, Dave knows his moles. He knows their habits. He knows their patterns. He knows how to get rid of 'em. Oh, and he is tenacious. He won't get eaten by what he's chasing like Quint. (And if he does, it is time to sell the house.)
Dave, who owns and operates Critter Catchers, Inc., toured the battlefield, whipped out a hand trowel, dug some holes and laid some traps. Three traps to start.
The moles tunneled deeper.
Six traps set.
The moles dug deeper.
Then Captain Kugler got smart. He feigned retreat. He let the moles think they had won, that they could keep on eating the peace-loving worms and grubs. Kugler, pulled four traps, leaving only two.
A day later I received word . . . actually three word-likes. The message was simple and to the point, but I knew it's meaning. "Hhe-hhe-hhe."
* * *
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, spring is in full bloom, and so are the flowers. The lilacs perfume the yard and the grass is healing itself. Yellowed tunnels are turning green. Dave, the worms and grubs all send their love and gratitude.
If you have a problem with any critter, give Dave a call, 248-432-2712; or go on-line and check out www.crittercatchersinc.com. Click around, and you will also be able to watch a 30 second video of a mole at work.
Comments to Don can be e-mailed to, firstname.lastname@example.org
Don is Assistant Publisher for Sherman Publications, Inc. He has worked for the company since 1985. He has won numerous awards for column, editorial and feature writing as well as for photography. He has two, sons Shamus and Sean and resides in the area. To read archived copies of his columns, click on his name, just under his picture up top . . . He can be e-mailed at: email@example.com