Having a mole problem is more than a little annoying. While these bizarre looking diggers aren’t technically harmful to humans, they can cause serious damage to our lawns, gardens, and even harm established trees.
Luckily, the sighting of one mole doesn’t necessarily mean you have many more. Moles are loners and, even though they can multiply quickly, there are usually no more than three to five moles per acre. In fact, most mole problems are usually the result of just one to two moles at a time. That said, even one mole can be quite destructive.
Worse yet, the people who tend to get hit the hardest by moles are those who have taken the most pride in their lawns. Why? Because moles prefer to dig in rich, healthy soil and tend to go for lawns that are lush and crawling with earthworms, grubs, and insects – which many healthy lawns are.
So, are you wondering how to get rid of moles in your yard or garden? You’ve come to the right place. Join us as we talk about what attracts moles, how to repel and control them, and how to keep them out of your yard for good.
What Are Moles?
Moles are small, blind mammals that dig tunnels in the earth.
Moles are small, insect-eating mammals who are often confused for rodents like voles. However, moles are actually not rodents at all. Moles have pointed snouts, roundish bodies, and short fur that looks like velvet. Their ears and eyes are so small they are usually not visible, giving them the appearance of being both deaf and blind.
Although moles are considered by many to be garden and yard pests, they do have a role in the ecosystem and are quite important to the environment. In fact, a mole or two can even help keep your lawn healthy and thriving.
Moles help aerate the soil and create a natural fertilizer with their waste. Contrary to popular belief, moles do not feed on garden plants or roots and instead keep their sights set on insects, grubs and worms. They are not harmful to people or pets, and generally keep to themselves underground.
However, moles become problematic when too many of them take over one lawn, or when one mole gets a little overzealous with digging.
Not only that, but moles also feed on beneficial earthworms, eating as much as 100% of their own bodyweight in these slimy creatures, which can reduce lawn and garden health if this feasting gets out of control.
How do you know if you have a mole problem? Let’s take a look at some of the most common signs of a mole problem below.
Mole Damage – How To Recognize A Mole Problem
Moles can leave large mounds of dirt in your lawn called mole hills.
The most common signs you have a mole problem are going to be mole hills and raised soil ridges or surface tunnels.
Mole hills, pictured above, look like volcanic mounds of dirt.
Surface tunnels or raised soil ridges are also tell-tale signs you have a mole problem. These raised ridges will lead across your lawn like ribbons, raising your grass. You can walk these raised surfaces and will notice that the ground will be hollow and empty beneath the grass.
If you see either or both of the above signs of mole activity, you can rest assured you have a mole problem in your yard.
Why do moles create surface tunnels and mole hills? Moles live most of their life underground, and create elaborate tunnels and chambers where they breed, eat, and sleep. The mole hills are a result of excess dirt building up in their tunnels, while the surface tunnels are just that – signs of the mole’s underground runways coming near the surface of the ground.
Moles can dig deeply into your lawn, so sometimes you won’t see a surface tunnel at all. In fact, most mole tunnels are at least ten inches below the ground’s surface.
And while moles don’t eat plants, they can still wreak havoc on your gardens. Moles can dig around the roots of plants and trees, leading to the death of lawns, trees, and garden plants. They also feast ravenously on beneficial earthworms, as we mentioned above, which can further lead to the decline of your lawn and garden.
How To Get Rid Of Moles – Three Popular Methods
Many people like finding humane ways of getting rid of Moles, like repelling and trapping.
Out of sight does not mean out of mind when it comes to moles, and since just one mole can cause quite a bit of damage if left unchecked, it may be necessary to take certain steps to get rid of it.
Some of the most popular methods of how to get rid of moles, according to experts, are:
Mole trapping works well when working on how to get rid of moles quickly. It can be done using a number of different tools. Some homeowners opt to use mole traps that kill moles instantly, while others use live traps and simply relocate the moles off of their property.
Since most mole problems usually only consist of one or two moles, (or sometimes five at most), trapping is an easy and effective way to get rid of them.
In fact, when looking at how to get rid of moles in your lawn, most experts agree that trapping is the most effective way to handle a mole problem.
Using repellents may not always be as effective as trapping when working on how to get rid of moles, but it can be beneficial for mole prevention. In fact, if you don’t mind having one or two moles in your yard or garden but would prefer to keep the numbers low or keep moles away from certain areas, a mole repellent may be a good option for you.
Most mole repellents are harm-free and use deterrents like scents and sounds to repel moles.
Poisoning a mole is usually not necessary, as they can easily be trapped or repelled. However, if you have a serious mole problem and are looking at how to get rid of moles quickly and efficiently, you may find this option to be the most effective.
Unfortunately, poisoning moles usually requires harsh chemicals and rodenticides, which can be unsafe and toxic to humans and pets. That said, most poisons work quickly, with many killing moles in as little as 24 hours.
This Video Further Discusses The Above Three Different Methods Of Mole Removal
Now, let’s talk a bit more about how to get rid of moles using some of the above methods.
