- Why is mole control necessary?
- How much does it cost to catch a mole?
- Why have I got moles and my neighbours haven’t
- Why are there so many moles now?
- How do you catch a mole and how long will it take?
- Why can’t you catch the mole and release it elsewhere?
Q: Why is mole control necessary?
A: Firstly if you can tolerate the odd molehill or minor mole activity, then leave the mole alone, mole control is only necessary where numbers are so great as to cause problems. I use the word control, as the aim is not to totally exterminate, but to reduce the numbers to a level that is acceptable to each individual client.
Generally in domestic gardens it is just because of the unsightly molehills on a lawn.
On farmland the reasons are much more important and varied, but the main problem is soil contamination of silage, and haylage from the molehills. This results in poor quality fodder for farm animals and horses. Bacteria in the soil affect the fermentation of the cut grass and reduce its nutritional value. Other types of bacteria in the soil can cause listeriosis in sheep and cattle.
Soil and stones from the molehills blunts and damages grass-cutting equipment. Moles tunnelling under newly planted seed crops cause poor crop yields, this is because the delicate roots of the seedlings are displaced either to the surface and die or are deprived of soil nutrients and water because of the mole’s tunnel.
Molehills and tunnels can be dangerous to livestock’s legs and feet, especially horses if they trip or stumble on the disturbed ground conditions.
Other reasons are for safety of the public in recreational/utility areas and to reduce the risk of bird strikes on airports and airfields.
Q: How much does it cost to catch a mole?
A: A lot less than you think.
Garden moles from £10.00 and the price per mole on farmland can work out as little as £3.00 per mole.
Homeowners look Here
Farmers and Landowners look Here
Q: Why have I got moles and my neighbours don't?
A:Basically your land/garden provides everything the mole needs to survive at that time. A mole needs food, lots of food for its size, water and a resting place that is not affected by sudden weather changes.
Moles are members of the insectivore family; they eat insects and grubs, typically worms.
If your soil has a good worm population then you may have moles at some time or other. If you have plenty of worms you also have good soil conditions, so if you try to reduce the worm population, your soil quality will deteriorate.
In a typical garden situation, if you water your lawn in summer and your neighbours don’t, moles activity will be more visible in your garden because the worms will be closer to the surface in the moist soil and so will the moles.
In dry spells during the summer months worms retreat to deeper levels and the moles will stay deep as well.
If you have a natural or man-made water source in your garden it will also be popular with moles in dry spells. Moles will also retreat and keep to their natural habitat, which are woods and established hedgerows. These areas hold on to the moisture content much longer and always have good worm numbers.
Moles also prefer loose workable soils compared to hard compacted ground, it’s easier for them to dig. So a newly landscaped, reseeded or turfed lawn will always be very attractive to a mole. Keeping your compost bin and grass clippings close to your lawn is not a good idea; it will remain moist and have a massive population of the small red litter dwelling worms.
A mole may be using your garden and lawn just for food or water. It could be both and it may even be living there as well.
Q: Why are there so many moles now?
A:Many reasons are thought to be responsible for the apparent increase in the mole population. Foot and Mouth Disease in 2001 prevented a lot of rural mole control, so moles for one year were not controlled. Hardly a major factor I think.
Milder winters and cooler, moist summers have been favourable to more visible mole activity. Climate change is perhaps benefiting the mole.
September 2006 saw the withdrawal of Strychnine as a poison bait method authorised for mole control. This means that only the only control methods left are trapping and gassing.
Strychnine was very effective at mole control, though it was indiscriminate in what it killed and there were concerns over actually how humane it was on moles, as the poisoning effect was not thought to be immediate and the moles bodies were horribly contorted when found.
Gassing with Aluminium Phosphide tablets, which is legal, is also indiscriminate in what it kills and cannot be used in certain locations and weather conditions. Its effectiveness is open to question, as soil conditions and the correct placement of the tablets are crucial for a quick humane death. It is too expensive for large scale mole control.
This leaves trapping, as the only humane and cost effective method of mole control left, unfortunately at the present time there is a shortage of people who have the necessary skills and knowledge catch moles successfully, especially with the ability to deal with large-scale mole control on farmland.
There are plenty of hobby garden molecatchers, but the garden mole is a result of inadequate control on farmland.
Q: How do you catch a mole and how long will it take?
A:Lancashire Mole Control uses powerful spring powered traps to catch moles and in the process, immediately and humanly kill them.
It’s a procedure similar to what you might use to catch a mouse, but you don’t use a bait to attract the mole to the trap.
You place your trap in a mole tunnel (not a mole hill) that is being used regularly and wait for the mole to come along. As it passes through the trap, it triggers the trap and is caught instantly.
This is where the skill, knowledge and practical experience of a professional mole catcher come into play.
By presenting a trap correctly in the right place, a result is guaranteed, in a very short period of time.
Moles can be caught in less than half an hour, sometimes minutes if the mole was nearby when you set the trap. Normally a trap will have caught within 12 to 24 hours, hence the daily inspection. Sometimes a trap may not catch till the 2nd or 3rd day. This is not very common, but something to consider when deciding how long to leave a trap in the ground.
In a typical domestic situation I will place traps one day and inspect/remove them the following day. Sometimes traps may need to be reset or another area set with traps if fresh molehills have occurred there overnight. This will mean another visit the following day.
I can lay traps in such a way that pets and livestock can still use the area. In these situations the traps are completely out of view and covered. I routinely have to work in areas with sheep, cattle, poultry, dogs, and where the public have access.
You only need one mole trap to catch a mole, but by placing more traps in an area where you only need one, you put the odds in your favour and decrease the time it takes for the mole to be caught.
Some times there will be just a couple of molehills in an area, leading you to believe there is just a single mole. However I often find a main run nearby which to the untrained eye would go unnoticed. There are generally no molehills to be seen here, but a single trap in this run can catch 5 or more moles, usually one a day until all moles in the area are accounted for.
Q: Why can’t you catch the mole alive and release it elsewhere?
A:Good Question, you can, live catch traps are available and legal, but are considered inhumane because of these mole facts.
Moles have a very high metabolic rate and need to eat 60 to 75% of their body weight in worms and grubs each day.
They eat and rest on roughly 4-hour cycles, 4 hours feeding then 4 hours resting. Moles are very territorial of their feeding areas and will fight off another mole; they are only tolerant of another during the breeding season.
So if you set your live catch trap, which is like a toilet roll tube with a flap at each end and check it 8 hours later you’ve possibly got a dead mole. It’s either died of starvation or stress at being held captive in the tube.
Even if you check the trap after 4 hrs and find a live mole, how long has it been there? And what do you do with it now?
If you think release it in a nice field, think again. It is an offence to relocate a pest onto another person's land without permission.
Is the mole is still strong enough to dig and find food?
Or if it finds another mole tunnel, is strong enough to fight off the current owner of this tunnel?
The abandonment of Animals Act 1960 section 1 makes it an offence to release an animal into the environment if it does not have a reasonable chance of survival.
My opinion is that live catch traps, if used, should be inspected every couple of hours, and even if you do have somewhere to legally release it, I still believe it's not humane due to the stress the mole has already gone through.
So why use a live catch trap in the first place?
If you require more information on why I won't use live catch traps, this document will help explain why: Click
A humane kill trap is the only option to control excess numbers of moles.