Over the years, we have collected a number of curiosities or recurring questions asked to us every day by
our customers, to which we can give an answer thanks to our several years of experience in this field.
Let’s go back in time, around the end of the 80’s. I had a problem with moles in the park of the Swimming Centre where I worked and, like many others, I had tried everything unsuccessfully when a very old person came and solved the problem capturing a couple of unwelcome guests with some rudimentary traps. I immediately realised how important that fact was. That old man, in the distant past, like many others in the past, practiced mole hunting. The purpose was to capture and skin them and sell their fur to merchants to earn some money. When that “job”, around the 50’s, stopped being profitable, it was gradually abandoned. With the few traps left to me by that man, that I will never cease to thank, I started to experiment at the houses of friends and relatives. After several attempts, and not a few difficulties, I finally felt ready, I resigned, I registered for V.A.T. and started my adventure. Internet did not exist, to let people know me, I advertised in some gardening monthly publications and contacted many nurserymen. The gap in the market in which I found myself since the beginning was crazy, it seemed that all the people afflicted by the problem of moles in Italy needed me.
The mole is not a rodent, it belongs to the family of insect-eaters and the juxtapositions with mice is completely out of place. They are completely solitary animals, they only meet in the mating and weaning seasons. Adult moles are about 12cm long and their weight ranges from 80gr to 120gr. Some people say that there are different dimensions in the South and the North of Italy but, since I have captured moles all over our Peninsula, islands included, I can say, in all honesty, that I have never observed significant differences. Of course, young, just weaned moles have smaller dimensions compared to an adult subject. The colour of their fur ranges from dark grey to black, in some very rare cases it is possible to see albino moles as white as milk. The snout of the mole is narrow, elongated and is similar to a trunk. Its eyes are almost invisible and covered by a membrane that, anyway, lets a little light pass. The auricle completely lacks, its upper incisors form a U and are far bigger than the others. It is interesting to observe how the population of moles would increase if most of them reached adulthood. With 1 or 2 matings every year, 4 or 5 newborns each time, they would increase enormously following a geometric progression. The number of these animals present in nature and in the gardens is, on the contrary, always very low, far lower than we could imagine considering the damages they cause. The indiscriminate use of herbicides and antiparasitic contributes to reducing the number of moles present in nature even if, in my opinion, the main reason for this reduction is linked to the significant vulnerability of young moles. Five weeks after birth, young moles leave their lair and fatefully spend most of their time on the surface. Many customers of mine told me that even dogs and cats easily capture these young moles. Those moles that survive, become adults cunning to the point of becoming almost uncatchable both by animals and people.
In Italy, moles do not enjoy protection, even if many people wrongly state the opposite. Art.2 clause 2 of L. No. 157/92 and subsequent modifications clearly says that: “mice, rats, voles and moles are not object of protection”.
As a proof of how little we know about this animal, many people are convinced that moles hibernate. Actually, they cannot afford it. In a few days they would die of hunger since they habitually eat enormous quantities of food every day. Pay attention to it, they are easy to be seen in the middle of winter too, also in the country enormous mounds of earth appear due to the incessant activity of moles, clearly operating during the coldest periods too.
It seems that moles are able to perceive the light although they are almost completely blind. Like human beings, as a consequence, they have very developed hearing and sense of smell, in addition to an excellent sense of direction. In the past, it was thought that moles were completely blind, deaf and dumb. Once again prejudices concerning this animal are completely groundless, we can agree only on their sight, certainly poor.
Moles dig to find in an easy way to their main food, earthworms, not disdaining larvae or insects that they find travelling along their tunnels many times. With these digs they create their natural habitat at the same time. sense of direction. In the past, it was thought that moles were completely blind, deaf and dumb. Once again prejudices concerning this animal are completely groundless, we can agree only on their sight, certainly poor.
The quantity of food eaten daily by moles is enormous, from half to the equivalent of their body weight. To eat as much as them, I, whose weight is about 80kg, should eat from 40 to 80 kg of food every day. From this insatiable hunger, it is easy to understand the reason why moles are obliged to work almost incessantly.
