Adult Common Moles (Talpa europaea) have a body length of between 12.5cm and 16cm, and weigh around 70 to 100g. This mammal is usually black in colour with velvety fur, and has large well developed forefeet permanently pointing forwards for digging. The mole has small eyes and poor eyesight, spending most of its time working a labyrinth of tunnels covering an area of between 100 and 1000 sq. metres, in search of insect larvae and worms to eat. The mole consumes around half of its own body weight in food daily, and may store some surplus worms in a chamber of a large mole hill called a fortress after paralysing them. Moles navigate through the tunnels using a special sense, which enables them to memorise their environment using specialised hairs on their body. The mole is active for 4.5 hours at a time, feeding and keeping its tunnels free from stones and earth, and then rests for 3.5 hours before repeating this pattern throughout a 24 hour period.
Moles are mainly solitary animals and will defend their territory against other moles. Moles breed in their second year, in February and May. The females have one litter per year consisting of 2 - 7 young, measuring around 5cm in length. The gestation period is around four weeks. The young are capable of leaving the nest and fending for themselves at five weeks of age.
Reasons for controlling Moles
Moles push stones to the ground surface from their tunnel system, which can cause damage to machinery used for grass cutting or harvesting crops. The stones may also be propelled through the air at times and cause injury to any person nearby. The soil pushed up from mole tunnels can contaminate silage with bacteria, making it unpalatable for livestock and can cause sheep to lose lambs during pregnancy. Moles can also damage the growth of crops, newly planted trees and shrubs by damaging the root systems. Damage may also be caused to golf courses, tennis courts, parks, cemeteries, amenity land, grass runways for light aircraft, and also racecourses/equestrian centres, which poses a risk to both riders and horses.
What should you do if you require mole control?
Contact GK Pest control services. We can provide solutions to unwanted mole activity, tailored to suit the needs of both the client and the environment.