Friday, October 7, 2011

Friday Creature Feature - Mole

The garden mole is a subterranean creature that tunnels through gardens and lawns in search of earthworms, grubs, and other small invertebrates. Their saliva contains a toxin that paralyzes their prey so that moles can store still-living food for later consumption. They dig special underground chambers for this purpose.

Moles do not eat plant roots, but may damage young plants by burrowing under or near fragile root systems. Reducing the amount or frequency of lawn watering, and reducing the square footage of turf grass in the landscape helps reduce visible tunneling.

There are six species of moles in North America. They are 6-8 inches in length, and females give birth in the spring to a litter of two to six young. A single mole consumes 45-50 pounds of earthworms and insects in a year. Moles can dig new tunnels at a rate of approximately 18 feet per hour, and move through existing tunnels at 80 feet per minute.
Mole fur is very fine and soft. Unlike most mammals, the hairs do not point toward the tail, but bend easily in any direction. This allows the mole to move forward and backward in the tunnels without accumulating dirt in its fur.

The First Friday Creature Feature is hosted right here on the first Friday of every month.  You're invited to join in!  Here's how:
1. Write a post featuring some creature that lives in your garden.
2. Within your post, include a link to my Creature Feature post so your readers will know where to find the creatures.
3. Add your link below and leave a comment.
Thanks for participating and please join in again next month!


Mark and Gaz said...

The mole looks sweet!

We have lots of hedgehogs roaming around our garden at any point :)

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

I love the much maligned and misunderstood moles. Last winter we had one churn up almost every square inch of soil all around our chicken coop for some reason. I presume there must have been some very tasty morsels lurking beneath the soil Every once in a while I find a small plant pushed up, but I just tamp it back down. They really are adorable creatures, and how lucky that they have fur that doesn't attract dirt...I could use some clothes like that for gardening in!


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