Moles spend their lives underground digging extensive tunnel systems and hunting for worms and grubs. Moles are viewed by many as a nuisance animal since their digging tends to disrupt lawns, gardens and golf courses. While the most common species of mole in North America is the Eastern Mole, there are actually seven species of mole found on this continent. Moles are not rodents but are insectivores and more closely related to bats than rodents.
Mole Anatomy and Diet
Moles spend their lives in search of earthworms, grubs and insects to eat. In fact, they eat 70-100% of their body weight in a single day. Moles average between four to 11 inches long and live for three to six years. They are easily identified by their concealed ears and eyes, pointy snout and round body usually covered in gray or brown fur. Their back feet are smaller in size and their front feet are significantly larger for digging. A single mole’s range or territory can be as big as 2.7 acres. Their territory is made up of a complex set of burrows and tunnels with separate areas for living and hunting. They dig such extensive tunnel systems while looking for food, their very favorite of which is the earthworm. Though they will eat insects, grubs and slugs as well.
Moles are active year-round and at night and during the day. During times of extreme cold or heat, they will dig deeper burrows both for hunting and to escape to a more stable temperature area. While moles are actually very helpful animals that help aerate the soil, they are commonly known as nuisance animals. They are very difficult to catch due to their extensive range underground. They are particularly active after rain or watering when soil is easier to dig through, which helps moisture get down deeper into the soil as well. Signs of mole activity include mole hills, mole tracks and sections of collapsing soil where their tunnels collapse in when you walk over them.
Interesting Mole Facts
A couple of interesting facts about moles make them fascinating animals. The first interesting fact is that their saliva has a toxin that paralyzes earthworms but doesn’t kill them so they can store them to eat later. Another fun fact is that moles are one of the few animals who can smell in stereo. They can detect odors immediately and can discern what direction an odor is traveling.
If you are having troubles with a mole in your yard or garden, call Pee Dee Wildlife Control. We can help catch the moles that are causing a disturbance on your property.