Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, with a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that


Monday, 26 July 2021

Hooptedoodle #401 - Maulwurfabwehr, anyone?

 


I have observed over the last week or so that a mole has been making a mess of one edge of our back lawn - just at the foot of the stone wall which keeps out The Deep Dark Forest. I had hoped that this was just a passing visitor, but the mess is getting worse and there are fresh entry holes, so I guess something will have to be done about it.




We've never had moles in the 20 years we've been here. When I first arrived, my next door neighbour had a fine collection of big, cartoon-style molehills, and so I bought myself an ultrasonic mole-scarer. I have no idea whether the thing worked, but we never had a mole subsequently, so maybe it did. When we were getting some landscaping done here, last Winter, we found the old mole-scarer in a border somewhere. I was tempted to fit new batteries (first for 19.5 years) and see if it still worked, but then I realised...

How can you test if an ultrasonic mole-scarer is working? If you can't hear the stupid thing, then the only proof you might get is if suddenly there is a crowd of moles carrying little suitcases on their way out.

We threw out the old gizmo in January, and forgot about it. Well, we may have to invest in another. Nowadays, of course, you can get solar powered ones, but there's still an act of faith in there somewhere. We bought ultrasonic mouse chasers for the garage at one time - no idea if they worked either, of course. Brilliant scope for a scam.


The whole idea of selling someone something that they can't prove works is very good. Echoes of those chaps who sold the Emperor his invisible suit.


I have no wish to hurt any moles, so discouraging them sounds a better idea, but I have to say that the only time you see moles in these parts is when there is a line of the things hanging on a fence somewhere, so maybe needs must.

I had a look online for painless ways of getting rid of moles, and found adverts for clinics in Orlando which will remove them with lasers, so I gave up on that.

21 comments:

  1. I'm sure they do work. The house across from us used to have sonic pigeon scarers in a tree in their garden. It wasn't until a new family moved in next door that they realised it worked on teenagers as well. I thought that was a result, but for some reason they felt they needed to take the scarers down.

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    1. They work on teenagers?? It doesn't say that in the advertising, and if it's true it's a lot of years too late to save me. Good heavens.

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    2. Yes, a shame. The scarers stopped them making a mess all over the neighbour's car. The pigeons, that is, not the teenagers. At least, I think that's what they meant.

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  2. That's typical of places like Orlando - using Star Wars technology to exterminate the critters.

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  3. I was wondering how you were supposed to persuade the moles to go to Orlando, then the penny dropped.

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    1. I wasn't sure about that bit either. They'd have to dig very deep to get there under their own steam.

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  4. Moles do not care for the aroma of castor beans. See if you can get yourself some organic mole and gopher repellent in granular form to spread over your lawn. This should make them stay deep enough in the ground to keep from tearing up the lawn. Amazon UK might have it. An anti-grub treatment might also work since they like to eat grubs and earthworms, but that is, shall we say, less organic. I've had similar trouble here this summer.

    Best Regards,

    Stokes

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    1. Stokes - this is a very thorough and helpful comment - thanks for this. Castor beans scares me a bit; the only chemistry I have learned this century came from watching Breaking Bad, and I recall that you can make ricin from castor beans. Not sure about that. I shall ask at the garden centre. Failing which there is always Richard Scott the pest man, I guess.

      Someone suggested that you can flood them out with a hosepipe and plenty of water - I have nervous visions of my lawn collapsing into a huge labyrinth. Tricky, this.

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  5. My late father in law’s brother was a mole catcher. He used to kill them with strychnine l believe. Not that I recommend that course of action to you in any way , just that your post sparked off this memory. Really not sure what you can do...

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    1. Most of the convincing recommendations I've heard involve death on a wide scale - mind you, there may only be one mole here.

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  6. My major nemesis in France was the Taupe, or Taupe’s that used to raise twenty or thirty molehills overnight. I was forced to deploy all manner of traps including one that fired a shotgun cartridge! (You could buy them in our local Brico) I lost track of the number of little buggers I ended up killing - and still live with the guilt of it to one degree or another. The only major break we had in their activities came one Spring when I caught one in the open traversing an area of hard standing (very rare) and stood over him with a billet of wood ready to finish him off. He looked up at me with his little black eyes and I just couldn’t do it. I made him promise not to do any more digging up of the garden if I let him go…and bugger me it was the only summer we had without a mole problem. My advice therefore is to eschew all expensive “devices” that promise to solve the problem - just catch one and reason with him!

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    1. This is a great story. On a par with St Patrick and the snakes - maybe I should just have a prayer meeting with the moles.

      If you were still in France you could have made a fortune with pilgrim tours - 10 euros to get in, 10 for a little bottle of water from your well, 10 for a themed bookmark and 25 for the illustrated souvenir booklet. You've got me thinking now.

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  7. "I am a mole and I live in a hole"... sorry that just came to mind as I read this, not very helpful I know.

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    1. Hi Lee - it's at least as helpful as most of the stuff I've read on the internet so far. "The Southlanders", apparently, had the hit - Gary Wilmot's dad sang bass. I had to look this up, obviously, but it serves you right anyway!

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  8. There is a fellow called George Smiley who runs a company called The Circus…
    I believe him and his ‘people’ are very good at getting rid of moles…

    All the best…Aly

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    1. You don't think these moles are working underground, do you?

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  9. I'm sure there are people who would find pleasure in dressing up in scifi outfits and zapping Moles with laser guns but it wouldn't be my thing.

    Surely there's an "App" somewhere that will measure the ultrasonic radiation being well, radiated, from an object, any object? But would be able to sleep after finding out the truth about your fridge or your favourite chair?

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    1. Ross - that was what I was reluctant to get involved in - my usual style would be to create such chaos setting up a test system for the devices that the moles would be forgotten about.

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  10. I could lend you Daisy for a day if you want - she successfully rendered a mole hors de combat on a recent walk at Loch Leven.

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    1. That's a tempting offer. How did she meet a mole - was it off-duty?

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