Pros: Inexpensive, simple application
Cons: Caution near children and pets, Hard to quantify results
I had never heard of Sweeney's Poison Peanuts until I had read a review previously written on this site. The reviewer basically found the product did not live up to it's claims giving them disappointing results with their mole problems.
Moles were no longer an issue at my home as they have been in the past. It's been my experience that the best method of controlling mole populations is to remove their food source. Unfortunately, patience and at least one full season was required in treating my yard with Grub-Ex. The tunnels I found every week along the wooded portion of my yard disappeared after two full seasons treating for grubs. I did not use Sweeney's Poison Peanuts as a method to reduce mole population but rather my property was being raided by chipmunks.
I've got to believe the previous reviewer may not have located active tunnels as moles do tend to move to new ground over time. If this was not the case, it is possible moles just aren't drawn to this bait... such is definitely not the case with chipmunks.
I was not about to extend my "mole elimination theory" of removing the food source to my fight with these pests. My wife spent vast amount of cash and considerable sweat planting bulbs from one end of our yard to the other. Last fall and early this spring our chipmunk friends systematically burrowed under nearly every plant in our yard, even those without bulbs. Every time they hit pay dirt, they dug out the bulbs and in most cases gnawed off the plant near the ground. The cute little critters we shooed away from our bird feeders and plants in the past had now taken the fight to a new level.
My mother handed me a nearly full, odd looking, cone shaped container with the saying KILL MOLES and GOPHERS plastered across it in large letters. I twisted off the cap to find it filled with small pellets similar to those one would find at pet stores for hamster or gerbil food. One container of Sweeney's Poison Peanuts contains 4 ounces of "peanuts". This should be sufficient product to eliminate your troubles with plenty to spare.
The manufacturer spells out the application directions on the back of the packaging. There are some specific directions depending on the type of rodent you are attempting to eliminate and the type of burrow they create. The manufacturer suggests this product is effective on a range of rodents including moles or burrowing pocket gophers. I have to admit I didn't take much care in placing the product. I simply pitched half a dozen or so pellets as deep into the holes as possible. I chose tunnels were I spotted the pests currently enter and exit. I'm relatively sure the trick here is to locate active tunnels or burrows. In each case the pellets had disappeared within 24 hours. Also, if following the directions printed on the package, take care in not covering the pellets with dirt when plugging the entrance hole.
The active ingredient is zinc phosphide. This compound has been used as a rodenticide here in the U.S. since the late 1930's. Zinc phosphide is a recommended choice because it is fairly specific for use against rodents. While no true secondary poisoning is usually present with this compound, it has been noted that dogs and cats may be the exception. This may cause a problem for pet owners whose pets may come in contact with the dead rodents or the pellets themselves. According to the state of Michigan website, these accidental poisonings are rare but should be noted here.
The 4 ounce package was purchased at a local ACO hardware store for $4.48, which by the way is not known for their low prices. I recently located the product at our local Home Depot at a cost of $3.96. This appears to be a very reasonable price to protect our valuable landscape investment.
The folks at Sweeney's do take the time to warn customers of the product's potential health risks to humans, pets and wildlife for which the product is not intended. The product is also toxic to birds, fish and other wildlife and warnings indicate it should not be used in contact or near sources of water.
Activity of these pests decreased dramatically in just a bit over a week. We would see our guests regularly darting in and around our landscape, several at a time. Within a day or two following application, only an occasional lone chipmunk can be spotted, although I have to honestly admit it's nearly impossible to quantify our results, but it does appear to have been effective.
Again, I must emphasize, I have not attempted to use this product for use against moles. My experience fighting a rather large chipmunk population does in fact appear to have generated excellent results. It's my belief that the dangers are limited by careful placement out of the reach of pets and children. I also believe the environmental consequences should be minimal if the product is not over-used. In my case, it appears most if not all the pellets were ingested, leaving nearly nothing as an environmental concern. With careful use, I would recommend the use of Sweeney's Poison Peanuts as an effective and inexpensive way to deal with rodent problems. Go ahead, gopher it... uh... I mean go for it.