Known as the Velvet Gentlemen, this blind secretive creature lives underground in a warren of impressive tunnels. Preferring soft, sandy soil, they eat worms and soil dwelling insects and rarely come across humans. Not only do they not seek the company of humans, they rarely seek any company at all; loners in their tunnels, they live alone.
They present us with very little in the way of problems but, their burrowing and tunnelling can be a nuisance. In one day, an industrious mole can tunnel up to 20 metres a day! Within these tunnelled walls, they also create grass lined chambers, perfect for resting in and raising their young. Moles also tend to be most active between October and April.
Making a mountain out of a mole hill
The mole hill which is common sight peppered across fields and meadows, is the waste heap of the moles tunnelling exploits. Whilst they may look unsightly, they are not a nuisance as such and, for many farmers and estate managers, they are a natural part of the great outdoors.
But, when the moles sense of direction is lost, or a concentration of moles builds up in one place, the results can be more than just a nuisance…
- The built environment can cause the mole to lose its way slightly and become ‘trapped’ in places where mole hills are not welcome – cricket pitches, bowling greens, football facilities, urban parks, livery fields, competition and most kind of sporting or recreation places do not like the presence of mole hills.
- Estate managers with vast swathes of land prefer not to have lawns riddled with mole hills, and gardeners share their annoyance
- If many moles are concentrated in one spot, the amount of tunnelling and excavation under the surface can make the ground very unstable and liable to collapse – not good if you are riding a horse over it, or other livestock uses the area etc.
Getting ‘rid’ of moles
There needs to be a ‘case’ for the removal and control of moles; only a professional pest controller, such as Devon Pest Control, can determine if this need is apparent.
There are a variety of methods and solutions, the majority of which need expert and trained handling; in the vast majority of cases, only a qualified pest controller can used these methods. Some techniques are an additional qualification that pest controllers need in order to carry out the work safely, without harm to themselves and other animals.
Moles are not animals that should be handled by people with no experience of pest control. Moles are not protected as such, but their control and management is overseen by two laws, the Wild Mammals Protection Act 1996 and the Animal Welfare Act 2006. Under these laws, moles can only be dealt with by pest controllers who are licenced to use various equipment, methods and chemicals.