Monday, 18 March 2013

Euro link

Remember the large hole I mentioned last post?  Well, yesterday I walked into the greenhouse to find a huge pile of earth:

Mole sprang to mind. 

Apparently there has been a mole population explosion recently. Back in 2006 Brussels restricted the sale of strychnine to the annoyance of old fashioned murderers and mole killers alike.  Since then the mole population has been steadily increasing.  The wet weather has also helped: it makes it easier for the males to tunnel through the earth in search of a mate and it meant the worms have stayed close to the surface making mealtimes easy so more young moles survived.

If it was a mole I was facing a bit of a moral dilemma ... did I want to kill the poor thing or could I live with it tunnelling under my greenhouse until the floor collapsed?  They don't like mothballs or Jeyes fluid but neither do I!   They don't like Stinking Hellebore or garlic but I have both of those growing nearby!  I couldn't possibly use a trap!

I moved a box to get a better look and discovered:

Not a mole then .... a railway tunnel!!

I still think a rat is the culprit.  We placed the outdoor camera near it last night to see what popped out but the images were far too light (the flash bounced off the glass and overexposed) so I will have to wait a few hours and try again.

  • The winner of the BTMR (British Tradional Molecatchers Register) Molecatcher of the Year Award caught 8453 moles in 2011.  The winner in 2012 caught 2146.  Forty years ago a million moles were regularly being trapped every year across Britain as most parishes employed molecatchers.
  • In 1702 King William III died after his horse stumbled on a molehill: many Jacobites toasted "the little gentleman in the black velvet waistcoat".
  • Moles do not have good eye sight, they can't hear or smell very well either but they are extremely sensitive to vibrations.


  1. I think that hole is too big for moles. I can't offer you an idea of what it might be, so I'm of no use there, sorry! I hope you can capture an image, that way you can begin to deal with the problem.
    We have quite a few in our area, but thus far, except for 1 occassion - I have never been bothered by them in the garden. Actually your post may have inspired me to re vist the day the mole came to visit.

  2. Oh no what a tunnel :( Really annoying. Hope you'll solve problem.

  3. I would be my bottom dollar it is a rat or a badger maybe. Both of them are destructive b*****s. Or maybe it is your neighbour being nosey or even some lost soldiers from Colditz!

  4. You need one of those wildlife cameras that use infrared when it is dark:)

  5. Mystery solved - a rather healthy looking rat appeared on the video! Time to move all the bird food out, fill the hole with building rubble and a large stone slab and move the cat basket in! (Not really ... she is far too old and precious!)