A molecatcher is a person who traps or kills moles in places where they are considered a threat to crops, lawns, or gardens.
History of molecatching
Many early molecatchers set out snares for the moles, taking care to remove human scent from the loops. Over time, traps used to catch and kill moles became more advanced and complicated, incorporating weighted wood or cast iron, and eventually sprung steel.
Molecatchers travelled from farm to farm. The molecatcher's customers would provide food and lodging, as well as a fee for every mole caught. The molecatcher could also earn money by selling the moleskins to fur dealers.
In more recent times, traditional molecatching has given way to the use of poison. Poison resulted in moles dying much more quickly and in greater numbers. For some time, strychnine was used to kill moles; its purchase was cheaper than paying molecatchers, but sometimes other animals that shared the environment or interacted with moles were accidentally poisoned as well.
Repellents, including sonic devices, holly leaves, moth balls, garlic and castor oil have not proven successful in preventing damage caused by moles. Fumigation with products based on aluminium phosphide (Trade names 'Talunex' and 'Phostoxin') is still an app
In the United Kingdom
Strychnine is no longer an approved method of control in the UK, following the withdrawal of the poison from the market in 2006. Fumigation with products based on aluminium phosphide (Trade names 'Talunex' and 'Phostoxin') is still an approved method of control, but may be carried out only by fully trained operatives.
Since the removal of strychnine from the UK market, there has been a revival of traditional molecatching in Britain. Modern traditional mole catchers use traps, and usually charge a 'per-mole' fee, as their forebears did. The price charged reflects the fact that there is no longer a market for moleskins.
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- Frances Hubbard (18 April 2015). "Louise used to be a drama teacher. Now she kills moles.". The Telegraph.
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