A new parameterisation for the threshold shear velocity to initiate deflation of dry and wet particles is presented. It is based on the balance of moments acting on particles at the instant of particle motion. The model hence includes a term for the aerodynamic forces, including the drag force, the lift force and the aerodynamic-moment force, and a term for the interparticle forces. The effect of gravitation is incorporated in both terms. Rather than using an implicit function for the effect of the aerodynamic forces as reported earlier in literature, a constant aerodynamic coefficient was introduced. From consideration of the van der Waals force between two particles, it was further shown that the effect of the interparticle cohesion force between two dry particles on the deflation threshold should be inversely proportional to the particle diameter squared. The interparticle force was further extended to include wet bonding forces. The latter were considered as the sum of capillary forces and adhesive forces. A model that expresses the capillary force as a function of particle diameter squared and the inverse of capillary potential was deduced from consideration of the well-known model of Fisher and the Young-Laplace equation. The adhesive force was assumed to be equal to tensile strength, and a function which is proportional to particle diameter squared and the inverse of the potential due to adhesive forces was derived. By combining the capillary-force model and the adhesive force model, the interparticle force due to wet bonding was simplified and written as a function of particle diameter squared and the inverse of matric potential. The latter was loglinearly related to the gravimetric moisture content, a relationship that is valid in the low-moisture content range that is important in the light of deflation of sediment by wind. By introducing a correction to force the relationship to converge to zero moisture content at oven dryness, the matric potential-moisture content relationship contained only one unknown model parameter, viz. moisture content at -1.5 MPa. Working out the model led to a rather simple parameterisation containing only three coefficients. Two parameters were incorporated in the term that applies to dry sediment and were determined by using experimental data as reported by Iversen and White [Sedimentology 29 (1982) 111]. The third parameter for the wet-sediment part of the model was determined from wind-tunnel experiments on prewetted sand and sandy loam aggregates. The model was validated using data from wind-tunnel experiments on the same but dry sediment, and on data obtained from simulations with the model of Chepil [Soil Sci. Soc. Am. Proc. 20 (1956) 288]. The experiments showed that soil aggregates should be treated as individual particles with a density equal to their bulk density. Furthermore, it was shown that the surface had to dry to a moisture content of about 75% of the moisture content at -1.5 MPa before deflation became sustained. The threshold shear velocities simulated with our model were found to be in good agreement with own observations and with simulations using Chepil's model.