I have been catching moles now for several years. I started to learn the art of mole catching while going about my business as a self employed gardener. A few of my customers had a problem with 'the little gentleman in black velvet'.
In the early days it was very hit and miss, but now, with a lot of frustration and many hard earned lessons learnt, I have become very efficient and will guarantee a caught mole, or no payment.
I am a member of The Guild of British Molecatchers, to whom I am very grateful, having learnt so much from them. The members start off at basic level, and can progress through an accreditation scheme of on-line exams. There are 3 levels and if these are passed, you may then apply for the top grade of Master Molecatcher. I have now passed all levels and become a master.
I live at Brightwell, a small village just outside Ipswich, Suffolk.
Moles can do a huge amount of damage in many locations and situations. Apart from looking unsightly, mole hills in the lawn can damage mower blades as well as allowing weed growth in the damaged areas.
Beds and borders can come under attack where the soil is easy for the mole to move through. Although moles do NOT eat plant roots, they still disturb the root systems, thus effecting plant growth, which kills some of the plants. Young seedlings can be hammered in large numbers, especially when the mole is feeding near the surface in it's quest for worms and other bugs and grubs.
Horse paddocks can be a real nightmare. Horses have been known to stumble in near surface mole runs, as well as tripping over mole hills, sometimes breaking a leg or going lame, which normally leads to the horse being put down. Some Scotsmen still raise a glass to toast 'the little men in black velvet' after the death of King William 111. He died in 1702 from pneumonia, which he contracted from complications from a broken bone in his shoulder. This happened after his horse stumbled in a mole hill, throwing him to the ground. They believed the rightful king to be the Jacobite