Moles Peak Nuisance Period: Spring (April–May) and fall (September–November), when surface soil is moist and easy to dig, and grubs and worms are nearest the surface.
Common Nuisance Situations:
- While helping rid lawns, gardens, and golf courses of grubs, moles create unsightly runs. Their tunnels disfigure lawns and can wreak havoc in a garden.
- Disease risks: almost none.
Description: There are three types of moles found in the New York/New Jersey area, the Hairy Tales Mole, Star Nosed Mole and the Eastern Mole. Depending on the species, a mole can wiegh 1–5 ounces.
The hairy-tailed and star-nosed moles are about 5–5 1/2″ long, including the short tail, while the eastern mole is about 3 1/4–8 3/4″ long. The snout of a star-nosed mole is ringed with 22 small, pink, fleshy projections that make it look like it has a sea anemone on the tip of its nose. Moles are most likely active throughout the day and night. They need to eat a lot to keep up their energy levels. Moles do not hibernate. They simply move deeper into the soil, tunneling below the frost line. They do not migrate.
Diet: Mostly insects. Grubs, beetle larvae, earthworms, and some carrion. Occasionally, frogs and mice. Star-nosed moles may catch minnows.
Habitat: Lawns, meadows, orchards, and woods with moist, loose soil. Hairy-tailed moles prefer loamy, sandy soils well covered with plants and avoid wet, dry, or heavy clay soils. Star-nosed moles prefer swamps, bogs, and low, wet meadows (they’ve even been seen swimming under ice in the winter) but can manage in somewhat drier locales.
Breeding: Breeding period is from late February to March. Gestation period is 42 days. The birthing period is from April to May. Typical litter size is 3 to 7 young.
- Moles are often mistaken for voles, mice, and shrews. If in doubt, check your field guides.
- Many people believe that there’s a mole in every tunnel they see. The good news is that even though you may see dozens of tunnels, there are probably only a few moles in the yard. Possibly only one or two. Really! Moles dig fast: about 18 ft./hour. They may be able to tunnel 100 feet a day or more, depending on soil conditions. You may think your lawn is full of moles, when it’s just the home of a few, very busy little guys.