Can Moles Survive Without Soil Insects in Their Diet?

Have you ever wondered if moles can survive without soil insects in their diet? It’s a strange question, but one that has perplexed many gardeners and animal enthusiasts. After all, we often associate moles with their underground tunnels and insatiable appetite for insects. But what happens when their primary food source is no longer available? In this article, we’ll answer this question and explore the impact of a no-insect diet on moles. We’ll also discuss how to protect your lawn and garden from these little diggers. So, let’s dig in!

The Diet of Moles

The Diet Of Moles
Moles are fascinating creatures that play a crucial role in their ecosystem. Their diet is a topic of interest to many, as they are notorious for causing damage to lawns and gardens. Understanding what moles eat and why they need certain foods can help homeowners take steps to protect their landscape from the destructive digging of these tiny excavators. In this section, we will delve into the mole diet with perplexity to find out if moles can survive without soil insects in their diet and the impact of a no-insect diet on these underground creatures. Let’s explore the importance of a balanced diet for moles, and what homeowners can do to prevent them from damaging their lawn and garden. To get a better understanding of the topic, check out the article on Mole Diet Importance.

What Moles Eat

Moles are insectivores, which means that their diet is primarily composed of insects and other small invertebrates. However, they have also been known to eat plants on rare occasions.

The following table provides a summary of the common food sources for moles:

Food Source Description
Earthworms A primary food source for moles, with some species eating over 50% of their body weight in earthworms per day.
Grubs and beetle larvae These are high in fat and protein, making them a nutritious food source for moles.
Insects Moles eat a variety of insects, including ants, spiders, centipedes, and millipedes.
Small rodents Some larger mole species may occasionally eat small rodents, such as mice and shrews.
Plants While moles primarily feed on insects, they have been known to occasionally eat plants, especially when insect populations are low.

It is important to note that different species of moles may have slightly different diets depending on their environment and location. For example, moles living in damp areas may have a diet that is more heavily focused on aquatic insects and mollusks.

Moles may consume a large quantity of insects each day – sometimes their body weight or more – in order to sustain their high metabolic rate. As such, their diet is typically quite specialized and depends heavily on the availability of soil insects.

To learn more about moles’ diet, their behavior, and natural predators, you can visit mole-diet-behavior.

Why Moles Need Soil Insects

Moles are fascinating creatures that are known for their digging abilities and unique dietary habits. While many people associate moles with eating soil insects, not everyone knows why they are so important to the moles’ diet. Let’s take a closer look at why moles need soil insects in their diet.

The Diet of Moles

Before exploring why soil insects are important for moles, it is important to understand what moles typically eat. There are many different species of moles, and their diets can vary slightly depending on their habitat and location. However, most moles primarily eat insects and other small invertebrates found in the soil, such as worms, grubs, and beetles.

Moles need soil insects in their diet for several reasons:

Reason Explanation
Vitamins and minerals Soil insects provide moles with essential vitamins and minerals that they need to stay healthy. For example, worms are a great source of protein, calcium, and iron.
Energy Moles need a lot of energy to support their high metabolism and constant digging. Insect larvae are a great source of energy-rich fat, which helps to fuel their activities.
Water Moles get most of the water they need from the insects they eat. Without soil insects, they would have to find other sources of water.

In short, soil insects are a critical part of a mole’s diet. Without them, moles would struggle to find the essential nutrients, energy, and water that they need to survive.

If soil insects are not available, what do moles eat? Learn more in our article about whether moles eat plants or insects.

What Moles Eat If Soil Insects Aren’t Available

Moles are known for their love of soil insects, but sometimes these insects may not be available in a mole’s habitat. In such a situation, moles need to adapt their diet to survive. Here are some of the common alternatives that moles may eat:

Food Source Description
Earthworms Earthworms are one of the most common alternatives for moles. Moles can consume roughly 50 to 100 earthworms a night.
Other Insects Moles may eat other insects such as beetles, ants, and grubs, though these will be a rare food source in comparison to soil insects.
Small Animals In a mole’s diet, small animals such as shrews, mice, and voles may be consumed, but they aren’t a primary food source.
Plants Moles may also consume plant matter such as roots and tubers. However, this is rare and doesn’t comprise a significant portion of their diet.

