Moles – Pest Profile
Scientific Name: Scalopus aquaticus
Common Name: Mole, Common Mole, Eastern Mole
Appearance: Moles are subterranean mammals which live in tunnels which they have created underground. Adults are typically just over 6 inches in length, with stubby tails and relatively large forefeet which are very good at digging. Moles are cylindrical in shape, and are covered in hair except for their feet and the end of their nose. Due to their subterranean habitat, mole eyes have degenerated to the point where the lids are practically fused shut and the eyes are only capable of distinguishing light from dark.
Region & Habitat: Eastern moles are found throughout most of the United States, Canada, and Mexico, with the exception of the far southeastern regions. Different species of mole are found elsewhere in the world, with most temperate climates being host to some form of mole. Eastern moles prefer soft, loamy soil that they can easily dig through.
Behavior: Moles can be active at any hour of the day, although they are most active during twilight hours. The primary food item of moles in the wild is earthworms, although they will eat nearly anything if given the opportunity. Moles dig deep burrows that they live in, and forage by digging many more shallow trenches just under the surface. Moles typically mate in late spring of early summer, and females give birth to a litter of 2-5 live babies after a 45 day gestation period.
Why They Are Pests: Moles are mostly a nuisance, leaving unsightly trenches on property. However, these digging patterns can damage crops and even lawn care equipment if not properly dealt with.