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Elimination

To capture a mole, place a multiple catch trap such as a Ketch-All in its burrow. Simply dig a hole and insert the trap, so that its opening is aligned with the tunnel. Once the mole enters the trap, it cannot escape.

To determine whether a tunnel is inhabited, inspect the ground closely. Look for a tunnel directly connecting two or more molehills and running along permanent structures such as fences, paved roads, or a line of trees bordering a field.

Another way to detect inhabited tunnels is to step carefully on various small sections of the tunnels, making sure not to collapse them. Mark the areas clearly. After a few days, those sections that are back to their original shapes can be considered as inhabited and a good place for trapping.

Actions

  • Set multiple-catch traps in their tunnels

Prevention

  • Inspect the ground regularly so you can do something quickly if you find any damage

Description and development

There are two mole species in Quebec: the Hairy-tailed Mole and the Star-nosed Mole. The latter is easily recognizable by its dark brown fur and its 22 nasal tentacles, 20 of which are in constant motion. It varies in size from 16 to 21 cm. The Hairy-tailed Mole is characterized by its short tail covered with thick, straight fur. It has a blackish gray coat and measures between 15 and 17 cm.

Moles cannot see well. They can only distinguish changes in light intensity. In fact, their keenest sense is touch. Star-nosed Moles use their nasal tentacles to learn about their environment and to forage for food. When they burrow, their tentacles cover their nostrils to keep dust from entering their nose.
Moles are adapted to subterranean life. Their strong and robust forelimbs are very useful for digging and pushing the earth. Because their fur can smooth down at any angle, they can easily move in every direction and navigate through small spaces.

Mating and gestation occurs in spring. On average, females have a litter of five young that are weaned 3 to 4 weeks after birth. The longevity of both species is approximately three years. Their diet consists mainly of earthworms and insects.

Moles dig two kinds of tunnels. Shallow tunnels, which sometimes leave long visible humps on the surface, are signs of moles foraging for food. They also dig networks of tunnels deep below the surface that serve as shelters in winter. They build their nests in the best-protected tunnels.

Habits

While Hairy-tailed Moles are solitary animals, Star-nosed Moles live in small colonies. Generally, the latter cause the most damage to the ground. Being excellent swimmers, they prefer areas close to water, although they can be found practically anywhere.

Both species are active all year long. They leave their burrows very rarely, and when they do, it?s at night or under cover of snow in winter. Although their poor eyesight makes them an easy target, their offensive odor repels predators.

Photo published with the authorization of Bell Laboratories

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