Nothing can ruin a well-maintained yard more than mounds of soil and surface tunnels. Though most land owners have never seen an actual mole, the damage they can cause to lawns and gardens is unmistakable. Moles can dig tunnels at a rate of one foot per minute, making them very adept underground architects.
The mole is a small mammal known for creating and inhabiting underground tunnels. With long, curved claws the mole can fashion long passageways under the soil surface. There are nearly 20 different species of mole in existence, some of which are aquatic or semi-aquatic. On average moles grow to between 4 and 6.5 inches.
Contrary to popular belief the mole has very small eyes and ears that are covered by a layer of fur. This characteristic explains why they have such poor eyesight. Due to their subterranean lifestyle, it is believed these changes happened due to natural selection. The mole has a phenomenal sense of smell that it uses to quickly catch prey. Unlike most mammals, the mole’s lack of sight has led to the development of a stereo sense of smell.
Aside from a developed sense of smell, the mole relies heavily on the sense of touch. The short, thick tail found on moles is used to guide the mole backward through a tunnel. This assures the mole that clearance is available.
The blood cells of moles have unique hemoglobin proteins and can tolerate higher carbon dioxide levels than most mammals. This characteristic has perfected their ability to survive in subterranean environments low in oxygen. By reusing oxygen inhaled from above ground, they are able to stay underground for extended periods of time.
The mole will dig a dedicated highway of sorts that will become that will lead to the site of their burrow. In most instances, this highway can be found nearly 10 inches beneath the surface to function as a safe space when heat, dry weather or frost become excessive. The nest of a mole is usually located around one foot below the soil surface. Moles will typically place the nest under a boulder, stump, or other object and dig out several entry points.
When moles invade a new property they have the potential to cause damage very quickly. It is crucial to identify the problem before it becomes too big of an issue. Three distinct changes to the landscape of a home happen when moles begin burrowing underneath the soil of a new potential homestead.
The Eastern mole can live up to six years without predatory influences but typically survive three. As a mammal, the mole has a similar gestation period to that of the opossum or hamster. Mating once annually, the carrying period of a female mole is four to six weeks. At the completion of this time, a litter of two to six pups is born. Moles are very solitary mammals and only meet to mate, territory control is fierce and can result in fighting when tunnels join.
Within the state of Oklahoma, only one species of mole currently exists. The Eastern mole is a pivotal part of soil aeration and larvae removal with the ecosystem of the state. Given their subterranean burrows, moles are effectively fertilizing the soil and can be found in woods, fields, lawns and gardens.
This species uses its broad, polydactyl front feet with well-developed claws to expedite excavation projects. Both sets of feet on the Eastern mole are fitted with sensory hairs that also aid the mole in digging. Enlarged bones on the front limbs give the mole the support and strength needed for extended exertion.
When dealing with moles there are no specific diseases that can be transferred to humans. Due to their subterranean life, they are excellent carriers of external pests and parasites. When handling moles, safety measures should be taken.
When dealing with moles professional assistance is recommended. Depending on the amount of tunnels and moles on the property. There are several steps you can take to try and minimize a mole problem and help prevent them from targeting your lawn or garden as a potential residence. These methods may or may not prove to be effective, contacting a professional is the only proven solution for mole removal.
The effectiveness of these methods has not been proven. All attempts to use these methods are done at the risk of the individual. Though these are common suggestions given through various online mediums, DIY repellants can be ineffective and sometimes dangerous. It is important to read all directions and safety warnings if attempting these methods. The best option for mole removal will always be to call a professional.
Did you know that moles have a chemical in their saliva that can incapacitate earthworms? Moles have been known to collect hundreds or thousands of live earth worms, preserving them in special tunnels where they can be eaten later. The mole will squeeze the dirt and guts of an earthworm before consuming it and can eat over 50 pounds of worms annually. Contrary to popular belief, moles do not hibernate and will work year-round to catch food.
We hope this information helps you prevent mole problems and keeps your home free from damage all year long. If you are struggling with a mole problem at your home or business, give us a call or visit our website to start a no obligation mole evaluation. The talented technicians at Arrow Exterminators can identify any type of pest and identify the best course of treatment to get rid of it. We’ll create a custom pest control plan to make sure we eliminate every last one from your home and keep them away for good! You can call our trained pest control experts at any time with questions about pest control methods or pest prevention techniques. You can also find us on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ for more pest prevention tips and tricks. Contact Arrow Exterminators and our ant control experts will get you the help you need right away. Whether it’s a private residence, dormitory, hotel or any other type of property. Arrow Exterminators has been eliminating pest moles all over Oklahoma since 1952. We know mole control.