Don't Be A Mole!

"In shallow holes moles make fools of dragons" - Ancient Proverb

Photo Courtesy of Vapour Trail at

If there's one garden pest that I hate it's MOLES! They are like sneaky little dirty agents as they scour my garden looking to infiltrate and destroy my yard. They are destructive and hard to find. They have deceptive tunnels and seem to know when a mole trap has been gently placed. They are everywhere, yet nowhere......

I especially remember cursing moles one mild winter about 3 years ago. Once the thin layer of snow melted on my side yard, I was flabbergasted and then outraged. There had to be at least 50 mounds of dirt volcanoes in the yard (yes, I counted them!).  It looked like small torpedoes had blown up in random patterns. It took hours to haul away the mounds and flatten the lawn to reseed. Some of the mounds even reappeared. My eyes were red with anger.

Mole are ugly little carnivores that love to eat underground bugs and worms. They love worms, grubs, larvae, and centipedes. They live completely underground and tunnel at will with their strong front claws. Mole tunnels look like a swelled track of dirt or grass. The dirt mounds that they created are often up to 5 inches high. They have poor eyesight (who needs it underground?) but excellent hearing and smell. A mole can dig out of sight in 10 seconds and can tunnel 1 foot in 3 minutes! It can fly through existing tunnels at 80 feet per minute while eating 40 pounds of bugs a year. Yuck!

Moles love soft, sandy soil. Hence, they love my yard and all of my grubs and earthworms. Every time that I dig or plant, a mole hill appears within hours. I never get a thanks from them for making their bug hunt easier. It's impossible to drive the moles into my neighbor's yard because we are in the country and the moles all come in to party from the fields. If you live in suburbia, there are ways to drive moles out of your yard and into your least favorite neighbor's yard. In fact, I encourage it!

Clearly, moles don't know the havoc that they cause. They don't know that their unsightly mounds cause grief and work up top. They don't mind that their obsessive tunneling could break an ankle if humans walk over their raised work. They certainly didn't care about the time that I thought I was stomping on a mole hole and it was an underground bee hive! They keep their heads down in the dark earth and go about their travels without popping up to see what is going on. Sound like any humans that you know?

"I always say, if you keep your head in the sand, you don't know where the kick is coming from" - Herbie Man

Too many people wander through life (and the hallways at your job!) ignoring what is going on around them and oblivious to the needs of others. They are the "mole". They take what they want, they follow their own path, and they prefer to stay "underground". What's worse is when this person is in a leadership position where she plugs along hoping not to make any waves that upset her position. She needs to maintain the status quo. That won't work for long. When these "moles" eventually surface, even a tiny bit, the dirt will fly! Be on the lookout for "moles" in your teams. Trap and remove in order to keep your team synergy and leadership above ground.

You may be a "Mole" if:
  • You hide your head and look for the easy way to success or out of a situation (or work!).
  • Burying yourself in your work is a great "leadership skill". You are busy because you are the boss. It's easy not to have to find any EQ to deal with people or issues.
  • Moles fear that they will loose their power or position. They ignore what they don't want to see.
  • You are incompetent or "over your head" in your position.
  • Moles lack confidence. They somehow dug themselves into a spot and won't budge.
  • You don't want to know what is going on around you. Your way is the only way anyway.
  • Ignorance is bliss. Hiding your head means no change, no issues, no trouble.
  • Moles don't want to see or hear any information that doesn't jive with their beliefs or views.
  • You have no plan or strategy and don't want your people to know the truth. Keeping your head down is your top priority.
  • Moles don't like conflict or dealing with problems. They want everyone to fend for themselves and won't lead on problems.
  • You have always tunneled your way to success - why change now? There's no need. Your way works.

Hopefully, you don't see any of these traits in yourself. If you do, you have a big hole that you need to start to climb out of. Get the dirt out of your eyes and take notice of what is going on around you. Take notice of your coworkers and teams. You need to "amend" your ways and change if you want to become an effective leader. Staying underground is not a leadership strategy or option.
Unfortunately, human "moles" aren't as easy to deter or get rid of as your yard moles. It's also not legal. What is the best way to rid your yard of moles? There are a lot of opinions on this. Some people have had success with  using organic methods such as powdered hot pepper in mole tunnels, castor oil, odd concoctions, NOT gas in tunnels, trying to pitch fork them, or using commercial poisons.

Hands down the best method to rid your yard of moles is a metal mole trap. Beware that these traps kill moles by stabbing or crushing them. There are no humane practices when it comes to a mole. Placing a trap in a tunnel from the top of the soil will kill a mole - if you have it in a live tunnel. You can find an active tunnel by gently pushing the raised soil with your foot. Check it the next day. If the tunnel is raised again, you have a live one. Get that trap out and happy hunting!

If you ARE a  "human mole", what are YOU going to do to change and dig your way out of your black tunnel?