Moles are highly territorial little mammals that are equipped for digging and life underground. They eat their bodyweight in earthworms in one day and don’t hibernate so they are eating and digging all year long.
Moles love soft ground and lots of earthworms. Unfortunately for us the better care you take of your lawn and the more you water it, the more attractive you make it to moles. Moles love soft ground with lots of earthworms, and can quickly become a huge problem in your yard under the right conditions.
Just one mole can create up to 150 feet of new tunnels under your lawn every day
While they look similar to them they are not rodents, they are insectivores. The eastern mole weighs about 2.6 ounces and is 6.3 inches in length. They love soft and damp earth that is full of earthworms, which is their main food source.
Rarely do more than 3-5 moles live in a square acre of land, but that’s all it takes. At a speed of 18 feet of new tunnels in your yard every hour per mole, your yard will be littered with dirt mounds in no time.
So how do you know if you have moles?
Signs of moles
There is really only one tell-tale sign of moles, because you are very unlikely to see one. You’ll see dirt mounds show up all over your yard when you have moles. (See image below)
These are called molehills.
Molehills, sometimes referred to as mounds, are about 1 to 2 feet wide and 4 to 6 inches tall. They are formed when moles push excess dirt out of the tunnel in order to clear them out. As they create more tunnels throughout your yard, more mounds appear.
Mounds are a sure sign that you have, or have had moles in your yard.
The problems moles cause
Moles are actually good for the environment since they naturally aerate the soil and eat harmful insects. When it comes to a nicely manicured backyard though, moles can leave a wake of destruction in their paths.
Here are the main problems moles cause in a backyard
- Leave mounds all over your yard – They make mowing a pain, walking on them is difficult, and they ruin the grass
- They can attract voles, mice, other small rodents – The tunnels are often used by other small rodents like voles and mice which can also cause problems.
- Destroy plant roots, grass, and bulbs – When tunneling, moles destroy everything in their path.
Here are 5 methods for getting rid of moles
5 Methods to Get Rid of Moles in Your Yard
1. Use traps
Wire Tek spring loaded mole trap
- Great reviews
- Proven highly effective at killing moles
- Easy to use
- Approved for use on organic farms and nurseries
This method is highly effective but will kill the moles. You place spring loaded traps inside the entrances to the tunnels. When the mole puts weight on the spring, the trap is triggered instantly trapping and killing the mole. Somewhat similar to the way a mousetrap works.
This is really the most effective and efficient way to get rid of moles. Not to mention an overall safer option compared to using poison or chemical repellents.
Before setting traps, consider rolling your yard completely flat then monitoring for new mounds over the next 24 hours. This will give you a good idea the area of the yard where they are currently active. Then you set your traps in this area.
This is a more humane method to get rid of moles, but a lot more trouble. Not only that, but you should check your local laws as to whether or not it’s even legal. In some cases you may be able to get a permit, but many states have laws prohibiting the trapping and relocating of wild animals which includes moles. But because moles are classified as pests, it is legal to kill them.
That being said, there are ways to trap moles without killing them.
One way is to simply place a tube inside tunnel that is triggered to close when they enter it. Then they’re trapped in. You can remove the trap and relocate the mole.
This way isn’t as common as others or even recommended because it’s so much easier to kill them. However if you want to try, here is a humane catch and release mole trap on Amazon.
Catch and release mole trap
2. Bait and poison
The Giant Destroyer (GAS KILLER)
- Quickly kills moles with smoke bombs and gas
- Largest and most powerful gasser on the market
- Made from natural organic substances
- Easy and safe to use
- Made in USA
This is another effective way to get rid of moles. Keep in mind that chemical repellents and poisons can be dangerous. Keep children, pets, and other wildlife away from areas where you use poison.
The gas bomb we recommend above states that it has no poisons and is made from organic substances, still be careful and take proper precautions.
Be sure safely dispose of all traps and mole carcasses after using this method.
Types of mole poison:
- Gas/smoke bombs
- Worm and grub bait
Best mole poisons:
- Talprid Worm Shaped Mole Bait – This earthworm-shaped poison mole bait kills moles that eat it within 24 hours.
- Harris Mole and Gopher Pellets – These pellets are effective for some people and kill moles using diphacinone.
- The Giant Destroyer (GAS KILLER) – Turn their tunnels into gas chambers with these. These smoke bombs are made from natural substances and claim to be the most powerful gasser on the market.
Some states may have restrictions against the use of poisons due to the potential harmful effects to the environment so be sure to check your local laws before using poison.
3. Mole Repellents
XMSTORE Ultrasonic Solar Powered Mole Repellers
- Powerful sound waves ward off moles
- Solar powered
- Simple to use
- Easy to move and set up in other places
- Excellent reviews
When it comes to driving moles away from your yard, in all cases you have to make your yard inhospitable to moles. You can do this by using one of the 3 types of mole repellents.
These small yard stakes are driven into the ground and are very effective for some people. They emit ultra-sonic sounds to safely drive the moles away from your yard. See our recommendation above.
Many times is castor oil based, see DIY methods next. Here’s a liquid mole repellent on Amazon from Liquid Fence. The castor oil formula coats earthworms, which is a moles primary food supply. This drives the moles away.
Repellex is a popular granular mole repellent and is also used for preventative measures, so good to be used in conjunction with another method as well. Check it out on Amazon.
4. Home remedies
Some people like to try home remedies to solve problems before engaging in any purchases, and that’s smart in most cases. If you want to try some DIY methods using things you may have around the house then here’s a list of some common home remedies for getting rid of moles.
Probably the most popular home remedy to get rid of moles is using castor oil. While it won’t kill them, it will upset their digestive tracts and they find it very unappealing. The more unappealing your yard is the better.
You can buy a pre-made solution on Amazon like this one. Or you can make it yourself using the below ingredients.
- 1/2 cup castor oil
- 1/2 cup dish soap
- 1 gallon of water
Apply the mixture generously to the mounds, around and in the entrances, and on ridges. Repeat this process as many times as necessary until the moles are gone.
Other home remedies for getting rid of moles
- Cayenne pepper
- Tea tree oil
- Juicy Fruit gum
- Pet waste
- Coffee grounds
5. Call a professional
Sometimes it’s best to let a professional take over. It can be expensive but these guys know what they’re doing and if you have the extra money it’s definitely worth it. Your local pest control company should be able to exterminate moles.
Here’s a short video of a professional wildlife removal business showing the traps they use and how they remove moles.
- Avoid overwatering your lawn – Both moles and earthworms are attracted to soft, damp soil.
- Get a cat – Cats (and dogs), if they have a prey drive, will hunt down and kill moles.
- Eliminate food source – If your yard has no food for them they will naturally leave.
- Dig a trench – You can dig a trench around your yard or the area in question and fill it with gravel so moles can’t enter.
So which method is best?
If you want to get rid of your mole problem on your own then you have some options. However it seems that the best way to get rid of moles in your yard is by using traps.
You can always call a professional if worst comes to worst, but it’s worth a shot to try a few of these methods first.
What do moles eat?
Moles are insectivores that feed almost primarily on earthworms.
Do moles have eyes?
Moles do have eyes, but they are small and not often used since they rely heavily on their noses.
Are moles blind?
Moles are not blind, but they are colorblind. They can see light and detect movement but don’t use their eyes for much else.
Are moles nocturnal?
Moles are not nocturnal and may be active at any time day or night.
Do moles hibernate?
Moles do not hibernate. They are active all year long digging and looking for food.
How deep are mole tunnels?
Typically mole tunnels are less than a foot below ground but moles sometimes dig deeper tunnels that can be as deep as 40 inches below ground.