116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS - Happy days may be ending here for the lawn-destroying mole.
The Police Department, which oversees the city's animal control operation, is studying if the city should modify its trapping ordinance to permit kill traps to nab moles and perhaps other rodents.
Greg Buelow, the department's spokesman, on Friday said citizen inquiries about the trapping of moles and groundhogs is prompting the review of the city's existing, restrictive trapping law.
In addition, Buelow said a close reading of the city's law suggests that the city prohibits the use of kill traps for moles and even for rats and mice though the city hasn't enforced its ordinance for 'rodents such as mice, rates, moles and gophers.”
A case can be made, he said, to have an ordinance that permits kill traps for mice and rats inside dwellings for public health reasons.
'We don't believe that the intent of the code was to prohibit removal of these rodents through the use of (kill) traps,” he said.
The Police Department will discuss the trapping ordinance on Monday with the City Council's Public Safety and Youth Services Committee.
Buelow said the trap discussion will include the issue of placing traps that can kill or maim animals, but could have the potential to hurt children or pets.
Rick Miller, of Critter Control of Iowa in Iowa City, said his company is state-licensed for animal control and operates by state trapping rules. Those rules have had him catching moles in Cedar Rapids and elsewhere with kill traps for years, he said.
Miller said the only way to trap a mole is with a kill trap, which he said is placed in the mole's tunnel where it spikes the mole when it passes by.
An average lawn can have three to five moles tearing it up, and once those moles are removed, others can move in, Miller said.
'One mole can make a lot of tunnels,” he said.
Liz Ford, animal services supervisor at the Iowa City Animal Care & Adoption Center, said Iowa City's trap ordinance permits kill traps for 'small rodent pest control,” which includes moles, she said.
The city of Des Moines' trapping ordinance permits traps that maim or kill to catch mice, rats, gophers and moles as well as aquatic rodents (apparently beavers and muskrats) that are trapped in water.