Moles are found throughout Britain. They are present in most habitats where the soil is deep enough to allow tunnelling but are uncommon in coniferous forests, on moorlands and in sand dunes, probably because their prey is scarce. There are estimated to be 35-40 million moles in the UK and the mole that lives with us is known as the common or European mole. Moles can cause a lot of inconvenience – not to mention a huge amount of damage when they turn up in our gardens.
Moles are cute, velvety, blind little creatures who spend their lives almost entirely underground in a network of interconnecting tunnels. In their constant search for food they create shallow tunnels just below the surface of our lawns, in which to capture worms, insects, and other invertebrates.
By far the greatest damage from moles results from their burrowing, which creates unsightly ridges and depressions in the lawn. Mole hills – where the tunnel spoil is brought to the surface – are also unsightly and need to be cleared away as soon as possible after they appear and certainly before we mow.
Moles usually feed on insect pests, grubs, and soil organisms, including beneficial ones like earthworms.
Unlike vegetarian voles, moles dig deep. Their tunnels are usually at least ten inches underground, unless they’re scanning the surface in search of a mate. Check your soil and lawn for their tunnels. They will look like raised volcano-shaped swellings in your yard.
Surface tunnels or ridges also indicate mole activity.