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Page last updated at 15:34 GMT, Monday, 21 June 2010 16:34 UK
Mole population increasing in Nottinghamshire
Mole hill
Moles are hardly seen but they leave unsightly mounds of earth

A Nottinghamshire pest controller says he has seen his work load rise after an increase in the mole population.

Henry Mott said: "Over the last couple of years we're probably doing two to three times more work."

There are around 33 million moles in the UK and Henry Mott attributes the increase largely to the withdrawal of the poison strychnine, in 2006.

The foot and mouth epidemic also had an affect as mole catchers could not get to the land, leaving moles to flourish.

Traditionally, strychnine was used to control the numbers but it was banned due to fears of secondary poisoning.

Mole catchers now rely on traps, the most common are called Duffus and Talpex, both of which kill the mole.

Mr Mott said: "There are some humane traps but what do you do when you've caught him? They don't make the best pets, as far as I'm aware.

"If you start releasing them into someone else's garden you might have a few angry neighbours on your hands."

However, Erin McDaid, from the Notts Wildlife Trust, said there are alternatives to killing the small mammals.

"Live with the moles unless they are a real problem and causing financial damage," said Mr McDaid.

"They are an integral part of our diversity and should always be treated humanely.

"They don't dig holes for fun. They want worms and are attracted to well-managed gardens, bowling greens and cricket pitches."

Mr McDaid's advice for grounds men is to create alternative spaces for moles to feed.

For the gardener, Mr McDaid said there are various methods including putting sticks in the holes and attaching things to make sounds.

Also an ultrasound machine can also help to move the moles on.

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15 Jun 10 |  Nature & Outdoors

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