UNITY —When Lloyd Herzog and wife Shirley moved into Luther Place six years ago, he soon discovered there were moles wrecking havoc with the residents’ garden plots. With experience trapping moles when they lived in the country, Herzog set up some mole traps in order to protect the Luther Place garden.
Over time, Herzog realized the moles were living trouble-free on the large grasslands owned by town, north and west of Luther Place. Reproducing there in a carefree environment, the moles were quite happy to venture into town to romp among lawns and well-tilled garden plots thoughtfully provided by Unity residents in their landscaping endeavours.
So, Herzog expanded his trapping efforts, moving the traps around the area as far west as the walking path to the dog park, as far north as the bush bordering the grassland and as far east as the north end of Main Street.
The results have been impressive with 118 moles captured this year alone, as of Oct. 15. Last year, he caught 130 in total and 83 in 2021. The moles are buried in their own holes when he empties the traps and levels the mounded soil.
Herzog heads out on his bike to make his trap-checking rounds two or three times a day, spending time in the fresh air and getting some exercise, all while providing a valuable service.
While he may continue to set his traps in the Luther Place garden area, he thinks this will be the last year for his extending trapping forays. He is starting to find it difficult to kneel on the ground to set and empty the traps. He would be happy to share tips with anyone interested in taking over his mole patrol next year.
Herzog retired from the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool in 1999 and then drove a grain truck for a local farmer for 10 years. His retirement pursuit of trapping moles may be an unusual one but it is one that has benefitted many Unity residents, albeit they may be unaware.
Did you know that moles can dig tunnels at a rate of up to 15 feet an hour? While moles are primarily insectivores, their digging can dislodge plant roots and destroy grass. Plant-eating animals such as voles use the moles’ hunting tunnels to find carrots, potatoes and other underground goodies to eat.