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  Mole mayhem threatens gardens
Updated 04 March 2003, 12.05
Moles are seen as a pain by most gardeners
An explosion of moles is threatening gardens all over the UK.

There are more moles now than there have been for years, experts have warned.

And although the furry little creatures look cute, they can wreak havoc by tunnelling underground and damaging crops and flowers.

Pest control was banned

They're increasing in numbers because:

  • Mild winters mean they survive longer
  • Cool temperatures also mean there are loads of insects for them to eat
  • Pest control people were banned from going onto farmland to kill moles during the foot and mouth outbreak, so there are more of them
  • Poison used to kill moles, called strychnine, is in short supply

Even the Queen's personal mole catcher, Bert Hewitt, admitted there is a big problem.

Fact File
Moles
Moles are not totally blind - they have tiny eyes covered with hairy skin
Their fave food is worms
Moles can burrow through 13lbs of earth every 20 minutes
In the early 1900s, moleskin clothes were very fashionable and lots of moles were killed

"There has been a big explosion and I believe it has something to do with the weather," he told the Daily Mail.

However, some animal rights campaigners say the mole problem is not that bad, and that they don't have to be killed.

They say molehill dirt mounds should just be scooped away, and that moles can help gardeners by munching pesky insects.

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