Did you look outside your house only to notice that the beautiful grass in your yard has been replaced by unsightly, uneven ground? This oddly deformed landscape is more than likely due to moles making tunnels just underneath the surface. Moles love to spend all of their time under the cold, wet, grass, looking for nutritious treats like earthworms and grubs. They are even known to be making tunnels, searching for food, for up to 100 feet in a single day. They are known to travel on their own which makes controlling them far easier than controlling other pesky animals.
What does a Mole look like?
Some of the most distinguishing mole characteristics include their long, pointed snouts and broad forepaws. Though they appear to lack eyes, the organs are simply hidden in their fur and may even be covered with a thin membrane of skin. Moles are velvety gray to dark brown in color, and they generally grow about 6 inches long. Their large hands are slightly webbed and tipped with sharp claws that make them proficient diggers.
What does a Mole eat?
As insectivores, moles typically eat invertebrates found within the shallow layers of soil. Their diet commonly includes earthworms, grubs, beetle larvae, and ants. Moles eat 70 to 100 percent of their body weight every day in order to acquire enough energy to power their intense digging activities. Occasionally, they eat seeds for sustenance but rarely consume bulbs or tubers.
Cool, damp soil and areas of loosely packed dirt where worms and grubs can be found in abundance are preferred mole habitats. They are unable to live in hard, compacted soil or areas with dry, sandy dirt because these terrains are not suitable to digging and lack their favored foods. Their burrows consist of a series of interconnected deep and shallow tunnels, as well as comfortable dens lined with plant matter.
Frequently Asked Questions
Since the animals spend the bulk of their lives below the surface, it is extremely rare to see mole droppings in yards. If they are spotted, they will look like small, brown pellets. The most likely place to find them is near lengths of dead grass called surface runways, which are a byproduct of moles’ tunneling behavior
When holes and tunnels start to appear in yards, there are a few ways to tell if the problem is a mole vs a vole infestation. The first is to start with appearance. Moles have:
- Small eyes concealed by fur
- A short, velvety-soft coat
- Large, paddle-like forefeet used for digging
Though voles are about the same size as moles, they can be identified in other ways. Commonly mistaken for small mice, the rodents have:
- Large, dark eyes
- Dark brown fur with a gray underbelly
- Small ears and prominent, orange front teeth
In addition to physical appearance, there is a difference between mole and vole behavior and the damage they cause to yards.
First and foremost, voles and moles do not share the same diet. Voles are herbivores that enjoy grasses, seeds, and roots. In contrast, moles eat underground insect larvae, worms, and grubs.
These feeding habits create different kinds of destruction. Moles dig raised tunnels throughout backyards as they hunt for insects near the surface. These not only look unsightly, but result in uneven terrain that can be dangerous for pets and small children.
Meanwhile, vole damage is usually confined to chewed-up plants and bark stripped from trees. The rodents also create branching runways in lawns when they graze on grass.