Moles belong to the family of insect-eaters, even if, mostly eating earthworms, they are actually carnivorous. Therefore, to the question do they eat roots I answer surely not. Anyway, moles with their digs, even if they do not eat roots, remove soil creating empty spaces under the green, but also under plants, flowers and vegetables that unavoidably suffer. It is also to be observed that the finishing blow is given by voles that, finding a cleared way, go and gnaw on anything they find, including roots. Voles usually use the tunnels dug by moles and then abandoned. The presence of these little mice is clearly evident when little holes can be seen without any movement of earth. It is important, and based on several experiences by now consolidated, to know that if you keep your garden free from moles, as time passes by, tunnels will close and voles, not finding free spaces where to settle down, will consequently leave. From this insatiable hunger, it is easy to understand the reason why moles are obliged to work almost incessantly.
Moles spend most of their time inside their tunnels. Anyway, during quiet moments, and therefore mainly in the night, sometimes they go out to move from one area to another. In fact, we often find in one garden two different digging areas not connected to each other, made by just one mole. Searching for a good place to live, they can travel several kms outside. They have little sense organs on their snout able to detect humid soils at a distance of hundred metres. Where possible, they try to avoid paths on asphalt or concrete, they prefer to move on a soil in which, in case of danger, they can create a way to escape just digging.
I do not think that the word “aggressive” is appropriate referred to moles, for sure they are afraid of human beings and pets and they escape, following their tunnels, when they understand that somebody is getting closer. It is necessary to point out that if you capture one alive and you hold it in your hands, it, scared, will try to bite you. When it is cornered, with no way out, a mole behaves in the same way against dogs and cats; it only tries to defend itself. The real aggressiveness of moles mainly arises against their own kind. In fact, the possession and exclusivity of a tunnel sometimes give rise to fierce fights against each other.
When you find movements of fresh earth, mounds or more or less surface tunnels in your garden, such that you instinctively tear your hair out, for sure we are at the presence of one mole or more. On the contrary, holes, often slightly bigger than a coin, are surely made by country mice, the voles as we already explained above. If we find vast and irregular earth movements, we shall think about big animals like badgers and wild boars. Also crows, searching for earthworms too, arrive in a large number, they scratch about the soil surface and cause great damages to the green. Referring to their behaviour, we can say that moles are really annoying. Moving the earth, removing or levelling it is what almost everybody, quite demoralized, does but, unfortunately, it is useless. The day after the mole inexorably makes new mounds, and others, and others again. To be honest, moles, in the collective imagination, arouse good feelings; we often see them portrayed wearing sunglasses, or digging with a shovel in their hands. For sure, they are not considered as mice, but these good feelings completely disappear when you find them digging in your garden.
For moles, as we already know, where to stay and where to work is a matter strictly linked to food. A regularly watered and fertilised garden is inevitably rich in earthworms and becomes one of their favourite hunting areas. Anyway, moles tend to move away from those usually optimal areas when these are too dry or too wet. It is true that they usually destroy gardens and vegetable gardens but, like many animals in nature, it seems that they have an even positive role too. In some situations, their ‘’airing out’’ the soil seems to be useful. It is anyway difficult to find somebody happy with their presence and work. The problem of moles in well-kept green areas is strongly felt, whether it is a garden, a vegetable garden, a park, a golf club or a football pitch. Damages caused by these animals are sometimes huge in such a way that replacing the lawn is the only solution. Unfortunately, that is not all: many people do not know that once the green has been replaced, the worst is still to come. In most cases the prepared, hoed, fertilized, sowed and abundantly watered terrain will inevitably be soft and even richer in earthworms than before. It will look like a laid table to moles. Our friends, waiting in the surrounding areas, will inexorably return and finding yourself in trouble after having replaced your garden will be a matter of little time.
