It's been a while since I started an assault on a mole that had been causing me no end of trouble and heartache.
The war started with smoke bombs, to try and push the mole out of our back garden, which worked quite well, making Mr Mole scurry into our paddock area. The main problem with this was that he then had free-reign to dig and burrow for all he was worth. This made it very unstable in the paddock, due to the unbelievable amount of tunnels, which collapsed underfoot and under mower!
Enough is enough I thought, and preceded to buy a couple of mole traps which I didn't have much success with to be quite honest. Mr Mole seemed to delight in back filling the traps until they went off, and then tunnelling around them!
The same thing happened when I used a 'Humane' mole trap. The little wotsit just glued the little tin doors up, and then tunnelled round the trap!
Recently though I thought that Mr Mole had moved on to pastures new - to either the field next door - or to the field across the road - that was until I walked round the chicken run and nearly broke my ankle when I trod on a three way tunnel junction...
...I then realised that the problem hadn't gone away - just out of sight!
I wasn't too optimistic about catching anything, but I thought I'd give it a go before I spent any more money buying a few Dufus mole traps, so off I went into the paddock, armed with two of the traps I'd bought previously.
One of the advantages of a long campaign is that you do actually get to know, or recognise certain signs of mole behaviour.
One of these signs is to find a tunnel just under the surface that ends with a little mound of earth. This is one of his exploration tunnels, which he may or may not come back to and continue on his way.
I roughly tore up the roof of the tunnel about 8" before the mound of earth, and set the trap. The second trap I placed in one of the tunnels I knew the mole was still using. You know Mr Mole is still using the tunnel because you have to flatten all the tunnels in the first place to see if he repairs any - then BINGO, you know where he goes!
I went back to the traps the next day, and didn't think anything of the trap that had gone off - but i took it out and looked into the tunnel...
...low and behold, I saw a little tiny paw sticking into the tunnel - I didn't want to get too excited, just in case I'd actually caught a rat or some other animal...
...slowly i grabbed the little paw...
...pulled it out of the tunnel...
...IT WAS MR MOLE!!!
I pretty much whooped with joy - I know it sounds silly, but no-one I know has had ANY success in catching or killing moles.
I was exalted!
Straight away I brought Mr Mole to the house like the proud hunter I was, and showed Jo who took the photos, and although Kane wasn't too impressed with it, hopefully it will help to harden him up to country life a bit.
One thing I remember is a comment on my first post about the moles (which I deleted), from a professional mole catcher - which pretty much pooh-poohed my attempts at mole catching, suggesting instead I contact a 'proper' mole catcher to do the job, as I was unlikely to get any results, and I was just wasting my money.
Well I hope you're reading this Mr Mole Catcher - because you are totally and utterly WRONG!
ANYONE can catch a mole, and it's even easier I hear with the Dufus traps - you just have to know what you're looking for in the first place in order to set the traps in the correct place!
I feel like I have just come of age!