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Getting our home built so maybe we can start playing with trains again!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's been a while since I've been active on the forum and actually active on the layout but........It's official. The layout has to come down once again. Although we did get a scare a last month with Martha's job but she was able to find new employment here in Richmond, this time I'm happy to say that it's not because we have to move. Huge and I do mean HUGE sigh of relief. That's a long story but the short of it is that it's just not good for a company to keep posting negative numbers month after month after month. She saw the writing on the wall and we figured the change would be better than a move to Kalamazoo if they ever finished the construction there in the first place.

I am happy to say that she is back in the box business and very happy working for a former boss at Smurfit-Stone Container Corp here in Sandston, VA. He's the COO and President. She ended up in a good position and even though they are not in the same plant, she's surrounded by many of her former colleagues from GP. The plus side is that the majority of them she knew well and had solid working relationships with.

Anyhow back to the layout. Our culprit this time is moles. These dang things have destroyed the layout and yard. They have tunneled under every portion of it. The trestle, all the rock walls, buildings, roadbed. I have never seen such a thing. These things were even able to move 20lb+ stacked stone and dig through a 12"wide X 8"deep trench filled with #57 stone and crush and run. Tamped too!!!!!! I did catch one about a month or so ago and it was as big as half of my spade shovel. I figure that they're like other rodents and if there is one there's 100. If I could just get my hands on some diazanon

Anyhow, it'll be a while before we formulate a plan on what to do. We have to decide how to handle the area....to remove soil and level the back yard with a rtaining wall on the back or leave everything in place and just add a ladder system for the track and then build up the sol to make things work. Having the tracktor makes some of it easier to do but then again.......We're still fighting a couple foundation issues with the house and our new found understanding of the effects of shrink soil. Ahhhhh, the things you learn about a home AFTER you buy it! So removing soil in the back may be what we have to do.

We have corrected all of the water issues and the house but I think that has also caused some of our issues with the foundation. I mean so many years of enormous amounts of water getting to the house and now we have it down to a proper amount and something had to giv. Just wish it wasn't something that's not covered by HOI. Well, we still have trees that could help us out but don't see any storms big enough to take care of things. Then again I have to wonder if that's not a whole other mess that will drive me to drink. Hehehe Anyhow we just keep on keep'n on.

Here is a link to the layout. http://www.mylargescale.com/Community/Forums/tabid/56/view/topic/forumid/9/postid/3310/ptarget/36283/Default.aspx#36283 I haven't updated anything since all we have been doing for the last 2-1/2 months is deal with leaves. That's a whole dofferent story in and of itself better told later.

Anyhow that's all for now until we decide what the heck to do...........

Later all,

Joe
 

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Sorry to hear your layout problem Marty has a sure fired way to deal with leaves.

Five Moles were diging a tunnel. The first one poped out of the ground. The second one said "What do you see?" The fith one said "Mole asses"
 

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Getting our home built so maybe we can start playing with trains again!
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263 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
We've been give a variety of cures for the common (or uncommon) mole but haven't heard of molasses yet. Thanks JJ.
Soooooo..........am I to to put it in or on-top of the tunnels?

I tell ya with the virtual cornucopia of remedies we've been give, alkaseltzer, cod liver oil, used kitty litter, propane (this one has been eliminated to not blow up the house. We want to evict or decimate the moles not us. Hehehe) , 20 gauge, poison peanuts, cayenne pepper, shaved Irish spring soap............We might just be able to model a toxic waste dump.



Thanks JJ. Actually we might try that one... It might just work!
 
