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Attack of the Moles


Suninfrance

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Had once thought of moles as nice fluffy little creatures with big feet, but I am now at my wits end.  OK our garden is nothing like a croquet lawn, but the moles are popping up all over the place.

Sitting outside having lunch in the sunshine - all is well, then all of a sudden the chair legs sinks into the mole run and the wine goes everywhere .

I have used the mole hill earth in the past to plant up my garden pots, but now enough is enough.  Every morning new molehills pepper the garden.  Four barrow loads yesterday morning.

We brought some smoke thingys to shove down the holes, but far from hearing them cough - next morning - more molehills.

How do I get rid of the big footed, garden wreckers (being polite here)?

Jan

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Buy a detaupeur - a mole exploding device - a sort of 10 inch long prong with a stick that goes down into the hole.  When the mole pushes the stick up it sets off an explosive which kills all the moles in that gallery.  Sounds horrendous but is very effective.  Costs about 35 euros (?) including 5 charges.  Replacement charges aren't too expensive.  We would be lost without ours.  Once you are on top of the moles, you don't need to use it much, but at the first sign of a new invasion - get exploding.  Keep away from dogs etc, and DON'T try exploding it above ground "to see what it's like" (as did TOH - boys will be boys....)   I'm sure this wouldn't be allowed i the UK!

Chrissie (81)

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I read somewhere that a stick of juicy fruit chewing gum pushed into the hole should "gum up" the mole. We have an annual problem with them and have found this does work to some extent! Another solution is to fix a hose to the car or lawn mower exhaust and push this into the hole, with the car or mower running (!) for 5 minutes or so.

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I read that those little kids windmills placed in the ground work by annoying the moles with their vibrations, so I got two, the moles dug all round the first one, lovely trenches all over the grass and dug the second one up and knocked it over, so back to the drawing board or the poisoned worms
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Hi there Deemar,

Have no fear, Lautrec is here, with the answer to your problem!

We thought it was quite cute to see the first mole hill appear. Our district is called Chez Taupignon, but in all our time here, we never saw a Taup. But when they started appearing all over the place, action was called for. I tried sending my wife out to nag them, but that didn't work! It always works for me!

So in our local Jardinerie, I found the solution. It is a battery operated sonic repeller, which looks like a big green mushroom and costs just Euros14. Batteries extra. You stick them into the ground and you can hear a high pitched buzz every 15 seconds. Lo and behold; after 24 hours the mole or moles moved on! One repeller covers an area of 500 sq metres. Batteries last for 3 months.

 So shame on you Chrissie for blowing up the poor little blind creatures! There is enough killing in this world already without adding to the toll!

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[quote]Had once thought of moles as nice fluffy little creatures with big feet, but I am now at my wits end. OK our garden is nothing like a croquet lawn, but the moles are popping up all over the place. S...[/quote]

I am afraid moles are a fact of life and the thought of blowing them up I find quite disgusting. I always remember advice on BBC's Gardeners' Question Time in reply to this sort of problem - none of the so called remedies actually work in the long term so don't waste your money!

I find moles come and go. We have none at present, last year I counted 50 hills of earth at one point. Rather than take the soil away which helps the ground to collapse under your deckchair, I rake it into the surrounding grass. It soon disappears and hopefully refills any unused runs.

Liz (29)
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  • 2 weeks later...

Traps. The ones that look like a pair of wire tongs and can be purchased in Brico's etc. Not very pleasant but we've found it's the only sure fire way. They work best in wet weather and need to be stored outside for a week or so before use. In my experience the smoke bombes are a bit hit and miss and the repellers just move the moles around. I haven't tried the explosive devices as they are so costly.

I can never work out where the blighters come from. We're free of them for months and then on the next visit the filmset for the Battle of the Somme has been created on our grass (I hesitate to use the term lawn). We started off with the sentimental - aren't they sweet approach but soon changed our tune. I think if you are in residence the approach of brushing the earth around is ok but for a holiday home elimination is the only answer.

Regards

Alan.

 

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I have some tactical thermal nuclear battle field bombs left over. These don't seem to be so successful since they got shelters built. I have found the sit on mower works well coupled with a ghetto blaster with the sound tack from Apocalypse Now playing full blast as I ride over the mole hills cutters fully lowered at great speed. I found Napalm is much better than petrol plus it has a nice smell first thing in the morning.

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Mole traps. Look like a small piece of steel guttering with a couple of springs. They should be stored outside for a week or two to lose any 'shop' smells. Then when you site them, it should be when you have been working in the garden and your hands have lost any household smells.

Determine the line they are taking, and dig into the run. Place the trap in line with the run, with the springs facing down, and cover lightly, but completely, with soil. Leave it for a few days before checking.

I am assured that the mole is killed instantly. Certainly the springs are very strong, so I imagine that when it is sprung, the force will break the mole's neck. Some people will say it's cruel, but I prefer to call it 'control'. After all, we're not introducing fatal diseases, poison which act arbitrarily etc. There are many many moles who stay away from your perfectly manicured lawns.

