Moles: 15 Fascinating Facts & 3 Ways to Get Rid of Them
There are quite a lot of different burrowers that you have to take care of but it goes without saying that the moles are undoubtedly amongst the most bothersome ones. Frustrated homeowners oftentimes spend tremendous amount of effort, time and money battling moles for the control over their own gardens and lawns. They are going to use a lot of different mole traps as well as mole poison in order to ensure that everything is handled as per the highest standards, oftentimes in vain.
Before you go ahead and make your move, there are quite a lot of things that you need to take into proper account. This is the main reason for which we have taken the liberty to provide you with 15 truly fascinating facts about male moles and female moles. Let’s have a look.
Table of Contents
- General Facts About Moles
- 15 Fascinating Facts About Moles
- 1. Moles are Found Almost Throughout the Entire Northern Hemisphere Except for Ireland
- 2. Moles are Perfectly Well Adapted to Living Underground
- 3. Their Diet of the Worm is Mostly Earthworms
- 4. They Have Tremendous Appetite
- 5. Moles Can Transmit Human Diseases
- 6. Most of the Damage Done by Moles is Because They Disturb the Soil
- 7. Moles are Not Particularly Solitary
- 8. Moles are Not Actually Nocturnal
- 9. Moles Do Not Always Make Hills
- 10. Moles Don’t Come Indoors
- 11. They Build Tunnels Around Food Sources
- 12. Garden Soil is Mole-friendly
- 13. Lawns with Bermuda Grass are Likely to Repel Moles in the Southern USA
- 14. Moles and Voles are Particularly Different
- 15. Not Everything About Moles is Bad for Your Garden
- 3 Different Ways to Get Rid of Moles
General Facts About Moles
Now, the first thing that you need to know about moles is that these are small burrowers and their mammals which are found throughout the entire world. They are often perceived as pest because they tend to ruin gardens, lawns and yards. They are not blind, even though a lot of people tend to believe this.
They vary in size but on average they are going to get up to 6.25 inches long. This is true for the male moles with the female moles being slightly smaller. Their tail is also going to add some inches. They weigh approximately around 4.5 ounces which is no more than about 130 grams. They spend the majority of their lives underground and they are the most notorious burrowers. They use their tunnels to travel and they are capable of creating characteristic underground tunnel systems. Moles are going to dig special chambers, however, at the end of their tunnels which are usually used as their bedrooms as well as areas for giving birth.
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They have no characteristic habits in comparison to other burrowers – they feed on earthworms which are usually found in the soil of y our garden. They wouldn’t really go for the roots of your plants unless they are really hungry. There are quite a few different types of moles such as the Golden mole, Townsend mole, European mole and others of this kind.
15 Fascinating Facts About Moles
1. Moles are Found Almost Throughout the Entire Northern Hemisphere Except for Ireland
Now, if you live somewhere in the Northern Hemisphere and even in Ireland or in Europe, Asia, North America – you are most usually going to have moles. They are found almost everywhere except for certain permafrost regions as well as regions in which the weather conditions are particularly severe and harsh to endure.
Moles in the Northern parts of the Hemisphere are regularly regarded to as true moles. They are also known to be called golden moles in South Africa, they are capable of swimming throughout sand fields and they live in desert areas. Furthermore, there are blind marsupial moles which are found in Australia and they are actually quite closely related to kangaroos. Furthermore, the pink fairy armadillo which is a popular ant-eating animal also has quite a few resemblances to a mole but is not considered to be a true mole. Of course, there are also different specifications and other types of these notorious burrowers that you might be interested to learn more about.
2. Moles are Perfectly Well Adapted to Living Underground
This is hardly a surprise, but all types of male moles are capable of living throughout their underground tunnels perfectly. Some of the male moles are also capable of traveling above ground very early in the spring period. This is due to the fact that they are scouting for mates. However, most of the moles are likely to spend their entire lives underground. They have a perfect form of hemoglobin which is designated to allow them to properly recycle oxygen.
