Northwest Moles

 

 

In Thurston County, Washington State there are two species of moles that cause damage:

 

TOWNSEND MOLE (Scapanus Townsendi)

The Townsend Mole is 6-7 inches in length, from nose to end of the body with a tail that is about 2 inches in length. Click here for image of a Townsend mole.

 

 PACIFIC MOLE (Scapanus Orarius)

The Pacific Mole is 5-5 ½ inches in length, from nose to end of the body with a tail that is about 1 1/3 inches in length. Click here for image of a Pacific Mole.

 

 

HABITS

  

The main diet of moles is earthworms. Researchers have found that the average mole can consume as much as 80% of its body weight in worms or insects per day. In order to do this a mole can cover a large area in its daily search for food. One mole’s territory can be as much as 10,000 sq. ft. or about ¼ acre. Moles are efficient diggers and can construct 12 to 15 ft. of tunnel per hour.  Mounds that appear on the surface are dirt that result from tunnel construction. It is pushed up from the tunnel through a chimney.   Moles are solitary animals except during the breeding period. If a resident mole is trapped nearby moles often migrate into and use established tunnel systems.   Breeding occurs from late February through March. Litter size is from 3 to 5 young. Moles are nearly full grown in 30 to 45 days when they are evicted from the nest.   The average life span of a mole is two to three years. Moles do not hibernate but are active year around. Surface activity will decrease during periods of hot or cold weather.   Once the mole’s tunnel system is in place it may be used by other mammals that can cause damage to ornamental plants such as bulbs and tubers. Some of these are shrews and voles (field mice). The mole is blamed for the damage to plants but since it does not feed on vegetative matter its guests are usually the culprits

 

MOLES or GOPHERS?

 

Thurston county is also home to the Western Pocket Gopher (Mazama Gopher). Jim Richardson  The Mole Guy” has extensive experience with them in the SW area of the county. They have also been found as far north as the South Bay area and the Capitol City Golf Course.

 

Gophers are mainly vegetative eaters. The mounds they create in construction of their burrows can be mistakenly confused with mole mounds. Mole mounds are normally symmetrical and resemble a volcano. Gopher mounds are formed by pushing soil in one direction and tend to be fan shaped.

 

Gophers are now protected by the Department of Fish and Wildlife and can not be disturbed

 

MOLE CONTROL

 

Much as been written about how to control moles and eliminate them from areas that they are not welcome. Numerous home remedies have been tried over the years in man’s efforts to eliminate moles. Some of these are:

 

Poison Baits

Juicy Fruit Gum

Electrical Devices

Vibratory Devices

Flooding Tunnel Systems

Poisonous Fumes

Broken Glass

Moth Balls

Human Hair

Petroleum Products

Castor Oil

 

My experience as a professional nuisance wildlife control operator has resulted in the following observations.

 

1.       None of the above are effective!

2.       Moles can be controlled but not eliminated.

3.       An effective trapping program best accomplishes control by the homeowner or a qualified professional trapper.

 

TRAPPING

 

A successful trapping program requires persistence, knowledge and experience. I use the Victor “Out of Sight” trap 75% of the time.Click here to display an image of some of the traps I use.

 

Our fees range from $65.00 to $85.00 per mole caught. The actual fee is determined by the distance we have to drive to the job site. Our guarantee is simply, if no mole is caught, there is no bill. We also offer senior discounts. Please contact me at (360) 491-2405.