Moles Still Active in Cold Weather
I hear this alot, "I hate Moles". My response is, "I Love Moles" as they make up a big percentage of my work as a nuisance wildlife control operator here in Central Iowa. I own and operate TRapper's Wildlife Control. We Specialize in Mole Control and I am one that is fascinated by this small creature with a destructive nature. Moles do not know they are destroying your nice lawn, they do not know who you are and they haven't come into your yard just to bother you, you have something in your lawn that is very attractive to them. FOOD and lots of it. Because of alot of false advertising over the years, many people are led to believe the primary food source of the mole is grubs. The fact is that approx. 85% of their diet consists of Earthworms, (the worm that naturally enriches your lawn through aeration). They are in your lawn because of the plentiful supply of earthworms. Earthworms are attracted to soils rich in nutrients, and the more you take care of your lawn, the more inviting it is to worms. Grubs may also move in and the mole will eat them if they are available, but they are not a year round insect. Grubs and other insects make up the other 15% of their diet. Think about it, companies can sell grub control better than they can earthworm control, right? absolutely, as anyone wanting to take care of their lawn wants the earthworms. People ask me all the time, "why are these #&$*#@ moles in my yard and not my neighbors?". The answer is found above this sentence, because you are inviting their favorite food source more and the mole thinks he just found the buffet.
Now to get to the article title, why are moles still active in the winter time? well, they do not have the ability to store fat. (i wish i was a mole don't you?) An animal that can't store fat must continually eat in order to survive. Animals that hibernate have the ability to really put the pounds on, moles just can't do that. Their metabolism is so high they have to eat at least half their weight a day in earthworms and other insects in order to be able to dig like they do? This is why they are active year round. Plus the food supply generally spreads out a little more and the buffet they had in the summertime is more like having half the restaurants close down in your area, makes the pickings a little low and have to go further to get what you want to eat. Did you know 1 mole can dig an average of 18 FEET an hour? Can do an average of 100 FEET a day? Can travel 80 FEET a minute in tunnel already made? You Know Now. And if you are reading this and thinking you have a colony or family of moles in your yard or lawn, (whatever you call it), you don't have that, moles are not a family oriented animal. Moles are a Solitary, Territorial Animal. They mark their territory inside their tunnel network just like a dog marks his territory. They are not kind to moles infringing on their area, like i said, they need alot of food to survive, they don't need to compete for the food. Being they are territorial, the only time you have 2 moles close to each other is when they come in contact with a female to breed. Then the male leaves her alone, (sounds like men doesn't it?). The female raises the young in the den area which is usually under landscaping or tree roots, and when they are old enough to go out on their own, they are kicked out to find their own territory. This is how you get moles all of a sudden when you haven't had them before. Moles can breed up to 3 times a year, but usually only 2 times a year.
Now lets discuss what works to remove these nuisance amazing creatures. There is a lot of conflicting advice in books, videos, and the internet as to what works the best. I have heard and seen the following list of things people have tried to use to rid their yard of moles: human hair, broken glass, ammonia, poison peanuts and pellets, windmills, thumpers, vibrators, moletox, grubx, firecrackers, smoke bombs, poison worms, kaput gel, talpirid, mole killer worms, needles, shotguns lol, dogs, cats, and traps. The most effective by far is trapping the moles doing the damage. Their are a few mole traps out on the market such as the harpoon (commonly called the spear trap), out of sight trap, nash loop trap, NoMol trap etc. All traps are effective in the hands of a person who knows how to set them, but more importantly is not how to set them but where to set them. A trained professional like myself who has 8 years experience trapping moles and over 8,000 moles caught, knows how to set and where to set traps to remove moles quickly. We would be glad to help you if you are in our area. If you are in another area of the country and are reading this, email us from my Contact page so I can put you in contact with a mole control expert in your area.
As you can tell by now, moles are an amazing creature that God created, they give the soil the best aeration it can get, but to do that they must destroy your hard work. They can be controlled, it is not a lost cause. We Trap Moles every day and we make people proud of their lawn again because they no longer have a mole problem.
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Subterranean (99% of their life is spent underground)