Mole infestations can frustrate even the best PMPs. The rodents can have multiple-tunnel systems that vary in depth and overall size and length. Moles are also considered a bit of a loner species. They don’t come out of their burrow often and are very strategic with where and how deep they burrow. If yummy worms and insects are near the surface on warmer days, that’s exactly where they’ll burrow. In colder seasons, they’ll go deeper to find their food.
Because of their irregular travel patterns, baiting with rodenticides, a common method PMPs use, can be challenging. Ashley Broadhurst, a technician with Clark’s Pest & Termite in South Carolina, has seen some success through the years with her baiting strategies, which she gained in time with the help of experience and a lot of trial and error. However, of late, those strategies are rarely needed. Instead, she has turned to BurrowRx – a Carbon Monoxide producing burrowing rodent eradication system – to make her job easier, safer, and her customers happier.
Improving mole eradication strategies
When handling a mole infestation, Broadhurst first assesses the soil type and then tries to learn as much as she can about the tunnel system. Sandy and dry soil is poor for baits, as they sink in the terrain, Broadhurst explained:
“The depth of the tunnel … is also important – if it’s too deep I can’t dig four feet down to put traps. And if it’s very shallow, then simply collapsing the tunnel system by stepping on it can eliminate that location, perhaps with a little baiting as a backup.”
For deeper systems, or if she has a hard time seeing exactly how extensive a system is, Broadhurst turns to BurrowRx, which pumps Carbon Monoxide into the tunnels to eradicate the moles. Inside the burrow system, the rodent breathes in the gas. The Carbon Monoxide replaces the oxygen in the mole’s blood. After that, cells in the body die and organs shut down, killing the rodent quickly, usually inside the burrow, which eliminates the need for carcass clean-up, too.
“If we can get the CO to the burrowing rodent and get it over a sustained couple of minutes,
it’ll … kill anything underground that’s exposed to it.”
– Peter Kinnally, BurrowRx owner and president
Smoke indicator oil
The device utilizes a patented smoke indicator oil that allows the technician to see where the odorless, clear gas is traveling under the surface. When the unit is turned on, the technician can see faint smoke, which allows him or her to see the extent of the tunnel system below and can reveal exit holes not previously seen. Quickly covering up those holes will improve the efficacy of the eradication process.
While many rodents like prairie dogs cause damage to ground vegetation, moles attack plant root systems, making their negative impacts harder to gauge until it’s too late. That’s why Broadhurst appreciates BurrowRx as a complete eradication solution that removes the guesswork of baits and traps.
“If I see a mole nest, I’ll use BurrowRx first because of how deep they are underground. The deeper they tunnel, the more effective BurrowRx will be versus baits and traps,” Broadhurst added.
BurrowRx is good for business
Broadhurst suggests PMPs considering adding mole eradication as a service line purchase BurrowRx first. The device has made her mole eradication efforts more efficient and less time consuming as well. She has reduced the number of hours and days required for a mole project. Meanwhile, there are no worries about harming pets or humans because no rodenticides are used, and since the moles are eliminated underground, there’s no need to handle a carcass:
“I’ve actually been able to reduce the number of days I’m treating for moles because I don’t have to make multiple trips to treat several times. You can’t say that about very many products. For traps and baits I do have to go back the next week but using BurrowRx provides immediate, one-time control.”
The evidence – no need to handle carcasses
Early on, some customers wanted to see the dead mole as evidence that the device worked, but over time they have grown more confident in the technology, as the results have been impressive.
“Because BurrowRx gets the job done our clients are happy, which in turn helps them trust us more as their pest control partner,” Broadhurst said. “It’s like anything, sometimes you have to show that you’ve controlled the problem, but the more I’ve used BurrowRx, they see the results by not seeing any more mole activity.”