It is always with a gasp and a grumbling mutter that we greet the first sight of a new mole hill on the erstwhile pristine lawn – your pride and joy ! You know that that first little hill of finely tilled soil is only the start of a destructive rampage that will drive you to distraction !
What can you do !?
I have to say that I have a very soft spot for these ‘Little Gentlemen in Black Velvet’ but the fact remains that they will quickly ruin a beautifully kept lawn or a well tended kitchen garden.
If it helps to lessen the conscience with regard to deposing of them I have to tell you that behind that cute pointy nosed exterior there lurks a brutish , lone , thug who will kill , without a second thought , any other mole it might encounter, and will cheerfully murder it’s off spring if they don’t make them selves scarce as soon as they are able to.
You will properly have heard about various ‘old remedies’ for getting rid of moles; for example moth balls in their run , planting euphorbia (Spurge ) varieties in the garden, pouring caster oil down the run, or using special smoke bombs to gas them out , or putting crushed egg shells in the run. None of these will work ! Sadly, if you don’t want the moles in your garden then you will have to kill them! I have set out below the various ways this can be achieved.
The little devils can be poisoned, but this is strictly a job for a licensed professional and can be quite expensive. The method that was used in the past was Strychnine , which was very thorough and quick, but this is now banned and the alternative is Aluminium Phosphide , which is equally effective, however, unless you have a very large area of infestation I don’t think you will need to go to such extremes.
The other sure fired way of eliminating the little so-and-so’s is by trapping, and as you may well suffer repeated infestations it is worth investing in some mole traps. There are primarily two types of traps used, and these are easily available at most Garden Centres or Hardware Shops. The most usual trap is ‘The Scissor Trap’ This is basically a sprung loaded pincer which is set open then placed in the run so that when the mole moves through the open jaws of the pincer it’s weight triggers the mechanism and the jaws spring shut and kill the creature instantly ! To ensure that the trap works as best it can, bury it for a week or so in the garden to take away it’s metallic odours.
To set the scissor trap first locate the moles run, to do this get a sharp stick or length of rigid wire – a knitting needle is ideal – and push it into the soil around the mole hill. You must never put a mole trap in the mole hill itself as this will not work. When the stick goes into the ground easily you will know you have found the run. Cut away a good circle of turf above the run to expose it . Carefully remove any debris that has fallen into the run – by the way , do not worry about leaving any human scent as the mole has a very poor sense of smell. Next put the set trap in position and cover in the excavation as neatly as possible, making sure that all light has been excluded from the run. If you have not caught your mole after say eight days then remove the trap and set it in another location.
The other type of mole trap is the ’Tunnel Trap’ This works in a similar way to the Scissor Trap but is much bigger so you will need to expose more of the run. The cost of both the traps is about £7.00.
A final word which may help to make your mole catching more bearable . For one reason or another, moles are becoming much more common than they used to be – some say this is because of the ban on worm killers – ( A mole eats over half it’s body weight in worms every day!) or possibly the demise of rural workers who were pretty much the moles only predator. What ever the reason, the mole population of mainland UK is very healthy; so go forth and don’t let the blighters ruin your lovely Garden!