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Eastern Mole, referred to common mole is the mole exterminated most from lawns in Connecticut.
Star-nosed mole, normally swim through their tunnels and the fastest eating mammal on the planet.
Hairy-tail mole (Brewer's mole) Prefer sandy damp soil and are found away from the CT shoreline.
Order Insectivora: Latin Name : Scalopus Aquaticus (Blind Water rat) Named after first specimen ever recorded that was found in a well. Though Eastern moles in Connecticut have front paddle like feet they are designed for digging not swimming.
Eastern Moles grow to a legth of 61/2 inches and 0.2lbs in weight.
Eastern Moles are insectivores and do not eat plants. The damage they cause to plants especial grass is caused by their tunneling breaking root contact with the soil.
Some other animals such as mice, voles, and chipmunks will use mole tunnels as a makeshift highway system keeping them safe from many predators. Removing moles from the yard many times helps solve vole problems.
Eastern moles in Connecticut spend most of their life in underground tunnel systems they create and will utilize natural tunnels created by tree roots left to rot when your property was cleared. The rotting tree roots feed the insects moles eat and provide warmth when rearing young. Moles can survive in all but the sandiest soil and prefer not to tunnel in hard packed clay.
Eastern moles create two types of tunnel systems Deep tunnels typically noticed by Connecticut home owners by a large mound of dirt. These deep tunnels are used for longer distant travel and rearing young. these deep systems can last years and even go under paved roads. The Shallow tunnel systems just below the grass or mulch are what moles use mainly to feed. Knowing what tunnels to set traps is the key to catching the moles. Some of these surface tunnels they only use one time.
Moles are blind and almost exclusively live underground. They may be active at anytime of day or night, but generally are day feeders when worms are underground. Nighttime worms will be on the surface. Earth worms are the main diet of moles. Grubs are more of a treat than anything. Moles are active year round and may create surface tunnels in the middle of winter during a warm spell.
The home range of individual moles may consist of multiple hunting areas. connected by a travel tunnel. one such travel tunnel I found on an estate in Connecticut was approximately three hundred yards long. Such a tunnel could be used for years by a single or many moles.
Mole life cycle
Most of the year moles are solitary and will fight to the death over territory. Late winter early spring Is breeding season when male moles will seek out females. The gestation period of moles is approximately 42 days. If the conditions are good Moles can have one to three litters a year. It is good to call for mole control as soon as damage is spotted. Two to five young are born, mostly in March to first half of April.
The moles have few natural enemies because of their secluded life underground. Coyotes, Skunks, fox, and dogs dig out a few of them.
How to Identify Mole Damage
Mole's Tunneling will damage grass, flower beds and gardens causing widespread cosmetic damage. Mole tunnels can be classified into two basic types, shallow and deep. Shallow tunnels create surface Tunnels and deep tunnels create mole mounds on the surface. Both cause dreadful damage to the lawn or gardens appearance. Mole mounds and tunnels can cause tripping hazards and will destroy lawn mower blades. Mole Surface tunnels are ridged often confused with vole damage after snow melt. Vole tunnels after winter look like the grass has been eaten. Frost heave is the other thing many people mistake for mole damage. During wet winters ice will build up under the surface of the lawn causing the lawn to raise and inch or two when it melts. This damage is usually self fixing during spring rainstorms.
Mole Surface tunnels
As moles tunnel searching for food, they create large tunnel networks on the surface at a rapid rate of up to two feet per minute. While hunting for earthworms and other insects just beneath the surface of the ground, causing ridges and lines in your lawn. Shallow tunnels feel spongy when walked on and can cause people to trip, fall, sprain an ankle or worse. Mole travel tunnels often follow along a house foundation, driveway or lawn border. Open holes to the surface are rarely done by moles. These holes are usually where mice and voles break into the tunnel to escape predators.
Mole mounds are from moles digging deep tunnels and boroughs. Multiple mounds do not mean more than average mole activity. I find Mole mounds occasionally in Connecticut lawns, but they are more of an exception than the rule. Our Connecticut moles will typicaly live in wooded areas and only travel to your lawn and gardens to feed. These mounds or mole volcanoes (what they look like) will quickly kill grass. The tunnels below the mounds can remain for a long time, and may provide other moles access after the mole who dug the tunnel is caught.
Gimmicks are common when looking up how to rid your yard of moles. From sonic devices to bubblegum I have heard it all. Trapping is the only effective method to deal with a mole problem. With Trapping you get to see the mole and know it is working. Only two types of poison are registered to kill poles one is a grain product (moles eat live insects) the other is a gummy type worm. I have personally seen where moles have pushed those out of the tunnel where birds, pets and children can find them.