Moles in pasture? Should I be worried? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 8 Old 01-04-2014, 05:16 PM Thread Starter
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Question Moles in pasture? Should I be worried?

We bought a 5 acre farm this last summer in SW Ohio. We have just finished all of our new fencing for our pasture and are ready to bring home my horse in the spring once we finish off a couple of barn projects.

I noticed at the end of summer in certain areas of the pasture that there is a significant mole problem. I am from Kansas where our moles are much more awful...prairie dogs. I did not notice this issue when we purchased the property and am now wondering how big of an issue this is to my horse and its leg safety. The moles seem to tunnel along and churn the soil up and leave these really soft spots.

Does anyone have experience with moles in their horse pasture? We treated for grubbs and that didn't seem to deter them much. I have heard you could do mole trapps but that seems like an even more futile adventure.

Will the horses 'scare' them off, or cause them to rehome elsewhere? Will the mole tunnels cause broken legs? It doesn't seem the tunnels are deep enough.

As I said, I have no experience with moles and horses. Any advise? Or should I not worry to much.
Thanks!
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post #2 of 8 Old 01-04-2014, 05:36 PM
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I wouldn't personally be afraid of moles, they don't leave big holes and they turn up the soil. Besides being a little annoying they don't hurt much. However if you are worried just take a board with some weight on it and level off the hills. Maybe caltivating the pasture will deter them for a little while. I have never really worried about them they just kind of make it a bumpy tractor ride, but in my opinion it is good they bring up new soil.

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post #3 of 8 Old 01-04-2014, 06:20 PM
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Having recently moved to this continent I have learnt that one man's mole is another man's gopher, is another man's ground squirrel. Depending on what it is will affect whether they will be a problem.

Our 'moles' here are a nuisance. They tunnel close to the surface, and yes I have seen the ground collapse on top of the tunnels. Their tunnel entrances are also danger spots for a hoof to get caught in. Finally (as if that's not enough!) their tunnels can be taken over by bigger burrowing creatures that cause more horse-leg-breaking problems.

On the positive side they are actually quite manageable. I have traps which I put out in fresh tunnels each morning as soon as the snow is gone and hopefully before the darned moles can produce more darned moles. A couple of months of trapping will work to reduce the population, and lessen the problem.

Despite the fact that I am surrounded by a quarter section of arable land which isn't mole-patrolled, I am actually able to keep my mole population down this way.

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post #4 of 8 Old 01-04-2014, 06:23 PM
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Well our mole holes are smaller then a pop can so a horses hoof can't fit in them.
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post #5 of 8 Old 01-04-2014, 06:38 PM
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We had a mole infestation in our land as well when we bought it. While the holes aren't that big, they do make the ground very rough, and they eat the roots of grasses and alfalfa. The tunnels can collapse, causing a horse to trip, and yes, larger creatures will move into the holes if they are not filled in.

They can be controlled with diligent trapping. Poison doesn't work. I bought 4 "tunnel" traps and trapped nearly 100 moles in the first year we lived here. During summer, I was averaging 2-4 moles a day. Since then, I haven't trapped more than a few each year and with regular harrowing, my pasture is much smoother and safer for the horses.
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post #6 of 8 Old 01-04-2014, 06:58 PM
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The traps... do they kill or just catch them? And either way, how do you "dispose" of the little critters?

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post #7 of 8 Old 01-04-2014, 07:27 PM
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The traps kill them, and personally I shove them back in the tunnel and cover them up. They are unpleasant things that even my dogs have no desire to chew on.

Get up, get going, seize the day. Enjoy the sunshine, the rain, cloudy days, snowstorms, and thunder. Getting on your horse is always worth the effort.
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post #8 of 8 Old 01-04-2014, 08:42 PM
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The traps kill them. I usually throw the carcasses out in the bushes for the coyotes to eat.
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