Over the years, many popular magazines and movies have featured stories about rodents. In this age of information technology, good information can be transferred quickly. On the other hand, the Internet & poorly researched articles can serve to quickly misinform the public.
The following are myths, misconceptions, or half-truths commonly heard from people about the rodent in their neighborhoods.
Although notorious for their ability to turn pristine lawns and gardens into something resembling a Civil War battlefield, very little is actually known about moles. After all, their subterranean lifestyle doesn’t exactly lend well to studying their behavior. Despite their covert existence, we have unearthed some facts about these mysterious creatures and are here to set the record straight on a few of the many myths surrounding these subversive pests.
FICTION: Moles are Rodents
FACT: Moles are not rodents. They belong to the group of mammals known as insectivores. These mysterious mammals are about six to eight inches long and weigh only three to five ounces – which is pretty darn small when you consider the amount of destruction they’re capable of. Though beauty is in the eye of the beholder, most people would agree that moles are not very cute. Their pointed snouts and enlarged, webbed front feet with short claws may have something to do with that.
FICTION: Moles sleep all day and only come out at night
FACT: It’s commonly mistaken that moles are nocturnal creatures. This probably has something to do with looking out our windows in the morning and observing fresh mole hills that seemingly appeared out of nowhere while we slept. In reality, moles are active during the day and night, though they tend to be more active when all is quiet. When they feel vibrations from sonic spikes or from people stomping around, they tend to cease their digging and move to a more hospitable environment. Like your next door neighbor’s yard.
FICTION: Moles don’t have eyes
FACT: This is one of the oldest wives tales surrounding moles, but it’s simply not true. Moles do have eyes. However, their eyes are super small and concealed in fur, which explains why their eyesight is so poor. But does it really matter if they’re practically blind? They live underground in the dark where they can’t see a thing anyway.
FICTION: Moles hibernate in the winter
FACT: Contrary to popular belief, moles do not hibernate when it's cold outside because they are unable to store fat on their bodies. Instead, they follow earthworms deep into the ground to stay warm and well-fed during the cold winter months. They patiently lie in wait until warm weather returns and re-emerge like clockwork to continue their vicious cycle of wreaking havoc on yards and gardens everywhere.
FICTION: Juicy Fruit gum kills moles.
FACT: Urban legends abound on how to kill moles with Juicy Fruit gum. We’d like to know who came up with this useless bit of folklore. Seriously, folks, don’t waste your time and energy trying to choke moles with gum. Just because you have moles in your yard does not mean that you’ve lost your common sense.
FICTION: I have moles, therefore I have grubs
FACT: Moles eat lots of stuff (they consume from 70% to 100% of their weight each day), including earthworms, insects and grubs they find in the soil. Earthworms are their favorite entrée making up 85% of their diet. A smaller part of their diet consists of various seed and vegetable matter. So, bottom line, just because you have moles does not mean you have grubs.