How To Get Rid Of Moles Using Traps
Live rodent traps are an effective and humane way to trap and relocate moles.
Wondering how to get rid of moles using traps? As we mentioned above, trapping moles is one of the most popular and effective methods of mole removal, according to many experts. Trapping also offers you the option to trap moles using harm-free methods like live rodent traps. Of course, you can also use traps that kill moles instantly.
Some of the best mole traps for how to get rid of moles, according to experts, are listed below.
Fasmov Humane Live Mole Trap
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Most traps offered by experts and exterminators are kill traps that help those wondering how to get rid of moles on the spot. However, if you are wondering how to get rid of moles using a live trap, we have you covered.
For catching moles in live traps, we recommend the Fasmov Humane Live Small Animal Trap above. This trap is weather resistant and escape proof. It is easy to bait and set and will help you capture and relocate problematic moles.
Tomcat Mole Trap
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This mole trap by Tomcat is an effective and handsfree way to trap and kill moles causing problems in your yard or garden. It is a child and pet safe trap as well, which is great for parents and pet owners looking at how to get rid of moles.
Much like a mouse trap, you can reset this trap as many times as necessary to catch the problematic moles in your yard.
Wire Tek 1001 EasySet Mole Trap
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Another mole trap recommended by experts for how to get rid of moles is the Wire Tek Easy Set trap that uses a spring trigger to catch and kill moles quickly and efficiently. It’s especially easy to use as you don’t need to dig into your lawn and can simply set it into the mole’s runway.
Again, this is a great method for those with children and pets in the home and or those who don’t want to use insecticides or poisons on their lawns and gardens.
H&B Luxuries Mole Trap
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Another live trap option we like is this small rodent trap by H&B Luxuries. It is designed to withstand moisture, is rust resistant, escape proof, and resistant to corrosion. This makes it a great trap to use often and over and over again.
You can also use this trap to catch and relocate problematic opossums, rabbits, chipmunks, lizards, voles, and more. It is safe to use around pets and children as it doesn’t require the use of insecticides or poisons.
How To Get Rid Of Moles Using Repellents
Many find repellents an effective way to keep Moles out of their yards.
Mole repellents are another great method to use when considering how to get rid of moles. Repellents not only help control a mole problem in your yard but can also help prevent a future one from occurring.
If you are looking for how to get rid of moles using repellents, take a look at some of our favorite options below.
100% Castor Oil Mole Repellent
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One of the safest mole repellents you can use is 100% castor oil. This is a natural way to control and repel moles in your yard and garden without ever having to worry about using traps or poisons.
Castor oil naturally repels moles, and many exterminators use this product to help handle mole problems on the job. You can order it in three different sizes and it treats up to 5,000 square feet. This particular product is designed especially for repelling moles and includes a ground-penetrating agent that, when combined with water, seeps into the soil, making it less habitable to moles and other digging pests like voles.
Molemax Mole Repellent Granules
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This is one of the most popular mole repellent options for those looking at how to get rid of moles using harm-free repellents.
These granules treat up to 5,000 square feet and irritate and repel moles as well as other pests like skunks, gophers, rabbits, and vols. This mole repellent uses the active ingredient castor oil, which naturally repels moles and other pests and helps deter them from your yard and garden. Follow the directions carefully. This product is pet and child safe, but must be administered correctly.
Repellex Mole Granular Repellent
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Another mole repellent we like is made by Repellex. These granules can be used to repel moles, voles, and gophers and are made with all plant-based ingredients. They are chemical free and safe to use with children and pets, although the directions warn against using them on edible plants, so avoid using this mole repellent in your vegetable garden.
The active ingredient in this mole repellent is castor oil and it covers up to 24,000 square feet, so it’s an excellent repellent to use if you have very large grounds to cover.
Solar Sonic Mole Repellents
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There has been some debate about whether sonic mole repellents work, however this product has pretty decent reviews and we like that the stakes are solar powered, which means you can set them and forget them. This is a harm-free way to help protect your yard and garden from moles.
It is also kid and pet friendly as it doesn’t require the use of any poisons or chemicals, and it doesn’t involve trapping. You can place these stakes anywhere you like and even take them with you when you travel.
They also help repel other pets including gophers, snakes, rats, mice, and voles.
How To Get Rid Of Moles Using Poisons
Moles can be eliminated using poison baits that kill them within 24 to 48 hours.
Again, using mole poisons may be quick and effective, but it can also be dangerous and cause more harm than good to your lawn and to your family and pets. Mole poisons are toxic, so if you choose to use them we recommend you use them carefully.
That said, a very serious mole problem may require this more intense method of mole removal. If you are wondering how to get rid of moles using poison, we have listed two of the most popular poisons below.
Victor Poison Peanuts For Moles
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If you are looking at how to get rid of moles using poisons, you may like this bated product by Victor. These poisonous “peanuts” attract moles and voles. The applicator is cone shaped to help you easily get the pellets into the mole’s runway.
This is a very effective poison that kills moles and voles using Zinc Phosphide. However, because this method is highly poisonous, it should not be used around children and pets.