/Shaun (16)

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I have eagerly read all the remedies for eradicating moles in the hope that there is an ultimate weapon to finally get all our moles to move house. Tried some of them plus others our French neighbours have suggested i.e. stick cuttings from a rose bush into the tunnel, or broken glass or get 2 or 3 cats. Tried the rose cuttings - didn't seem to work: would love to get the cats but that is not feasible at the moment. We have tried traps and have had some success but we cannot seem to control the population at all.

I do feel sorry for all of you with lawn problems but no-one has mentioned the devastation that our moles cause us! I lovingly care for plants I have grown from cuttings until they are big enough to go out into the big world of the border. They flourish for a while and I tend them with care only to go out one morning to see them a bit droopy. More water, no improvement. Then I dig around a little with my fingers only to find a mole run has gone directly under the roots and left them earthless. They do the same in the vegetable plot. I once used to think moles were sweet and hated neighbours cats for digging up carrot seeds which had just been planted. Now I'd swop mole for cat anyday!

At the moment they are a bit quiet I think they are drawing up battle plans.

Dorothy
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  • 3 weeks later...

If you have holes and sagging plants it may not be moles but mole shrews or mulot. We lost 25% of our leeks and potatoes to the little darlings last year and the only thing that saved the rest of the leeks was rat poision (the slow blood thining version that is safe for other wildlife). This year they have dug a border out and have probably had more than 25% of the first two crops of broad beans - suffice to say that the broad bean row looks like a battlefield with holes where the beans should be. I have grown our last planting of bb's in yog pots and hope to get them out next week.

I plant peas at 200 to 300% density - so they get a third, I get a third as peas and if the extra germinate I pick them as seedlings for stirfry or salad seedlings. We have just fenced off our huge veggy patch to stop the rabbits and chickens getting in - rabbits as they were digging up the asparagas and chickens as I am about to resort to rat poison again and want to be sure they are kept out if they get into the big field (and my neighbours chucks who come to visit from time to time).

Our field also resembles the Somme - and the moles do sometimes get into the raised beds but it is the mulot that do the most damage to plants - they simply eat the roots.

Now if anyone can tell me how to get rid of ants (without chemicals) that are digging up (literally) my young cabbages I will be grateful. The rotters are nesting at the base of the plants. I can see me digging them up tonight and moving them - cabbages can be moved at least 3 times with no ill effect - we might get some rain tomorrow so it all helps. These ants also sting/bite so I like them even less. Add to this the hornets, the wasps that have even tried to nest in my wellies that I left out overnight (luckly I lived in Africa so check inside shoes each day) - these wasps have also made 2 attempst to nest in the boot of the car. Is it me or are there more of them this year?

Wildlife - don't you just love it - err NO.

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Dear Iceni, are you truly saying that you use rat poison albeit at a reduced level to attack these guys!

We live in (50) and with lots of acreage and suffer somewhat from moles.  However we also applaud and promote such things as wild flower meadows just to attrack birds and wildlife and do not use peat based products in our garden.  We are not the good life TV programme people but we do have regard for our planet.

Again we compost just about everything we can so we do not unnecessarily polute our environment.

 

Why can we not live and just live?

You will of course say I am missing something?

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[quote]Dear Iceni, are you truly saying that you use rat poison albeit at a reduced level to attack these guys! We live in (50) and with lots of acreage and suffer somewhat from moles. However we also appl...[/quote]

Mulot (NOT MOLES) eat us out of our food. We don't have a big budget and 25% of large parts of our veggie garden last year were vandalised. We were advised to use a certain type of rat poision that is not harmful to wildlife or domestic pets if used as directed. Lets be serious - this can be nasty stuff BUT I use it in very small quantities under the following circumstances:

  1. Buried underground with a large stone on top (when the mulot die they die underground - we know this as we have dug up their bodies and burnt them)
  2. This area is surrounded by a rabbit proof fence
  3. The garden is again fenced off - most farmers just dump great piles of the stuff around - we do not and follow the instructions to the letter.

We actually have an ancient wildflower meadow which we are keeping (YES the real thing, not some packet seed that we dumped onto the grass or a pile of weeds we call wild flowers). We could grow 50% more food to try to combat that that is lost but not only don't we have the time or money, we would then plant into our wildflower meadow.

We don't use peat, we don't use very much else except for our organic farmers cow muck and our own compost BUT when something is taking the food from my mouth I have to draw the line.

Now if you want to pay me the market rate for the food we loose (or send me some of your huge acreage), well then, you will be happy and so will I. I live in the real world and if I had rats in the kitchen eating my food I would do the same thing - perhaps you would live and let live then also.

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I agree about the sonic repeller.   We have had one for two years and no moles.   A month ago we saw a molehill and noticed that the batteries had run out.   As soon as they were replaced - no more moles.   And it's humane too, unlike some of the other solutions suggested here.
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