What are Moles?
The term mole is especially and most properly used for the 42 species of insectivores of “true moles” of the family Talpidae in the order Eulipotyphla, which are found in most parts of North America, Europe and Asia. Most of moles are adapted to a subterranean lifestyle (i.e., fossorial) and for living most of their lives Burrowing underground. The smallest mole is the American shrew mole (Neurotrichus gibbsii), which weighs only 7g to 11g and has a body 3cm to 4cm long. The largest is the Russian desman (Desmana moschata), which weighs 100g to 220g and has a body 18 to 22 cm long. Moles typically have a cylindrical body with a short tail and short, stocky limbs. They have a long, nearly hairless, and highly mobile pig like muzzle extends beyond the upper lip. Adapted for digging, they have reduced hindlimbs, and short, powerful forelimbs with large paws. Most species lack external ears, and th2eir tiny eyes are hidden in their fur. Most of moles have a strong odor. Moles have poor vision but acute senses of hearing and touch. A mole’s diet primarily consists of earthworms, grubs and other small invertebrates found in the soil.
How to Distinguish between Moles and Voles?
Although being both ‘mouse-like’ and digging underground, moles and voles are not the same species and should not be confused. Here is some difference:
|Parameters of Comparison||Mole||Vole|
|Category||Not Rodents, relating to hedgehogs, shrews and gymnures.||Rodents, relating to hamster and lemming’s family|
|Appearance||Eyes and ears are not easily visible.||Eyes and ears are slightly visible.|
|Diet||Moles are carnivores and feed on insects, worms, grubs.||Voles are herbivores and feed on plants, crops, and meadows.|
|Behavior||Moles believe in burrowing and storing food.||Voles don’t burrow and feed instantly on flower buds, bulbs.|
|Reproduction||Moles reproduce slowly and gradually increase their population.||Voles reproduce faster and can triple the family size in a week.|
How to Identify Moles?
As we mentioned in a previous blog on the topic, patches of dead grass are a good indication that you have a mole problem. As moles make their tunnels, they disrupt the root systems of nearby grasses, killing the grass at surface level and leaving dead patches in their wake.
Have you ever heard the saying, “making a mountain out of a molehill?” When moles dig their tunnels, they act like mini excavators, moving all that dirt out of the tunnel and up to the surface, creating a telltale, mounded molehill at the tunnel entrance.
Far Apart Mounts
Moles aren’t the only creatures that make entrance and exit mounds. Gophers do something similar. However, the difference is that gopher mounds are close together, while molehills tend to be about six feet apart.
Chunks of Dirt
When gophers dig in your yard, they pulverize the soil into a smooth powder. Moles, on the other hand, dig the earth up in chunks. As you evaluate the mounds in your yard, look for clumps of soil, which is a sure-fire sign of moles.
Note: Since moles are insectivores, they don’t chew plants or root systems. Instead, they eat earthworms, grubs, and centipedes. If you notice gnaw marks on your garden plants or vegetables, it’s likely that voles or mice are responsible – not moles.
How to Get Rid of Mole?
Warning: Do not poison moles as there may be unexpected side effects on your family and environments. Poisoning or gassing should always be your last resort. Please consult your local professionals if necessary.
Moles are known pests to human activities such as agriculture, lawncare, and gardening. Problems cited as caused by moles include contamination of silage with soil particles, making it unpalatable to livestock, the covering of pasture with fresh soil reducing its size and yield, damage to agricultural machinery by the exposure of stones, damage to young plants through disturbance of the soil, weed invasion of pasture through exposure of freshly tilled soil, and damage to drainage systems and watercourses. Other species such as weasels and voles may use mole tunnels to gain access to enclosed areas or plant roots. In conclusion, the need to control moles is unquestionable, and to resolution can basically be categorized in four ways – starving, fencing, trapping and repelling.
Make moles go hungry — and go somewhere else — by eliminating their favorite foods. You can buy beneficial nematodes, which are microscopic parasites that kill grubs, from some nurseries and garden centers and put them in your lawn. Eliminating the grubs can be a slow process. It can take as long as three years for the nematodes to form a colony big enough to kill off all the grubs. Milky spore powder will also banish grubs, although it works primarily on the grubs of Japanese beetles, so you may want to use both milky spore and nematodes. If you’re willing to use an insecticide, buy a chemical grub killer. Always follow your product’s directions.
A regular fence won’t discourage moles, as they dig deep into the soil, but a barrier around a small garden or other small area can work. To make the barrier, dig a trench 24 to 30 inches deep and line it with 1/4-inch galvanized hardware cloth or 36-inch wide aluminum sheeting. Fill in the trench with dirt, leaving six inches of the hardware cloth or sheeting above the surface of the soil. Trapall has been proven an experienced manufacturer of metal barrier to expel moles, voles, gopher and other rodents with think and reliable material.
Unlike mice, as soon as moles spend most of their life underground, classical easy set household traps – snap traps, cate traps and glue boards – are not effective solutions. Specializing against moles’ digging habits, as a long term supplier Trapall have dedicated equipment accommodated to soil scenario and can be set right in your garden such as tunnel trap, scissor trap and spear trap.
- Read the instructions
- Place the trap at the busy runaways
- Baiting with fruit and peanut butter
- Keep children and pets away
- Check the trap regularly
- Handle voles with gloves
- Metal Mole Trap (ATM2819)
- Mole Trap (ATM2882)
- Mole Trap with Teeth (ATM2844)
- Mole Trap without Teeth (ATM2845)
- Mole Trap Spear type (ATM2914)
- Tunnel style mole trap (ATM2858)
Pest repellent is another idea to thin out the population of moles, less violent, but safer. Besides animal predator like owls and cats and scent repellent like castor oil, we can apply some modern technology – ultrasonic waves. Here, Trapall produces acoustic device designed to harass moles at a specific high frequency which has no effects on human. Moreover, we can even develop a laser repellent that intimidates voles by imitate the sight of wolves. You can even lease your cat or dog and let them do the job for you!
- Read the instructions
- Place the repellent at the busy runaways
- Accompany with other treatments as voles may return sometimes
- Remember to charge
- Ultrasonic Pest Repeller (ATE1163-3)
- Animal Deterrent Light Repeller (ATE11125)
- Mole Repellent (ATE11160)
- Solar Mole Repeller (ATE11127)
Related Trapall Blogs
Mole (animal) – Wikipedia. (2021). Retrieved 23 December 2021, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mole_(animal)
Musser, G. (2021). mole | mammal. Retrieved 23 December 2021, from https://www.britannica.com/animal/mole-mammal
Bradford, A. (2021). Facts About Moles. Retrieved 23 December 2021, from https://www.livescience.com/52297-moles.html
Moles – Wildlife Conflicts. (2021). Retrieved 24 December 2021, from http://wildlifehotline.info/identification-control/moles/
British Moles – Facts, Information & Habitat. (2021). Retrieved 23 December 2021, from https://animalcorner.org/animals/british-moles/