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Moles - Controling moles in your garden and lawn

If you have ever had problems with moles you will be aware just how hard it is to control them. Arriving from almost thin air you wake up one morning to mole hills. It only takes a couple of days to turn your perfect lawn into a scene from the "battle of the Sohm". The gardenadvice team are often asked to advise on mole problems, this article is a summary of the advice.

Earthworms attract moles. Lawns are an ideal hunting ground the worms are near to the surface and the network of grass roots supports extensive tunnelling. Establishing a centre the mole or moles will work out digging several feeder tunnels. Once the basic network has been formed they sit back and wait. With an excellent scenic of smell and hearing they can detect a worm up to 5 metres away. As the worms work through the soil they drop into the moles tunnel and become another tasty meal.

Traditional solutions have included the control of the earthworms mainly because of the worm casts they create. However earthworms do a lot of good improving drainage, breaking down organic matter in the soil and help support health topsoil. By removing or controlling the worms you will control the moles however the price is high, as you will damage your soil.

Trapping is often the best method for young inexperienced moles. The normal type of trap has a scissors action which to be honest is somewhat barbaric. Working by being placed in the main run the mole trips the trap and kills itself. The key to trapping is to set the trap without introducing any foreign scents or smells. To achieve this use old traps or buy new traps and bury them for a few weeks. Secondarily before you touch the traps or the mole run covers your hands in soil to hide your own scent. The traps should then be placed in the moles runs so that the trap sits just above the run base. Once the trap is set make sure that no light can get into the mole run by adding turf or soil around the top of the trap. It all sounds very simple but the truth unless you are setting traps every day an have considerable experience you will more than likely fail. Its amazing to see your carefully set traps dug around, set off and them thrown out of the ground or just plain agrored. Once a mole as seen one trap and survived you can forget about using this method again, the mole seems never to forget.

Fumigating is another method often used, which involves finding the run then using a special mole smoke to fumigate the run. On the whole this is an effective method, however you are limited to how far the poisonous smoke will travel and also the moles can dig there way out of trouble. The smokes contain sulphur and can only be used when the weather is warm as in cold damp weather the smoke will not travel in the runs.

Baiting worms with poison is another method, which can be used. This is best carried our by a professional mole catcher as the poisons used are licensed and very dangerous to other animals and birds.

The GardenAdvice preferable method is to move the moles on into a more suitable area such as a meadow or out of the garden. This avoids embarrassment on our part as the moles inevitably show us up when we employ the other methods detailed earlier. We achieve this by using jeyes fluid which is a chemical that has been used for gardeners for over 50 years for a whole range of tasks including sterilising pots and soil, controlling moss and a whole host of other uses. We simply find the run open the highest end up and using a watering can pour in a strong mix of jeyes fluid and water (1 ; 20 ) With the mole having a highly developed sense of smell it tends to drive them away from there current location. To make sure they are going in the right direction we also water a banned across the lawn or bed (using a diluted mix 1:40) to form a barrier against the mole moving in an undesired direction. Over about 10 days we continue this operation until the move has moved on or at least into a less damaging area.



a mole


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