Although the unique appearance of moles makes them charming characters for children’s stories, these little critters are far less appealing to homeowners. Their habit of forming intricate tunnels and mole hills can wreak havoc on your lawn, ruin landscaping, destroy crops, and be dangerous for people, pets, and livestock.
What Is A Mole?
Moles are small but plump, brown or gray mammals that spend most of their time underground. They have tiny eyes, concealed ears, and a hairless, pointed snout. Curved front paws and prominent claws are used to dig intricate tunnel systems. It is these tunnel systems, and the resultant damage they cause, that has earned moles a reputation for being garden pests.
Where Do Moles Live?
Moles can be found anywhere there is soil available in which to tunnel. The tunnels are used for travel as well as to provide a permanent, and somewhat human-like, residence. Moles dig “bedrooms” at the ends of tunnels that serve as sleeping quarters and provide them a place for the females to give birth. These animals also have “kitchens” within their tunnel system. Like people, they use this area for storing food.
What Do Moles Do?
Moles are solitary animals and spend most of their lives digging and hunting for food. These animals do become more “social” during breeding season. Females give birth to three or four babies at a time. These pups only stay with their mothers until they are five to six weeks old. Moles usually live about three years.
What Do Moles Eat?
Earthworms are a mole’s food of choice. They are not after the roots of your plants; this is simply collateral damage. These tunneling creatures are actually looking for as many earthworms as possible, even eating nearly their bodyweight’s worth each day. Moles also store earthworms in their “kitchens” for later consumption. Other foods enjoyed by moles are grubs and insect larvae.
What Homeowners Should Know About Mole Damage
Moles can cause damage to both your home and your property. If your home has a poor foundation, moles might find their way inside. These animals can carry rabies, making them potentially harmful to both you and your pet.
The most obvious mole damage is done outside. In searching for earthworms and grubs, they often scrape dirt away from roots which takes nourishment away from the plant, causing it to die. Molehills are unsightly and stepping into a hole caused by a mole can cause injury to people, pets, and livestock.
How To Get Rid Of Moles
If you have noticed surface tunnels or dirt mounds on your lawn, you might have a mole problem. Unless you are okay with letting these burrowing pests call your yard “home,” contact McCarthy Pest & Termite Control today. Our technicians are skilled at eliminating the moles from your home or yard and keeping them from returning. Let us help you reclaim your lawn from these unwelcome and destructive pests!