Mammals
mole
fox
Rabbit

MAMMALS

Pest Identification > Rodents | Mammals | Insects | Birds

 

Mammals are the smallest category of pests; they are warm blooded, live bearing creatures that have adapted to live in many different habitats. Their main requirements are food, water and harbourage. They can cause damage to property and crops. Sometimes in exceptional circumstances if provoked they can attack our pets and even us, although this is very rare it has happened.

 

MOLES (Talpa europaea)

 

The common British mole lives almost entirely underground. The first thing most people notice and which notifies them they have a mole problem, are the appearance of strange mounds of earth appearing all over their lawns, sometimes seen in straight lines. These mounds show that a mole or moles are tunnelling. The tunnels they make serve two purposes, the first is the tunnels allow the moles to travel safely away from predators, the second is in the way of a trap. The whole network allows bugs, creepy crawlies and worms to fall into the tunnels where the mole can find and consume them. Moles grow to an average size of 15-20cm in length. They have very smooth dark fur and poor eye sight. Moles live a solitary life only coming together to mate, they mate once a year and can have up to 7 young. They are fiercely territorial and will vigorously defend their territories.

 

FOX (Vulpes vulpes)

 

A member of the dog family, the fox is reddish brown in colour with a white tipped tail. The male (dog) is about 1kg heavier than the female (vixen). The male weighs around 6.5kg, he measures 110cm from tip of tail to nose and stands about 40cm high. In urban areas density of population varies from city to city. Foxes live at times in dens which are called earths. The foxes calendar starts in January with breeding, then the cubs are born in March and they first emerge from the earth in April. In May they start to eat solids and in June they abandon the earth, by September the cubs are fully grown. November and December see the foxes fighting and becoming quite vocal as breeding season approaches again. Average litter size is 5.

 

RABBITS (Oryctolagus cuniculus)

Rabbits grow to 40cm in length and can weigh 1.2-2kg, there can be some variation in colour from sandy to grey and even black. Rabbits live communally in burrows (warrens). Usually nocturnal although they can be found lying above ground in sheltered spots in daylight. They are herbivores, they will select the more nutritious plants available. They are drawn to commercial crops as a result. Rabbits have 4-5 litters a year with an average of 5 young per litter. Gestation is 28-30 days, a female becomes sexually active at 3-4 months old. Rabbits can cause large amounts of damage to land and crops they can also undermine buildings. Rabbits can carry the mixomatosis virus (only harmful to rabbits) the virus is transmitted by rabbit flea. Most noticeable in large colonies.

 

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