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did you try a simple defensive method? burying bottles?
if you bury bottles in the ground, the neck up, so, that the wind can blow over the opening, the bottles transmitt a deep vibrating tone to the earth.
moles and other tunneldwellers don't like that.
they'll move to the neighbour.
the bigger the bottle, the better the sound.
(here comes your reason, to buy whiskey by the gallon)
 

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I am told that the moles eat grubs in the ground. SO if you can get rid of the grubs you will get rid of the moles. I have tried two products on the market, Grubex, and another by Beyer. Both are available at my Home Depot. In my back lawn and on my layout, they both work just fine. You have to treat several times each year, but the only places I have moles now, is outside of the area I have treated. A train club colleague has about six acres of back yard. He goes around the perimeter of the six acres, and puts down about a 20 ft band of some kind of insect killer, and no moles come through to his yard or layout.
Paul
 

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Sorry to hear of your trouble. We have lots of moles around too but they don't hurt the elevated benchwork on the POC. Just as a suggestion...you might consider a low (say 12" or so) p.t. benchwork and rock up the sides leaving the center hollow. That'd give you a solid base for the RR still be low enough to integrate into the garden and frustrate the lil' rascals trying to undermine the right of way.
 

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Gophers are my problem..and you're right. If there's 1...there's 100. I'm imagining moles are kinda like gophers...but maybe stronger. Other folks have problems with ground squirrels. I have fruit rats too...and they too live underground...or under stuff.

Been through all the solutions...traps, poison, cats, flooding, ground vibrators, explosives, smoke bombs...etc. In California, the laws have just about eliminated the good pesticides that keep grubs and such out of lawns...perhaps that's national by now...well, at least pesticides that homeowners can buy. Pesticides and paint we can buy now are just junk compared to the "good ole day" when we poisoned everything. I found the trap solution to be far too much work...and ineffective...especially given the rule "if there's 1...there's 100".

The process I found that works is gas...flat out chemical warfare. I found an agriculturall pest suppression company that is licensed to treat homes against burrowing animals...gophers in my case. Most of their business is for horse ranches and stables where gopher holes can kill an expensive animal...so if you can't find a "mole killing company"...call some stables and see who they use.

The company uses a cyinide pellet that they place into the burrow...actually three of them. When I see a gopher hole, I put a flag in it...the cheap plastic and metal ones you buy at Home Deport. Monthly the "gopher guy" comes...and whereever there is a flag, he inserts a pointed rod into the ground to open a path to the burrow...and dumps in three pellets. These pellets are dangerous...and they are never touched. They're carried in an airtight can..and only licensed pest control companies can buy this stuff.

The pellets dissolve over time from moisture in the soil they sit on in the burrow. They absorb the water and emit cyinide gas...flooding the burrow with gas...and killing the critters. This technique WORKS...but it means you inheret a $50 a month bill...and you will keep paying that month after month if you don't get all your neighbors to go together and attack the whole colony of critters and kill them.

Just another warning...cause my gophers got nasty.

 

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Getting our home built so maybe we can start playing with trains again!
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
We arrived here with the vibrating ground spikes we used in Kansas City. They seemed to work much better in KC because the gound was so much more dense. We added to the collection here and have a total of 20 of these things. They tunnel up to and around them with no stopping. The direction say "increased activity for the first couple of weeks and then......"
These things just don't care what you put in the ground.

Grubs are not an issue. We use treatment and never really had an issue to start with. Moles also love worms. Many baits are sold in the form of a worm. We get one or two with the bate and then 30 more pop up. Trouble is all the tree cover. No birds of prey to takem on, the ground stays constantly moist and the worms! It's a nightcrawler feast back there. We have too many good birds to mess with the ground.

We've been talking about laying a concrete bed, re trenching everything and lining the trench with 1/4" metal screen, keeping the bed the way it is, flood the area with water to fill holes and tunnels and then build a ladder system on top and re ballast. At least the track will stay and not get the hills and valleys it has not. Some of the track has been uprooted almost 6" in active areas.

I'm really at a loss about the whole yard in general. We have planted all types of grass and it has all died, we have worked on drainage, irrigation, run-off, re-shaping things and we just can't catch a break. It's not a bad thing to have to start from scratch again just a costly one and an option that will take much more time given certain things. I guess it is what it is and we just have to do what ever to get it under control. It's just not the railroad that is affected. It's tons of plants that we have also lost too. Over 300.00 in hostas just this summer. It's not my intention to keep feeding these things and it's gonna be us or them! One way or another!!!Mooohoooowaaahhahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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Back in the 60's the Fishing Magazines had a add for a worm device. It was two copper rods attached to wires with 110 volt plug on it.

