GP Life: Gardening guru... What do I do about moles?

One reader, plagued by moles, asked what advice could I give him to save his lawn. I have the ultimate defence in my own garden: a wall that goes all the way round. But I know from my father's garden that they can be awful and terribly difficult to get rid of.

In my part of the country, there is only one man to go to with this problem: former game keeper to Her Majesty the Queen, Bill Fenwick, who has continued mole catching into his retirement. He tells me that we should forget about mole smokes and ultrasonic spikes: 'They will put up two heaps next door to them'.

Moles are territorial and only get together to mate, so all those heaps are usually caused by just one mole. It is not unusual for one mole to put up 50 to 60 heaps and it can be as many as 100. If your aim is to scare them off to your neighbour's garden then you can try an outdoor disinfectant. Pick out the new heaps, take off the tops, find the holes and pour half an egg-cup full down each hole. If this does not work, then you are left with scissor traps (which are, of course, what Bill uses).

These can be purchased from good hardware stores.

Use a prodder to find the run six or eight inches away from a fresh heap.

Dig down into the run to place the trap and then make sure there is no light allowed back in to the run. Finally do not forget to bury the body.

On second thoughts, stick with the disinfectant.

- Dr Jonathan Holliday is a GP in Windsor.

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