New holes

Asked October 27, 2018, 1:30 PM EDT

Every year in late summer and fall I seem to get mole holes in my lawn with piles of dirt showing up, but this year I have a dozen or so holes with no dirt piles. I have attached a couple pictures. Any idea what is causing these new problems? And what can I do? Someone suggested smoke bombs...I have no idea where you would even find a smoke bomb. Help!

Benton County Oregon rodents urban integrated pest management horticulture

1 Response

Hi and thanks for contacting Ask an Expert.
Unfortunately, when the moles leave new critters take over the old tunnels. You may have voles, mice, ground squirrels, shrews, etc. I have even seen kangaroo mice in the smaller holes.
There are a great many remedies that work some of the time from traps in the ground, or mouse traps on the ground to sticking an exhaust hose from your running vehicle in the hole or a water hose in hopes of drowning the rodents. You can also use live traps on the critters if you want a live rodent.
If you do not have other animals in the area, you could try poison, they are available at many stores, but it has devastating effects on cats, dogs, small children and some of the poisons can be toxic to you, etc. You cannot control poison once it is put out. Even if it kills the rodent, if another animal eats the dead rodent, it can kill or seriously injure the animal.
Since I have dealt with this problem for some time, I have a suggestion that plugs the hole and makes the rodents move on. First, I use a hose and try to drown them out. Then I put a narcissus bulb (daffodil) bulb in the hole and some dirt around it. Rodents will not eat daffodils. The flower comes up in early spring and by the time you can mow, it has died and you mow your lawn as usual. Keep some of your preferred grass seed on hand and apply grass seed around the holes. Daffodils are on sale right now. I stock up and plug holes now for a great spring show.
I hope this has helped you. There are a great many 'remedies' online that DON'T work. Here is an article on voles (usually the most prevalent rodent): http://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7439.html
I hope this has given you some ideas. Please re-contact us with any further questions.