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Marshmallows, radios, and other ways to eradicate moles

How one reader’s letter sparked a debate into the best ways to rid your land of pesky rodents.


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Get ready for new rodent control stewardship changes Get ready for new rodent control stewardship changes
Vermin control: How to eradicate moles from your farmland Vermin control: How to eradicate moles from your farmland

Moles are pesky rodents which can dig 540 times their own body's worth of earth in just one day - moving 6kg of earth in 20 minutes.

 

Back in November 2015, Farmers Guardian received a letter from 85-year-old, Bernard Pratt about his ingenious method of killing moles.

 

He said: "I have given up trapping and just use marshmallows now."

 

After printing the letter, we have received an abundance of phone calls asking for more information about the unorthodox method of mole extraction.

 

With this in mind, we decided to collate a list of ways to terminate the mole population.

Bernard Pratt's original letter

I am 85 years old and have trapped thousands of moles since I was 12 years old.

 

Recently an old lady told me her dad put marshmallows in the runs to kill moles.

 

I have given up trapping and just use marshmallows now.

 

I have used Phostoscin but can kill as many moles with £1 marshmallows as with £15 Phostoscin.

 

It is difficult to get some people to do anything.

 

Bernard Pratt

Traditional methods

Traditional methods

Traditional molecatching involves setting lethal mole traps in appropriate runs.

 

Molecatchers say this is effective and humane, but admit it can be time-consuming and expensive.


Sound of music

Sound of music

One Lancashire farmer said the best way to get rid of moles in a small area (like a garden) is to bury a radio in a biscuit tin.

 

Moles do not like noise, so will disappear from the surrounding area due to the noise produced from the radio inside the tin.

 

After a couple of hours, the moles will have left the area, leaving you free to dig up your radio and enjoy the peace and quiet.


Chosing the right areas to treat

The ideal place to catch moles is in main runs they use to find food, but they are difficult to find, as are their nests.

 

Nests are underground and a lot are under hedges or fences, but there are no mole hills to tell you where they are.


Employ professional help

Employ professional help

If you want to enlist the help of a professional, there are a number of options.

 

Online directories for molecatchers include British Molecatchers, which currently has 224 members, the APMC and the Guild of British Molecatchers.


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