I was walking out to the front yard when I saw something that caught my eye, holes that I didn't dig for plants. This nice big hole leads to a tunnel under a weeping cherry tree.
I don't really mind seeing the little holes that I know are from the squirrels. They don't dig very deep and I usually find these peanut shells nearby. I know they're just looking for their stash. I haven't had too much of a problem with them digging up bulbs.
But, it's the mole holes I really don't like. Every year as soon as the ground begins to warm the telltale mounds of dirt start appearing. I see them in our lawn and more often in my flower beds. They push out plants and bulbs, like this little oriental lily bulb. There was a whole little clump on top of this fresh pile of dirt. The freshly planted things get it the worst.
I know that moles don't eat plants or bulbs, they are there for the grubs and earthworms, but still they drive me crazy. I've heard people say it's a sign of a healthy garden if moles are there. If that's true we must have one of the healthiest yards on the block. I rarely see mole mounds in any other yard on our street. Maybe they are secretly laughing underground at us as we carry shovels full of dirt away or stomp around trying to push their tunnels closed.
One year after my husband and I spent a lot of time fixing up a new flower bed he saw the ground moving. I looked out the window to see him stabbing at the ground with a shovel, I'm sure the neighbors thought they were witnessing a crime in progress. As much as I don't like the moles I just don't like the thought of killing an animal. Luckily for that guy, he got away.
I've read lots of articles about natural and unnatural deterrents from hair to chewing gum to flooding their tunnels with water. I don't know if any of those things really work, but I know the neighborhood cats sometimes can catch them. The story that always stays in my mind was one that I heard listening to a local talk show host, Pat Cashman, many years ago. He told the story of his brothers and him pouring gasoline into the tunnels and then lighting it on fire. I can only imagine how that turned out.
I guess for now I'll just live with them and continue to stomp down their mounds and replant my plants.