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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Mole control


Four kinds of moles are found In the Pacific Coast states but only the Townsend mole (Scapanus townsendii) in Washington and Oregon and the broad-handed mole (Scapanus latimanus) in California are considered economically important. Damage in agricultural areas is caused by mole mounds and burrow systems which reduce pasture production, make harvesting difficult by breaking or plugging machinery, contaminate hay and silage thus retarding proper curing, contribute to soil erosion, and make ready-made homes for invading meadow mice, pocket gophers, and other rodent pests. Holes also damage lawns, gardens, flower beds and occasionally eat or destroy valuable seeds and bulbs. Control methods reviewed include traps, poisoned baits, gases, soil fumigants, natural enemies, and miscellaneous methods such as mole wheels, mole plants, nest digging, and flooding.

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