One sign of spring around our office is when the phone calls about moles begin to come in. Their damage is most noticeable in early spring as the snow melts and in most cases it subsides as the grass gets growing.
Rake over the mounds of soil and scatter grass seed once your lawn starts to green up. You may have to repeat this process many times until their activity slows down.
The thing to keep in mind about moles is they're solitary creatures. Even though it may seem like you must have 100 moles in your yard, you actually have only one to two per acre. They are busy creatures though, so those few can make a lot of mounds.
There aren't any easy or effective ways to deal with moles. You can save your money by no buying the gizmos that claim to repel moles by giving off high-pitched sounds or vibrations. Most mole tunnels are used only once so putting anything in their holes is ineffective since they're unlikely to come back that way again.
The poisons, baits and repellants aren't effective and are likely to be found by another animal (like your family pet) instead. There are castor oil based repellants you might want to try in the areas you care the most about that have had some positive results but they're not a cure-all.
In most cases the damage lessens as the season progresses and by late May you may be down to just an occasional mound to deal with.
Amy Ivy is executive director of Cornell Cooperative Extension in Clinton County. Cornell Cooperative Extension offices may be reached in Clinton County at 561-7450, and Essex County, 962-4810. More information may be found on-line at http://ecgardening.cce.cornell.edu or by sending an e-mail to a Master Gardener volunteer at askMG@cornell.edu.