Living in Millbrae, one of my main headache has been dealing with mounds of dirt in my front and backyard. Everytime I filled in the hole, the hole would return the very next day, sometimes in the exact same spot. I'm suspecting the culprit are moles. I ruled out gophers because I've only observed mounds of dirt, but no torn up plants. In either case, after some research, I settled on ordering one Sweeney's Solar Powered Sonic Spike online. I ordered one as a trial for my backyard where I spend more time. If the results are positive, I then consider purchasing a second one for the front yard.
How I Decided on Sweeney's Solar Powered Sonic Spike?
The main reason I decided to purchase a sonic spike instead of other methods of mole control is that this method does not require handling and introducing poison to my yard. The poisons may also require repeated treatments to prevent new moles from moving in to existing mole tunnel networks. Another solution smoke bombs, are completely temporary, and the exact same mole is likely to return. Once I decided on the sonic spike, I decided to spend the extra money to buy a solar powered sonic spike vs a battery powered one for simplicity. With solar, I won't need to worry about the batteries running out. At the end of the day, the Sweeney's Solar Power Spike became a set and forget it solution.
Where I Placed Sweeney's Solar Powered Sonic Spike
Since the sonic spike is solar, I had to find a place in my small backyard that gets enough sun to keep the unit charged, yet out of the way of lawn mowers and my occasional outdoor requirements like juggling a soccer ball. I found the best place is the edge of the deck in a flowerbed surrounded by mulch. This area gets plenty of sunlight and is more or less in the center of my backyard.
Installation of Sweeney's Solar Powered Sonic Spike
The installation of the sonic spike was very easy! I got a small hand shovel to get a small hole started. The soil was damp, because of the mulch, so it made digging the hole even easier! I then placed the sonic spike into the dug hole, and filled the surrounding in with dirt. Lastly, I replaced the layer of mulch so it was about flush with the solar panel. As long as your yard is level, it can become very flush, though I would still avoid putting it in the route of a lawn mower.
Backyard Trial Conclusion for Sweeney's Solar Powered Sonic Spike
After a few months of testing out Sweeney's Solar Powered Sonic Spike in my backyard, there were zero new holes in my backyard. Meanwhile, I observed new holes continued to show up in the front yard. I am confident that the sonic spike is working in my backyard. One aspect that I was not expecting is that the noise is very audible to humans. For some reason, I assumed that the sound would not be heard by humans, but would be uncomfortable for moles and gophers. Unsure how I would cope with the noise long term, I held off ordering a second unit for my front yard. Through a few summer BBQ's, I discovered that the power button on my unit was defective. But the solution is simple. When I have guests over, I just remove the spike and stash it in the garage. At the end of the day, the ability of Sweeney's Solar Powered Sonic Spike to effectively keep moles away made it worth it for me to purchase a second unit for my front yard.
How Long will Sweeney's Solar Powered Sonic Spike Last?
Now, the big question is how long will the solar sonic spike last if left outdoor at all times, always on (assuming it never gets damaged). Summer is easy, as it only has to deal with my water sprinklers. In the winter, the sonic spike will have to cope with rain and cold weather. Additionally I'm aware, the solar cells and batteries don't last forever. I will continue to monitor the performance of the solar powered sonic spike and report back if I begin seeing mole holes return.