Moles

Species of Moles found in Seattle

  • The Pacific, Townsend’s and the Shrew Moles are the three species found in Seattle area
  • The Townsends and Pacific Moles build molehills while the Shrew Mole spends most time beneath leaf litter and on soil surface

Controlling Moles in Seattle

  • Moles are carnivores that live in the ground, popular for feeding on insects, centipedes, slugs, seeds and roots
  • Moles create underground tunnels that ruin gardens by opening them up to other rodents
  • They are specialized excavating pests that have wide forelimbs that look like shovels enabling them to dig through the soil
  • Though they are a nuisance to gardeners, their burrowing helps mix different soil layers resulting to better drainage
  • Moles eat invertebrates such as insect larvae that cause damage to roots
  • Generally, moles are solitary pests that are aggressive in defending their burrows
  • They tend to mate early in the year and females deliver after four to six weeks of mating
  • New born moles stay with their mothers for about thirty to thirty six days then disperse to get their own territories
  • During the early days of dispersing, little moles move on the ground during the night and fall prey to nocturnal predators such as coyotes and owl

Pacific Moles

  • The Pacific mole is also known as the coast mole
  • Pacific moles are tiny, growing to 6 inches in length and are highly energetic. They can construct at least 300 mole holes within winter
  • Pacific moles maintain activity throughout the year and solitary most of the time except during mating
  • They deliver two to four moles during spring

Townsend’s Moles

  • This is the biggest mole found in North America
  • Townsend’s moles grow to reach around nine inches and digs very deep into the ground
  • The behavior of this mole species is very similar to that exhibited by the coast mole species

Why Moles are a Nuisance

  • Moles cause harm to plants because they cover them up or uproot them as they excavate their burrows
  • Though they help in improving the health of soil, moles occasionally feed on plant matter including tubers, roots and bulbs
  • In Seattle, moles inhabit the Puget Sound area and cause nuisance as they excavate and cause damage to landscaped area by creating different feeder tunnels and pushing piles of dirt to the lawn surface making it unappealing

Keeping Moles Away

  • Moles may be prevented by creating raise garden beds and raising ornamental plants to prevent moles from digging from beneath
  • Mole repellant can also be used to repel moles and keep them off the garden grounds. Inspecting the yard regularly, tamping mole hills down and re-burying exposed roots may help reduce plant damage.
  • Spraying milky spores or nematodes on lawns helps keep moles away. As pests that enjoy a meal of insects and grubs, seasoning their food with castor oil repels them
  • When mole infestation is high, it is important to check the soil for pests such as bugs and grubs that attract them. Eradicating these pests can significantly reduce mole infestation.



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