It was nice to catch up with, Radio 2’s Allotment gardener Terry Walton who also came to say Hello at the RHS Show and we inevitably we had a quick chat about our veggies. I explained that apart from the weather, the biggest challenge I have this year is the ‘wildlife’ – pheasants, pigeons, and mice seem to be treating my veg patch as a take away restaurant.
But the pest we have both been asked about most so far this year is moles- apparently there is an increase in the numbers due to last year’s wet summer. George Savell, Director of mole trap experts Beagle Garden Products offers this explanation, “Wet weather raises the water table and forces earthworms to come closer to the surface. It also makes the ground softer and easier to dig through, allowing moles not only to follow the worms, but also to find a mate more easily – leading to the huge increase in mole numbers this year.
Frustratingly for gardeners, saturated soil also means moles venture further from their usual habitat in the woods and hedgerows. They explore drier environments, and this can bring them into contact with humans as their travels bring them into our gardens, and beneath our painstakingly cared-for and sometimes well-drained lawns.”
George continues, “the increasing occurrence of extreme rainfall means the mole population and problem is likely to increase. We are going to see an increasing number of domestic gardeners becoming obsessed with mole catching, and adding mole traps and mole trapping equipment to the ‘essential tools’ of their garden sheds.”
For details of a new ‘EasySet Mole Trap, visit http://www.beagleproducts.com.
I always remember being told by a wizened and wise Welsh Hill farmer that the best way to deal with moles was to write them a polite note, asking them to move on otherwise you will have to take extreme action and push it into their run. I never found out if he was pulling my leg or not and have actually tried it with good results though the sceptics think that it’s the human scent on the note that drives them away. And the last word must go to another fabulous old mole catcher who once warned me that you should never kill a mole in your own garden – because all the other moles will come there to his funeral!