A Mole's Life

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Life Cycle

Moles usually live for three to five years and reach an average of approximately six inches long. 

They breed in February to May and may have three to five hairless young born in March to April. The pups will leave the nest at between thirty to forty five days old and find their own territory. 

Apart from the breeding season they live a solitary life and although several moles may inhabit the same space they generally retain separate tunnel systems.

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Tunnelling Habits

Moles feed on earth worms and grubs below the surface. Their tunnel networks allow them easy access to the food source.  A single mole may have a tunnel network hundreds of metres long.

Tunnels depths may vary according to the weather.  During wet weather earth worms migrate to the surface and the mole will follow.  This explains why mole activity appears to be at its height during winter and spring.  As the soil dries out in summer, earth worms move deeper and, again, the moles will follow making it appear the mole activity has subsided. 

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A Mole's Diet

Moles do not feed on the roots of plants but live on a diet of earth worms, larvae and grubs. Moles have a very high metabolism and need to eat their own body weight in food every day or they will quickly die. 


In pursuit of their food they may tunnel twenty yards in one day at depth of between 2/3" to as much as 40" if necessary.  

A mole can exert the force of forty times its own body weight when moving earth with its enlarged front paws. Before eating a worm the mole will squeeze it between its paws to force dirt from the worm's gut. 

The mole's saliva contains a paralysing agent which allows the mole to save worms 'til later' in specially constructed larders at the ends of tunnels.

 

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