Moles are small mammals that spend most of their lives in underground tunnels and burrows. They are about the size of chipmunks (6-8 inches long) and weigh 3-6 ounces. Moles are covered by a soft gray pelage that is hinged to allow it to move in any direction. They have enlarged paddle-like forefeet and prominent toenails which enable it to “swim” through soil. Moles lack external ears and their eyes are so small they’re not very visible to us! (but they are not blind.) Moles have one litter each year ranging from 2-6 babies. Moles do not hibernate. They cannot store food or fat, so they’re always active. Moles are insectivores, not rodents, and feed on insects such as grubs, millipedes, cicada nymphs, and their primary food source, ants and earthworms. A 5 ounce mole will consume 45-50 pounds of worms and insects each year. Do not treat your lawn for grubs or other insects in an attempt to control a mole’s food source. Only treat you lawn for these insects if they are a threat to the lawn’s health (and you certainly do not want to kill the earthworms in your soil!). Moles do not eat plants, bulbs, tubers, plant roots, etc., but their activity directly damage plants or their root systems. Shrews and voles often use mole tunnels as runways and travel lanes. Mole runs at surface level are generally “search and eat” tunnels. Mole “highways” are below ground level and not visible. Moles can dig surface tunnels at 18 feet per hour, and can travel through existing tunnels at 80 feet per minute. (Moles also have the ability to swim.)
Moles contain twice as much blood and twice as much hemoglobin as other mammals their size, enabling them to breathe easier in environments with low oxygen. A mole’s home range can be measured in acres, and overlap one another for mating and dispersal purposes.

There is help when it comes to controlling moles. Forget the poison peanuts, gopher gassers, Juicy Fruit Gum, and all other home remedies. The only sure cure way to get rid of a mole invasion in your yard is to either trap the moles (using one or several of the many types of mole traps-scissor, harpoon, choker), or physically remove them by digging them out of their runs. Spring and fall are the best times to trap, although it can be done anytime but these means of control are the ONLY sure cures for moles in your yard.

The best way to control a mole is to repel it and force it out of your yard. The best product on the market is Mole Max. Results from use of products will vary. Often time you move them to another location, leaving them to dig and reproduce elsewhere. That said, moles forced to migrate are often more likely to be picked up by a predator like a cat, raccoon, or owl.

There is an ingestible poison available called Moletox Baited Gel, which is injected into the active runs and is safe to use even if you have cats or dogs. Again, results may vary greatly. Trapping or physical removal is the only sure cures for the existing moles in your yard. If you have any questions or need advice please contact one of our professionals at McShane’s. They would be more than happy to help!

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How to Repel Unwanted Critters