You have probably heard the phrase, “Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill.” Talk to any homeowner with a mole infestation, they will quickly tell you they’d take the “mountain” instead! While moles may seem harmless at first glance, these tiny animals can cause serious damage to your lawn and garden. If you find yourself faced with the daunting task of ridding your yard of moles, we understand. Apex Wildlife Control is here to solve your mole problems in Bartlett TN!
Moles mate during the months of February through May. Their gestation period is 42 days. They typically produce 3 to 5 young and have them in March and early April. Moles are not social and only come together to mate. They may have territories that overlap but avoid each other and may fight if they come in contact with one another.
Moles are curious little animals that spend their lives underground. They constantly dig in a hunt for food and to navigate beneath the earth's surface. Their digging habits destroy lawns, gardens and golf courses, frustrating home and business owners. Moles are insectivores that eat 70-100% of their weight in worms, grubs and insects every day. In order to hunt for their favorite earthworm snack, moles must constantly excavate. This excavation effort leaves behind a series of tunnels. Their digging requires a tremendous amount of energy, which may explain the mole's voracious appetite.
Moles are amazing tunnelers. The tunnels are pathways between feeding areas and the den. They sleep and work in 4-hour shifts, but are most active during quiet periods, such as early morning or late in the evening. The Eastern Mole can hollow out a 160-foot burrow in just one night! The human equivalent would be digging a half mile tunnel in the same amount of time. Their large paddle-like front feet have prominent claws designed for very efficient digging. These little animals are about the size of a chipmunk, but they can do an enormous amount of damage to your lawn.
Do moles have teeth?
Better believe it! Moles scrape away dirt from the plants’ root system in search of worms and grubs. They do not eat the roots, but scraping away the dirt removes the plants’ source of nourishment. Plant-eating animals like voles use the hunting tunnels left behind by moles and will eat roots and bulbs along the way. Generally, voles are the true culprits.
Moles tunnel in search of food. A 5-6 ounce mole can eat up to 50 pounds of insects, worms, and grubs a year. In order to do so, moles burrow throughout your yard in search of their next tasty meal: worms, beetles, and other insects. Moles produce two types of “runways.” One type runs just beneath the surface. These are feeding tunnels and appear as raised ridges running across your lawn. The second type runs deeper and enables the moles to unite the feeding tunnels in a network. It is the soil excavated from the deep tunnels that homeowners find on their lawns, piled up in mounds that resemble little volcanoes. One mature mole constructing deep tunnels can produce a dozen or so mounds over the course of a week, giving the appearance that the area is ‘heavily infested.”
Mole activity increases in the Spring when the ground begins to thaw and insects become active. Spring is also the time when female moles complete their gestation period. Typically in May a female mole gives birth to 2 to 6 naked babies in a cozy nest in one of the deeper burrows. Baby moles grow very quickly. The babies can take care of themselves when they are only about one month old! At four to five weeks, the pups are weaned. By five to six weeks, pups leave their home tunnel completely. They are now independent and are making their own burrows by late Summer or Fall.
Most moles are solitary creatures that only come together to reproduce. Territories may overlap, but moles generally avoid each other. Males will often fight to the death if another mole infringes upon their territory. So all of those ridges and mounds in your yard are likely produced by a solitary mole! The range of a solitary mole may be as large as 2.7 acres. The mole’s underground territory is made up of large, complicated burrow structures with distinct living and hunting areas.
Rather than destroying moles, natural repellents may keep them at bay. Natural mole repellent can be as simple as planting certain vegetative barriers throughout your yard that deter moles. These include plants like daffodils, marigolds, alliums, and fritillarias. Using these plants in your landscaping may lessen the chance of any future mole infestations.
Moles are not generally considered serious disease carriers. However, they sometimes carry parasites such as ticks and fleas. Fleas can potentially transmit Lyme disease. Do not touch trapped moles with your bare hands when disposing of them. In rare cases, moles have been known to carry rabies, but the more likely risk is from parasites.
Homeowner DIY methods can be difficult to master when it comes to ridding your yard of moles. Their labyrinth of network tunnels makes it difficult to pinpoint where the little critters are active. If you find that your own methods of mole removal are not working, it’s time to contact a professional. Apex Wildlife Control has trained wildlife technicians who can locate and remove moles. So, give us a call. We are here to help !!!
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