Moles are tireless animals, after all, the quantity of food that they are obliged to find to feed themselves imposes very hard work shifts. Exactly how much work is not clear, there are different versions. Farmers say that the main movements occur at dawn and in the early afternoon. More reliable sources state that moles work 8 hours, rest for one hour and then another 8 hours working and so on for the whole day. Others say that the activity of moles lasts for some hours without interruptions and that it starts again after the same number of hours of rest. With work we do not only mean the activity of digging but also their travels along their tunnels searching for food. From my direct experience, I clearly observed that the activity of moles is almost incessant and without any rules. In fact, captures and earth movements occur at any time of day and night.
Vegetable gardens, like other gardens, are watered and therefore targeted by moles. Damages caused to private vegetable gardens are often significant, in particular when the work of moles is added to that of voles. But the real troubles are those concerning the intensive horticulture, where an intervention in case of moles is necessary. Imagine, for example, a plantation of arugula, when it is ripe a specific machine cuts it and collects it at the same time. In the presence of the notorious mounds caused by moles, a lot of earth is collected too, thus making the subsequent washing of the vegetables far more difficult. Some people remove the mounds of earth before harvesting but also this solution entails a loss of time and money. Other big problems arise when young plants are placed, in line, and a drip tray is put above. If a mole arrives, it will dig exactly under them because they are watered. The day after the situation will be devastated for long sections, our young plants will be lifted and out of the soil. The most worrying thing is that placing them again is useless, the problem will recur in a short time. In these cases, if moles are not captured, the harvest will be highly damaged. For sure, it is better to activate, after all the solution in vegetable gardens is often easier than you imagine. In fact, between one greenhouse and another, we always have little evident and well-built connection tunnels. Putting the traps in these corridors, real highways, inevitably leads to a fast and sure disinfestation. The sole tunnel dug under young plants and drip tray is even easier to detect and use for capturing.
This situation is more frequent than you imagine, both parties are quite right; the gardener because he thinks that moles are not his problem, the customer because after all he does not see his garden the way he wanted it to be. Given the use of traps, that cannot be avoided, it is necessary to consider how to solve this embarrassing controversy. In particularly vast areas it is better to ask for the intervention of a specialist, a professional mole hunter to be clear. In fact, in these serious situations, many traps and a lot of experience are necessary to solve the problem fully and in a fast way. In case of small plots of land, specially at a great distance, we suggest the “DIY”, surely possible thanks to watching the necessary video manual that I realized. And if, as gardeners, you have had this problem many times, you can specialize once and for all attending one of the courses organised by SE.AL every year. You can avoid possible serious controversies with your customers by yourselves and safely.
I answer to this question pointing out two fundamental aspects; the first one concerns their particular habitat, made of countless tunnels underground, where moles spend most of their time. As a consequence, despite their presence in the garden being more than evident, most people have never seen one. The other characteristic aspect, that fully distinguishes moles from almost all the animals in the world, is their absolute indifference towards poisoned baits, a real Achilles’ heel for many other species.
As already mentioned before, territorial choices of moles are strictly linked to food; as a consequence, it is normal that they all gather in gardens particularly rich in earthworms and exclude dry and arid ones. Anyway, from one day to the next, for different reasons, they can always decide to move. Some people, having gone beyond their breaking point, maybe after having remade their garden many times, decide to stop watering. It is almost sure that moles move away, but the price to pay is very high. The green, without water, dry, suffers a lot and it will never be the way it was before. Although rarely, it happens to find moles in never watered gardens too, it occurs when our friends are unable to find something better. In these situations, due to the peculiarity of these dry terrains, if moles are obliged to stay, they have to dig in depth to find food. As a consequence, mounds of earth are present in the garden also in the hot seasons.
We are in the presence of the so-called surface tunnels in all seasons except for the coldest ones. Moles dig, lift grass and clumps for a few cm creating clean and accessible tunnels beneath. In middle winter and in very cold periods, on the contrary, they create more or less big, and close to each other, mounds of earth with their digs. With frost moles tend to dig more in depth than usual to reach earthworms, that are further down where the terrain is softer and most of all not frozen. Of course, our friends cannot lift the earth as they do with surface tunnels and, as a consequence, they remove terrain from different areas, creating and using vertical tunnels, to keep the corridors below clean. The result of these extractions are those mounds of earth that sometimes reach embarrassing dimensions. Underneath, not visible, we inevitably have a dense network of horizontal tunnels perfectly free from earth and connected to each other.
