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‘Explosion’ of mole and wasp populations causing havoc for British farmers

By Bruce Jobson

 

The past month’s inclement weather has helped create an ‘explosion’ of mole and wasp populations.

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‘Explosion’ of mole and wasp populations causing havoc for farmers

The past month’s inclement weather has helped create an ‘explosion’ of mole and wasp populations.

 

This was according to Northumberland-based Rory Brotherton of Environmental Pest Management who said the thunderstorms and hot humid conditions sweeping the country had helped create perfect conditions for the infestations.

 

He said: “The infestations are causing havoc for farmers, fruit-growers, gardeners as well as householders.”

 

Mr Brotherton said farmers had noticed large increases in mole populations over the past decade following the Strychnine ban, a less labour intensive method.

 

Mole catchers are instead now being required to revert back to traditional trapping as the most effective method of eradication.


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Moles feed on worms that in hot summer weather bury deeper down into the soil to remain in a cool environment.

 

When the weather is wet and damp, as has been the recent case, the moles remain near the surface, and produce an abundance of molehills as a result of activity.

 

Quality

Deep down activity on lawns and playing fields, although not necessarily causing surface molehills, can severely undermine the surface by a series of tunnels or mole runs.

 

One estimate considers a single mole can move the human equivalent of four tonnes per hour and create up to 100 feet of tunnels in 24 hours.

 

Large molehills on silage fields prevent rolling procedures being undertaken correctly.

 

When cut by large agricultural mowers, this can result in heavily soiled silage and a subsequent decline in quality.

 

Soiled silage can lead to an outbreak of Listeriosis, a soil borne bacteria that can cause a bacterial brain infection in cattle, sheep and goats, as a result of consuming the infected feed.

 

Listeriosis is primarily a winter and spring-based disease of housed cattle and can prove fatal if untreated. Mr Brotherton said anyone requiring eradication services should contact a fully-qualified and fully insured professional pest management company.

It came as a swarm of wild bees halted play during a World Cup cricket match in June at Durham, between South Africa and Sri Lanka.

 

Other infestation increases include hornet nests often found in gardens and fields. Household gardens have also suffered owing to mole activity with lawns literally been dug-up overnight, Mr Brotherton said.

 

He added: “Summer garden fruits and orchards are being targeted by wasps and residents should check outbuildings for nests on a regular basis.”

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