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University of Nebraska–Lincoln

UNL Extension in Lancaster County

Can You Guess It?? Feature

This page was updated on April 20, 2008

Helping Nebraskans enhance their lives through research-based education.


The Can You Guess It?? photo shown above is featured in the May 2008 Nebline Newsletter

Mole burrow in a yard

ANSWER: A Mole Tunnel

The eastern mole (Scalopus aquaticus) is a burrowing mammal, not a rodent, found throughout Nebraska. They are designed for digging. Moles don't have external ears, their tiny eyes protected by their fur and they have large front feet that look like paddles for digging.

Moles feed just below the soil surface while they burrow through the soil. When making feeding tunnels, moles may burrow up to one foot per minute. They eat grubs, earthworms, all sorts of insects. They have huge appetites and make tunnels everywhere they are feeding. One mole can make a lot of tunnels.

In the Great Plains, moles exist only where habitat is suitable. We don't see many mole problems in Lancaster County, Nebraska because of our heavy clay soils. But in a few locations with silt/sand, we'll still find some mole activity. The mole damage shown on this page was photographed near the Lancaster County/Gage County border.

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