About Moles

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Moles are quite strange creatures really, living a solitary life mostly underground. These love to live alone, and won’t tolerate others of their kind in the same tunnel systems that they live in. These tunnel systems can be vast too, with everything the creature needs to survive quite happily underground. Earthworms make up the bulk of a mole’s diet, and they can find these very easily as they dig and scamper around beneath the surface. Even when they aren’t hungry, an earthworm won't go to waste. The mole will simply bite the creatures head off and then store it the chamber of tunnels that serves as a pantry or larder. All moles do this, almost like squirrels do. When they find food, they can't just pass it by. They will stash it for later, and in long-established tunnel systems, hundreds and thousands of earthworms can be stored down there for later consumption.

The tunnel systems themselves are around a foot underground. The diameter of each pathway can be as much as two to three inches, usually somewhere between eight and twelves inches underground. These further-down ones are the more established tunnels, but moles will make temporary runways, of sorts, and these will generally be closer to the surface. The ones that you find when you only dig a little bit down are NOT the best places to lay traps, if you have decided that trapping is your removal method of choice. Temporary runways will not be used as frequently as the more established, deeper ones. These deeper ones are the ones to focus all of your removal efforts on.

Usually only around six inches in length, American species of moles are noted to grow larger than those found in Europe, and despite being thought of as blind, they’re actually not blind at all. One fun fact about them — they can smell in stereo. It is their sense of smell that they use the most, sniffing around underground for tasty worms and grubs to eat or stash. They have sensors on the end of their long and pointed noses, and these can sense out scent, and also movement. This is what helps them to find and avoid other creatures, such as moles and predators, and also to find food.

When moles are ready to mate, the males will extend their tunnels in the hope of finding a female. That's the bad side of being such a solitary creature — the males will sometimes need to travel great distances in order to find a female. The pair will separate again as soon as the deed is done, and them other will busy herself building a nest. Usually a spherical creation in one of the most protected tunnel chambers, three or four bald pups will be born into a soft nest that has been filled with plant material. It only takes a couple of weeks for them to grow their fur, and only a couple of weeks after that the youngsters are almost fully weaned. They need to get a move on as they don't live for the longest time — only around three years in the best case scenario. They do get a move on too, because by the sixth or seventh week of their life, they are ready to leave the relative safety of their mother’s tunnel, ready to build their own and start the cycle all over again.

Go back to the Mole Removal page, or learn tips to do it yourself with my How to Get Rid of Moles guide.

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