23/Jul/2014 - Last News Update: 22:44

Menthol oil test to deter Penrhyn Castle moles from destroying lawns

Category: Wales

Published: 12th Jun 2012 13:34:06

Menthol oil is being tried to deter moles from destroying lawns at a castle's walled garden.

Gardener Phil Makin came up with the idea of using the scent to dissuade moles from burrowing under the walled garden at Gwynedd's Penrhyn Castle.

String soaked with the oil is lowered into tunnels dug by moles at the National Trust property and has led to a slight decrease in new molehills.

The RSPCA says noise as well as smell could deter moles.

Phil Makin, who got the idea to try menthol oil, said it was unclear whether the oil had worked or if the moles had moved on naturally.

But he said since the oil method was introduced the number of new molehills has gone down to two a day.

Penrhyn Castle's head gardener, Mike Anderson, said he admired the animals despite their garden-wrecking habits because the castle is built on shale and rock.

"These animals are digging their tunnels on very tough terrain.

"At the moment we're making the best of the situation, by collecting the tonnes of top soil and using it for planting new vegetation," he said.

The non-lethal deterrent was thought of by gardener Phil Makin.

He said there had been a little less mole activity since the oil method was introduced.

"It's possible they are put off the area by the strong smells, or they may be moving on naturally.

"Either way, they probably have very clear sinuses now!" he added.

The RSPCA website has advice for gardeners who want to deter moles from ruining their lawns.

It says moles themselves do no direct harm, although evidence of their presence (the molehills) may be unsightly and their tunnels may affect some plants in a garden.

"As a result, many people suggest just removing the earth that makes up the hills and ignoring the animals' presence, as well as their continued disturbance.

"Mowing the lawn more frequently, or letting children play on it, may help to deter the animals. However, we can understand that removing an animal is sometimes the only answer," the society says.

Although there are many methods that allegedly deter moles, there is no scientific evidence for their effectiveness, it added.

"Some of these include putting milk bottles bases down in the soil, vibrating probes or children's seaside windmills sunk into the moles' runs, or planting 'repellent' plants such as caper (or mole) spurge or plants from the allium (garlic) family."

If the animal has to be removed, the society adds, any trapping should be done by an experienced professional.

Source:
BBC News External Link Show Citation

Latest News

Harvard Citation

BBC News, 2012. Menthol oil test to deter Penrhyn Castle moles from destroying lawns [Online] (Updated 12th Jun 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1434108/Menthol-oil-test-to-deter-Penrhyn-Castle-moles-from-destroying-lawns [Accessed 23rd Jul 2014]

News In Other Categories

  • Courteney Cox: Friends star surprises travellers in Derry

    TV star Courteney Cox surprised travellers in Londonderry when she arrivied at the city's airport on Wednesday.
  • Celtic to face Legia Warsaw in Champions League qualifying

    Celtic will play Legia Warsaw in the third round of Champions League qualifying after the Polish side beat St Patrick's Athletic 5-0 for a 6-1 aggregate win.
  • Bad taste lingers over China's latest food scandal

    Wang Fang didn't work for the Shanghai Husi Food Company for long.
  • Bristol Academy extends reach overseas with first foreign students

    With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
  • Glasgow 2014: Commonwealth Games begin at Celtic Park

    Last-minute preparations are underway for the 2014 Commonwealth Games opening ceremony at Celtic Park in Glasgow.
  • Tory MP David Ruffley's future under discussion

    The Conservative Party is privately discussing the future of one of its MPs - who was arrested and cautioned for common assault on his ex-partner, the BBC understands.