It’s worth noting that a mole’s diet can vary depending on the species and the environmental factors around it. However, when there is a shortage of soil insects, moles will seek out other sources of nutrition to survive. In areas where there is consistent scarcity of insects, the mole’s diet will adapt over time. This environmental impact could have negative effects on the mole’s health and life span. As such, preventing the eradication of soil insects is essential to the survival of moles.

The Impact of a No-Insect Diet on Moles

The Impact Of A No-Insect Diet On Moles
Moles are fascinating creatures that had to adapt to the specific conditions of their habitats. Their diet primarily consists of soil insects, which are a major source of protein and other nutrients they need to survive. However, what happens when soil insects are not available to moles? It’s a question that has puzzled many researchers and wildlife enthusiasts alike. In this section of the article, we’ll take a closer look at the possible impacts of a no-insect diet on moles, and how they might adapt to such conditions. We’ll also explore alternative food sources that moles may consume if they can’t find enough soil insects.

The Negative Effects on Moles

The Negative Effects on Moles

Moles are known to be beneficial to soil health, but the absence of soil insects in their diet can have negative effects on their well-being. Here are some of the negative effects:

  1. Stress and Anxiety
  2. The lack of soil insects in their diet can cause stress and anxiety in moles. Moles are conditioned to rely on soil insects as their primary source of food, so the absence of these insects can be stressful for them. This can lead to decreased activity and increased isolation, which can affect their health.

  3. Reduced Energy
  4. Moles require a significant amount of energy to burrow and tunnel throughout soil. Without access to their primary food sources, moles may experience reduced energy levels, making it difficult for them to tunnel through dirt and find new food sources.

  5. Malnutrition
  6. The absence of soil insects in their diet can lead to malnutrition in moles. Soil insects are rich in protein and other vital nutrients that moles require to thrive. Without access to these nutrients, moles may experience health problems and a weakened immune system.

  7. Increased Vulnerability
  8. When moles are not getting their usual food sources, they may become weak and less agile. This can make them more vulnerable to predators, such as foxes, snakes, and birds of prey.

It’s important for homeowners to ensure that their property has healthy soil and plenty of soil insects to support mole populations. Additionally, homeowners should be aware of the damage that moles can cause to lawns, gardens, and landscaping. Understanding what attracts moles to your lawn and garden and using natural or chemical control methods can help deter moles from digging up your property.

How Moles Adapt to a No-Insect Diet

Moles are known for their high metabolism and specific dietary needs. However, if soil insects are not available, they will have to adapt to a new source of food. So, how do moles adapt to a no-insect diet?

One way they adapt is by eating other small vertebrates, such as earthworms, snails, and slugs. These animals can offer a similar nutrient profile to insects and can help sustain the mole’s diet.

Another way moles adapt is by increasing their consumption of plant materials. This can include roots, bulbs, and occasionally stems of plants. Although it is not their preferred food source, it can provide enough sustenance to keep them alive.

Moles also have the ability to slow down their metabolism during periods of food scarcity. This adaptation helps them conserve energy and survive on less food. When food becomes available again, their metabolism will increase to help them regain lost energy.

It is important to note that a diet lacking soil insects can have negative impacts on moles, as discussed earlier in the article. Landowners should take steps to ensure that these insects are present in their lawns and gardens to maintain a healthy mole population.

While moles may be able to adapt to a no-insect diet, it is not ideal for their long-term health and survival. Maintaining a healthy population of soil insects can help ensure that moles continue to thrive in their natural habitats.


Pros Cons
Can eat small vertebrates as a substitute for insects Plant materials do not provide the same nutritional value as insects
Can slow down their metabolism to conserve energy A diet lacking soil insects can have negative impacts on mole health

How to Protect Your Lawn and Garden from Moles

Your beautifully manicured lawn and garden are the pride and joy of your property. Unfortunately, the presence of moles can turn them into a disaster zone in no time. Moles tunnel underground in search of their favorite prey, soil insects, and unfortunately, they are often found feasting on the roots of your beautiful plants instead. But fear not, there are a variety of natural and chemical control methods to prevent moles from causing any further damage to your yard. Let’s explore some of the ways you can protect your lawn and garden from moles.

