Hole Mole

Lets forget about winter for a moment shall we? Lets push ahead towards spring and forget ourselves. We’re walking on soft green grass…close your eyes and stroll along…What-whats this?? You just stepped in a giant pile of dirt. Ahh, the reality of spring. It brings back every year with its warmth, our little pals, the mole.

Now, moles in our yard never really went away. Moles  are active during the winter. They are much less frequently noticed by us than in spring and summer because they are feeding below the frost line. So, while we are still on decent terms with them for the time being, lets take a look at these really impressive creatures.

Moles in the landscape
Moles belong to the mammal family Talpidae. They are found in Europe, Asia and North America. No moles in Ireland though!

 

 

Some fun mole facts!

Moles eat and sleep at four hour intervals.

Moles are insectivores not rodents.

Moles are only social during breeding season in late winter/early spring.

Moles can push 32 times their body weight. That is equal to a 150 lb. person pushing on a car and sending it 20-30 ft.

Moles kick their young out of the “nest” in 3-5 weeks.

Young moles are practically identical looking to adults except for their size.
Young moles are practically identical looking to adults except for their size.

Moles will suffer “stress attacks” and die if exposed to the surface too long.

There are 6 spp of moles in the United States. We have 2 in Michigan-the Eastern  and Star-nose.

Eastern moles like sandy loam. They tend to live near fields, meadows and forests.

Star-nose moles like moist soils, clay and areas near water.

Volcano mounds can be left by Eastern spp as well as Star-nosed.

Star-nose moles have 22 tentacles.

The star-nosed mole is one of two species that live in Michigan. They are notorious for their volcano-type mounding habit.

Moles consume 80-100% of their body weight everyday.

Food is digested in 90 min, and all undigested foods are expelled in 4 hrs.

Moles feed from vibration and scent.

80% of a moles diet consists of worms.

Moles primarily eat earthworms. Their diet also consists of grubs, ants, and other small invertebrates in the soil.

Moles have 2x the hemoglobin of other mammals their size, allowing them to breath underground easier.

Moles dig 100 yards of tunnels per day. They can dig 15-18′ per hour. In open tunnels they can move 80′ per minute!

Moles don’t save food. If they go for more than 6hrs without food, they begin to starve.

Moles never hibernate-their metabolism is too high!

Moles can make mounds in your yard all season long…even through deep snow.

So, before we return to our turf wars, lets just take a few moments and give the mole a hand for being a really hard-working, worm-chasing,  go-getter.  After that, all bets are off. If you want, you can send your moles my way.