Mole Control from Victor Pest
With winter periods becoming gradually softer, the British mole population has been growing over the last few years. Moles are a pest because of the damage that they do through their tunnelling activity, leaves unsightly tunnels across lawns, gardens, fairways, sports fields and even golfing greens, which not only are unpleasant but also can be dangerous.
The habits European mole
There are many different mole species, but the common one is Europe is the European mole also known as Tapla europaea. Originally moles are native to woodlands; however a patch of grassland, usually in the form of a garden lawn or public green can be very attractive for tunnelling. Being subterranean animals, moles need to tunnel constantly to make their way to sources of food and nests, meaning unavoidable damages to the ground they live under.
Moles tracks are a way for them to capture their prey as they feed on small soil invertebrates such as worms. Additionally, they need to eat between 80 and 100% of their weight every day, which is why they constantly expand their tunnels. Their extremely sensitive nose enables them to sense when a prey has fallen into their larders and their saliva has the capacity to paralyze it and keep it for later feeding. They reproduce quickly, and can have as many as seven pups per litter. Each mole will naturally establish their own tunnel, in which adult moles can borrow as much as 100 meters per night, making their presence an issue.
The real destruction caused by moles is from burrowing near a property. If a mole tunnel falls in the way of underground telephone cables and water lines they can sometimes be broken leading to the worst cases, the flooding of a property. For this reason, it is essential to control a mole infestation immediately.
In contrary to many other underground creatures, moles do not hibernate; therefore you can expect them to tunnel all year round. They will be most active during wet and warm conditions, the recent warmer winters have made it easier for moles to burrow, but they will be most active in spring.
Are they dangerous to humans or household animals?
Moles are not aggressive by nature and pose little threat in harming another animal if left untouched. However, in some cases, moles can carry rabies, a virus that can be deadly. Rabies is generally contracted by an animal biting, therefore it is important not to have direct contact which these animals. If possible, handle moles with garden gloves or avoid direct interaction as they are known to bite when handled.
Identifying a mole problem
There are a number of burrowing animals native to the UK, but the mole hole is one of the most destructive to property. Look for raised mounds of loose earth, commonly known as 'mole hills'. These burrows will often be 3 inch wide holes, which can tunnel down as far as 12 inches deep. You can identify them by the presence and the distinctive shape of the bumps created by their digging.
Moles dig two types of tunnel:
Shallow tunnels: they are located just below the surface and will be noticeable as a raised pathway or loose earth.
Deep tunnels: they are situated 10 to 40 cm beneath the ground. These tunnels cannot be seen but can cause structural damage to the ground and may cause root damage to surrounding vegetation. These are the nesting areas of moles, and will usually be lined with leaves and grass.
How to eradicate moles
Trapping is the most effective means of mole control. Moles are most active during the spring and autumn months, therefore trapping is most successful.
Traps are usually set in surface burrows or 'shallow burrows'. It is best to look for tunnels that are frequently used, so look for fresh signs of digging. If you are unsure whether a burrow is still being used by moles, you can flatten a portion of the shallow tunnel and see whether the mound reappears after 24 hours. You can flatten all visible burrows and see which one reappears first.
|This will usually indicate that this is the tunnel used to access the rest of the burrows. It will also be the best place to set your traps. One of the most popular mole traps is the Victor Out O'sight Mole Trap.|
Fumigation is another form of mole control. However, this can be very dangerous to administer without professional supervision, therefore we would not recommend this practice.
For more information on identifying a mole burrow, visit the tips and advice page about moles.
Written by Marion C. European Ecommerce Content Specialist at Victor Pest.