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One of the most destructive lawn pests in the Kansas City Metro area is the mole.   Moles destroy lawns with their burrowing as they make conical earth mounds and networks of tunnels in the ground.   The mounds are unsightly heaps of earth pushed up from several feet below the surface as the moles excavate rooms and living areas. Feeding tunnels result in raised ridges of soil that cut off grass roots from moisture sources. This results in a network of brown lines in the grass, especially in summer’s heat. Digging may damage other plant roots directly and through exposure to air.
There is only one species of mole present in Kansas and Missouri. This is the Eastern Mole, (Scalopus aquaticus), named after its digging feet (Scolopus) and because the type specimen was found dead in the water (aquaticus means living near the water). While the Eastern Mole is able to swim it is the least aquatic of North American moles. Eastern Moles are mammals between 5 and a half and 8 inches in adult length with soft grey or brownish fur. Like other moles, Eastern moles possess many remarkable adaptations for an underground lifestyle.  They have no visible eyes, no external ears, and a pig like nose at the end of a pointed head they use to find prey.   Their most distinguishing feature is their front limbs which are highly adapted for digging. Short, muscular arms end in greatly enlarged paddle like feet with long claws. These feet enable a mole placed on the ground to disappear within seconds. Even the fur has a unique adaptation, as unlike most animals it does not have a direction that it lays. Imagine a cat with fur that doesn’t matter which direction you pet it. This allows the mole to move forward and backwards in its tunnels without turning around.
Moles are entirely carnivorous, with worms and insect larvae making up most of their diet. Beetles, spiders, centipedes, and almost any other invertebrate encountered may be consumed. Moles have a high metabolism and are capable of eating half their own body weight in insects each day. This is one reason they are such active burrowers. They may be active any time of day or night, but are more likely to be active near dawn and dusk.
Early spring is a great time to have moles removed from your yard. The ground is thawed but not hard and dried out like it gets in summer.   The moles are also very active in the spring, making them easier to catch. Most importantly, the moles have litters of 2-5 babies in April and May that become independent in about 4 weeks, which means that catching them in March and April can prevent a doubling or even tripling of the population in June and July.
There are several mole-like creatures that are often confused for moles. Shrews are small insectivores that are sometimes mistaken for baby moles. They are similar in fur coloration and texture but they have eyes and do not make burrows or have front limbs specialized for digging. Vole tunnels are sometimes mistaken for moles – it doesn’t help the confusion that the names moles and voles sound so similar. Voles are small rodents that make burrows to live in and make small runs through the grass rather than under the ground. Their tunnel openings are about the diameter of a broom handle and are usually located next to a large rock or concrete sidewalk or porch. Voles do not make mounds or ridges. Control of voles and shrews is very different than for moles so proper identification is essential for control.   Give Advantage Termite and Pest Control a call and we will send a trained technician out to identify the pest and provide a treatment plan.
Contact us at Critter Control Kansas City
By: Ben Simmons

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TRIVIA QUESTION TIME!!!!
Most spiders have eight eyes. How many eyes do Brown Recluse spiders have?
The answer can be found on our blog at www.advantagetpc.com. Click here and send us a message with the correct via our Contact us page http://www.advantagetpc.com/contact-us.html to be entered in to win a $25.00 Target gift card. Answers must be received by 4pm on Friday the 24th.

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Today's Trivia Question:
What size is the wing span of a full-grown Indian Meal Moth?
The answer can be found on our blog at www.advantagetpc.com. Click here and send us a message with the correct via our Contact us page http://www.advantagetpc.com/contact-us.html to be entered in to win a $25.00 Target gift card. Answers must be received by 4pm on Friday the 18th

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Today's Trivia Question:
To avoid starvation, Cave Crickets are known to do what?
The answer can be found on our blog at www.advantagetpc.com. Send us a message with the correct answer to be entered into our drawing for a $25.00 Target gift card. Answers must be received by 4pm on Friday the 4th.
www.advantagetpc.com/blog/cave-crickets


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Today's Trivia Question:
There are four types of ticks commonly found throughout the Lawrence and Greater Kansas City area: The Deer tick, American Dog tick, Brown dog tick and the Lone Star tick. Which type of tick averages 3/16th of an inch?
The answer can be found on our blog at www.advantagetpc.com. Send us a message with the correct answer to be entered into our drawing for a $25.00 Target gift card. Answers must be received by 4pm on Friday the 26th: http://www.advantagetpc.com/blog/ticks/












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