…..according to Jasper Carrott anyway!
Moles are very active during this time of year and so the sight of large mounds of earth are becoming common place in most gardens.
Moles are really fascinating. Not much is really known about them but they are certainly on the increase and they cause a huge amount of damage to both agricultural land and gardens.
Moles are solitary creatures and protect their territory viciously against all comers – even there own off-spring once the mother has evicted them.They can travel up to 300mts in a single day and are pretty much constantly on the move, hunting for earthworks, leather jackets and just about anything else they can find.
This is where the conflict arises. With such activity, they have to push the tunnel earth up somewhere. The biggest problems occur where there are lots of worms – you guessed it a fell cared for and fed lawn!
Our armoury of treatments have been cut to basically two options – gassing or trapping. We used to be able to deal with moles very effectively and cheaply by the use of Strychnine laced worms which were placed in active runs – if applied following proven safety guidelines was far the most effective and safe way to control them.
Today, we will either use Aluminium Sulphide gas tablets (a very strictly controlled substance that will only be supplied to fully trained professionals like us) or trapping using humane mole traps.
Now trapping is an art. Everybody has a go at it but most attempts are futile. We all have learnt over the years “the best” way to trap and the best traps to use, but there are more factors which effect the success than you can imagine. I have to say we get good results based on certain conditions and in may cases trap several moles in each trap (as one is caught, the constant search for food and territory from bordering moles is there downfall).
Gassing is very effective but again conditions must be perfect – everything from soil dampness to activate the gas down to depth of run etc will determine the success of each application.
I do have a fondness for these busy little creatures and do feel a little sad at having to wage war on them, after all we are destroying their habitat by building houses on every bit of land….but that’s progress!
Incidentally, going back to Jasper’s technique of shooting moles – it does work too! If you see a mole hill being produced and you have your trusty shotgun with you, shoot the mole hill as its moving and you will certainly kill the mole. The shock waves from the impact will kill it instantly – yes I have done this too before you ask!