Protect Your Home and Business From Moles.
Moles Found In Washington State
Moles may seem harmless—with their velvety, furry appearance—but around Puget Sound, moles can present problems to homes, businesses, and landscapes. These small mammals quickly become pests, thanks to the tunnels they burrow through yards and the meals they like to make out your home-grown vegetation.
What Do Moles Look Like?
Three mole species are commonly found in the Pacific Northwest: Townsend’s moles, Pacific moles (sometimes called the coast mole), and shrew moles. They range in size from 4 to 9 inches long with soft, dark brown or black fur. Their forelimbs—which contain an extra thumb—look and act like shovels, helping them dig for shelter, protection, and food. Their primary senses are smell and hearing, although their ears aren’t visible. Moles’ eyes are quite small or, in the case of shrew moles, covered by skin, as moles don’t rely on sight to survive and to hunt for food.
Where Can I Find Moles?
Townsend’s and Pacific moles live the majority of their lives underground, while shrew moles live hiding in bushy areas and under leaves on the surface of the soil. All species of moles found in the Puget Sound burrow and create tunnels, although shrew moles live primarily above ground. These tunnels don’t contain much oxygen, but moles’ lungs are able to carry a large supply of air and have a larger blood volume to help store more oxygen.
Townsend’s and Pacific moles can be identified by the molehills, or mounds of soil, they create, thanks to their extensive burrowing (which can run as deep as 40 inches below the surface). These molehills can be up to 8 inches high and 24 inches in diameter.
How Do Moles Behave?
Moles are active year-round and are known to defend their tunnels, due in part to the food that is stored in them and the young moles that are birth and raised in them. Townsend’s and Pacific moles are primarily solitary animals, only socializing when it’s mating season. However, shrew moles typically live with up to 15 other moles.
Moles will eat both plants and insects (particularly earthworms), which can be beneficial for insect control in gardens and backyards. They also feed on snails, beetles, centipedes, and seeds, although studies have shown that the majority of their diet is earthworms. However, they can choose to make a meal out of your crops and grass roots as well.
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