Mole Identification & Prevention

A medium-sized grey mammal with significant and hairless spade-shaped feet used for digging. Found throughout Canada, Mexico, and the eastern U.S.

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Description

As may be commonly thought, moles are insectivores (not rodents, as may be believed). They have adapted to living underground, and this is where they find their prey which includes earthworms and other small invertebrates. Moles can tolerate higher-than-normal levels of carbon dioxide and, as a result, can survive in environments with lower-than-normal oxygen counts, including underground burrows.

Biology and Behavior

mole in a hole
  • Adult moles have a body length between five and seven inches long and weigh between 2.5 and 4.5 ounces.
  • Moles have velvety gray or brown fur and very tiny eyes and ears. 
  • Moles typically have one litter per year and their gestation period is 28 to 42 days. 
  • Moles are notorious for damaging sod on golf courses, parks, and residential lawns with their digging and tunneling. 
  • Moles will also destroy ornamental planting beds with their digging behaviors. 
  • Moles cause damage by tearing up the roots of grasses and plants.

Mole Prevention Tips

  • Install rolls of sheet metal or hardware cloth fencing around seedbeds, burying it at least a foot into the ground. 
  • Packing soil around gardens or ornamental beds and reducing moisture in the soil can help reduce mole activity.

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