Critter of the Month: Eastern Mole
If you’ve noticed irregular, snake-like raised ridges throughout your lawn, Eastern moles have most likely found themselves at home. They are known for building a network of tunnels underground, and typically spend 90 percent of their lives there.
Eastern moles are around 5 to 7 inches long and are covered in brown or grey fur. At a glance, they look similar to mice. Despite their resemblance, they are actually more closely related to shrews and bats than they are mice! Eastern moles have hairless snouts, paddle-like claws, and poor eyesight. Their eyes are sensitive to the light, hence why they spend so much time underground.
If moles show up in your lawn, they are just looking for food. Their diet consists of earthworms, insect larva, and other arthropods found in the soil. If there isn’t anything for them to eat, they will likely move on.
Having moles in your yard can be quite the nuisance. They are busy bodies, digging tunnels at a rate of 18 feet per hour! As tempting as it is to use deterrents such as chewing gum, moth balls, or castor oil to stop them from wreaking havoc in your yard, these folk-wisdom remedies won’t stop them from digging. Our Extension professionals recommend using underground traps to remove moles. Traps can be found at your local garden center and require a bit of patience to work. If you plan on using traps, it is recommended to set them up in early spring since that is when moles are most active.
While moles can be a headache at times, they do assist in insect removal. If the situation gets out of hand, it’s best to call a wildlife or animal removal specialist to help with the problem. If you need help with a mole problem in your yard, reach out to your local Extension agent for additional resources.
Our neighbors at Alabama Cooperative Extension have great resource on controlling moles that you might find helpful. If you’d like more insights and resources on all things Mississippi wildlife, be sure to check out our Extension Outdoors column!
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