Frequently Asked Questions

I feel bad about having to trap my problem mole....Can't you just catch it alive and release it somewhere else? Surely that's more humane, isn't it?

It sounds like the ideal solution, but it's only when you understand the mole's fascinating lifestyle that it becomes apparent that things aren't quite that simple.

The mole has a very high metabolic rate; they have to eat every few hours, 24hrs a day, 365 days a year; that's why they don't hibernate! Each mole has to eat 2/3rds of its own body weight every day just to stay alive... and for an adult male mole, that's 80g of worms! (It's for this reason, too, that moles are solitary mammals - they can't afford to share their worms with anybody!). If you were to place a live trap in the ground, you would have to check it at least every 4 hours, day and night; otherwise the mole you have caught alive will start to starve in your live trap; and by the morning it would be dead.

Assuming you have caught him alive, you now have to release a very hungry mole! Moles only find food by having a tunnel system into which worms, their main food source, drop; then every few hours the mole scurries around underground at great speed and vacuums up all the worms! If you re-locate a mole that is already hungry into a field, he now has to expend more valuable energy by creating a whole new tunnel system just so that he can find food!
And as if that wasn't bad enough, you may be releasing your starving mole into a field with very few worms in it.... not enough for him to survive on when he is starving. Or even worse, you could release your starving mole into another moles tunnel system, which the tunnel owner will defend ferociously and usually to the death.

On the face of it, live capture and release may seem ideal; but when you understand the lifestyle that moles have, as an animal lover and countryman, I would never advocate the live capture of a problem mole because it's cruel and inhumane to a mole to inflict un-neccessary suffering upon it just for the misplaced preconception that you are saving it's life by not trapping it.

What is a traditional molecatcher?

A true, traditional molecatcher specialises only in the capture of problem moles. They use only traditional mole traps and they should only catch moles that present a problem to their clients.

How is a traditional molecatcher different to a modern molecatcher?

"Modern molecatchers" are usually just pest control companies. They haven't the skill, time or knowledge of how to catch moles humanely, so they just resort to using poisons or gasses. These are indiscriminate as to which species they kill underground. Poisons then usually mean the exclusion of livestock, pets and children from the affected area. If pest control companies do attempt to use traps, they won’t check them every day which is a moral requirement for anybody setting a trap, because that will cost them money and they will also charge you as a client "call-out" or "site-inspection" fees before they even catch a mole or every time they do decide to visit.

 

Are your traps safe for children and animals to go near?

Yes. My traps are placed underground and only target moles. The catching mechanism is shielded underneath the trap; so children, pets and livestock need not be excluded from the area. Also, my traditional traps are environmentally friendly, unlike gas or poison.

I think I have a mole family in my garden because I have about 10 molehills. How many moles do you think there are?

Firstly, moles are solitary mammals because of their high metabolic rate and enormous appetite; they can't afford to live in a family group except when Mrs Mole has her young brood with her during the early summer. As soon as they are weaned, she kicks them out to fend for themselves. There is absolutely no connection between the amount of molehills you see and how many moles there may be underground; despite what pest control companies may tell you. It could be a solitary mole...it could be two moles sharing a garden...it could be more.

Every client is different; every environment is different; it all comes down to food source and being a wild, fascinating little mammal that we can't predict and still know little about. If a pest control company asks you how many molehills you have and then quotes you a price without visiting you, then please contact me because I know I will provide you with a better, cheaper, and higher quality service.

What qualifications or accreditations do you have?

My father taught my brothers and I how to catch moles when we were children. He worked all his life on the land as a farmer and for the National Trust as a Head Gardener. My brothers and I are all now traditional molecatchers, their websites are www.hampshiremolecontrol.co.uk and www.wessexmolecontrol.co.uk.

We are all members of the two organisations who support traditional molecatchers in Britain... “The British Traditional Molecatchers Register” (BTMR) and the “Guild Of British Molecatchers”. Please have a peep at their websites to see the standards to which I work.