All About the Eastern Ground Mole

Eastern Ground Mole

If you’ve ever walked outside and felt dread at the sight of dirt mounds and dead grass, then you’ve likely encountered the Eastern Ground Mole. Small, furry, and destructive, the Eastern Ground Mole is native to Cincinnati and the eastern half of the United States. It tunnels in yards everywhere, and no homeowner is safe from a potential mole infestation.

Luckily, professional mole trapping services like Trap Your Moles are experts in trapping these pesky critters. But what exactly are they? What are their habits? What do they like to eat? And why did they choose your yard instead of your neighbor’s?

If you’ve ever wanted to know more about the Eastern Ground Mole, then this blog is your perfect opportunity. After all, knowing the enemy is the key to winning the war against moles. Read on to learn about the Eastern Ground Mole.

Physical Description

Eastern Ground Moles are small mammals with a body length of approximately 6.3 inches (16 centimeters). They have soft, gray-brown fur and an elongated, potato-shaped body. The mole’s defining characteristics are its large front feet with shovel-like claws for digging, its pointed snout, and its lack of visible eyes and ears.

Moles are mostly blind, but their fused eyes can sense light and dark. Their hearing is fairly sharp, however. They also have a short, thick tail that they use almost like a backup camera. The tail is covered in fur, and they use their sense of touch as they crawl backward through tunnels.

The Eastern Ground Mole may look like mice or rats, but it doesn’t belong to the rodent family. Moles are more closely related to bats and belong to a classification of mammals called insectivores.

Diet

Being insectivores, Eastern Ground Moles primarily eat insects, although their favorite food is earthworms. Worms, grubs, and larvae of other insects are typically all on the menu for Eastern Ground Moles. They’re voracious eaters, consuming between 25-50% of their body weight in food per day!

Contrary to popular belief, moles typically don’t eat much vegetation. Their tunnels can uproot gardens and other plant life, but they’re not the critters usually found snacking on your vegetables or flowers.

Habitat

Eastern Ground Moles spend most of their lives underground, and they can be found all throughout the eastern United States, Canada, and Mexico. They have the largest habitat distribution of any mole subspecies. They tend to favor soft, loamy soils in moist areas, which makes their digging easier.

They dig both shallow and deep tunnels, which are used for different purposes. Shallow tunnels are for foraging for food, while the deeper tunnels are living spaces.

Breeding

Eastern Ground Moles are typically solitary creatures, but they come together to breed in late winter or early spring, with litters of between two to five young being born between April and June. The gestation period is around 45 days, and the baby moles mature and leave their mother after about a month.

Behavior

Eastern Ground Moles spend the majority of their time digging tunnels to find food. They’re active all day long and all year round, but usually are the most active in the mornings and evenings and are more noticeable in the warmer months. Moles do not hibernate during the winter, however. Instead, they burrow deeper underground, where the soil is less likely to be stiff or frozen from the cold.

Digging deeper down, however, means less oxygen. Eastern Ground Moles have specialized red blood cells that are able to tolerate higher levels of carbon dioxide, so they can survive with lower oxygen levels than other species.

Mole tunnels tend to follow manmade structures, like fences or the foundation of a house. As they dig, Eastern Ground Moles push dirt up to the surface in mounds called molehills. Their shallow tunnels disrupt the root systems of grasses and other plants, as well, as leaving dead patches of grass and plants in their wake.

These tunnels aren’t simply destructive. Moles are quite crafty with their tunnels, building specialized chambers in their tunnels for sleeping, breeding, and raising young. The tunnels can also be used as traps for their prey. Moles can dig new burrows at a rate of up to 18 feet per hour, which means your yard could be home to a network of mole tunnels within a few mere weeks.

Do I need Eastern Ground Mole Trapping Services?

So now you know a little bit more about Eastern Ground Moles. But how do you know if you have a mole problem that needs a professional?

Mole damage can be subtle at first, but it will become more obvious over time as the moles continue digging. We rounded up all the top signs that you need mole trapping services here, but here’s a brief overview:

  • Small piles of dirt strewn throughout your lawn, otherwise known as molehills.
  • Dead patches of yellow or brown grass, usually in a line following the path of a tunnel.
  • Raised lines of dirt just under your lawn, following the path of a tunnel.
  • Uprooted plants, especially in gardens or up close to the foundation of your house.
  • Visible tunnel entrances in the ground.
  • In severe cases, uneven sidewalks or driveways, as moles tunnel underneath the concrete. The ground below can become unstable and make your pathways unsafe to walk on.
  • You see moles! This is more likely if you have outdoor pets that hunt, but you still may be able to see the small, furry bodies digging at the entrance of their tunnels.

