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MOLES

MoleIdentification & Biology of Moles:

 

  • Adult weights 80g
  • Dark skinned, silvery grey to extreme black in colour
  • Small eyes set fully hidden in their fur
  • Adult mole grows up to 16cm in length nose to tail
  • Large shovel shaped front limbs used for digging

 

Moles live up to 3 years with the female rearing a litter of up to 7, breeding twice a year. One female could therefore potentially breed up to 42 young in her lifetime. The breeding season is between February & June & the young are born in underground nests. The young are fully grown at 10 weeks old.

Where moles live & how they affect you:

Adult moles are solitary creatures & live almost exclusively in underground tunnels which can encompass a large area. They create two depths of tunnels, the deepest being 2-8 inches below the ground surface. The soil excavated from these tunnels is pushed out to create & form ‘mole hills’. The other type of tunnel is a ‘surface tunnel’ which is just below ground & recognisable by the soil & grass being pushed up to form a ridge the length of the run. A mole problem can quickly establish itself & cause plenty of damage. Each mole will want to create its own tunnel network & can dig at speeds of up to 4 metres an hour! Moles eat mainly earthworms & invertebrates that fall into their tunnels, which is why lawns are so attractive to them. An average mole will eat up to 200 worms a day to survive! Moles cannot put on body fat, so they have to eat throughout the winter months & therefore do not hibernate. They are at their most active in the autumn & early spring. It is extremely unlikely that you will physically ever see a mole as they rarely come above ground.

Control measures for moles:

Little can be done to prevent moles from attacking your lawns; all that can be done is to exterminate the problem once they have appeared. However it is common knowledge that moles are extremely difficult to catch, their complex underground mazes make for excellent protection. They are very good at detecting smells & vibrations. When a mole detects danger they make a hasty retreat into the safety of deeper runs, blocking the tunnel behind them as they travel. Control of moles is carried out using a variety of barrel & scissor traps. Trapping is the most effective method of removing young, inexperienced moles, best carried out between October & April when moles are at their most active. It is important not to introduce any new foreign scents when setting a trap. Traps will need checking daily. DIY efforts such as putting broken glass into the tunnels are ineffectual & can actually cause more damage as the mole will dig around the disturbance.