Eastern Mole (Scalopus aquaticus)

I. Identification

- Approximately 6-8" in length.
- Approximately 3-6 ounces in weight.
- Greatly enlarged "paddle-like" feet with prominent toenails.
- Strong legs, short necks and elongated heads.

II. Reproduction

- Breeds in late winter-spring.
- Gestation period of 5-6 weeks.
- Single annual litter of 2-5 young are usually born in March, April and May.
- Young moles leave the nest approximately four weeks after birth.
- Young moles have less than 50% chance of survival to reproduction age.

III. Food Source

- Favored food source are earthworms and white grubs.
- Mature insects.
- Small snails.
- Spiders.
- Small vertebrates.

IV. Damage Identification

- Prefer moist, sandy soils in lawns, pastures and woodlands.
- Raised ridges (surface tunnels) and mounds in the lawn.
- Straight surface tunnels indicate areas most often traveled.
- Meandering tunnels (probes) may only be used once, then abandoned.
- Molehills indicate area where permanent tunnels and nest cavities are located.

V. Control

- Locate active tunnels by depressing the ridges and monitoring for activity (upheaval).
- Controls most successful in straight tunnels connecting mounds or feeding areas.
- Tunnels along hedgerows, fences, sidewalks also candidate for control measures.
- Trapping: Harpoon, scissor-jaw, choker loop or talprid (bait trap.)

VI. Interesting Facts

- Five ounce mole will consume 45-50 lbs of worms and insects per year.
- Tunnels can be dug approximately 18 feet per hour.
- Travel through existing tunnels approximately 18 feet per minute.
- Often confused with causing vegetative damage.


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