Starting disinfection early allows an easy success also with a few traps at your disposal. On the contrary, if you let the moles work for weeks or months, they will turn your garden upside down creating a dense network of tunnels. It will be difficult to work it out and understanding where to put the traps will become a challenge. To solve the problem, at that point, most of all in vast areas, the intervention of a specialist with a lot of experience and many traps will be necessary.
For sure, reusing traps, after having seen how and where to place them, is a good solution for customers, but an effective prevention system that I have developed over the last years becomes fundamental. Almost in all gardens there are perimetral paths close to the boundary walls, they are real highways. Leaving some traps in those paths allows to capture new arrivals easily also many months after having placed them. This defence should always be place, if it leads nowhere, it is even better, it means that you will not have problems in the future too. If, on the contrary, sometimes a capture occurs, you only need to remove the mole and place the trap in the same position.
Some customers told me about their dog or cat sometimes capturing moles, even adult ones, thus keeping the garden in perfect conditions. Problems began when their precious helper died. Pets are able to capture moles but, since they are “spoon-fed”, in most cases they lose their natural instinct and prefer to laze all day. Sometimes, big dogs, not knowing the capture technique that requires long waits, rage all day unsuccessfully searching for the intruded mole. They dig enormous holes, causing huge damages to the garden. The work of dogs, and not that of moles in these cases, is the main reason that leads to ask for our intervention. Once the problem of moles is solved, dogs cease hostilities, calm down and stop digging.
I have met a number of customers with gardens, completely surrounded by walls with very deep foundations, literally invaded by moles. The same is valid for those who tried to protect themselves creating barriers made in plastic or net or anything else. Actually, moles can enter into a garden passing through the most unexpected places. They can simply walk under the gate, or pass through the drainage holes that we often find in boundary walls, through spaces or cracks created over time by the ground instability. They can even enter digging and passing under boundary walls or artificial barriers. In some cases, we have found moles in city centres too, where entering was really difficult. Moles had been taken there with the earth used to create the garden. In such cases, disinfestation, at least, is surely definitive.
Why were poisoned baits against moles withdrawn from the market? Referring to this, I think there can be different reasons; surely, concerning the placement of venoms of different kinds, laws have become very restrictive over the last years. In this specific case, it often happened that the venom put in their tunnels disturbed the passage of moles that did not eat it but threw it out of the terrain, in plain sight and easily accessible. In fact, the great dangerousness of these baits was evident for domestic and wild animals, birds included, that were habitual consumers of these venoms, lethal in most cases.
The world is small, the same products and tools against moles that are sold in Italy can be found anywhere. The problem is probably how useful they are. Moles are present throughout much of the globe but it is necessary to point out that their work is considered a problem only where there is the cult of green. In Italy, I started the activity of disinfestation from moles because the problem was, and is, strongly felt. My company, in particular, received requests of intervention, successfully carried out, from Swiss, from Nova Gorica in Croatia and even from the very far Riga in Latvia for their respective golf courses. Therefore, it is evident that in those states in which nobody has had the idea to make this work with traps, the problem of moles is still unsolved. Partial and completely insufficient results, obtained with traditional systems and products in the market, are the exception.
Our specialists do not use venoms nor chemical repellents, but simple mechanical traps, absolutely not dangerous for animals and people. With just a little additional precaution, we also intervene where children and pets can continue to use the garden safely.
This question is very interesting because you will hear or read everywhere that it is absolutely necessary to wear gloves when you use traps or any other product against moles. Once again, some confusion is made between moles and mice, as if they had in common this kind of mistrust. Actually, moles were captured with traps also in the past, in times so far away that gloves did not even exist. My specialists and I regularly capture them and, believe me, we never use gloves. It does not mean that moles do not have a very developed sense of smell, but that they just do not use it that way. In my opinion, this lack of “attention” is due to the fact that many other animals use the tunnels of moles, that do not give importance to these presences nor to the many different smells deriving from them.
