George "Gunny" Skinner
P.O. Box 141
Lodi, WI 53555
(608) 333-8232
E-mail
Business Card

About Moles

Moles are mammals classified as Insectivores, insect-eaters. Their main food source is earth worms; however, they will feed on grubs, slugs, larvae and any other below ground insect. Understanding this one simple fact dispels many of the gimmicks and concoctions sold today to rid one's yard of moles. They do not eat castor oil, poison gummy worms or juicy fruit gum. Although they do eat grubs, this is not their main food source, nor their only food source. Continually treating with grub control will accomplish two things, contaminate your yard and rid it of grubs. It will not eliminate moles.

Moles have one litter per year, breeding in early Spring during the male rut. Male moles will travel great distances to breed with as many female moles as possible. Gestation lasts approximately six weeks with litters ranging from two to six, depending on the health of the female. Young pups are weaned quickly, in as little as four to five weeks. At that point they are dispersed and have the appearance of a full grown mole. The greatest success in ridding your yard of moles will be made early in the season, during the rut and gestation. Imagine the ripple effect of killing one male before he breeds, or one female before she gives birth.

Young adults will either occupy an abandoned tunnel or establish their own, away from the mother but in the vicinity. Later in the season a second round of dispersal occurs when these new adults establish their own home range. As temperatures drop and food sources retreat, moles dig deeper tunnels following their food source. They do not store food and consequently do not hibernate. By Spring, they have reach full sexual maturity and the cycle begins again.

As with many mammals of their size, moles consume between 60-100% of their body weight daily. The fact that they can not store food, combined with the high metabolic rate necessary to fuel their bodies, means that they are constantly in motion, digging and repairing tunnels in search of food. Understanding this explains why flattening a tunnel without killing the mole occupying it is a waste of time. This also explains away the myth that moles have specific times when they are active and dormant. Waiting with a pitch fork or shovel could be a very time consuming mole control method.

Mole activity can be classified in to two basic types, shallow and deep, and can be either linear or meandering in direction. The shallow tunnels created in search of food near the surface are what give the property owner the unsightly lawn, mushy ground and eventual dead grass. The deeper tunnels are not seen above ground, however, the mounds created from excavating the dirt indicate their presence. Linear tunnels are used as highways connecting the many meandering tunnels which are like side streets. Locating these linear tunnels is key in setting a trap.

While moles can and will live in many soil types; softer, moist, lush lawns generally produce a greater food source and naturally attract a higher population. Study after study reports an average of two to three moles per acre; however, trapping in this area consistently produces kills far in excess of that. One property may produce two, while my personal record for a single half acre property in one season is fifty-seven confirmed kills.

Understanding moles is the first step in eliminating them from your property. University studies across the United States conclude that trapping is the surest way to a mole free yard. With patience and persistence, a mole free property can be achieved.

This site is copyright, The Mole Marine LLC.