How To, Moles, Pest Advice, Pest Control

Getting Rid Of Moles: How To Use Mole Traps

Moles can cause a big mess in a garden, creating lots of little brown mole hills in an otherwise perfect, smooth, green lawn. Mole traps are a great way to take care of this problem; you can use tunnel, claw or spring traps. Follow this method to set them up for optimum results:

You Will Need:

  • Mole Trap(s)
  • Trowel
  • Something long and thin to use as a probe (such as a screwdriver)
  • Something to firm the soil in the mole tunnel (such as the handle of a garden tool)

First, try to figure out where the main tunnel is – the brown patches on your lawn (the mole hills) are usually along small branches off the main tunnel. These side branches may be up to 6 inches long and may not be revisited by the mole, unlike the main tunnel. Therefore, it is best to place the trap within the main tunnel rather than in the side branches.

Try to find the most recent hills (to maximise the chance that the mole will pass through) and use the probe to gently and carefully press into the ground near where you think the main tunnel is. It may take a few attempts to find the tunnel as it won’t be very big – about the size of a golf ball. You will have found it when you come upon an area of the ground which offers little resistance when you press down gently with the probe.

Once you have found the tunnel, use your trowel to dig the soil out of the tunnel, creating a small hole which is big enough to fit the trap, though not much bigger. Clear away as much loose soil along the tunnel as possible and press the base of the tunnel (using the handle of a garden tool for example) to make it firm and compact, so the mole is less likely to squeeze underneath the trap.

  When this is done, carefully set the trap and put it into the hole. You can test that it is working by using the probe to trigger it; then reset it and put it back into the hole. Put the turf back over the hole, making sure to cover any gaps where light could filter through while stopping any soil from tumbling into the tunnel.

Try to check the trap every day. If the trap has been triggered but you can’t see the mole, it is possible that it managed to find its way underneath the trap so you may have to adjust its position and make sure the base of the tunnel is still firm. Using multiple traps to cover the network of tunnels will increase the likelihood of successfully removing the moles from your garden.

Please note that mole traps will kill the mole when it is caught; if you prefer a more humane method of mole control, try an ultrasonic mole repeller or mole smoke to keep them away from your garden.

Gardening, How To, Pest Control, Slugs & Snails

Dealing With Slugs And Snails

Usually one of the few benefits of a cold, snowy winter is that it helps to kill off pesky slugs and snails. Unfortunately, this year we have had such a mild winter that the little pests have thrived, hit by nothing more than the odd day of rain and very occasional light frost.

As most gardeners know, slugs and snails can be utterly detrimental to your plants and flowers and must be dealt with. An easy method is simply to keep your plants out of the slugs’ reach. You can do this by using hanging baskets or keeping indoor plants. However, this is not always practical or desirable.

There are several methods of dealing with slugs. Covering your plants with netting will help to prevent slugs and snails as well as birds from attacking them. It is important to keep checking them however, in case any slugs have managed to slip through and to make sure that the plants do not get caught up in the netting.

Salt is extremely effective at killing them; however, sprinkling a barrier of salt around your plants may prevent slugs from attacking them, but if it seeps into the soil and is taken up by the plants and flowers themselves, salt can damage those too.

 A tested and safe repellent or slug killer may be a better solution and these are readily available. They are often in pellet form and should be scattered around the plants. The slugs will consume them and perish while your plants remain healthy and safe. Such products are very carefully controlled to be safe for use when children are present or nearby, but it is always best to check if they are suitable for use around edible plants, should you wish to use them near any crops.

An alternative method to pellet-based slug bait and killers is the slug trap. These are fitted into the ground near the plants or anywhere where you frequently see slugs and snails, and the base is filled with beer or yeast. The slugs are attracted by this and fall into the trap, keeping your plants protected.

Moles, Pest Control

How To Deal With Moles In Your Garden

Moles can be quite a blight on a gardener’s life. You’ve spent a lot of your time and energy on maintaining a smooth and beautiful lawn and garden, only for little mounds of earth to be pushed up higgledy-piggledy… Clear evidence that moles have taken over your garden!

Naturally this is very frustrating, but there’s no need to worry – there are a number of methods you can use to get rid of the moles from your garden:

Moles Traps

One solution is to use mole traps. These are galvanised metal traps which are placed into the tunnel, set and ready to catch the moles. They provide a fast solution and are safe for the environment unlike poisons. One benefit is that they can be used year-round, in all weathers, and can be used over and over again. Mole traps are a quick and efficient solution to your problem, but  are not very humane and there are much better alternatives.

Smoke/Powders

If mole traps don’t appeal to you, you may like to consider mole smoke or mole repellent powders. These are simple, humane solutions that are also cheap and effective. Simply place the lit smoke or the powder into the mole tunnel and let them work their magic – soon the moles will head off to another garden! Obviously, once the smoke or powder has been used up, there is the chance that moles may eventually return, meaning this isn’t a permanent, guaranteed solution to rid yourself of moles.

Ultrasonic Repellers

A final solution is to use ultrasonic repellers. These are placed into the ground and work by vibrating. The moles interpret these vibrations as the movement of nearby predators, and will begin to leave the area in fear. To get the best use from the repellers, you should use two or more to ‘herd’ the moles away from the garden, rather than place them in the middle of all the holes. Doing this will result in the moles becoming confused, and they may scatter in all directions. So, for example, you may want to start off with the repellers very close to your house, and gradually move them down the garden to herd the moles away.

These ultrasonic repellers are a great, humane alternative to mole traps, although they may need longer to take full effect. It is possible to purchase solar or battery-powered repellers; the benefit of solar repellers is that they are completely free to run, although their performance may decrease during the winter months due to the decrease in sunlight. Battery-powered mole repellers will work year round, though obviously the batteries will eventually need replacing.

Pest Control, Spiders

Under Siege from Spiders in September?

Now that we’re into September, there’s no use denying that the dreaded spider season is once again upon us, when our 8 legged friends descend upon our homes to escape the cold outside. Over the last week or so alone I’ve had to catch about 5 of the things, and they just seem to be getting bigger and bigger! Luckily there are now a number of different ways to help protect against these invaders.

If you’re looking for something a bit less up close and personal than the classic cup + paper technique, you could try out a spider catcher, or spider vacuum, which won’t hurt the spider, but more importantly keeps the thing at arms length! These little contraptions are great to have ready to hand, and can also be used for hoovering up any other unwanted house-guests you may come across.

However, this still may be too close for comfort for some people (myself included!), and so there are also a number of defences you can put up to protect your home. Why not spray spider repellent around window frames and other entrances to create a natural barrier that is environmentally friendly and won’t harm the creatures. Or if you have a real infestation of spiders and other creepy crawlies, you can clear the whole area in one go with a smoke fumigator – perfect for attics and garages, although maybe a little heavy duty for most cases!

Perhaps the most effective way to guarantee whole-house protection is to opt for an ultrasonic spider repeller. This device works in two ways to help clear your house of spiders, and stop them coming back! It uses ultrasonic sound waves thought to be extremely uncomfortable for spiders and other crawling insects to drive them from your home; kind of like nails scraping on a chalkboard constantly. It also uses electromagnetic waves that turn the wiring of your home into one giant repeller- anywhere near a wire will be protected! Sounds perfect no? It is thought electromagneticism affects their nervous system, making them flee your home. Additionally, you can also get smaller, battery-powered repellers – perfect for greenhouses, sheds, attics etc.

So, you no longer need to live in fear of the 8 legged freaks! Take back control of your home, and enjoy a stress-free, spider-free Autumn.

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