We know that moles are completely solitary animals and that they work tirelessly therefore, also in gardens of 300 – 400 sqm we often find just one animal. I myself, after years of work, can hardly believe that one single mole can cause so many damages. Customers often think they are in the presence of a real invasion but they have to change their minds when they see that after just one capture their garden, properly fixed up, remains stable. In fact, the absence of new movements of earth, for one or two days, clearly proves that there are no more moles in that garden.
Killing a defenceless mole at your mercy makes no sense, although many would like to in order to appease their anger. If it was captured with a trap and it is still alive, my suggestion is to take it away very quickly, before it is too late. In any case, the first thing to do is to put it into a bucket or a vase where you can control it. To set it free, take it some kms away in order not to have it in your garden a few days later. If you are not too close to a private garden, you can let it go anywhere in the country. All this operation is visible and described in detail in the fifth chapter of our video manual.
The problem of moles in gardens has always been very annoying and complicated to solve; it is written that in the past even the nobles, exasperated, handsomely paid those able to eliminate them. Somebody even built rudimentary but effective traps. I remember my surprise when a customer of mine showed me a very ancient document, original and dated 1850. It contained the description of the quantity of moles captured, nobody knows how, in the garden inside the castle and the total amount to be paid to the “mole hunter”. As a reaction against the devastations caused by moles in the gardens, people, in despair, have always improvised and implemented very odd and peculiar tricks and contraptions. Among all, I remember a man who, after having let gas flow into the tunnels, started the fire. The resulting explosion literally destroyed his garden. Images, at that point viral and impressive, could be seen on many social networks.
Moles are widespread in Europe; we find them in Great Britain, and from southern Sweden moving toward south up to the northern part of the Iberian, Italian and Balkan peninsulas. Moles are present in a huge number in Austria and Germany, probably because our friends are protected in those states. We also find them in Asia, from Caucasus to Altay and Mongolia. There are reports concerning their presence even in South Africa. Moles are particularly active also in Canada and in the United States. In very hot countries, close to the equator, in arid soils, the so-called European mole would have little chance to survive, therefore it is not present there. Anyway, there are animals similar to our moles in desert areas too. Among these, the most peculiar is the Heterocephalus glaber, the so-called ‘naked mole’’. It only lives in some desert areas of eastern Africa (Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia). It is a mammal too and it belongs to the family of rodents. It is completely hairless and, although it digs and lives underground, it has behavioural and food characteristics that are completely different from those of the European mole. In fact, it is not an insect-eater, it mainly eats roots, bulbs and tubers. It lives in large communities and, like for bees and ants, there are well defined hierarchies. A queen with full powers is the leader, there are those that dig new tunnels, those that search for food, those that look after newborns, and even those that are in charge with defending the community. All these characteristics and behaviours are something unique among mammals. Far less suggestive than the naked mole, but noteworthy, is the mole rat. It is a rodent suitable for life underground. It seems to have an exceptional immune system, it can stay 18 minutes without breathing. It has got a significant capability to adapt and, due to this capability, it lives at different latitudes. It eats roots, bulbs and tubers too and, like the naked mole, it lives in communities with a precise social behaviour. For my part, relevant to this matter, I remember a request for intervention from Israel. The pictures they sent me clearly portrayed damages caused by the mole rat, therefore, I had to renounce since this animal is outside my sphere of action.
