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philstory

How Often?

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Third visit is rapping up, i give a couple of weeks grace just incase i,ve missed one......

Can't do that so easily out here. I put the traps in on Monday, reckon to take out the resident moles on Wednesday and the neighbouring moles on Fridays. But many of the gardens are huge and border farm land or areas where moles aren't controlled and so there is always the chance of re-infestations. I tell the customers to cut the grass or knock down the molehills immediately after I've been and if anything comes up in the 7 days after I've finished I'll deal with them free. Sometimes I'll leave a few Putanges in if I think there might be some to mop up, but occasionally I have to keep going back until we run out of victims. I've had traps out at one garden for five weeks and at the last count I think the tally was 24, half of those to one Duffus stuck out in the middle of the garden nowhere near a molehill. I've now swapped them over to Putanges and put him on a monthly contract.

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24hrs later here to begin with, then 48hrs later the second time every spot is different regards setting and checking.

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Nicepix, it's really interesting how you're doing things differently over there. Is it because of the numbers are a lot higher per acre or is it your jobs are a long way apart?.

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Nicepix, it's really interesting how you're doing things differently over there. Is it because of the numbers are a lot higher per acre or is it your jobs are a long way apart?.

It's a combination of things. I seem to have evolved a system that suits me.

 

Over here moles seem to breed four times a year and we've just gone through the first hatch of them. It usually started with a rash of phone calls around the end of January from the south-western end of my area where the climate is a bit warmer. Then I get calls from the Dordogneshire area to the south and now the bookings are coming in from higher country to the north of here.

 

Come Easter the holiday home owners will arrive and it will go mad for at least three months as I try to clear their moles that have established themselves over the winter. I try and book jobs as close as possible but it isn't always possible and 300km daily trips aren't unusual given that I'm the only mole trapper that I know of for at least 200km radius. Even the French customers don't know of any others.

 

Gardens are on the whole much larger, minimum half an acre and can go to six times that. Plus the huge amount of pasture and cultivated fields that have zero mole control and you can imagine how difficult it is to totally clear a large garden in three visits. That's why I over trap compared to how most of you guys would do it. I reckon that spending time putting in a lot of traps is better than trailing back to do repeat visits. Especially if I'm not working close to that area the following week. Last week for example I had a 200 km round trip to check 6 traps for 1 mole. A while ago I worked out that I'd averaged just over 6 moles per garden job. That will probably be a bit higher now as I'm picking up more of the bigger jobs.

 

And I'm only part time by choice. Three days a week; full day on Monday and two part days Wed and Fri, about 16 - 20 hours per week. My bookings are usually two to three weeks in advance and if I wanted more work I could easily get it just by doing farm work or contacting camp sites and local village mayors, or branching into other types of pest control. Other than holidays I've never not had jobs booked and this quarter I'm around 50% up on last year and I've treated myself to a van so that my wife isn't as isolated with me having the car three days a week.

 

On Wednesday I'll check the three jobs I have running and then call in at two holiday homes where the customer pays me monthly to check their gardens. I leave Putanges under turf clods, marked with paint and they account for any passing moles before they become established.

 

If I'd have known how busy I'd be in retirement I'd have carried on working :laugh:

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Blimey, sounds like I made the right move three years back buying this place and committing to another six or seven year's, if I'd moved over like we were planning I would have been working harder as a semi retired moley in France than I am as a full time pesty over here! Lol.

We always joke when traveling around over there that there can't be any mole men in France going by the numbers everywhere.

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I think I'll move to France when it gets a bit quieter here, ooooh ! now there's a thought.. gimme some guidance please.

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If you can hang on about four years you can have my address book. I reckon I'll be ready for retiring again by then :laugh:

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