Do Ireland and Great Britain Have the Same Garden Pests?

Usually, the home improvement retailer B&Q is able to stock the same products in its Northern Ireland stores as it does for the rest of the United Kingdom. However, when it comes to the critters destroying homeowners' lawns, there are some key differences between Great Britain and its neighboring island.

Although moles can wreak havoc in yards and gardens across Britain, they aren't found anywhere in Ireland.
Although moles can wreak havoc in yards and gardens across Britain, they aren't found anywhere in Ireland.

On several different occasions, most recently in 2014, the British DIY chain B&Q has stocked various mole repellent products in its Derry store in Northern Ireland. And each time, members of the public (and the media) have pointed out that there are no moles anywhere in Ireland -- and there never have been.

While moles can be found everywhere else in Europe, including in Ireland's neighbor, Great Britain, they never made it onto the island of Ireland.

According to Professor Ian Montgomery of Queen's University Belfast, "As the ice retreated (at the end of the Ice Age), animals from the south moved northwards. They moved through continental Europe. They got into Britain, but they didn't get into Ireland because the sea level rose too quickly. As a result, Ireland was left without moles, whereas moles managed to get into Britain."

More about moles:

  • Moles are tireless creatures that dig tunnels and hunt for prey all year round. Rather than hibernating in winter, they dig deeper to stay warm.

  • Moles dine mostly on earthworms, consuming their body weight in the creatures every day.

  • Moles live on every continent except South America and Antarctica, existing in areas from sea level up to 14,800 feet (4,500 m).

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