Moles are small mammals that live underground, they are adapted to the subterranean lifestyle and very rarely leave their underground tunnels.
Moles create tunnels all their life, their bodies are well adapted to digging with large paws on their forelimbs. These small mammals feed almost exclusively on earthworms and small invertebrates in the soil.
A mole’s tunnels usually include a special underground “larder” for storing worms. There can be over a thousand worms in a mole’s larder, these worms are stored alive but are paralyzed and unable to move. The saliva of a mole contains a toxic substance that immobilizes the worms to prevent them from getting away.
Moles are not harmful to humans, and they pose no health risk whatsoever. In fact, the activities of moles seem to be beneficial to us because they reduce the population of underground worms that attack plants and crops, so why would anyone want to get rid of these “useful” animals?
What problems do moles cause?
As carnivorous animals that feed exclusively on underground worms and grubs, moles are very useful for reducing the population of earthworms, grubs, larvae, and insects. A mole can eat up to 70 to 100 percent of its body weight in a day. However, moles are renowned diggers and their intense digging activity has some very negative consequences. A mole in a garden or lawn will leave fresh piles of loose soil every day.
They will create molehills around the garden and lawn, exposing plant roots and indirectly causing damage or death to plants. The various piles of loose soil littered around the lawn will not only ruin the lawn but can also attract other unwanted animal pests. Moles are serious agricultural pests as they cause incredible damage to gardens and crop farms with their endless digging.
How do you recognize a mole?
The small cylindrical body of a mole is covered with velvety gray to dark brown fur and measures about 4 to 6 inches from snout to rump. A mole has a long pointed pink snout with very small and discreet ears and eyes, and their short limbs have large powerful pink paws which are specially designed to move dirt. Instead of a long pointed pink snout, some moles have a star-like structure covering their snout, this species is called the star-nosed mole.
Can I get rid of moles with poisons and repellents?
There are lots of mole poisons and repellents created and marketed by different companies, but do they work? The short answer is no! Despite that, moles are not the smartest animals out there, with no visible eyes and poor eyesight, they will never deliberately eat poisons. Some mole poisons/repellents look like grubs and fake worms which are made with toxic chemicals that will kill the moles when eaten. Here is a great resource to learn more about mole trapping and removal at pestmole.com
But, moles eat only live worms and grubs, they hunt by sound and are not tempted by worm-like substances lying around in the ground. Moles will only eat insects or worms which are moving and wriggling, their meal has to be alive to be eaten which is exactly why mole poisons and repellents are not effective. In fact, purchasing mole poison or repellent is a complete waste of money and time.
If you have a mole problem, trapping and removing the mole is the only effective way to solve the problem. Our experts at First Choice Wildlife Services are skilled at effective mole removal using various trapping techniques.
How do you get rid of moles?
Trapping and removal is the only effective solution to a mole problem. There are different types of mole traps available; the spear trap, the scissor trap, paper clip traps, and the body clamp trap.
Setting a mole trap is not a good option for a DIY project, this isn’t something you can do for fun or as a novice. Moles are subterranean mammals, and you need to have a good understanding of their behavior and habits to effectively capture it with a trap.
First, you need to identify an active mole tunnel. Because moles are master diggers, they often create a network of tunnels with molehills around an area. Some of these tunnels will be empty as the animal moves around in search of underground insects and worms. Accurately identifying an active tunnel is the first step toward a successful mole capture, and the trap has to be properly set to get the job done.
Call First Choice Wildlife Services
Because of the challenging and time-consuming nature of mole removal, we recommend calling a professional to sort the problem out for you. If you need help dealing with a mole problem or other wildlife, call us!
We service many parts of Colorado such as Boulder, Fort Collins, Greeley, and Loveland. Call us at 970-460-4044 to schedule our services!
How To Trap Moles?
Moles are little, hairy creatures that spend much of their time underground. They are carnivorous animals and spend most of their time hunting and eating grubs, billbugs, and earthworms. Moles are excellent diggers and use their large front feet and sharp claws to dig tunnels through the soil in search of grubs and other types of food.
Moles are seen as pests because of their tendency to destroy plant life while digging through lawns to make molehills. Thankfully, there are a number of ways to catch and remove them.
Find mole tunnels
Since moles live underground, they are very good diggers and will create underground tunnels for themselves. When searching for moles, look around molehills for signs of tunneling and underground animal activity. Fresh heaps of soil around your house can be an indication of mole activity. Also try to find out which directions the tunnels go, tunnels are often beneath grassy areas that feel softer to touch or walk on.
Find out if the tunnel is active
An active tunnel will most likely have fresh piles of dirt around it, this will tell you that a mole is inside and is still doing some digging in search of earthworms and grubs. But to be extra sure, step on the tunnel in a way that it collapses at one or both ends. Leave the tunnel entrance covered with dirt. After a day, return to the collapsed tunnel to observe if the collapsed soil has been pulled out once more. If so, then the tunnel is active.
Set a mole trap
When shopping for a mole trap, you will find that there are a few options to choose from, there are the scissor jaw traps, the harpoon traps, and the choker loop traps. These traps differ in how they catch the mole, but almost all are deadly. Each trap will come with a set of instructions on how to use it, so make sure to carefully read the instructions to determine the best approach to set the trap.
Once you have figured out how to open and set the trap, place it in the tunnel. But first, you have to prepare the tunnel for the trap. To do this, use a trowel to cut out a section of the tunnel, compact the dirt at the tunnel’s bottom, place the trap and cover it with loose dirt. The compact soil will prevent the mole from digging beneath the trap, while the loose soil will encourage the mole to dirt into the trap.
Finally, cover the trap. To keep kids and pets away from the trap, cover it with a big bucket. The bucket will also aid in blocking light, allowing the mole to keep digging.
Check the trap
Check the trap at least a day to see whether a mole has been caught. Remove both the mole and the trap once the trap has successfully trapped the mole. Shift the trap to a different location if it doesn’t catch a mole after a couple of days. There are a few reasons why a mole trap might not work, and some of these reasons include faulty trap setting, altered burrowing habits, excessive tunnel disturbance, but you’ll have to learn from experimenting. You should check if the trap was properly set and place your trap somewhere else if it doesn’t make a catch after 2 days.
Remove the mole
Congratulations if your trap successfully caught a mole. Now, it’s time to carefully dispose of the dead mole. There are some precautions to take for this exercise. First, you want to make sure that your hands do not come in contact with the animal. Wear thick gloves or wrap a plastic bag over your hands before grabbing the mole. Place the mole in the trash bag and seal it with a tie.