Moles

European Mole (Talpa europea)

The only mole present in the British Isles, but not in Ireland is Talpa Europea the European Mole.

Moles do not hibernate but work throughout the year, and are in the mammalian order of insectivore, which means they live off insects including worms.

Most people think that moles are completely black, but they vary in colour from a silvery grey to black. They have a short tail which is covered in sensory hairs, which also appear on and around the chin, on the face and around the back of the ears. When the mole is working the tail is held semi-erect to brush the tunnel walls to pick up vibrations passing through the ground. These sensory organs around the head allow the mole to detect worms and insects.

The eyes are small and completely hidden in the fur to give the appearance of being blind but it can still differentiate between light and dark.

The ears are small with no external flaps but the hearing is very acute and is a feature of detecting predators, and other moles.

Statistics
The average adult weighs about 80 grams with the female being the lightest.

The female has one litter a year, of between 2-7 but usually 3-4. and breeding takes place around Feb to June, the young are fully mature at 5 weeks and live on average between 2 to 5 years.

Behaviour
Moles have a well developed sense of smell and the male and female have a pair of scent glands under the skin which are connected to the urinary duct which the moles use to mark their territory, and also in the breeding season this helps to identify the sex of the mole occupying the territory. Moles are solitary but not has solitary as people think. Sharing the main runs under hedges and fences, but will defend their own territories aggressively. Territories will overlap and this is why when a mole is caught or vacates its territory another mole will sense this that it has been vacated and will quickly move into the vacated territory.

Habitat
The moles have several layers of tunnels, shallow short lived surface tunnels, and deeper tunnels used for breeding and feeding. Moles build their nests of local materials leaves or grass, and I have found them completely made of wheat shoots. The large mole FORTRESS the very large molehill one frequently sees, are usually found in areas of high water tables or on land which can become flooded. The mole builds its nest above the water level to ensure the nest is kept dry?. Moles are excellent swimmers and in times of flood will swim to higher ground. This also accounts for people who live next to streams and rivers been constantly plagued by moles.

The main food is the earthworm but they will feed off most insects or molluscs. Moles work on a sleeping/working pattern of approx 4 hours. If there is a plentiful supply of food ,moles will bite the head off worms and store them up for consumption later

Moles travel on top of the land as well as underneath it and this is when they are most vulnerable to their predators.

Our mole control services covers areas within South Birmingham and North Worcestershire which includes: Birmingham, Redditch, Bromsgrove, Halesowen, Barnt Green and Chaddesley Corbett

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