We thought it might be useful to tell you a little more about moles. We believe that the more we can understand about their lives and behaviour the easier it is to catch them!
Moles are generally solitary animals, spending much of their time on their own, only coming together for mating. They defend their own territories aggressively, although they can share runs under hedges and fences where their territories overlap. This is why, when a mole is caught, another can quickly move into its vacated territory.
They have several layers of tunnels; deeper, semi-permanent ones used for breeding and by successive generations, and shallow short-lived surface ones used for hunting. It is these temporary hunting tunnels that cause most of the trouble as the mole excavates at a rate of about twenty metres a day, pushing up debris in the form of mole hills.
They can move along their tunnels surprisingly quickly – one metre a second – and, because its fur can lie at any angle, it can go backwards as well as forward through the tunnels. They are also good swimmers and, in times of flood, will swim to higher ground.
The adult mole weighs about 80 grammes and is 12-14cm in length, and its tail is 2-4cm long; it holds this semi-erect when it is working to brush the tunnel walls, picking up vibrations passed through the ground by worms and insects.
The mole consumes about its own body weight in food per day, working on a sleeping/working pattern of about four hours and, when there is plenty of food, they will bite the heads off worms and store them for later.
The female has one litter a year, usually of three or four, between February and June. The young are weaned at about one month and are pushed out to fend for themselves and establish their own territories shortly after. They become sexually active at the age of one year and live, on average, between two and five years.Since Roman times, man and mole have been in conflict and mole catchers have been using traps since then. One of the earliest ones was a clay pot, part filled with water in which an exhausted mole would eventually drown. These were used through the medieval period and right up to the 19th century in some areas. Smaller clay traps, made like drainpipes, were developed in the 1700s but, when mole catching became more of a commercial enterprise, a better and stronger trap made of elm was developed. During the Victorian era, the metal trap was developed.
In the 1800s, the art of trapping began to decline when poisoning became the method of choice as it was easier and required less equipment.
Worms were caught and soaked in strychnine and then inserted into the run. Whilst it was an efficient way of dealing with the moles, it was not considered humane and was banned in 2006. There was then a steady increase in mole activity and the mole catcher with his traps was in demand again, traditional methods being seen as one of the best ways to control moles…and so here we are today!
Another lovely email popped into our inbox this morning from one of our customers.
Sounds like this gentleman is fast becoming the village mole catcher!
“I bought your mole trap over a year ago to catch a mole on the village green. I caught it immediately. This week we had a mole at work on the edge of our bowling green. Much to the amazement of our members, I was again successful overnight,saving the bowling surface.A great product.“
Great to get this message today from one of our American customers who had been trying to catch a very tricky mole for quite a while…
“I just had to share, after 2 years I finally caught the little sucker!! I danced a jig!!!
Here’s his ( her?) picture: Dead as a doornail. Now onto the front garden. No evidence there is another….is that likely? I understand this is a star nosed mole.”
We love to hear of your mole catching stories and successes so please contact us and if you are having difficulties catching them we are also here to help. You can call us on 01223 927216 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Myth: Control the grubs to control the moles.
While moles can eat grubs, 80-90% of their diet is comprised of earth worms; therefore, controlling grubs is not going to control moles. Do not expect to control moles by using grub control products. The best way to control moles is to trap them.
Myth: Kill or scare moles away with Chewing Gum, castor oil, glass shards, cigarettes, hot peppers, etc etc.
We have not read any research that demonstrates the effectiveness of these claims. Some of these ‘home-remedies’ can actually be dangerous to humans, pets, and the environment.
Myth: I can use poison food, or mouse/rat poison to control moles.
Moles are insectivores. Their main diet is earthworms. They do not eat plants, seeds, or roots and therefore they will not eat any mouse/rat poisons or baits used to control rodents. There is one type of mole bait, the problem is the idea of placing worm-shaped mole killing products into the lawn. Ideally, the bait is placed into the tunnel to prevent people or animals from picking it up and consuming it, but there still is a risk. You can decide the level of risk to you and your property.
Myth: Moles. Voles. They are all the same.
Mole and voles are completely different. Moles bury tunnels under the ground and voles create pathways in the grass on top of the soil. Moles eat worms and insects. Voles eat nuts and seeds.
We read an interesting article in The Guardian recently about the battle that is currently raging within the mole catching community:
Of course we stay well out of these battles as our mole trap is so easy to use that anyone can use it, thus making mole catchers completely unnecessary for our customers anyway!
