It was a Saturday a few weeks ago when I discovered it while mowing my lawn.
I stepped into a hole that was not there just a week before. It was three or four inches in diameter and surrounded by what looked like a light-colored sand.
“What the heck is this?” I asked myself.
Like any good, technically-savvy baby boomer, I walked into the house and Googled “Why do I have a hole in my lawn in Brandon, Manitoba?” A number of search results appeared, but all of them suggested that I had a mole.
A mole? Really? I have a mole? I don’t know anything about the rodents, let alone how to get rid of one.
The adventure really began with the results of my next search: “How do I get rid of a mole in my lawn in Brandon, Manitoba?” I read about a number of options, the most notable ones involving poison & traps. Castor oil was even offered as a solution. I was disinclined to use poison and the thought of emptying the trap was just about enough to do me in.
My research continued.
While reading a blog, one fellow shared that he had put a garden hose down the hole to drown the creature and it never came back. Good, I thought. I can handle this. I tromped off to the store to buy myself a garden hose. Every evening that week upon I returning home from work, I ran water in the hole for a minimum of 15 minutes.
“That should do it,” I thought.
The following Saturday – confident that I had accomplished my goal – I headed back to the store to purchase soil and grass seed. I filled the hole, packed it well, planted the seed and called it day.
I woke Sunday morning to discover the hole had returned, only bigger than it was before.
How can this be? Where did the mole go when I was running all that water?
“Ok, fine. I give up,” I said to myself. I reluctantly decided to try a more trusted solution: poison. However, as I quickly discovered, not all poisons are created equal. Some kill the rodent but keep on killing any other creature that eats the rodent. Then I read about Gopher Doom and went in search of it. I checked every hardware, home supply and garden store in the city with no success. I later found out it was not licensed to be sold in Canada.
Tired and defeated, I decided to call a pest control business. Why didn’t I think of that in the first place?
A very nice lady answered my call and told me she would send one of her guys over to assess the situation and take care it. He would call before arriving, but it would be a couple of days before he could get there.
Thank goodness. I breathed a sigh relief.
Earlier this year, I bought a home, complete with an underground sprinkler system, something I knew nothing about. In June, I had a fence built and was looking forward to start some landscaping. As part of my preparations, I called the sprinkler system folks and asked if they could come by to mark where the lines were. They told me a guy would be by the next day.
Sure enough, when I arrived home from work the next day, I found little flags all over my lawn. I assumed they marked the sprinkler lines, but the mole hole was also filled in. Did the pest guy stop by to fix my problem? No. When I called to ask, the nice lady told me he hadn’t been there.
Putting that mystery aside for the moment, I was still uncertain about the exact location of the sprinkler lines so I called the sprinkler folks to enquire. The guy would be over the next morning to walk me through where everything was, they said.
At 8:30 the following morning, he arrived and began to explain where the lines were.
“Oh, and by the way,” he said, “I fixed your sprinkler system leak”.
“Excuse me, my what?” I replied.
“Yeah. I fixed your leak and filled in the hole,” he said.
You’ve got to be kidding me. I do not and never have had a mole? I have a sprinkler system leak? Can you just picture me trying to drown my leak every night for a week?
The system had been set to automatically water between 3 and 4 a.m., so I never saw the leak. I now have it set for 7 a.m.
I moved here from Cape Breton, N.S. last fall. As a new Manitoban, I’ve enjoyed some interesting things during my time thus far on the Prairies.
Some – like my “mole problem” – were not listed in the “Move to Manitoba brochure.”
Nancy Johnson is Vice President of Manitoba Operations for the Glacier Media’s Prairie Newspaper Group and recently moved to Brandon as Publisher of the Westman Journal.