Common Mole Species
Several types of moles can be found throughout the country. Most species share several general characteristics. For example, many types of moles have small bodies covered in dark hair, long and hairless snouts, broad shovel-like forepaws, and tiny eyes and ears. They are solitary creatures that spend almost their entire lives underground constantly digging new tunnels in search of grubs, worms, and other soil-dwelling insects. Though they are commonly mistaken for rodents due to the similarities they share with ground squirrels and marmots, moles are actually mammals.
The most common mole in the United States is the eastern mole. Adults are typically about half a foot long with sleek, dark fur, long snouts, wide hands, and obscured eyes. These moles live east of the Rocky Mountains, ranging from Northern Michigan all the way down to Southern Texas.
Star-nosed moles live along the East Coast and have star-like appendages protruding from the tip of their snouts that help them detect insect prey in the soil. The hairy-tailed mole can also be found in the northeastern part of the country.
The shrew mole is one of several species commonly encountered along the West Coast. This mole is distinguishable from other species because it lacks prominent wide front paws and is often seen aboveground. It is also the smallest mole in North America, growing only four or five inches long.