As a child, you may have read the iconic classic, “The Wind in the Willows”, which tells the adventures of several animals, including a mole. The entertaining tale has delighted generations of children since first being published over 100 years ago. While the characters may inspire fond memories of childhood, the reality is that moles can and do cause extensive damage to residential and business landscaping every year. As home and/or business-owners, it is important to understand a little about the small creatures tunneling through our lawns in order to minimize damage. Adair’s Animal Nuisance Trapping can help with current infestations, provide pro-active solutions to make your property less tempting for moles to return, and help fix damage caused by these furry creatures.
Moles in Missouri
Although there are seven species of mole in North America, only the Eastern Mole is found in Missouri. The Eastern Mole is by far the most common mole in North America, although it is almost identical to the Coast Mole and the larger Townsend’s Mole.
Physical Features of Moles
Eastern Moles range in size from 5.5 inches to 8 inches in length from head to tail. They weigh between one and five ounces. They have large, palm-like, short front feet, and flexible, pig-like snouts. Adult fur ranges from silvery to slate gray, and juveniles are sooty black.
Moles are voracious eaters, and can consume up to half their body weight each day. While the bulk of their diet consists of grubs and earthworms, they also eat beetles, spiders, centipedes, ant pupae, and cutworms. A single mole can harvest over 140 grubs and cutworms per day!
Habitat – Do Moles Hibernate in Winter?
Moles live in tunnels that they dig underground. There are two types of tunnels moles dig – feeding tunnels that are just under the surface, and deeper burrow tunnels where they live. Because they are near the surface of the ground, feeding tunnels are the first sign people notice when moles infest a yard. During the winter, moles move their tunnels deeper underground in order to stay below the frost line. They are still actively tunneling throughout the entire winter, though the deeper tunnels go unnoticed. As a result, many people think that the moles hibernate in winter, when, in fact, they don’t.
Breeding and Social Structure
Moles are solitary, and only come together to mate. Three to five young are generally born during March and April to Eastern Moles after a 42 day gestation, and pups leave the nest 30-45 days after birth to find their own territories.
Signs of Moles
Risks Associated with Moles
It is rare for moles to transmit rabies, however any animal may bite when it feels threatened, and moles are no exception. It is important to leave the handling of wild animals to professionals.
One of the most common liabilities that come with having moles is the risk of injury from falls due to uneven and soft ground. If you are having problems with moles in your Lake of the Ozark area residential or business landscape, call the professionals at Adair’s Animal Nuisance Trapping. Our experienced team of trained trappers will make sure the moles are safely handled, so your lawn doesn’t develop unsightly and dangerous holes.