How to Control Garden Moles


Moles create tunnels that can harm plants' roots and look unsightly. Lawns are a favorite habitat for moles because earthworms are this insectivore's favorite food and live in grassy areas in abundance. Many folk remedies exist that people claim to be effective in either killing or driving moles away---from putting razor blades, human hair or bleach into their runways. However, these remedies may not prove effective. The best control method is to trap moles, according to the University of Ohio.

Step 1

Keep your lawn mowed closely and remove mulch or other ground cover in beds where you grow bulbs. This will make a less attractive habitat for moles.

Step 2

Place one trap into each active surface burrow in spring and fall, especially after it rains. Check traps every day and carefully dispose of dead moles.

Step 3

Apply the repellent Thiram in areas where you grow bulbs, as directed on the package.

Step 4

Sprinkling 1 tsp. of a mole product containing zinc phosphate into mole tunnels or on top of their mounds.

Step 5

Hire a professional exterminator if your mole invasion is severe. They will use fumigants that are approved for use only by certified applicators.

Tips and Warnings

  • Wear gloves and other protection when handling dead moles or chemicals. If you choose to use Thiram, be aware that it irritates eyes, mucus membranes and skin, according to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The fumigants aluminum phosphide and calcium cyanide are registered for use only by certified applicators.

Things You'll Need

  • Traps
  • Thiram
  • Toxicant with zinc phosphate
  • Fumigants


  • Ohio State Univesity Fact Sheet: Effective Mole Control
  • University of Missouri: Controlling Nuisance Moles
  • OSHA: Occupational Safety and Health Guideline for Thiram
  • Washington State University: Moles

Who Can Help

  • Deer Busters: Animal Control: Poison Peanuts
Keywords: moles killing, controlling animal pests, Thiram toxicants fumigants

About this Author

Barbara Fahs lives on Hawaii island, where she has created Hi'iaka's Healing Herb Garden. Fahs wrote "Super Simple Guide to Creating Hawaiian Gardens," and has been a professional writer since 1984. She contributes to Big Island Weekly, Ke Ola magazine, GardenGuides and eHow. She earned her B.A. at UCSB and her M.A. from San Jose State University.