Garden Moles in Maidstone

The Garden Mole

Updated 26/03/2024

The garden mole is a pest that can be found all over mainland UK but not in any part of Ireland. Many homeowners in small houses or urban areas won’t have to deal with moles, but you may see moles digging holes in large gardens or on commercial properties and public areas, such as school sports fields.

Being based in Kent, Pest-Tech has dealt with many mole control cases over the years. As such, we’ve created this blog to share our knowledge of garden moles and their habits so you can easily identify them.

Where You Often Find Moles

Moles can be found in most environments where there is an adequate depth of well-drained soil to allow for tunnelling. As such, they are most common in grassland and deciduous woods. You will also find them in organic gardens where there are high populations of earthworms and grubs.

On the other hand, you don’t often see moles in coniferous forests, on moorlands and in sand. This is probably because their food sources are limited. Moles are thought of as animals of open land, but in fact, they prefer to live in deciduous woodland, as there is plenty of prey here.

Moles are more common in rural areas, where there are large open areas where they can build their tunnels. Because they live underground, you might not think moles are pests, but they can quickly cause major issues because they move a lot of earth quickly, disturbing your garden and causing damage to your property.

As such, if you think you have a mole problem, you need professional mole control experts like Pest-Tech to quickly and safely remove and deter moles.

Mole hill in a garden in Kent
Mole hill in a garden in Kent


What Moles Eat

Earthworms make up the bulk of a mole’s diet. An 80g mole needs 50g of earthworms per day to survive, so they spend a lot of time looking for and eating earthworms. In the summer, many moles will also eat insect larvae, while earthworms are their main diet during the winter months.

Moles sometimes collect and store worms alive in special chambers. The stored worms are immobilised by a bite to the head segment. Food is either actively dug out of the soil by the mole or, more often, collected from the floor of the tunnel. Many soil animals fall through into the tunnels, such as rodents like mice or rats. Moles rarely forage above ground, and if they do, it is mainly during times of drought.

Mole Life Cycles

In the UK, most moles tend to live for just 3 years, but they can live as many as 6 years. During that time, they breed once a year, with males and females living solitary lives for the rest of the time, occupying exclusive territories.

At the start of the breeding season, which runs from February to June, males enlarge their territories, tunnelling over large areas in search of females. The female rears a litter of 3 or 4 naked babies, known as pups, which weigh only 3g when born but grow quickly. Their fur starts to grow at 14 days, their eyes open at 22 days, and they are weaned at 4-5 weeks.

The young start to leave the nest at 33 days and disperse from their mother’s range at 5-6 weeks. They are fully grown by 8-9 weeks. At five weeks old, they are completely self-sufficient and are driven away from their home territory by their mother. When the young moles leave, they either take over old tunnel systems or establish new ones of their own.  For a while, they may live above ground until they find a vacant area where they can excavate their own tunnel system.

The process of leaving the nest and finding new territories takes place above ground and is the most dangerous period of a young mole’s life. While they’re above ground, they often fall prey to owls, rats, weasels, stoats and foxes.

Once they do settle, badgers will readily dig them out of the ground while they’re trying to establish their new tunnel network.

A Garden Mole in Maidstone
A Garden Mole in Maidstone


The Biology and Ecology Of Garden Moles

Due to the dangers inherent in finding a new territory, most moles in the UK only live 3 years, but, as mentioned, they can live as many as 6. Their main predators are owls and other birds of prey, stoats, cats and dogs, but vehicles and humans also kill many moles.

Moles create extensive systems of permanent and semi-permanent tunnels. They can move their own weight of soil every minute. Surface tunnels are usually short-lived and occur in newly cultivated fields, in areas of light sandy soil and in very shallow soils, where prey is concentrated just below the surface.

When you’re dealing with a mole problem, the most common occurrence is a system of permanent deep burrows, which form a complex network of underground tunnels hundreds of metres long at varying depths in the soil. This may stretch for 1000m or more. There will be a system of permanent tunnels about 30-60cm below the surface, which are unlikely to be detected from above. It is the shallow, feeding runways which trouble gardeners, as these can destroy lawns and flower beds incredibly quickly.

The only time an adult mole will come to the surface is to collect leaves and grass to build its nest. Moles build their nests in larger mole hills known as fortresses. The deepest tunnels are used most in times of drought and low temperatures. Permanent tunnels are used repeatedly for feeding over long periods of time, sometimes by several generations of moles.

Within the tunnel system, moles construct one or more spherical nest chambers, each lined with a ball of dry plant material. These nests are used for sleeping and for raising young. Moles have poor eyesight but are sensitive to the slightest vibration, disappearing quickly underground. For their size, moles are one of the world’s most powerful animals and can move more soil than their body weight quickly, which is why gardeners and property owners need to remove moles before they cause a serious issue.

A large mole hill in a garden in Kent
A large mole hill in a garden in Kent


Identifying Garden Moles

Because moles spend most of their lives underground, you might struggle to see one in the flesh. If you do, you’ll notice their distinctive hairless, pointed snouts and almost featureless faces. Because their eyes and ears are practically obscured by velvety black hair, while their noses are bald because moles rely on their sense of smell heavily, they are distinctive pests that aren’t often confused for other wildlife.

If you don’t see the moles themselves, you’ll spot signs of their presence, such as raised mounds of earth, which are often called molehills, and disturbed rocks on the ground. You may also see the roots of young plants being moved as the moles tunnel beneath them.

Should you notice any signs of a mole infestation, you need to act fast to reduce the amount of damage the moles can do to your property. For homeowners and business leaders throughout Maidstone and Kent, Pest-Tech is here to get rid of moles quickly and humanely.

If you want to know more or wish to book an appointment about your mole issue then contact us and we’ll be happy to discuss how we can control moles effectively.