Holey-moley my poor garden!

17 Nov 2014

Now I know I hear you cry that I'm making a mountain out of mole hills, but there really is nothing more devastating than seeing your beautiful garden be invaded by mole hills and vein-like surface tunnels. Sadly moles' poor eyesight means they completely bypass the no entry signs when it comes to our gardens. It's not only the lawn that is under threat, root and bulb disturbance are at risk too.

Fortunately more often than not the damage is merely cosmetic. However it is usually the damage we can’t see which is the most dangerous, there are cases where those devilish diggers have weakened driveways, patios and even swimming pools.

Sadly this is no magic device or solution to force a menacing mole away. Unsurprisingly the only guaranteed way of removing the lawn offender is to trap and remove it. But what is the legal stance?

Thankfully there is no specific Mole Protection Act; however they do have general cruelty protection under the Wild Mammals Protection Act 1996 and Animal Welfare Act 2006. Prior to the 2006 Act strychnine hydrochloride was the poison of choice for exterminating a mole issue, but not anymore! Another favourite, gassing them, is also no longer an option.

You must determine whether or not the nuisance is causing sufficient damage to justify taking action and you must ensure that the mole is not subjected to any unnecessary suffering. If you are thinking of setting traps, you really ought to check the Small Ground Vermin Order 1958 to ensure it’s not you that gets caught in trouble.

Alternatively, for those of you not wanting to get your hands muddy, why not search for your local molecatcher and let the experts get to work.

Moles are such an irritation to farmers, game keepers and gardeners so whichever option you choose to eradicate the pests make sure you do it quickly otherwise those mole hills will be moletiplying before your very eyes.