Moles are cylindrical mammals that are primarily underground burrowers. The name comes from a conjugation of a German word for dirt and a Danish word for throwing, so they are named “dirt throwers” or ones who throw dirt.

Identification

  • Velvety fur
  • Tiny or invisible ears and eyes
  • Short, powerful legs and arms with large paws for digging
  • Extra thumb on each hand

Environment

  • Can survive in low-level oxygen environments, such as underground burrows, by reusing oxygen inhaled above ground
  • Eat earthworms and other insects found in soil (totaling about half their body weight each day)
  • Saliva contains a toxin that paralyzes worms to store them for later consumption
  • Construct underground “larders” to store paralyzed worms until ready to eat
  • Have 1 to 2 young per year, which rapidly grow into adults in only a few short months

Threats


Threats:

  • Burrowing can destroy root systems, causing damage to grass and turf or plants

Treatment

  • Consists of trapping or baiting the runs; the trick is to find the feeding tunnels vs the travel tunnels.

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