Some very interesting letters in The Guardian Newspaper recently about mole catching. www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/mar/10/spare-a-thought-for-the-poor-old-mole
Firstly, we would like to assure our customers that our trap is one of the most humane on the market as our strong spring mechanism ensures that there is a clean, swift kill every time and therefore the mole does not suffer. The so called ‘humane’ traps which capture the mole live cause much more suffering as the mole is often left trapped for long periods of time causing huge distress and often a prolonged death.
We also were very interested to hear about the fact that until recently mole catchers sold mole skins to plumbers who used them to wipe and shape the hot lead on pipe repairs, thus producing a velvet finish to their work. Never heard of this before!
We were very pleased to see our EasySet Mole Trap chosen as one of the top 6 best mole traps by the gardening website www.pyracantha.co.uk, and named as the best trap for domestic home use.
Please see the full review here:
They said “We really like the Beagle Easyset Mole Trap and its ideal for home use and is, as you would think, by far the easest mole trap to set. You don’t get much simpler than pressing down the trigger.
Our research has shown that its very effective and is probably the best choice for someone with the odd mole in their garden to catch.
Brilliant design, very effective at killing moles.”
“If you want a simple, easy to set option, to catch a few moles from your own garden, then the Beagle Easyset Mole trap is probably the best option for you.”
We certainly agree with all of that!
So lovely to get this email from one of our delighted customers this week:
Another success !
Second time using , two days in ground .
What an excellent article by Dr.Rob Atkinson in support of the many qualities and remarkable abilities of moles. Here I must declare my interest: I am the inventor of the popular Easyset Mole trap.
Dr Atkinson rightly acknowledges that not everyone appreciates these qualities, particularly farmers with grazing herds and flocks, horse keepers, grounds men, park and green keepers and,not least, gardeners passionate about their immaculate lawns!
For centuries man has trapped moles and will continue to do so.
I do not foresee that we will return to the days of trapping moles for their pelts: such was the wholesale annihilation of moles for this purpose nearly a hundred years ago that the killing of moles was prohibited by law in Germany – a law that still stands to this day .
Notwithstanding the vast numbers of moles that exist in the northern hemisphere today (31 million in the UK alone), the vested interest of those who wish to remove moles poses no threat to their existence, unlike many animal species in the world.
So if moles are doing you no harm I say ‘leave them alone and in peace to pursue their singular and lonely existence’.
On the other hand if you wish to remove a mole that’s offending you, don’t waste your time or money on deterrents (sonic or smoke etc.) as they will merely circumvent them and return. Remove the mole by using a trap that will kill them quickly and humanely.
One tip: ( maybe ‘old wives tale’ but it’s worked for me!) As Dr.Atkinson says when one mole goes another will soon sense it and move into the established network (why work for a living!). If you have successfully killed a mole, inter it respectfully into the hole from whence it came and cover it up. It might send a message to an intruder coming up the tunnel! I have done this in my garden and not had an intruder for four years now and there is still plenty of mole activity outside where I am happy to let them get on with their short lives.
Inventor of The EasySet Mole Trap and owner of Beagle Garden products.
17th March 2016.
The UK is currently experiencing a huge increase in mole activity. You may have noticed this yourself, either from receiving more enquiries about mole removal, or simply from seeing more mole hills in your own neighbourhood.
The mole population has doubled this year
Moles can ruin lawns and gardens, tearing up expanses of green grass and uprooting plants. Recent press articles (Daily Telegraph, Sept 4, 2014 and Daily Mirror, Oct 3 2014) have suggested that moles seem to be breeding all year round now, and the wet weather throughout 2014 forced many to venture further from their usual habitat – so moles are now also invading gardens in towns and cities, not just the countryside.
At Beagle, we have seen an unprecedented growth in demand for our traps in the past year.
The best solution to a mole problem
The only proven way to get rid of moles is to kill them with a trap. Most people find the old fashioned metal traps difficult to use and ultimately ineffective, so often resort to paying expensive outside mole catchers to do the job. But it needn’t be this way.
Beagle completely reinvented the Mole Trap and launched our business in 2013, creating an extremely easy and effective way for people to get rid of the moles in their gardens themselves – The EasySet Mole Trap.
Call us on 01233 927126 to request our trade price list. Further details of our whole product range are at www.beagleproducts.com.