Mole, or TaLpa, L. a genus of quadrupeds, consisting of seven species, of which the Europaeus, or European Mole, only is found in Britain. It abounds in all parts of Europe, excepting Ireland.

This animal is from five to six inches in length : its head is large, without any external ears, and its eyes are so very minute, and concealed in the fur, that it is vulgarly believed to be blind.

The Mole chiefly frequents meadows, gardens, and moist fields that are exposed to the sun, especially on the approach of rain; when it does considerable damage, by loosening the fibres and roots of vegetables, while constructing its subterraneous abode.-The female produces from four to six young at a time, which are deposited in nests, artfully made with moss, leaves, and dried grass, beneath the largest hillocks of the field. These dwellings are formed with admirable ingenuity, consisting of an interior hillock, surrounded with a ditch, that communicates with several streets, bye-ways, and galleries.

Various means have been contrived for extirpating moles, such as irrigating the fields infested with them, etc.; but the most effectual is that described by Dr. DaRwin, in his Phytologia, and derived from the experience of a successful mole-catcher.—This man commenced his operations before the rising of the sun, when he carefully watched their situation ; and, frequently observing the motion of the earth above their walks, he struck a spade into the ground behind them, cut off their retreat, and dug them up.

As moles usually place their nests much deeper in the ground than their common habitations are situated, and thus produce an elevation, or a mole-hill, the next step is to demolish such nests by the spade; after which the frequented paths must be distinguished from the bye-roads, for the purpose of setting subterraneous traps. This will be effected by marking every new mole-hill with a slight pressure of the foot, and observing the next day, whether a mole has passed over it, and effaced such mark ; which operation must be repeated two or three mornings in succession, but without making an impression so deep as to alarm and induce the animal to open another passage.

The traps must now be set in the frequented paths, and ought to consist of a hollow wooden semi-cylinder, each end of which should be furnished with grooved rings, containing two nooses of horsehair, that are fastened loosely in the centre, by means of a peg, and are stretched above the surface of the ground, by a bent stick or strong hoop. As soon as the mole passes half way through one of these nooses, and removes the central peg in his course, the curved stick rises in consequence of its elasticity, and thus strangles the animal.

The method above detailed being ingenious, it deserves to be generally adopted; as those, whose grounds are infested with moles, may easily extirpate them, or teach the art to their labourers.—It is, however, in our opinion, an undecided point, whether these little quadrupeds, that live entirely on worms and insects, of which they consume incalculable numbers, are not to be considered as harmless, nay, useful rather than noxious ; especially as they have their formidable natural enemies in foxes, martins, weasels, hedge-hogs, serpents, and cats. Farther, it has been observed, that fields and gardens, where all the moles had been caught, abounded with vermin and insects. But, if these burrowing creatures become too numerous and hurtful to the vegetation of plants, or dangerous to dykes and banks, the most easy method of destroying them is, to expose a few living lobsters in a deep-glazed earthen vessel, the top of which is somewhat narrower than its basis, so that they cannot escape such a pot must be buried several inches deep in the ground, and covered with green sods, so as to be accessible to the mole, which is remarkably partial to that shell-fish. No sooner has one of the former entered the pot, than others from the vicinity will hasten to the fatal receptacle, in consequence of the noise made by the captive; and thus meet with inevitable destruction.