Talpirid Mole Bait
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Talpirid Mole Bait is another popular method to kill moles using poisonous bait. The active ingredient is Bromethalin, which is a rodenticide that kills rodents like moles within 24 to 36 hours after ingesting it.
The bait is made to look like a worm or grub, which is part of a mole’s natural diet. While this is an effective way to treat and kill moles, it can be toxic to pets and children and should be used very carefully.
How To Get Rid Of Moles Using Home Remedies
Moles are repelled naturally by the scent of the Euphorbia lathyris plant, also known as Gopher Spurge.
Do you want to know how to get rid of moles naturally using home remedies? Then you’re in luck. Moles are quite picky about their habitats and environments, and prefer quiet locations that smell and feel a certain way.
You can deter moles by using the following home remedies:
- Eliminate the Mole’s Food Source
Since moles eat earthworms, grubs, and insects, you can help reduce the chances of having a mole problem by controlling the number of insects including termites on your property and in your yard and garden.
- Plant Euphorbia Lathyris In Your Yard
Moles are sensitive and they don’t like the scent or flavor of Euphorbia Lathyris, also known as Gopher Spurge. This plant helps repel garden pests like moles and gophers, however it is a toxic plant and should not be used in gardens where pets and children play.
- Use Noise
Set up wind chimes and play music when outside. Moles do not like noise and will be deterred from digging their runways in your lawn if it is too active and noisy.
- Use Pet Waste
Finally, a good use for your dog’s poop! You can use pet waste to deter and repel moles in your yard by dropping your dog’s waste into one of the tunnels or mole hills. It’s as simple as that.
- Unpleasant Scents
Along with the unpleasant scent of dog poop, moles will also be repulsed by fishy smells. You can use anything from sardines to leftover salmon skin from last night’s dinner. Simply drop it around and in the tunnels and mole hills to repel and get rid of moles.
- Coffee Grounds
Wondering how to get rid of moles with something pleasant smelling? Coffee grounds are super fragrant and will deter moles just as well as fish or dog poop. However, be careful when using coffee grounds in yards where pets play. The caffeine in coffee is highly poisonous to pets if ingested, so use this method with caution.
Quick Facts – What You Should Know About Moles
There are 42 species of moles around the world.
Moles may be problematic, but they are also quite interesting. If you want to know how to get rid of moles for good, it may help to learn a bit more about them.
Let’s take a look at some fast and fun facts about moles.
- Mole Habitat
Moles are very common and can be found on all continents except South America and Antarctica. There are 42 species of moles across the world, and their habitats and soil preferences vary.
However, most moles prefer moist, healthy soil and stay away from soils that are too sandy or acidic. They dig intricate runways or “highways” underground and even have chambers that serve different purposes. In fact, moles even have specific kitchen chambers where they store live earthworms for future meals.
- Mole Diet
If you want to know how to get rid of moles, you should certainly learn about their food preferences. Moles are carnivores who dine on earthworms, grubs, and insects. If you want to deter moles from your yard, make sure there isn’t an abundance of mole food lurking about.
- Mole Lifespan
Moles can live up to six years in the right conditions, but they typically only live to be about three years old. The most common predators for moles, aside from humans, are cats, dogs, and owls.
- Mole Reproduction
Although moles live mostly secluded lives, they do become quite active between the months of February and April, when mating season hits. During this time, moles travel through underground “highways” to find and mate with the opposite sex. Male moles even enlarge their chambers to make room for female moles.
A mole litter is typically between two and six baby moles.
Tips On Preventing A Future Mole Problem
Preventing a future mole problem may be easier than you think.
As we mentioned above, moles can be a garden’s friend. However, they can also cause some serious damage if they get out of control. If you’ve had enough with moles in your yard and are ready to keep them out, we have a few tips and tricks to help you do just that.
- Dig A Trench
If you have a specific place in your yard you don’t want moles to roam, you can build a trench barrier. Experts recommend you dig at least two to three feet deep and fill the trench with rocks or wire mesh. This is a great method for those looking at how to get rid of moles or prevent moles from coming into a garden.
- Invite The Predators
Cats and dogs are natural predators of moles, but if you’re not in the position to welcome a furry companion into your home, you can always invite wild mole predators around. Owls work well for those looking at how to get rid of moles naturally, and you can entice owls to hang around your property by installing an owl nesting box early during spring or late in winter.
- Use Castor Oil
As we mentioned a few times above, castor oil is a natural and effective tool for those of you wondering how to get rid of moles and prevent them from returning. Many professionals use castor oil to repel moles. Best of all, it’s easy to find. You may simply order it online or get it at any local gardening store.
- Use Noise
Remember, if you are looking for how to get rid of moles easily, simply add some noise to your yard. Windchimes, radios, and lots of activity will help prevent moles.
- Remove The Grubs
Remove grubs and other insects from your yard and garden. The less mole food you have hanging out in your yard, the less a mole is going to want to make an underground home there.
We hope this article has helped you figure out how to get rid of moles in your yard or garden, and we wish you the best of luck on your mole removal mission.