They are capable of living in their long and substantial tunnel networks where the carbon dioxide is actually going to amass to a level which is most likely going to kill a lot of other mammals. The paw of the mole has six fingers and it comes with two thumbs. This is why they are so perfectly capable of digging through the ground.
3. Their Diet of the Worm is Mostly Earthworms
As we mentioned a while ago, there is a very common misconception regarding moles – a lot of people tend to believe that their diet is consisted mainly of roots. That is far from being true. Moles are actually carnivores This means that you shouldn’t really put your fingers anywhere close to them as it is most definitely going to bite you. Keep in mind that the saliva of the mole has a toxin which is capable of paralyzing earthworms. Sometimes, the mole is going to eat the worm right off the bat but in certain situations it’s going to store it for later consumption. They have specially build burrows for that.
What is more, there are researchers who have managed to find burrows and tunnels who are filled with more than thousands of earthworms in them. This is mainly due to the fact that the moles collect them and store them for later one. Interestingly enough, the mole is going to squeeze the worm through its paws in advance in order to clear them from the dirt.
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4. They Have Tremendous Appetite
That’s pretty much true. There is an old saying that a mole is capable of eating ten times its weight in terms of earthworms. Of course, this is quite exaggerated. However, it’s true that the mole can consume an approximation of about 70 to 100% of their weight in earthworms every single day. What is more, if the mole is deprived of food, it can die of starvation in no more than a few hours, which is definitely something to consider.
5. Moles Can Transmit Human Diseases
Of course, this can only happen in a few very rare cases. There are no infectious diseases that people can actually acquire directly from moles. However, there are ticks, which would commonly jump from moles to other wildlife and then to humans. They are capable of transmitting certain diseases. Moles can be infested with kissing bugs which are capable of transmitting Chagas disease. The viral infections, however, are most commonly encountered in the temperature climates which are characterized with winters that are particularly cold. Chagas disease, on the other hand, is common where we don’t observer freezing weather conditions throughout the winter.
6. Most of the Damage Done by Moles is Because They Disturb the Soil
A lot of people tend to mistakenly believe that moles are going to damage the root systems of your plants. That’s not true. They have absolutely no interest in your roots as they are carnivores. However, they can become quite a lot and tailings of their soils are likely to cover the ground and damage and smother grass. They are capable of disrupting the irrigation systems of your lawns and they are also going to bring stones on the surface – this is something particularly irritating. Apart from that, though, they are also going to kill small plants as they are going to shift the earth right beneath them. Furthermore, their underground tunnel systems are going to expose roots of trees which can get them damaged by the weather or by other animals.
7. Moles are Not Particularly Solitary
Even though it may appear as if moles are solitary animals, they are likely to go ahead and fight to the death in order to defend their own territory. Keep in mind, though, that they are quite unlikely to live alone. A single square meter can be a home to as many as 12 separate moles. This is definitely something that you need to take into account as mole infestation can cause quite a lot of damage.
8. Moles are Not Actually Nocturnal
These little pests are a lot more active throughout quite periods where they do not hear people or any other type of animals moving near their burrows. This means that they aren’t really nocturnal but their periods of activity coincide with our periods of passiveness. Researchers have already found out that moles are sleeping in four-hour shifts throughout the night and the day. They are quite likely to be mostly active early in the morning or just before the sunset. Humans are likely to notice signs of moles early in the morning but this doesn’t’ mean that moles are active throughout the night as a lot of people mistakenly consider.
9. Moles Do Not Always Make Hills
If you see a large pile of dirt near the entrance of a mole tunnel this is only a mere indication that the soil, there is particularly soft and it’s easy to dig through. In harder soil, the mole is usually going to make a lot smaller openings and that’s going to leave smaller piles of dirt around the entrance. That’s something that you might want to take into account.
