Eastern Mole

Eastern Moles: (Scalopus aquaticus)

The eastern mole (scalopus aquaticus) is the only member in the genus scalopus family. Eastern moles are small in size, averaging between 5 to 6.5 inches long, the tail is 1 to 2 inches long and they weigh about 3 ounces. Although the males are usually larger than the females. 

Eastern moles have the appearance of short grayish - brown fur. Their snouts are naked and elongated. Its front feet are large and has webbed toes with sharp claws. The tail is short, thick and naked. Their ears are small and concealed in its fur. Their eyelids are almost completely fused shut, leaving them nearly blind.

Eastern moles are found throughout North American, including Florida. however you will not find them in the Appalachian Mountains, most of Canada or northern New England. Their preferred habitats are located in areas that have loose soils and soft sands such as meadows, thin woods,
golf courses, open fields, yards and gardens burrowing underground.

The eastern moles primarily consume earthworms, slugs, snails, centipedes larval insets, beetles, grubs, ants, termites. sow bugs, millipedes, crickets, and spiders. They also consume some plants, roots and seeds.

Eastern moles are solitary and will often fight to the death if another mole invades it territory. They thrive better in warmer temperatures than cooler or cold temperatures. Eastern moles do not hibernate in the winter months. Moles are more active during the late spring, early summer and fall. They are rarely seen, when they are seen its usually between dawn or dusk. Although they are very active during the day underground, which gives them protection from any predators. They dig burrows underground with several tunnels that allows them to move easily within its territory. Moles dig both permanent and temporary burrows. The shallow burrows that they dig are just above the surface and are usually temporary. These burrows and tunnels can be several feet long and twice as many feet deep.
Eastern moles can dig 12 to 16 feet per hour averaging a rate of 1.5 feet per minute. They have a keen sense of hearing and use their tails to guide them as they move backwards
in the tunnels. 

Eastern moles mate and produce a single littler each year. Their young are born between mid April and June, however in warmer climates they can produce their young in January, February or March. Its gestation period lasts approximately 45 days. The average litter size is 2 to 5. When the young are born they have no fur and are blind.They are also relatively large compared to the size of the mother. By the tenth day, they are beginning to show a grayish fine fur that they keep for 7 or 8 weeks. They communicate with their mother by using pitched squeals, harsh guttural squeaks and short snorting sounds.  After about 4 weeks the young begin to leave their mother and fin for themselves.

Eastern moles harbor numerous parasites. They also harbor 4 different kinds of fleas and 20 different kinds of mites.

Eastern moles can cause devastating destruction from its burrowing. Causing damage to concrete slabs, driveways, pools, decks, underground plumbing. Also damaging your plants, flowers and roots. Most of the damage is not noticed until something has happened. Although most people become aware of the eastern mole when they notice mounds of dirt pushed to the top of the surface of yards, gardens, and flower beds by their tunneling that look like long series of veins raised with cracks in the soil. This also causing damage to the appearance of your yard.

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