Adult Common Moles (Talpa europaea) have a body length of between 12.5cm and 16cm, and weigh around 70 to 100g. This mammal is usually black in colour with velvety fur, and has large well developed forefeet permanently pointing forwards for digging. The mole has small eyes and poor eyesight, spending most of its time working a labyrinth of tunnels covering an area of between 100 and 1000 sq. metres, in search of insect larvae and worms to eat.
Moles push stones to the ground surface from their tunnel system, which can cause damage to machinery used for grass cutting or harvesting crops. The stones may also be propelled through the air at times and cause injury to any person nearby.
The soil pushed up from mole tunnels can contaminate silage with bacteria, making it unpalatable for livestock and can cause sheep to lose lambs during pregnancy. Moles can also damage the growth of crops, newly planted trees and shrubs by damaging the root systems.
Damage may also be caused to golf courses, tennis courts, parks, cemeteries, amenity land, grass runways for light aircraft, and also racecourses/equestrian centres, which poses a risk to both riders and horses.