You would stick the copper rods in the gournd and plug in the plug. Worms would come up out of the ground in droves. So they say.

I since the ground is always moist I wonder if this would work on the moles?

Just a thought.
 

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Someone mentioned that Moles are quite strong. Can they damage Concrete roadbed with rebar in it?

I got Pack Rats and Chipmonks that like to dig in the fresh dirt next to my tracks. I have this bag that I use for putting grout/moter between rocks. I use it to fill the holes the make. Then I cover it with more fresh dirt.
 

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Posted By John J on 12/25/2008 7:04 AM
Someone mentioned that Moles are quite strong. Can they damage Concrete roadbed with rebar in it?

I got Pack Rats and Chipmonks that like to dig in the fresh dirt next to my tracks. I have this bag that I use for putting grout/moter between rocks. I use it to fill the holes the make. Then I cover it with more fresh dirt.



If the concrette roadbed is not deep enough they can burrow under it and that will fill with water and if you live in cold enough climate that will freeze and heave enough to crack and bend the roadbed.

Even if it is deep enough to keep them from burrowing under it, if they turn and burrow along side of it, the same thing can happen sideways, or it can cause the concrete to tip to the side upsetting the side to side level.

I have a concrete walled basement window wells that are 4 or 5 inches thick and over a foot deep (with re-rod) that have cracked and broken and are shoving the concrete block basement walls in caused by ground heave between a hedge and the window well. I am certain they would not have done this if the ground squirrels had not been burrowing along side of them.
 

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I've got moles in my yard and have been looking into ways to control them. While they eat grubs they prefer earthworms, the critters you want attract the ones you don't. I've been talking to the local extension office and they reccomend two things. a mixture of castor oil and soap that is sprayed on the lawn and gardens. Moles don;t like the castor oil and aviod the areas with the oil. An alternative is to plant castor beans but since they are poisonous to small childern it isn't reccomended. The other suggestion is to elevate your gardens or plant them in boxes, or otherwise develop a mechanical barriar to keep them out.

I'm going to try the castor oil mix. The moles at work routinely borrow through the track ballast abd cinders for hundreds of feet so any barrier short of a frost footing is facing the wind.

Good luck in your war.
 

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Getting our home built so maybe we can start playing with trains again!
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Today was a warm day, in the 60's and we finally decided to get out and do some yard work. Nothing was done for the railroad but survey the damage and it was a total loss on one side of the layout. It's the curve that leads to and from the loop I did for Cami. The turnouts on the main line (last picture in Duncan's set) are all tunneled under and buried under ballast and the crusher fines as well as the roadbed already laid for the loop under the bridge (last pictures I took in the CMJRR thread) looks like he!!.

I think tomorrow we are going to pick up some castor oil and a root feeder and see what we can flood out. Martha will run the hose and I'll be ready with the fork!. There seem to be 17 nests that go under various trees (mainly the Dogwoods and the larges Oaks). We did remove 3 Dogwoods today, root systems and all, and they were gnawed clean when they were pulled out. Huge root systems, took a good deal of work with the sawz-all but we managed to get them out. Last one was a ............

Anyhow, there is a good deal of erosion to deal with too. The last rain we had collapsed most of the tunnels and..........It looks like the European Countryside after WWI. Trench warfare at it's finest. I did hook up the blade on the tractor and we're going to start reshaping a couple areas maybe tomorrow. We'll see though. Things are might shaky in the stability department with my back. That is considering most of the work I did to day was in the seat of the tractor or lying on my stomach trying to cut the roots away. Gee I miss the good work-out of swinging a pick-axe! Hehehe
 

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I've had good luck getting rid of moles by lacing their tunnels with pieces of Juicy Fruit gum.
They like the fruit flavor, eat the pieces, can't digest them, and die within a week.
Just my experience...
 
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