For centuries man and mole have been in conflict. Traditionally, molecatchers, armed with their own hand-made traps, were employed by landowners to rid them of “the little gentlemen in black velvet.”
Molecatchers were often eccentric characters, moving from one farm to another in pursuit of their quarry. These characters didn’t write down their wisdom and experience; it was passed down by word of mouth from generation to generation. Modern technology allows molecatchers to pass on their skills online, and often, for money.
In the old days, the potential suffering of the mole in traps was naturally minimised as it was in the molecatchers’ interest to inspect traps regularly, get their moles and their payment, and move their traps on to new locations. However, the rise of new methods of mole control – poison and gas compounds - in the 1800s, caused a divide in the molecatching community. These new methods required little experience or skill to use, and did not require further attendance to inspect traps. These methods produced no evidence to show that moles were caught, which sometimes led to arguments over payment to the molecatcher. When these products became licence-only and very restricted, numbers of traditional mole-catchers began to rise again. A further rise occurred in 2006, when the use of poison was banned.
Today’s methods are essentially similar to the old ways, now that the use of poison and gas to kill moles has been severely restricted. Molecatchers in today’s world have a moral and legal obligation to reduce suffering to the mole, and to prevent suffering to other species when trapping, as far as is possible. Neglect, abuse and greed must be replaced with respect and honesty towards these rarely-seen creatures. This requires a commitment to professionalism on the part of the molecatcher, and respect for such commitment on the part of the landowner wishing to be rid of moles.
Molecatchers have been using traps to control moles for hundreds of years, These have varied in design, operation and construction. They all however have one thing in common - the end result was the same - a caught mole. ... more
There are many old wives tales and gems of advice on the only or best way to be rid of a mole. Here we consider a few of the most common of these and look at them from a mole's point of view. The point of view that most readily exposes these "words of wisdom" in their true light ... more
Old Molecatchers and tales from the shires of England ... more
Old Molecatchers and tales from the Highlands of Scotland ... more
Old Molecatchers and tales from the valleys of Wales ... more
Subscribe to our newsletter"Molematters" and keep up to date and informed about all things "mole"
Full of interesting tips and "tricks of the trade" along with articles, changes in legislation and other mole related matter.