Pest Control in March
March is when the moles have their breeding season; these are elusive creatures and few people will ever see one above the surface of the ground. Moles aren't a social species, in fact they just don't get on with one another at all and they only ever meet up around the end of February into March to breed.
Each mole will live in it's own territory and these may overlap with each other to some degree a bot like a Venn diagram; the analogy that I use to explain mole behaviour is to think of a map of the London Underground. There are long straight sections above ground that drive into the mass of tunnels in the interior of the map - in mole terms these are the tunnels that are dug just below the surface and run into a feeding area. Some of the tunnels are deeper than others and they interconnect at junctions and there are a few dead ends where the tunnels have finished, the analogy falls apart here as there are no buskers in the mole tunnels but you get the idea?
Those moles that don't actually have a territory connected to others will now start moving towards populated ground and you know this is happening as you can see straight rows of mole hills heading in a single direction - that's a male mole or a boar looking for the female or sow as they're called.
Moles will come together and there is always a display of aggression - only when the female is receptive to mating will contact occur and at any other time either one will back of or they will fight and this can be to the death.
Mrs Mole will give birth to between two and seven young pups, she will look after these for around six weeks then she will drive them out to find their own territory - this is the time when you are most likely to see a mole as they will move across the surface of the ground as its the most expedient way to get away from mum.
We do most of our mole catching around these two periods and in late autumn when they move around a lot more establishing runs before winter sets in and the ground hardens.
Why do moles make mole hills?
Moles dig tunnels and some of the soil excavated will have to be removed to create the tunnel so moles dig a small side branch to the main tunnel and push all the loose earth up out of that siding through a hole at the top. As the tunnels are built they will occasionally collapse and so another side mole hills forms where the mole pushes out the earth from that collapse.
What do moles eat?
Generally their diet consists of lots of earthworms but they also eat insects and grubs in the soil; mole are very sensitive to vibration and you can see where a mole is feeding as there will be lots of moles hills in a small area as it digs towards the source of the vibration. There is evidence to suggest that moles will also eat carrion as mole hills have been found beneath a carcass before.
Is it true that moles are blind?
No moles have a limited degree of sight but only enough to detect light; this is most likely all that's left of their eyesight as it makes sense that an animal living in the dark needs to be aware when daylight is either flooding into the tunnel through a collapse of if they want to leave and move above ground then darkness affords them the most protection from predators.
Do moles damage my plants as I can see these dying off?
Moles eat insects not plants, the damage that you can see is the result of the moles digging through the soil and removing earth from around the plant roots. Without soil around the roots the plant can't pick up moisture and nutrients and so they die.