What Attracts Moles to Your Lawn and Garden

Moles are attracted to lawns and gardens for several reasons. Here are some factors that can lure moles to your property:

  • Soil type: Moles are most attracted to moist and loose soil, which makes it easier for them to dig tunnels for their homes and hunting grounds.
  • Insect population: Moles feed mainly on soil insects like grubs, earthworms, and beetles. So, if your lawn or garden has a plentiful supply of these tasty treats, moles are more likely to stick around.
  • Water source: Moles need water to survive, so if your yard has a pond, fountain, or other water feature, moles may be drawn to your property.
  • Shelter: Moles prefer to burrow beneath something, whether it’s a log, rock, or plant. So, if your garden has lots of shrubs or bushes, moles may find it a comfortable place to call home.
  • Nearby vegetation: Moles are also attracted to areas with lots of vegetation, as it provides cover and protection from predators.

Understanding what attracts moles to your lawn and garden is the first step in preventing them from causing damage. By addressing these factors, you can make your property less appealing to moles and reduce the likelihood of an infestation.

Preventing Moles from Damaging Your Lawn and Garden

There are various ways to prevent moles from damaging your lawn and garden. Some effective prevention methods are:

  • Remove Their Food Source: By controlling soil insects like grubs, you can cut off one of the main food sources for moles.
  • Install Barriers: Placing physical barriers around your garden or shrubs can help obstruct mole tunnels, making it difficult for them to reach your plants.
  • Eliminate Excess Moisture: Moles are attracted to moist soil, so ensuring proper drainage in your yard can discourage them from making it their home.
  • Mow Your Lawn Short: Mowing your lawn frequently and keeping it short can eliminate hiding spots for moles and make it challenging for them to travel through your yard undetected.
  • Plant Mole-Resistant Plants: Certain plants like daffodils or herbs have strong smells or textures that moles dislike.
  • Use Repellents: There are a variety of mole repellents available, such as castor oil or ultrasonic devices, that can help keep moles away from your lawn and garden.

Implementing one or more of these prevention methods can greatly decrease the chances of moles damaging your lawn and garden. Keep in mind that prevention is always better than trying to get rid of moles after they have already caused significant damage.

Natural and Chemical Control Methods for Moles

Controlling moles can be a difficult task, but there are both natural and chemical methods available. It’s important to consider the potential impact on other wildlife and the environment before choosing a method. Here are some options for controlling moles:

Natural Methods Chemical Methods
  • Castor Oil: Applying a castor oil-based repellent to your yard may discourage moles from tunneling in the area.
  • Moles Plants: Planting specific plants like daffodils, marigolds, and alliums may deter moles from coming into your yard.
  • Flooding: Flooding the burrows may force moles to leave the area.
  • Fumigation: Fumigating the burrows with smoke or gas may be effective in killing moles, but it’s important to use caution and follow safety guidelines.
  • Poison Baits: Using poisoned baits to kill moles may be effective but can also harm other wildlife or pets that may ingest the bait.
  • Traps: Live-capture traps like the box trap or the scissor-jaw trap can be used to capture and relocate moles.
  • Repellents: Chemical repellents like MoleMax, Mole Scram, and Mole Chase may deter moles from tunneling in the area, but they may also have an impact on other wildlife.

Note that some natural methods like flooding may only be effective for a short period of time as moles are known to return to their burrows after the area has dried. It’s important to monitor the effectiveness of any control method and to consider alternative options if necessary. Additionally, it’s important to remember that moles serve an important purpose in the ecosystem by aerating and fertilizing soil. It may be best to opt for humane control methods or to simply tolerate the presence of moles in your yard.


As we come to the end of our exploration into the diet and survival of moles, it is evident that their reliance on soil insects is crucial to their well-being. However, the question still lingers – can moles survive without these insects in their diet? While it may seem perplexing, our comprehensive analysis has shed light on the truth behind this enigmatic query. Let us delve deeper and uncover the final revelations about moles, their eating habits, and how we can protect our lawns and gardens from their notorious mischief.

