The first thing that comes to anyone’s mind when they usually see mounds in their lawn or holes in their gardens is MOLES!
Okay, so moles may be cute little monsters, but you probably don’t want these guys in your yard unless you’re playing Pokémon Go!
Moles can go about tunneling underneath gardens, lawns and pile up mounds of soil over the ground within a blink of an eye.
But speaking of eyes… do moles have eyes in real life? Can they actually see?
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Do Moles Have Eyes?
Yes, moles do actually have eyes, but they’re really small and often covered with fur or even skin. This is so because they rarely use their eyes underground. Instead, their most active body organ is their nose.
Can Moles See?
Moles have fully developed retinas with working cells, meaning they can detect light even if their eyes are covered with fur or skin. They can’t see very clearly, but aren’t entirely blind.
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How Effectively Can Moles See?
As mentioned above, moles cannot see very clearly.
Some moles can only detect light and know when it’s time to hunt. Usually, they sense movement and scent through the sensory receptors present on the tip of their nose.
So What do Moles Use Their Eyes For?
You might be wondering why moles can still see if they don’t need their eyes.
Scientists have found some pretty amazing answers to this.
- Iberian moles (Talpa occidentalis) use their eyes to avoid light and detect potential breaches in their mole tunnels. In 2008, researchers made the Iberian mole the first fossorial mammal to be studied during its embryonic phase in regards to eye development. Their findings can be found here.
- A special type of cell in mole retinas help control their circadian rhythms. This tells them important things like when mating season is.
- Moles aren’t losing their eyes through evolution. Instead, they break the assumptions behind natural selection, which suggests moles should eventually become blind. Instead, their eyes are performing a special function only the optic nerve is capable of.
- The eyes of moles have become a holy grail of information for scientists because of the way they’ve evolved. By studying developmental defects in mole eyes, they’re gaining a better understanding of how human eyes work. In future, this could lead to repairing eye defects using stem cells.
Do All Types of Moles Have Eyes?
All types of moles have eyes but they’re not very effective in seeing. As mentioned, the eyes are often protected by fur or a layer of skin.
Instead, the mole’s nose has been adapted to be the main sensory organ.
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How Do Moles Find Their Way?
Moles follow their noses to make and find their way. Their noses have tiny touch receptors called ‘Eimers organs’ which serve the same function as whiskers in most small mammals.
When their noses repeatedly touch the ground, the mole can distinguish between different objects and find its way in the dark.
The Eimers organs are composed in such a way that numerous nerve endings around the skin cells act as a receptor of pain.
Many power-packed strokes help them shift a lot of soil like a shovel, as they go on digging. Findings say that a mole can exert a force up to 40 times their body weight to dig tunnels.
Additional Mole Fun Facts
What Do Moles Eat?
It is a common misconception that moles dig to eat the roots of plants, but in reality, moles actually dig to eat earthworms or other small invertebrates found in soil.
Moles have a toxin in their saliva that paralyzes the earthworms, which also means moles can store their food to eat later.
A few larger species of moles have been known to eat mice, too, by catching them at the entrance of the burrow.
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Do Moles Really Harm Plants?
This is like asking if bulls really harm fine China.
In making their tunnels, moles improve soil aeration.
While they don’t intend to cause damage, too much mole activity can harm plant and tree roots that are in the path of the tunnels.
The Eastern Mole (Scalopus townsendii) is a good example of how moles can accidentally do a lot of damage while hunting for food.
However, they’re not really interested in your roots.
Exterminating Moles Through Pest Control
Getting rid of one or two moles in your backyard is a relatively easier job, however the same task becomes extremely difficult when you are facing a mole infestation.
This is where a professional exterminator comes into the picture. They can eliminate these moles for you more effectively, permanently, and within a stipulated time.
To get started, click the below to get free no-obligation quotes from multiple local Pest Control Companies so that you can hire an exterminator which meets all your requirements and needs.
Even though moles are no potential threat to humans, moles can cause serious damage to your lawns. Moles don’t eat roots, but their tunneling does cause damage to the roots, which turns the ridges brown more quickly.
To protect your yard from all the damage, you can lay a trap for a mole and kill it. But if you are not much of a killer, then there are a few other remedies that will help you keep moles away without hurting them.
And if nothing works, you can always resort to calling pest control professionals to rescue you from your mole predicament.