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More about Moles in the Pacific Northwest

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 larvae per day. In order to do this a mole can cover a large area in its daily search for food. One moles territory can be as much as 20,000 sq. ft. or about ½ 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 moles 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

Townsend Mole


The Townsend Mole (Scapanus Townsend) is 6-7 inches in length, from nose to end of the body with a tail that is about 2 inches in length.

Pacific Mole


The Pacific Mole (Scapanus Orarius) 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

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