Moles!

Given the interest in our mole we thought you might like a few interesting facts on these common but seldom seen creatures.  For instance did you know that they inject toxic saliva into earthworms to paralyse them and keep them alive in ‘larders’ till mealtimes!?! Moles live underground and are rarely seen alive in daylight.  Equipped with virtual shovels on the end of short front legs they can burrow a staggering 100 meters (330 feet) in a single night! To help with this they actually have six digits with an extra thumb which is a modified wrist bone. In February male moles will start to cruise looking for females so they tend to be much more active at this time of year.  When love is not in the air, moles are solitary creatures and very territorial, becoming aggressive if another mole tries to move in. The breeding season is classically between February and June with 3 to 4 pups being born at a time. Although they make a terrible mess of manicured lawns, moles do eat a vast number of worms, leatherjackets, wireworms and chaffer grubs.  They help aerate and improve drainage as they burrow too Contrary to popular belief moles are not blind!   However their eyesight is poor and they rely much more on their sense of smell and acute hearing. If you have moles there are now live capture and release traps (so much kinder than the hideous old mole traps) but be warned, moving one mole out will probably just make room for another to move into the tunnels! If you really don’t like these fascinating creatures making the environment much less mole friendly and encouraging them to move out of their own accord is a better option.  There are sonic deterrents but one of the most unusual deterrents we have heard of are pickled onions! Place them in the holes and apparently the smell will drive them away!  Once our new arrival has dealt with our excessive earthworm burden in our garden we might give this a try! The last fascinating fact we have discovered about moles is that there are none in Ireland!