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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The efficacy of Molexit™ for reducing damage from eastern moles (Scalopus aquaticus)

  • Author(s): Courtney, Amy
  • Barnes, Thomas G.
  • et al.

Two experiments were conducted evaluating the efficacy of a castor oil based mole repellent in 2000 and 2001. Five lawns located in central Kentucky were used in a pilot study conducted from April to August 2000. The following treatments were applied at each lawn: no activity, flattening hills and burrows, flattening hills and burrows with 19.5 kg/ha Molexit™, flattening hills and burrows with 39.0 kg/ha Molexit, 19.5 kg/ha Molexit, and 39.0 kg/ha Molexit. Lawns were monitored for 4 months and increases or decreases in activity were noted. There was no difference (P> 0.05) in burrowing activity between the treatments. All sites showed a decrease in mole activity as evidenced by burrowing activity. Possible explanations include a severe drought and product manufacturing problems. Thirty-eight lawns in central and western Kentucky were used in the second study that was conducted from February through June 2001. The treatment unit for this study was the individual lawn, not plots located within lawns. Twelve lawns were flattened, 15 were treated with 19.5 kg/ha Molexit, and 11 were treated with 39.0 kg/ha Molexit. Untreated sites were located immediately adjacent to the treated areas to determine if the moles would relocate to the untreated areas. There was no difference (P > 0.05) between treatments, however lawns treated with the repellent showed larger decreases in activity. There was a difference (P < 0.0001) in treated compared to untreated lawns. Mole activity decreased an average of 28.0 m in the flattened lawns and activity was noted in 9 of the 12 lawns. Mole activity in lawns treated with 19.5 kg/ha Molexit decreased an average of 34.0 m and no mole activity was recorded for 6 weeks. Mole activity also decreased an average of 32.8 m in lawns treated with 39.0 kg/ha Molexit and no activity was recorded for 6 weeks after application. These results indicate there is some level of efficacy in reducing mole burrowing activity using Molexit.

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