Mole Control in the Kansas City Metro
Moles are small mammals that spend most of their lives in underground burrows. They are seldom seen by humans. When seen, they frequently are mistaken for mice or shrews. The eastern mole (Scalopus aquaticus) is the only species that lives in Missouri. It is found throughout the state.
What do moles look like?
The most conspicuous features of the mole are its greatly enlarged, paddlelike forefeet and prominent toenails, which enable it to “swim” through the soil. Moles have strong legs, short necks and elongated heads. They lack external ears, and their eyes are so small that at first glance they appear to be missing.
Where do moles like to live?
Moles prefer moist, sandy loam soils in lawns, gardens, pastures and woodlands. They generally avoid heavy, dry clay soils. They construct extensive underground passageways — shallow surface tunnels for spring, summer and fall; deep, permanent tunnels for winter use. Nest cavities are located underground, connecting with the deep tunnels.
Because moles have high energy requirements, they have large appetites. They can eat 70 to 80 percent of their weight daily. They actively feed day and night at all times of the year. Moles feed on mature insects, snail larvae, spiders, small vertebrates, earthworms, and occasionally small amounts of vegetation. Earthworms and white grubs are preferred foods.
What does mole activity look like?
Mole activity in lawns or fields usually shows up as ridges of upheaved soil. The ridges are created where the runways are constructed as the animals move about foraging for food. Burrowing activity occurs year-round, but peaks during warm, wet months. Some of these tunnels are used as travel lanes and may be abandoned immediately after being dug. Mounds of soil called molehills may be brought to the surface of the ground as moles dig deep, permanent tunnels and nest cavities.
When are moles more common?
Moles breed in late winter or spring and have a gestation period of about four to six weeks. Single annual litters of two to five young are born in March, April or May. Young moles are born hairless and helpless, but growth and development occur rapidly. About four weeks after birth, the moles leave the nest and fend for themselves.
Moles in the natural environment cause little damage. They are seldom noticed until their tunneling activity becomes apparent in lawns, gardens, golf courses, pastures, or other grass and turf areas.
Do moles cause serious damage?
Moles often are more of a nuisance than a financial liability. The ridges of their tunnels make lawn mowing difficult. Since the roots are disturbed, grass may turn brown and unsightly. Moles rarely eat flower bulbs, ornamentals or other vegetative material while tunneling, but plants may be physically disturbed as moles tunnel in search of animal organisms in the soil. Mole activity may indirectly damage vegetation, but their feeding on insects and other soil organisms is beneficial.
Shrews and meadow voles frequently use mole tunnels as runways and travel lanes. Shrews, like moles, are insectivorous and eat little vegetation. Meadow voles eat a wide variety of vegetative matter and may damage plant life. Moles, shrews and meadow voles can be similar in appearance. Because of this, and since they often share the same habitat, you should know how their habits differ so that you can identify each species in case it becomes necessary to control them.
Mole Activity: What it looks like in your yard
The mole activity people usually see is of two kinds — raised ridges or surface tunnels and mounds. These raised ridges or surface tunnels are unique to moles. No other animal leaves this evidence of its presence. However, mole activity often is confused with that of the pocket gopher, which also is found in Missouri.
Moles leave cone-shaped mounds on the surface of the ground. These usually are not numerous. Most often these mounds contain coarse soil and earth clods.
The mole pushes this soil to the surface, especially when digging deep runs. These deep runs lead to a nest or provide tunnels for use in the winter or during the hot times of the summer. In building these mounds, the mole pushes the soil up through the center, much as a volcano is formed.
How to get rid of moles
The most successful and practical method to remove moles is by trapping. At Eco-Advantage Pest Control, all of our technicians are thoroughly trained to recognize mole activity and effectively remove them with professional trapping.
If you think you have moles on your Kansas City property, give us a call. We’ll provide professional mole control. Connect with us at (816) 527-8776.