The Bottom Line

It is clear that soil insects play a crucial role in the diet of moles. Without access to these insects, the survival rate of moles decreases significantly. However, it is important to note that moles are adaptable creatures and can find alternative food sources when necessary.

To protect your lawn and garden from moles, it is essential to understand their behavior and what attracts them in the first place. Avoid overwatering your lawn, as moles are attracted to moist soil. Additionally, keep your lawn well-maintained and free of excess thatch, which can provide a habitat for grubs and other insects that moles prey on.

If prevention methods fail, there are both natural and chemical control methods available. Natural methods include using plants that deter moles, such as daffodils and alliums, or using physical barriers like mesh wire or gravel. Chemical control methods typically involve applying repellents or poisons, but should be used with caution and only as a last resort.

Ultimately, it is possible to coexist with moles and protect your lawn and garden at the same time. By taking preventative measures and understanding the behavior of these creatures, homeowners can strike a balance and maintain a healthy and beautiful outdoor space.

Final Thoughts

After discussing the diet of moles, their need for soil insects, and the negative effects of a no-insect diet on moles, it’s important to consider ways to protect your lawn and garden from these underground diggers. There are numerous natural and chemical methods available to control moles, but prevention is often the best approach.

What Attracts Moles?

Moles are attracted to yards and gardens with moist soil, rich in earthworms and grubs, which they love to feed on. They also tend to favor areas with thick vegetation, as it provides cover and hiding places. While these factors are out of your control, there are a few steps you can take to deter moles from digging through your yard.

Preventing Mole Damage

Firstly, it’s important to maintain a well-drained lawn and avoid overwatering, as excessive moisture can attract moles. Removing dense vegetation, and keeping your yard tidy can also be helpful, as it leaves fewer hiding spots for moles. You can also try planting insect-resistant plants in the areas where you want to deter moles.

Natural and Chemical Control Methods

If moles have already started digging through your yard, natural remedies like castor oil or garlic and chili pepper spray can be effective in repelling them. Alternatively, you can consider using a more aggressive method, such as traps or poison baits. However, these methods should be used with caution, as they can harm other wildlife or pets.

It’s important to monitor your yard for signs of mole activity regularly, as early intervention is key to preventing extensive damage. If you’re unsure which methods are best suited for your situation, it’s always a good idea to contact a professional pest control service.


Moles may be small, but their impact on your lawn and garden can be significant. They rely heavily on soil insects for their diet, and a lack of these insects can have negative effects on their health and behavior. Preventing mole damage through proper yard maintenance and natural or chemical control methods can save you time, money, and frustration in the long run.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do moles eat?

Moles primarily feed on soil insects, such as earthworms, grubs, and beetles.

Can moles survive without soil insects in their diet?

While moles can survive without soil insects, they will experience negative effects on their health and behavior.

What happens if moles don’t have access to soil insects?

Moles will have to seek alternative food sources, such as seeds, nuts, and fruits, which are less nutritious than soil insects.

Do moles damage lawns and gardens?

Yes, moles can cause damage to lawns and gardens by creating unsightly mounds and tunnels.

Can moles be beneficial to the environment?

Yes, moles play a crucial role in maintaining soil health by aerating the soil and increasing nutrient availability.

What attracts moles to lawns and gardens?

Moles are attracted to moist soil with a high concentration of soil insects, such as earthworms and grubs.

How can I prevent moles from damaging my lawn and garden?

You can prevent moles by reducing soil moisture levels, decreasing soil insect populations, and installing exclusion barriers.

Are natural control methods effective for eliminating moles?

Natural control methods, such as castor oil and predator urine, can be effective in repelling moles, but may not completely eliminate them.

What are some chemical control methods for moles?

Chemical control methods, such as bait and poison, can be effective in eliminating moles, but should only be used as a last resort and with caution.

Do I need to worry about moles spreading diseases?

No, moles are not known to carry diseases that can be transmitted to humans.