What are moles? What do moles look like? How big are moles?
Moles are small mammals that are most well known for living in holes under the earth’s surface. They are common lives in Europe, Asia, South Africa, and North America although there are oddly no moles in Ireland. Their digging habits notoriously destroy gardens, lawns and golf courses, frustrating simple people and businessmen as well.
Moles have long, curved claws that the moles use to burrow their ways. They can quickly create long underground mole tunnels and entrances can be easily identified by the mounds of earth that appear normally all over a garden lawn. These mounds of soil are commonly known as molehills. How big do moles get? — about the size of a chipmunk and weigh between 3 – 6 ounces.
The reason the little miners are digging their holes through the lawn is that they are just looking for food. These critters typically enjoy feasting on insects, with grubs being on the top of the list when grubs are moving toward the surface. If you have grub damage to your lawn then consider treating for them, but don’t count on removing the grubs and having the moles move on. Interesting fact: yard moles eat about 25 to 100 percent of their body weight each day. These mammals enjoy earthworms and so is favorable to earthworms because this soil is also easy for the moles to dig through.
Are moles or mole infestation dangerous?
Moles have the potential to bite, but they do not bite people. They seldom come up to the surface of the ground and therefore rarely come into contact with people. They are not considered to be a physical threat to humans. These diggers are dangerous to the lawn and landscapes.
Why do I need to get rid of moles?
Need to get rid of the moles or they will kill all of your beautiful plants and trees. These critters are active more or less year-round. When they are looking for worms and grubs to eat they turn grass brown, create low and weak spots in the yards and create their molehills of disturbed dirt. Their tunnels are more like labyrinths and soon become homes for mice and snakes, which aren’t any more welcome than the yard moles.
When do moles come into houses?
Diggers rarely enter buildings of any kind. There isn’t dirt for tunneling or bugs for eating. Occasionally, one may end up inside due to a tunnel gone wrong, but outside and underground is where a mole wants to be.
What are the signs of moles in the yard?
It’s obvious. You will start to notice molehills — conical, or volcano shaped. Plants start to die and grass as well. The dead grass will have an unusual pattern, like lightning bolts or a road map. Sometimes there will be low spots like a giant footprint, created by a void underneath. Don’t expect to see the mole — that would be very unusual. But it is there, undermining your yard. Signs of moles lawn damage include:
- molehills, dirt piles in lawn: cone-shaped mounds of soil about 6-24 inches in diameter and 2-8 inches high; entrances softly plugged and not readily visible;
- mole runs: irregular trails/ridges of pushed-up soil about 3 inches wide caused by tunneling.
When is the best time to get rid of moles?
The answer is any time is a good time! Right away and before they have babies is the very best time of all.
How can I get the moles out?
There is a lot of information on homemade mole remedies. None of them work. Here is a list of some of the popular, and sadly ineffective, methods:
- kitty litter in the mole tunnel;
- crushed glass in the mole holes;
- mothball powder in the holes in grass lawn;
- Wrigley’s Spearmint Gum: chewed or unchewed
It might make you feel better than you are “doing something about the moles” but these will cost you time and money without doing much about the moles. Trapping is the only method proven effective for getting rid of these animals. The best time for trapping is early spring, about the same time as the forsythia blooms. This is normally before they breed, so getting rid of one mole then is the same as getting rid of 7. Consult with a nursery for the availability of and instructions on using traps.
Facts about moles animal
- Moles animal may resemble mice and rats, moles are not rodents. They are insectivores – more similar to bats.
- Before eating a captured earthworm, a yard mole may squeeze the worm between its forepaws to release the unwanted dirt from its gut.
- Males are called “boars” and female — “sows”, like pigs.
- Moles are some of the only animals that can smell in stereo. This means they can detect odors immediately as well as determine the direction from which they are traveling. Smelling in stereo is a great advantage for moles because it allows them to quickly and accurately locate food and predators.
- In cold and/or dry weather, moles will often dig deeper into the ground, following their food source.
- A mole’s saliva contains a toxin that paralyzes worms, allowing them to gather and store food for consumption later on.
- Mole animal is an insectivore that almost never eats plants or plant matter. Other plant-eating animals like voles will use the hunting tunnels left behind by yard moles, and generally, they are the true culprits. But as a result of tunneling, mole diggers can dislodge plant roots and kill the lawn.
- Unique adaptations in the hemoglobin of moles allow them to survive underground with low levels of oxygen and high levels of carbon dioxide.
- The rate of digging holes is up to 15 feet per hour.