This topic is quite complex therefore, once again, a foreword is necessary. In the light of the seriousness and diffusion of the problem of moles almost all over the world, many companies, sensing an enormous business, activated searching for solutions to be offered in the market. I am going to examinate only the most sold products and, since people often wants to know my own opinion, my personal observations will not be missing. Each comment, anyway, can be supported by my many customers, many of whom often confess to have tried really everything before asking for my intervention,. a. Traps for moles. There are many models of trap for moles, more or less sophisticated and expensive depending on their complexity. The main obstacle to using them to the best is to know technically how and where to place them, after that, roughly all work. My company works almost all over Europe with experts specialised in captures using traps produced by us. SE.AL has distinguished itself in recent years also for having shoot a real Video Manual (50 min.) that finally makes DIY possible, mainly in not particularly vast areas. This video, viral by now, can be watched free of charge on our website and it is available in English language too. The combination trap Bracchetta and Video Manual is a worldwide exclusive surely reliable for private use. b. Smoke bombs. Using several smoke bombs at the same time in different tunnels entails to see smoke coming out from every part of your garden. But usually, no moles come on the surface, although it was the real goal. The countless tunnels and escape routes at their disposal allow moles to leave undisturbed in most cases. They come back as soon as the situation is normal again. Anyway, although infrequently, in certain particular situations capture can succeed with smoke bombs too. Of course, it is necessary that the mole is exactly in the area and at the moment in which we are operating, that digs are few and recent but, most of all, that in the involved area there are no escape routes. It is to be observed that in this very particular situation we would obtain the same result flooding the few tunnels with simple water, the mole should come out not to drown. For sure, in my opinion it is not appropriate to have too many illusions about the efficacy of smoke bombs. c. Repellent fertilizers for the removal of moles. There are different types of repellent fertilizers created to remove moles from the area in which they are used. In general, they are expensive and really contain substances unpleasant to our guests. In theory they should work but, my regret, I see remains of these products by many customers of mine who, disconsolate, have stopped using them. In my opinion, moles are not very disturbed by them because, working in depth, they are not very much affected by the repellent effect. Finally, I can say that by now I have only heard negative statements, even if it is impossible to completely exclude that somebody has had a positive result, maybe with a massive use of these products. d. Calcium cyanamide. The use of calcium cyanamide, or alike products, tends to zero the bacterial flora and to eliminate quite all the fauna in the soil, including earthworms. The latter, as we know, are essential to the survival of moles, to the point that actually the use of this product, that eliminates or reduces them, results in our moles moving away. But, if so, why did many golf clubs, after having used calcium cyanamide for a while, stop that treatment in a hurry? The answer is simple: in medicine, when the cure is too strong side effects lead to the death of the patient. In this case the patient is the green lawn that, due to the use of calcium cyanamide, suffers terribly, to the point that it is not the same as before. In some cases, I even happened to see with my own eyes quite embarrassing damages, big patches completely without grass, probably caused by a massive use of calcium cyanamide, maybe too concentrated. There is no doubt that this product is dangerous and nobody, among the customers I have met, has ever expressed a positive opinion after having used it. Anyway, once again, I do not feel like completely excluding that a use targeted and careful with doses can, in some cases, maybe not solve the situation but somehow improve it. e. Poisoned baits. The topic poisoned baits has already been partially discussed. I can only reiterate that, for sure, they never worked, in fact they were definitively retired from the market. It is peculiar to observe that many people use rat poison with the purpose of solving the problem of moles. Rats and moles have very little in common, and their food habits are very different, to the point that thinking to use the same baits is crazy. f. Ultrasonic Units. I must start by saying that making comments about these devices is extremely embarrassing since we are talking about a product widespread all over the world and, to put it mildly, somewhat questionable. These devices, placed in the soil, produce vibrations at regular intervals, with the purpose of creating an annoyance such as to remove moles from the area in which they are placed. In the instructions, there is also their radius of action, resulting from who knows which experiments. These devices are battery operated but there are also more sophisticated models that, through a panel in their upper part, use solar energy. Do you want me to tell you if they work? I answer this question with another question; why, in your opinion, am I asked to intervene in parks and gardens in which almost everybody has already used or is using these devices? You have probably understood that my opinion about them can only be negative. Although during 30 years of activity I have only met people disappointed with the use of these devices, once again it is impossible to completely exclude that others have had some good. For the record, I have to say that some people told me that, after having used those devices, moles moved away for a few days, to the point that they thought they solved the problem. But then they told me that moles returned and did not leave anymore. The other important observation is referred to some retailers that, with a great sense of responsibility, ceased selling these devices due to the complaints from the customers who had bought them.
