Most people have never seen a mole in person this is because they spend the majority of their time underground. What they do see are the humped "ridges" in their yards, caused by the mole's tunneling efforts. This is a major thorn in the side of people who take pride in their lawns, even though they provide a very valuable service by eating white grubs and aerating the soil.
Mole Facts: The species we see here in NW Indiana and Illinois is the eastern mole (Scalopus aquaticus). This little mammal ranges from 5 to 8 inches, is blackish-brown to dark silvery-gray in color, has a short bare snout and tail, has no distinguishable eyes or ears, and webbed shovel-like feet, with large heavy claws for digging.
Their primary food source is earthworms, although they also eat white grubs, ground beetles, millipedes, centipedes and other insects, and sometimes even small mice or shrews. When soil is in favorable condition, as after a rain, a mole can tunnel at the rate of 18 feet per hour.
Moles are solitary creatures except during their mating season (January to May) and will kill any other animal that they may encounter in their burrows (even other moles). Because their primary dens and runways are located below the frost line, they do not hibernate in the winter, as many people think, but stay active year-round.
Control: Many people believe that killing the grubs in their yard will stop moles, but this is not the case because their primary food source is earthworms, and grub control pesticides do not affect them. There are many wives-tails regarding mole control including: putting "Juicy fruit gum" in the holes, pouring castor oil in the burrows, using "mole windmills" to scare them off, etc. None of these are viable methods for mole control.
Until recently, the only legitimate means of mole control was a mole trap. We now have new gel-style bait that independent studies have proven to be nearly 85% effective in eliminating moles, when used according to labeled directions. It is a rodenticide in a gel form, which mimics the texture and taste of earthworms and grubs, giving the mole a lethal dose with a single feeding.