Underground Exterminator

Asked January 26, 2014, 4:30 PM EST

I found this product online at http://www.undergroundexterm.com/molespecies.html while searching for a way to rid my garden of moles. This product uses carbon monoxide from a vehicle to kill underground pests. My questions are: Is this product safe to use in an organic vegetable garden? Would it render my vegetables non-organic, or harm them in someway? If not, could you please tell me the best way to eliminate Moles and underground pests from my lawn and garden? Thanks

Jackson County Oregon human-wildlife issues horticulture

2 Responses

The Extension Service doesn't recommend use of this or similar techniques for mole control. First, it's an unregistered pesticide and we only recommend using registered pesticides.Second, there is a possibility of damage to your vehicle. Finally, it just doesn't work very well. Fumigation, either with this type of device or using the gas bombs you can purchase in stores are often ineffective. Mole runs are usually quite extensive and often include quite deep burrows, have several openings and unless the soil is very compacted, gasses will dissipate rapidly into the soil.

The only truly effective technique available to homeowners is trapping. There are a variety of traps available in local stores that come with directions. Follow the directions carefully and be persistent. Over time you should be able to be successful.

But first, be sure that you are dealing with moles. It's easy to confuse moles damage and mounds for gophers and vice versa. The University of California Integrated Pest Management program has some excellent fact sheets on both animals which can help you be sure of the critter causing your problem and what to do about it. You can find the fact sheets at http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/menu.house.html#VERT - go to near the bottom of the page and click on the animal.

Thanks, Bob R.