Despite I already have partially answered this question, this topic is very interesting and deserves particular attention. All ancient remedies have in common a reason for being, they are rooted in rural tradition and for this reason they should work. But in practice things do not go exactly in this direction. Here are in detail some of these ancient and often original ‘’defence’’ systems. a. Glasses and cutting objects inside tunnels. Moles are haemophiliac and if they cut themselves, they inexorably die. For sure this fact, known also in the past, legitimized the idea to put glasses or rose thorns in the tunnels, with the evident purpose of wounding them and therefore eliminating them. This “treatment”, although it has its own logic, does not seem to provide results, at least according to what stated by several customers of mine who, before calling me, had tried this way. I think that moles, somehow aware of the danger, pay much attention not to cut themselves, thus making vain this strategy to eliminate them. Of course, although it is not a solution, it is impossible to exclude that some moles died because of this treatment. b. Plants against moles. There are many plants that release strong and annoying smells and that, for their peculiarity, should remove moles. Among the most used to try to achieve the goal, caper spurge (mole plant), fritillary and castor-oil plant. Referring to their efficacy, to say it mildly, I have some doubts. Many customers say they used a large number of these plants without results before they called me. I myself had the opportunity to see mole digs at a few centimetres from those plants. My opinion concerning the use of these so-called plants against moles can only be completely negative, unreservedly. c. How to capture a mole when you see it moving the soil. Catching a mole while it moves the earth is a very ancient practice and it is probably the real alternative to the use of traps. Ancient mole hunters, who did it for their furs, mainly used traps, but they did not disdain a well-placed blow with a spade. If they did not have traps, they stayed silent and immobile near a mound of earth, that seemed to be fresh and recent, until the mole proved its presence. Then a skilled blow with the spade under the moving earth and the mole, thrown out, became an easy prey. They were great! Nowadays, those who try that practice, often without any experience, inevitably come up against disillusions and frustrating waste of time. As an extreme attempt, in despair, some of them confess to have tried, waking up several times, even in the night. They admit they wandered about in the garden with a shovel in their hand, although they did not know any strategy and had no ideas about what to do. Knowing that every night moles destroy their gardens is the spur that pushes these victims to wake up and uselessly waste many hours of rest. d. Can pets, “dogs and cats”, help us? We have already mentioned this topic and, due to its importance, we now try to go in depth. Dogs and cats have always lived with human beings but for sure in the past these animals, to feed themselves, were enticed and able to catch moles. Anyway, it is undeniable that, still nowadays, even if they do not have food problems, dogs and cats sometimes manage to capture our friends. They are extremely rare and precious animals. In order to be able to, breed is not important, on the contrary, it is necessary that they have somehow learnt this particular hunting technique when they were young. I often see expensive hound-dogs completely unconcerned with the problem and seemingly harmless mixed breed dogs that do not miss a beat. For sure, dogs and cats able to solve the problem take on long waits and remain immobile, ready to promptly give the decisive paw. In my opinion, in a dog training centre it is possible to prepare some puppies and make them able, when adults, to catch moles. When I talked about it with some experts, I do not think I was taken seriously, but I think this is a winning idea with very interesting economic aspects. e. Chemical or natural repellents put in the tunnels of moles. This topic is interesting because it involves a huge quantity of products considered useful to move moles away from a garden. Among the most used there are naphtha, naphthalene, carbide, calcium cyanamide, rags soaked with petrol, ricin oil and even garlic. These products, and others too, are placed directly into the tunnels or on the surface near them. Each one of these substances actually removes moles from the tunnels in which it has been used. Great! Without striking a blow and little costs we removed moles and solved the problem. It would be nice but unfortunately reality is different. In fact, evicted moles have to dig new tunnels but they usually do not go far and remain inside the same garden. Of course, these new damages will further worsen an already critical situation instead of improving it. I discourage this practice in the most absolute way.
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