Moles can be incredibly destructive pests and often take a great deal of patience and luck to get rid of. If you think you have moles, then ...
Latin Name: Talpa europea
Months of Activity: January - December
The mole population been dramatically increasing across many parts of the UK in recent years, partly due to exceptionally wet and mild winters.
This, coupled with abundant food supplies and little in the way of pest control taking place, has enabled the humble mole to freely multiply to almost plague proportions. Moles have been reported appearing in places that previously had never had a mole problem – gardens, grass verges, playing fields, bowling greens – all have been invaded.
Both adult male and female moles are approximately 15cm long and weigh around 4oz. They are covered by dark grey hair, which is velvety in texture.
Moles are solitary animals, and only come together in February when male moles are sometimes allowed to get close to female moles. They remain together for only a few hours, after which they once again go their seperate ways.
During April and May the young are born in an extra-large molehill, built by the mother and known as a fortress. There are usually 4 baby moles in a litter, and they are both naked and blind. At 14 days the young have fur and their eyes open after 22 days. After 5 or 6 weeks they leave the nest and move above ground in order to find their own territories.
The average life span of a mole is around four years.
Moles are notoriously difficult to catch: something which is largely due to their complex underground labyrinth of tunnels. There exists many varying depths of tunnels, some very shallow, almost on the surface, whilst others are quite deep. The moment the mole detects a strange smell or sudden vibration, he retreats at remarkable speed, to the safety of the deeper runs, blocking the tunnel behind him as he goes.
Apart from using carefully regulated gas techniques, the only method for successfully catching moles, is to trap them using a variety of different traps. Once you have located a mole run, a trap can be placed inside the tunnel, which will trigger the closing mechanism when movement is felt inside the trap.
Traps can be purchased from garden centres, but must be weathered before use in order to remove any trace of scent or oil acquired during manufacture. When using traps, success cannot be guaranteed and many people opt for professional assistance in order to control their local mole population.
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