Pest or Vermin:
Moles have polydactyl forepaws; each has an extra thumb
(also known as a prepollex) next to the regular thumb.
Moles are small black mammals adapted to a subterranean lifestyle. They have velvety fur; tiny or invisible ears and eyes;[clarification needed] reduced hindlimbs; and short, powerful forelimbs with large paws oriented for digging.
A mole's diet primarily consists of earthworms and other small invertebrates found in the soil, and a variety of nuts. The mole runs are in reality 'worm traps', the mole sensing when a worm falls into the tunnel and quickly running along to eat it.
Underground tunnels, adult moles are solitary and live mostly underground in their tunnel system. Tunnel systems vary from 400-2,000m2. There are 2 types of main tunnel: Surface tunnels distinguished by the ridges of soil formed on the surface. Deep tunnels are 5-20cm below the surface and mole hills are found on the surface from the soil excavated from the digging.
Breeding season for a mole depends on species but is generally February through May. Males search for females by letting out high-pitched squeals and tunneling through foreign areas. The gestation period of the Eastern (US)mole (Scalopus aquaticus)is approximately 42 days. Three to five young are born, mainly in March and early April. Townsend moles mate in February and March, and the 2-4 young are born in March and April after a gestation period of about 1 month. The Townsend mole is endangered in the United States and Canada. Coast moles produce a litter of 2-5 pups between March and April. Pups leave the nest 30–45 days after birth to find territories of their own.
No known diseases transferred to humans or other species..
Moles are considered to be agricultural pests in some countries, while in others, such as Germany, they are a protected species, but may be killed if a permit is received. Problems cited as caused by moles include contamination of silage with soil particles, making it unpalatable to livestock, the covering of pasture with fresh soil reducing its size and yield, damage to agricultural machinery by the exposure of stones, damage to young plants through disturbance of the soil, weed invasion of pasture through exposure of freshly tilled soil, and damage to drainage systems and watercourses. Other species such as weasels and voles may use mole tunnels to gain access to enclosed areas or plant roots. Moles burrow lawns, raising molehills, and killing the lawn, for which they are sometimes considered pests. They can undermine plant roots, indirectly causing damage or death. However, contrary to popular belief, moles do not eat plant roots.