Depending on their range, a moles diet consists primarily of earthworms and occasionally grubs as well as other insects and a small amount of plant material. Their huge feet with long claws enable them to virtually ‘swim’ through soils as they forage for food items and they can run equally well forward or backward through their tunnels.

They live an entirely subterranean existence, leaving their burrows only for mating or when young leave their mothers. A main den is present deep in the ground, often near the roots of large trees or shrubs, with permanent tunnels moving from the den to feeding areas. Surface burrows are for feeding only but may be used repeatedly. These are solitary animals that remain active throughout the year. A single litter of 3 -5 young are born very early in the spring. Moles have only a few predators because of their secluded life underground and may live for three to four years. Spring floods are probably the greatest danger facing adult moles and their young.

Moles are insectivores, not rodents and are related to shrews. Moles eat from 70 to 100 percent of their body weight every day. The tremendous amount of energy expended in plowing through soil requires a correspondingly large amount of food to supply that energy. Moles do not hibernate but are more or less active all seasons of the year. Moles prefer to hunt in loose, moist soil that is rich in earthworms and other insect larvae. This preference accounts for the mole’s attraction to healthy lawns.

Moles of most species have a narrowed, hairless and a pointed snout that is highly sensitive to touch and to odors of food. Moles have very small eyes and no external ears as the eyes and ear openings are concealed within the dense fur. The tail is very short, thin and hairless. The front feet of most species are widely expanded and have long, strong claws for digging. The distinctive presence of moles are surface burrows that are meandering raised sections of soil. Occasionally a large mound of soil will appear as the moles clear their tunnels, but these differ from the mounds of gophers by the lack of the ‘horseshoe’ shape and lack of a soil plug.

If moles are causing damage, use environmentally and ecologically safe methods to eliminate them from your property. Never use toxicants as they are highly poisonous to all domestic pets and wildlife, fumigants are largely ineffective as moles can detect gases and quickly wall off the treated tunnels. And there are no home spray remedies or chemical repellents that are effective or currently registered for use on moles.