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Can Repellents Function as a Non-Lethal Means of Controlling Moles (Talpa europaea)?

R. P. D. Atkinson and D. W. MacDonald
Journal of Applied Ecology
Vol. 31, No. 4 (Nov., 1994), pp. 731-736
DOI: 10.2307/2404163
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2404163
Page Count: 6
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Can Repellents Function as a Non-Lethal Means of Controlling Moles (Talpa europaea)?
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Abstract

1. Non-lethal methods of controlling mammalian pests in general, and moles in particular, have been inadequately researched. Here, we evaluate whether it is possible to exclude moles by the use of a repellent. 2. In experiments designed to imitate the plausible actions of householders and greenkeepers to repel moles, we demonstrate that it is possible to repel moles for at least 28 days using a repellent based on a bone-oil formulation. At least for small-scale application, this method appears to offer a realistic alternative to the dangerous and inhumane use of strychnine which is, otherwise, the general method of mole control in the UK. 3. Repellency offers a potentially versatile alternative to the lethal control of mammalian pests, but raises its own issues regarding practicality and welfare.

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