First, let’s start off by knowing what a mole is: moles are subterranean dwelling mammals that are mostly noticed in the urban environment due to their digging through lawns and damaging them. Moles are often mistaken for rodents because they are both small mammals with grey fur. They are not rodents and do not share most characteristics.
Rodents: herbivores, often have multiple litters of young per year, and have chisel like incisor front teeth for gnawing, can live in groups.
Moles: carnivores, only have one litter of young per year, and sharp pointed teeth for eating insects, do not live in groups once young have dispersed.
- A mole’s diet consists of 80% earthworms. Worms are the most protein rich and widely available source of food to fuel their calorie intensive digging. Grubs, ants, centipedes, and other insects make up the other 20%.
- Long claws and powerful paws used for fast and continuous digging. A single mole can dig over 75+ feet of fresh tunnels in 24hrs.
- Moles have sharp pointy teeth for capturing and consuming insects.
- The skin and hair have grown over the mole’s eyes as they no longer rely on their vision.
Types of Moles (and one Imposter!)
Eastern moles are the most commonly found species in North America.
Star-nosed moles are found mostly in northeastern states
Shrews are NOT moles, but often mistaken for them.
I’m sure we’ve all seen something like this. Raised tunnels below the grass are typical signs of mole damage – the ground will easily “squish” or sink down when you walk on a mole’s tunnel. Mounds of dirt are “clean out” areas left by moles.
The tunnels can be inspected by slicing into the turf. An active mole tunnel will have a clean opening going in both directions beneath the just beneath the raised tunnels’ surface.
Frequently Asked Questions and Misconceptions
1. If you have moles, should you treat the lawn with grub killer pesticides?
Having moles in your yard has no direct correlation with having grubs. Mole’s top diet consists of earthworms.
2. Do moles hibernate?
No, they do not hibernate. They travel up and down with the frost line of the soil which is the same pattern of travel as earthworms.
3. Does juicy fruit gum, human hair, broken glass, coyote urine, or moth balls put in a mole’s tunnel get rid of moles?
None of these methods works at all. There has never been any consistent results from these home style remedies.
4. Do smoke bombs, poison gummy worms, or poison peanuts kill moles?
Poisons will kill moles, but results have always been inconsistent at best. Trapping is labor intensive but works 100% of the time applied long enough.
5. Do moles eat the roots of the grass and plants?
Moles are carnivorous and do not eat plant roots. Grass and plants are often killed from mole damage because the soil underneath their roots has been removed which stops the flow of nutrients and water.
If you notice moles or their sign popping up in your yard, give us a call or send us a message!