FINDING ANSWERS

VARMINT PROBLEMS

Q

We have serious mole problems in my part of Texas. I've heard about mole traps that you place in the tunnel and then bury. Where can I get them? — Texas

A

Mole traps are not difficult to find at most hardware stores and garden centers. However, many carry only the so-called “spear” or “harpoon” traps. These are widely used and effective.

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If set properly, harpoon-style traps are not too dangerous unless tampered with. Of course, that's a possibility with children, so manufacturers have come up with a few other designs that you bury after you set them.

Woodstream Corp., which markets the Safer and Havahart brands, also owns the Victor line (maker of the traditional Victor mouse traps). Victor offers a couple of mole traps that you bury, in addition to its traditional harpoon-style trap. You can visit their Web site at www.victorpest.com.

Another buried trap is the No-Mol trap, and it's reportedly quite effective. I cannot find a Web site for its manufacturer, but an internet search will turn up several online vendors that offer it.

BERM PLANTING

Q

Could you suggest a low-growing, low-maintenance ground cover for a berm? We are a condo complex in Wisconsin. — Via the Internet

A

Many varieties will tolerate your Hardiness Zones in Wisconsin. Among woody plants, several varieties of juniper and cotoneaster, to name two species, will work. If you prefer herbaceous plants, you could try ajuga, euonymous, Vinca minor or moss phlox. There are many possibilities.

You don't say whether evergreen cover is important in your situation, but herbaceous perennials in masses make a nice ground cover, albeit for only part of the year. Hostas and daylilies are two examples that could be used this way.

Of course, you don't have to plant a monoculture. Combinations of these and other plants can provide more year-round interest while meeting the functional needs of the berm.

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