Several types of moles can be found throughout the United States, with most species sharing the same general characteristics. Moles are solitary animals and spend nearly their whole lives underground. They are always digging new tunnels in search of food and burrowing down beneath the surface. Their diet consists mainly of grubs and worms. Though it is often misconceived that moles are rodents, they are in fact mammals. The confusion lies with their similarity in appearance to ground squirrels and marmots. Most species of mole have small bodies covered with dark, small eyes and ears, shovel like paws and hairless snouts. There are three main types of moles found in the Unites States, each a unique animal sharing many similar characteristics with the other species.
Types Moles in North America: Species
Eastern Moles | United States Animals
It is rare to spot an eastern mole since they almost never come up above ground. However, they do leave plenty of signs behind to let you know they are present. Eastern moles are notorious or destroying lawns, golf courses agricultural fields. This destruction is a byproduct of their search for food underground. Eastern moles scavenge topsoil in search of a meal. This leaves mounds of dirt all over the place as well as dislodged, dug up flowers and crops.
Star-Nosed Moles | United States Animals
Star-nosed Mole Found Above Ground
Star-nosed moles are scientifically known as Condylura cristata. Moles are great diggers and star-nosed moles surely live up to that fact. They have very broad front feet that have large claws making them expert excavators. Unlike other moles found in the United States, star-nosed moles are semiaquatic, with their broad feet also acting as ridders. They often build their tunnel systems in your yard to open up under the surface of streams and lakes, allowing them to eat creatures that live in water such as leeches, midges, crane flies, and mollusks. They eat a main diet of arthropods and annelids.
Shrew Moles | United States Animals
Shrew moles, officially identified as Neurotrichus gibbsii, are the smallest of the North American moles. They grow to be only four inches long at max. The do not have external ears and have very tiny eyes. It is easy to confuse one for a shrew (hence their name), yet they are officially moles. They do not have the typical forelegs known to other mole species. They have an extremely fast metabolism causing them to eat constantly, staying active throughout the day and night. They can consume at times nearly double their bodyweight in food each day. They tear up yards in search of yummy snacks such as earth worms, larvae, and slugs.