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The European mole is silver grey to black in colour although Albino moles have been found. It moults twice a year in spring and autumn.. It has small ears with no external flaps and its eyes are also small and hidden in the fur. The tail is relatively short and covered in hairs. The adult weighs in between 70 and 100 gm.
Moles are solitary by nature and they are found throughout mainland Britain, Anglesey, Mull, Skye, the Isle of Wight, Alderney and Jersey but not in Ireland. Moles do not hibernate and are active all year round.
The mole creates these tunnels using their spade-like forepaws. A mole digs its tunnels with alternate forepaws, with its body held against the existing tunnel walls with its hind limbs and inactive forelimb. The soil is passed behind the mole's body. Once a suitable amount accumulates, the mole turns in the tunnel and pushes the soil to the surface, creating either a new mole hill or contributing to an existing one.
Where grass is grown for silage, this rapidly deteriorates if contaminated by earth from mole hills. The areas of the mole hill prevent grass from growing and allow weeds to grow, leading to rapid deterioration of pasture land.
Stones brought to the surface by moles can damage the cutter bars of mowing machines and harvesters.
Moles working under the roots of crops can cause the plants to either have stunted growth or to die due to soil drying out.
On race courses or gallops, the presence of moles is a danger to horse and rider. On lawns, playing fields or golf courses, they disfigure the areas allowing weeds to become established.
Approved methods of control are traps, sonic repellers and gassing.
The best times are between October and April unless it is cultivated land. From April onwards, grass shows rapid growth, making the location of mole hills and tunnels difficult.
The scent left on traps by the human hand could make the mole avoid them, therefore weathering of traps, ie burying in soil for a number of days prior to use and avoiding touching with bare hands (unless rubbed in soil) prior to setting, seems to give better results.
Harmful substances used to kill or deter moles from tunnels can be detected. If detected in time, the mole will often block up tunnels to avoid them.
The control of moles can be very difficult most of the time and therefore would benefit from professional treatment. Please call us if you want help.