Moles are known for their voracious appetites but their favorites are earthworms, grubs, insects and even small animals they can get their hands on.
You’re probably curious if moles eat worms because of the confusion surrounding their diet. So, we did some thorough research to find out.
It was initially thought that they were insectivores or carnivores, but recent studies have shown vegetable matter was found in their guts, which could indicate they may be omnivores.
We’ll answer this in more detail further in the article…but back to worms!
The answer to the question is yes, moles do eat worms. Moles consume up to 70 percent of their diet from underground invertebrates! Other invertebrates besides the earth worm that moles will feed upon include grubs, snails, and slugs.
Moles have been known to occasionally eat small vertebrates such as lizards, snakes, and rodents too.
But let’s answer all of your mole and worm-related questions in more detail…
Do Moles Eat Earth worms?
Yes, moles do eat earthworms. They are known to be a main staple in the mole diet.
A single mole can consume over 100 earthworms in a single day.
Earthworms are an important food source for moles because they provide the animal with a high amount of protein and fat.
Moles will even collect worms, even if they’re not hungry, bite their heads off and store them for later consumption. Ouch!
Moles have even been observed to keep hundreds of earthworms in their dens.
They have sharp claws that they use to dig into the ground and capture their prey.
Once a mole has captured an earthworm, it will kill the worm by biting it in half. Moles typically eat 5-6 earthworms per day.
Moles are most active in the morning or late at night.
They prefer to construct their homes in marshy, loamy soil so that their tunnels can keep their form.
One mole can dig at a rate of roughly 15 feet per hour.
They have several rooms in their burrows, including sleeping quarters, a kitchen, birthing rooms, and storage chambers.
FUN FACT: The star-nosed mole is one of the world’s fastest known eaters, able to consume 10 mouthful-size earthworm chunks in only 2.3 seconds!
Do Moles Eat Jumping Worms?
A mole eats just about any type of worm they come across.
This includes jumping worms, which are also known as crazy worms, Alabama jumpers or snake worms.
They are a type of earthworm that are annoying to gardeners because they cause soil and habitat modification and destruction, rather than just consuming organic matter and helping aerate the soil like other beneficial earth worms.
Moles have been known to feast on these critters which is helpful for your yard.
Some gardeners may view moles as pests in the yard, possibly ruining a beautiful lawn.
In the attempt to get rid of and kill moles, homeowners set up mole traps and even contact mole control companies.
But, these creatures play an important role in the ecosystem by consuming large numbers of insects and other invertebrates.
Moles are beneficial to farmers because they help control crop-destroying pests such as grubs, cutworms, and armyworms.
Do Moles Eat Grub Worms?
Feeding on grubs is one of a mole’s favorite pastimes.
A single mole can eat upwards of 70 grubs in a single day.
Grubs are the larval form of various beetles, such as Japanese beetles and June bugs, and other insects.
These plump, white larvae are a major food source for many animals, especially the mole.
Do Moles Prefer to Eat Grub Worms or Earthworms?
There is no definitive answer to this question as moles will consume both types of worms depending on availability.
Moles generally prefer to eat earthworms because they are higher in protein and fat.
Grub worms are the larvae of various beetles and can be an important food source for moles, especially during the winter months when earthworms are less active.
Moles have been known to store large numbers of grub worms in their dens for later consumption (as well as keeping a worm supply too).
As a mole usually lives underground, it is very adept at digging and will often build extensive new tunnels in search of food, which includes grubs.
Do Earthworms Attract Moles?
While moles are attracted to areas with a high population of earthworms, they will also consume other types of worms such as grub worms and mealworms.
Moles have an excellent sense of smell and can sniff out their next meal from far away.
They build mole tunnels that can damage the grass and plants in your garden.
Because of their body weight, moles can leave behind large molehills when they are foraging for food, especially in the summer when they did much higher toward the surface of the soil.
If you have a mole problem in your garden and don’t want them eating your earth worms, you could try using mole traps or poison baits to get rid of them, but it’s best to contact pest control experts.
As blind creatures, they use their sense of smell to detect danger, which makes them sensitive to a human scent.
They are fast at digging tunnels and escape to their burrows if they feel threatened, so they’re hard to catch.
Moles are proficient diggers and use their powerful front legs to push the soil behind them as they tunnel through the ground.
What Do Moles Mostly Eat?
Aside from grubs and earthworms, moles love to feed on field mice, voles, and other small animals.
They are out in the garden at all hours of the day and night in search of food.
They trap their prey in their underground tunnels and then consume them whole.
Moles have been known to travel long distances in search of a good meal.
One study found that moles can travel up to 2 miles per day in search of food.
Moles will also eat carrion or dead animals.
While moles are not planted eaters, they will occasionally consume fruits and vegetables as their other food sources are not always available.
Nightcrawlers are large earthworms that are prized by fishermen as bait.
These nocturnal creatures are also a favorite food of moles.
In the late summer, moles will also eat large quantities of acorns and nuts in preparation for the winter months.
Do Moles Eat Plants as Well as Worms and Grubs?
We mentioned at the start of this article that it may be possible that moles are actually omnivores, rather than insectivores or carnivores..
However, it’s highly unlikely Moles eat plants (don’t confuse them with Voles, who ARE herbivores only).
Plants or dead grass found in their gut could be simply due to where moles live.
In the summer, moles dig more shallow tunnels which can damage root systems and it’s likely they use their mouth, as well as their hands to burrow through plants and their roots in the soil.
This probably explains how plant and root matter get into their gut.
So, it’s most accurate to refer to them as carnivores or insectivores, since they definitely consume a large amount of insect and animal flesh.
Moles are subterranean hunters that spend the majority of their entire lives burrowing deep underground and not much time on the surface.
This is where they find their prey, rather than plants.
Moles are small, furry creatures that live mostly underground.
Their diet consists of small invertebrates, such as earthworms, grubs, and insects.
They will also eat small vertebrates, such as lizards, snakes, and rodents.
Occasionally, they may even consume fruits and vegetables if they are starving, but this isn’t confirmed or likely.
Any damage caused to plants and entering their stomachs is likely accidental due to their burrowing, rather than being eaten.
While moles do not typically cause problems for humans, they can be destructive to lawns and gardens.
They play an important part of the ecosystem so if you can help it, you shouldn’t look to discourage moles or eradicate moles (but it’s understandable if you have a garden being destroyed!)
If you have a mole problem, it is best to contact a pest control professional for popular methods of mole, earth worm or grub control. They can handle any concerns.