How to Get Rid of Mole Problems

Overview

Moles are part of the insectivore family; the small, furry animals live primarily underground and eat insects, worms and other pests that many gardeners would like to eliminate from their garden. However, moles can wreak havoc on lawns and gardens. The telltale sign of a mole hill is a pile of ridged dirt or soil on the lawn. Underneath is the mole's tunnel, which can extend for quite a distance, weakening the lawn or garden. Get rid of mole problems by eliminating the creature's food supply, and trapping it.

Step 1

Cut off a mole's food supply by getting rid of grubs, earthworms, larvae and other insects. Apply an insecticide to your lawn or garden only if your mole problems are severe, as you may end up killing some insects that are beneficial to the garden in the process.

Step 2

Spray the area around the molehills with a mole repellent that contains castor oil to try and deter the animals from using the tunnels. Purdue University's department of entomology reports that repellents of this kind have only an anecdotal success rate.

Step 3

Create a humane trap to catch moles that are creating a problem on your property. Push an empty coffee can into the molehill mound so that the top of the can is level with the bottom of the tunnel. Cover the ground with a piece of plywood so that the moles will not see daylight. When the animals try to come out of the tunnel, they will get trapped in the can. Call your local animal control office to determine how to handle the trapped animal.

Step 4

Place a barrier so that the moles cannot access the full run of their tunnel, potentially causing them to find a home somewhere else. Insert a piece of aluminum sheeting into the ground about 12 to 18 inches away from the accumulation of soil that marks the tunnel. The barrier should span up to 2 feet underground to be effective, according to Purdue University experts. Allow 6 inches of the barrier to appear above the ground.

Step 5

Place a scissor-jaw or harpoon trap at the runway entrance to the mole tunnel. Clear away the soil from the opening, and measure the depth of the tunnel with a yardstick. The trap's stakes must be the same length as the tunnel depth. Position the trap so that the runway opening is between the trap stakes. Push the stakes down into the group so that only the trigger mechanism is visible. Set the trap according to manufacturer directions and check twice daily to see if the moles have fallen prey to the trap.

Things You'll Need

  • Insecticide
  • Repellents
  • Coffee can
  • Plywood
  • Aluminum sheet
  • Shovel
  • Traps

References

  • Iowa State University: Managing Iowa Wildlife--Moles
  • Michigan State University Extension: Mole Damage Control
  • Purdue University Department of Entomology: Moles
Keywords: mole removal, lawn moles, mole trap

About this Author

Erica Roth was a college reference librarian for 8 years, and has been a freelance writer since 2007. Roth graduated with honors from Brandeis University with a Bachelor of Arts in French Literature, and earned an Master of Library Science from Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science. Roth is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.