10. Moles Don’t Come Indoors
Now, the thing that you need to understand is that moles are intelligent creatures and they have a very innate sense that the interior of your home is an area which poses a very high risk. This is the main reason for which they are going to stay away from it. It is particularly rare that you will see a mole inside your home and it may only happen if there is a flood and the mole is forced out of the tunnel. In North America, floods are likely to bring out the characteristic star-nosed mole as it has 22 pinkish tentacles which are allowing it to detect threads from a mile away. They are also good swimmers and are most likely going to survive any floods. What is interesting, though, is that it’s also likely to feed on smaller fish throughout the time.
11. They Build Tunnels Around Food Sources
Young moles are going to start staking out their own territory throughout the middle of the summer probably two months after they have actually been born. They feed on earthworms and that’s why they are going to start building their tunnels where there are castings. What is more, they are going to avoid noisy places and this is one of the things that you might want to take into proper account when it comes to it.
12. Garden Soil is Mole-friendly
Garden soil is usually soft and particularly high on earthworms. This is the main reason for which you are likely to encounter the problem every now and then. Below we are going to point out a few convenient ways for you to get rid of moles.
13. Lawns with Bermuda Grass are Likely to Repel Moles in the Southern USA
Bermuda grass is known to put particularly long stolon which are up to 2 meters away from the shoots of grass throughout the ground and that’s why it is incredibly resistant to mole activity when you stack it up to other turf grass surfaces. This is something that you might want to take into account when it comes to it.
14. Moles and Voles are Particularly Different
Now, keep in mind that moles are not rodents. This is something that a lot of people would commonly get wrong. On the other hand, voles are. Moles are a mammal which is known as an insectivore. Voles are going to be occupying tunnels which were made by moles but they are essentially something completely different. Voles are also commonly referred to as meadow mice or field mice and it’s stouter and shorter than the regular house mouse. It has a stubbier tail as well as sharper teeth and small eyes – all of these are characteristics which are not typical for a mole.
15. Not Everything About Moles is Bad for Your Garden
This is definitely something that you might want to take into proper account when it comes to it. Moles are capable of being rather beneficial for your garden, provided they are only encountered in a very small number. They are going to kill grubs which are known for killing young shrubs and grass. The white grub is usually an appetizer for the mole but a study showed that a lot of the moles actually eat it quite abundantly. A mole can consume as much as 200 grubs throughout its lifespan.
As you can see, there are quite a lot of interesting things that you might want to know about moles when it comes to it. This is something that is going to help you quite a lot in your battle against them. After all, it’s always better to be well informed than ignorant.
3 Different Ways to Get Rid of Moles
1. Maintain Your Backyard
Moles are going to be multiplying in a well-maintained organic gardens and lawns. The more you take care of your garden, however, the more you are going to disturb the activity of the mole. They are going to stay away from overly active and particularly noisy backyard so using your lawn mower commonly is usually a good idea. This is something that’s also going to keep your garden in proper condition. If you notice a few mole hills in your backyard, then this is a cue that you are doing a good job but also you need to put a little more effort into it.
2. Use Specific Odors to Keep Them Away
Odors are also a great repellent against moles. However, this is something which is likely to be effective if you are taking care of a small piece of land and not of a huge yard. Common odors which are going to keep moles away include castor oil. Fox urine, bloodmeal, bonemeal as well as others of the kind. These are going to take proper and quick care of your problem.
3. Use Ultrasonic Devices
This is again a problem-solver if you have a rather small backyard. However, it’s something particularly convenient and harmless. What is more, it doesn’t require any significant effort or time. Moles have particularly strong senses and anything that disrupts them is going to chase them away. These devices are specifically designated to ensure that they interfere with what moles are commonly used to which is going to make them run away. It’s as simple as this.
In any case, there are a lot of different ways that you can interfere and take care of moles. There are lethal and non-lethal ways but keep in mind that the latter are usually a lot easier and less burdensome to employ.