Moles are mammals, adapted to subterranean lifestyle and classified as insectivores. Their main diet consists of live earthworms, beetles, ants, grubs and other insect larvae. Moles generally eat in excess of their own weight in food every day. Moles become major pests when they destroy lawns, golf courses, and parks with unsightly burrows and earth mounds. As well as disturbing or removing the root systems of many plants and creating underground travel lanes for other small mammals (most notably the mouse), moles cause hazard underfoot on sports / playing fields, and in paddocks and fields. Moles have frequently caused broken or sprained limbs on horses and domestic animals.
Moles have a small pointed snout, nearly invisible eyes and ears and large paws used for digging. For the most part they live in seclusion in underground burrows, rarely coming to the surface. Moles are solitary animals and the situations where more than 2 or 3 moles tend will occupy the same burrow system are very rare. Each year a mole can give birth to one litter of up to six young. Gestation is very short, only lasting for five weeks, and litters are produced any time from mid-April through to June.
These mammals are fast prolific diggers, being able to achieve a rate of 12 to 15 feet per hour, and build an extensive network of tunnels. It may seem that many moles are occupying an area, however most often, it is the result of one mole’s activity. Moles dig elaborate tunnel systems and have feeding runways just beneath the grass, with the ridge being elevated and easily visible. The tunnel system will have many yards of travelling tunnels within several inches of the ground surface. As the weather cools, moles will retreat into their deeper tunnels up to five feet beneath the surface.