If you notice any of these signs, time is of the essence. The Eastern Ground Mole can be dealt with, but the most effective method of removing them from your yard and your life is to trap them. Trap Your Moles has been serving Cincinnati and the Tri-State area for years. Our mole-trapping experts are always ready to help you take back your yard. Get in touch with us today to set up your first consultation appointment.

Top Signs of Mole Damage in Your Yard

Signs of Mole Damage

The eastern ground mole lurks underground in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, looking for its new home. Once it finds a hospitable yard full of its favorite foods, it’s likely to stick around. In fact, once moles have made their home in your yard, they aren’t likely to leave on their own. Instead, you’ll need to have them removed before the mole damage problem gets worse.

Mole damage can be widespread and severe, including collapsed above-ground pools, broken driveways, and more. As the moles reproduce, their damage increases, costing you more money in repairs and making your yard an eyesore.

The best way to get rid of moles is to know the early signs of mole damage, so you can act fast. Read our handy guide below for the most common signs of mole damage, so you know what to look for.

Dead or Dying Patches of Grass

Did your lawn suddenly change from lush and green to dry, damaged, and patchy? If so, this could be a sign of mole damage.

Moles dig tunnels underneath your grass, disrupting the root systems and topsoil underneath your lawn. With the roots disrupted, the lawn on top of the surface dies, leading to uneven brown patches along the tunnel’s path.

Look carefully at your lawn if you notice dead patches. A small, concentrated area may not be a sign of moles. But if you have dead patches of grass in multiple areas or in what appears to be a direct tunnel path, you may be dealing with a mole infestation.

Visible Tunnels on the Surface

Along with dead patches of grass, you may notice raised tunnels as a sign of mole damage. Moles uproot plants and grass as they dig just below the surface. Your lawn may appear raised or bumpy along these paths.

You can also use visible tunnels to determine the severity of a potential mole damage problem. Moles tend to dig more tunnels rather than using the same ones. So, you’ll notice an increase in the raised tunnels and dead grass as the moles multiply and expand their territory. More tunnels mean more moles, so you’d want to act quickly to eliminate them before the problem gets any worse.

Molehills or Mounds of Dirt

Molehills and mounds of dirt may not be as common as other signs of mole damage, but you still need to be on the lookout for them. Molehills occur when moles force dirt upwards as they dig under the ground’s surface. As they push the dirt behind them to dig deeper, the dirt becomes raised in small piles.

You won’t notice huge mounds of dirt, however. Molehills are volcano-shaped piles about six inches tall. They’re also usually connected to the entrances of mole tunnel systems, which will be visible on the surface of your lawn.

An Increase in Weeds

Have you noticed more weeds sprouting in your lawn or garden? You may not connect this phenomenon to mole damage, but weeds can actually be an indication of moles in your yard.

As moles dig, they uproot grass and plants with their tunnels. This disruption of their root systems can allow weeds a chance to sprout. As more plants and grass are uprooted, more weeds may pop up in their place. If you don’t catch the mole problem in its early stages, your yard could quickly be overtaken by weeds and mole damage.

Visual Signs of Moles

Mole damage isn’t the only thing you need to look out for in your yard. If you suspect a mole problem, the largest sign will be when you spot the moles themselves. But what do you need to look for? How do you tell a mole apart from other yard pests?

The eastern ground mole is the most common mole species in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. They are small mammals with dark brown fur. They have potato-shaped bodies and are approximately seven inches long and weigh around four ounces. They have beady, black eyes that may be hard to spot due to how tiny they are. Moles also have pointed muzzles and wide, flipper-like feet used to dig tunnels.

Moles are most active during the spring and fall and during evenings or early mornings. You can also catch them more easily moving around after it rains or on a warm day. When the soil is moist and the ground is warmer, they’ll tend to make their way closer to the surface, instead of digging deeper underground.

If you spot moles in your yard, along with other visual signs of mole damage, you’re likely dealing with a mole infestation.

How Do I Prevent Mole Damage?

Getting rid of the moles once they move into your yard is the only surefire way to prevent future damage. However, there are some things you can do to prevent moles from finding your yard hospitable in the first place.

Moles like soft, damp soil. It’s easier to dig in and is home to their favorite foods—grubs and insect larvae that feed upon plant roots. You can take steps to make your soil dryer and less hospitable to insects by using mulch sparingly, and not over-watering. You can also introduce beneficial parasites like nematodes into your garden ecosystem to keep worm and grub populations under control. The less insects in your soil, the less likely moles are to make a home in your yard.

Get Rid of Mole Damage for Good

If you’ve noticed the above signs of mole damage, have tried all the preventatives, and you’re still dealing with a mole infestation, it’s time to call Trap Your Moles. We’ve been the Tri-State’s mole and pest removal experts for years. Get in touch with our trapping experts with our contact form, or give us a call. We can diagnose your mole problem and come up with a solution so you can say goodbye to mole damage permanently.