Every spring, as soon as the first molehill appears, David goes to war. His diligence has resulted in experiments with many repellents, a variety of traps, and more than one explosion.
He was bound to notice the two or three small mounds that appeared in the back yard this week.
“Oh, I’ve got to go get that mole!” he said this morning
Dave isn’t alone in his summer obsession. Our neighbors Bob and Mike are sensible men, but they have also enlisted in the war against the tiny creatures. Just the other day they were standing on the street shaking their heads with concern as they discussed this year’s invasion.
The suburban American male was bred to fight moles. They cannot help themselves.
From my point of view, moles are interesting and harmless little mammals. They are trying to survive. They’re not all bad. They take up very little space, they eat insects and slugs, and they aerate the earth. Their fur can flatten in either direction enabling easy backward or forward passage through their tunnels. The tunnels can be up to six feet deep. Moles are highly territorial, battles between males are frequently fatal. It may seem as though you have a dozen of them tearing up the lawn but it’s usually just one
For a while Dave tired of traps and switched to unorthodox methods. There was the Juicy Fruit gum trick. You shove a stick of gum deep into the mole run. Suburban legend said Juicy Fruit is lethal to moles. I don’t know who started that rumor and I’m pretty sure Dave never really thought it would work, but why not try? For a few weeks the moles were underground gleefully smacking Juicy Fruit.
One summer the crows were catching moles when they were near the surface, and – well, you know the rest. Unfortunately, moles were a snack the crows craved for a while, before moving on to something else. I recently did the same thing with pistachios.
In frustration, Dave once turned to explosive mole eradication. Men like explosives as much as they hate moles. Unhappily for the moles, the explosions were usually tiny but highly effective.
Fortunately, there were no arrests the day Dave’s explosive experiments came to an end. I’m reluctant to say what he used that day lest somebody’s husband be tempted.
We were in the front yard. I stood in the background fearfully waiting. Dave was in a great mood, thrilled with the excuse to create an explosion. He dropped a match in the mole hole he had already prepared.
A huge BOOM resulted. I screamed. The ground shook and seemed to shake for moments after the initial explosion.
It was midsummer, not fall, but the small flowering cherry tree in the front yard shook violently and dropped all of its leaves. I don’t need to exaggerate about these things. Doors up and down the street opened and worried souls scanned the neighborhood for the bomber.
Standing behind the five-foot fence, Dave and I froze for a moment. Then I peeked over the fence and scanned the street in both directions, hoping my expression looked more curious than guilty.
It was back to traps after that. I’ve tried to talk Dave in to letting the creatures have their way for a while, but he believes in defending the home front.