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Moles are from Order Insectivora and Family Talpidae. There are a number of species across the United States, but only three carry a reputation earning pest significance. The eastern mole (Scalopus aquaticus) is the most widespread and has the highest population count in the eastern United States. This species is the primary culprit for damage to lawns and gardens in the region. The most troublesome species spanning California is the broad-footed mole (Scapanus latimanus). Its close neighbor, the Townsend’s mole (Scapanus townsendii), resides primarily on the coast of Oregon and Washington. While the many species of moles have their individual characteristics, biology and behavior are similar.Surprising to some, maybe, but moles are not rodents. They are part of a group of mammals known as insectivores. The general characteristics of the mole, and more specifically the eastern mole, are a pointed snout, very large and rounded front feet with stout claws, and a short, bare tail. They grow to approximately 5-8 inches long with short, velvety fur which is grayish in color. Because of their subterranean lifestyle, eyes and ears are small and concealed by fur. Moles feed primarily on earthworms, ants, beetle grubs, and other arthropods living in the ground. A small portion of their diet does consist of various seed and vegetable matter, but they are not known to eat bulbs or roots of gardening plants.