Louise Chapman, BA Hons burst on to the D and D meeting in a whirl of information and hilarity! Louise started her talk with information about how she began her extremely unusual job. From Garden design to finding a gap in the market for a lady mole catcher! She made a film about what and how she caught moles and suddenly she was front page of the Wall St journal followed by The Daily Mail, the Jeremy Vine show, ITV news, The Times and the Telegraph. Her fame then spread as she went from mole catching to Brisbane to be in charge of Pest control! But moles are everywhere so Louise came home and set up her business!!
During the next part of the talk there was a great deal of hilarity and interaction! Lots of facts about moles were given to us so here are just a few! Moles are everywhere!! They eat 20 earthworms a day and if they are starving they come above the surface and die. In a population of 64 million people there will be 35 to 40 million moles! They have no natural predators as they are bitter to the taste. Traditional mole catchers were wealthy as catching moles was lucrative. Their breeding season is February to March, this year being early February. The female is in season for only 24 hours, governed by the soil temperature with the moles moving around during the mating season. Louise gave us a vivid description of courtship and mating.
Moles work every four hours and we all agreed that we had seen mole activity around 8 am then nothing till later on. Louise explained about the length and depth of their tunnels and their ability to move through these. This brought us on to the subject of catching them! In France they blow them up but here there are traps, mole charmers, electronic devices alongside Jeyes Fluid, urine, broken glass down the run, champagne corks with nails in and diesel oil! This led to the humane way that Louise employs which involves reading the ground and killing them humanely.
It was very evident from the lively interaction between Louise and our members that her presentation sparked much comment, laughter and frequent questions. At the end of her talk we all took part in a written quiz. Julie and I managed to score 6 out of the 10 questions but we were low down on many other members! Not an evening for mole lovers but informative and for a lot of our members very useful.