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Moles


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  #11  
Old 04-03-2010, 09:09 AM
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How should a lawn care business owner go about estimating such services?

If these traps are working so fast, how do you handle it? Do you just hang out there until things slow down a bit?
Steve, what I do is I charge the customer $50 a week for up to 5 traps..there is a 5 trap minimum, whether I set them all or not, to get started with. Then there is a $10 set up fee when I set the first round. Some people charge a $25 set up fee and then charge like $5 per mole. This can work for you or against you in some cases, as you may not catch but 2 or 3 moles in the smaller lawns. However if you are catching 3-4 moles per day, you're making some good money. With my set up, I can at least guarantee myself $60 per week, as I have been signing my customers up for a week at a time. I am just starting out with this service and haven't quite got the charging thing down yet, but this seems to work for me for now.

These moles I caught yesterday were kind of a fluke, as you normally don't catch them that quickly. It's possible, just not normal. This gal has a huge lawn and it's just infested with moles...it's kinda like a horror movie really, so that is why I'm catching them so fast. Once I thin down the heard a little, things will slow down a bit. Now this week a lot of my mowing accounts will be starting up and I won't have the time to be checking mole traps all day. This is where my Dad will come in handy. He's retired and thinks this is kinda neat, so I'll have to take him with me for the next few days and teach him how to check and reset them. You need to check them at least twice a day...once in the morning and once before dark. I may have to hire someone if Dad doesn't work out, or doesn't want to do it, but I still have friends in town who would like to, and they're free labor. We'll just have to see.
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  #12  
Old 04-04-2010, 02:52 AM
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As far as checking the traps, is this something that is easily visible from the ground? Could the homeowner check them and advise you if there seems to be a mole in them?

If you have to check them twice a day for a period of time, that could really eat into the profit.

What's the best way to handle that?
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Old 04-04-2010, 10:53 AM
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As far as checking the traps, is this something that is easily visible from the ground?
Yes. The top of the traps are above ground so you can easily see them and tell if one has activated. I always put an orange surveyor's flag beside each trap to help me locate them and also keep the customer from running over them with their mower. I will post a pic today after I have gone and checked them.

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Could the homeowner check them and advise you if there seems to be a mole in them?
Yes, however I discourage that. In my service contract that each customer signs, it states that the customer is not allowed any physical contact with any device I utilize in their yard. I have had instances where people have gone out and either pulled them out to check them, or have pulled them out and removed the mole so they don't get charged. If I find out someone has done that, in the contract it states they understand I will charge them a $50 fine and my services will end immediately. They are also required to pay me immediately for the services up to that point. I do this because the traps I use for moles are dangerous when out of the ground and I don't need a customer losing a finger.

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If you have to check them twice a day for a period of time, that could really eat into the profit. What's the best way to handle that?
Once the amount I'm catching gets back to normal, I will only check the traps once per day. For now, since I'm catching so many in this gal's yard, I need to keep resetting the ones that are catching the moles in order to keep getting more.
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Old 04-04-2010, 01:08 PM
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Out here we charge $250 minimum to trap at someones house. Its usually a 3 trip process (or so). 1st trip we set all necessary traps, 2nd trip check all traps, reset them, 3rd trip we collect all traps and go.

Also, any gopher or mole we catch gets stuffed right back into the ground. The smell will keep anything out of the existing tunnel system for at least 3 weeks. That way another cant move in. When this happens, the customer will call you and say you didnt get them all.

When we do vineyards, we charge $250 for the day, plus $5 per gopher. We can easily trap 50-100 gophers in a day. Gophers are much easier to trap than moles.

Also, moles will eat 75% of their body weight everyday in insect, grubs, worms, etc.
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Old 04-04-2010, 01:29 PM
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Here's the pics of the traps.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg DSC01603 (Large).JPG (298.1 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg DSC01604 (Large).JPG (305.5 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg DSC01605 (Large).JPG (266.5 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg DSC01606 (Large).JPG (244.3 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg DSC01607 (Large).JPG (274.4 KB, 9 views)
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Old 04-05-2010, 06:10 AM
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Do you feel this service could be offered across the country or is this something that is more tailored to certain temperature and climate zones?
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Old 04-05-2010, 09:28 AM
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Yes. I'm also a member of a trapper's forum and there are a lot of people all over the US who are trapping moles. I've been told you can trap them all year long, and some people have pics of trapping them with snow on the ground.
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Old 04-06-2010, 05:05 AM
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Out of all the animal trapping services that exist, does it appear the mole trapping is one of the most popular? Especially when mixed with lawn care?
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Old 04-07-2010, 10:18 PM
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When mixed with lawn care, yes I would say it's the most popular. I started the nuisance wildlife business because I'm always looking for new ideas and new avenues for more income. And I love a good challenge. Considering the low investment in mole traps, and the possibility of high income potential, I would say it's something worth looking into as another service for our members. You set em' and leave em'. Check them once a day and charge by the week. If you already have a roller, there's an extra charge too. Trap them and then add a rolling service after words. You made some extra dough and the customer's lawn is back to normal. There's no special tricks and you don't have to be an "expert". I mean really, who couldn't use an extra $100-$200 a week?

Traps: $10/trap
Marker Flags: $7/100
Latex Gloves: $10/box
Flower Spade: $3
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Old 04-08-2010, 04:54 AM
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I think this is brilliant! Please keep us posted on how all this goes!
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