How to Get Rid of a Garden Mole


Garden moles do not actually eat vegetables and flowers. They subsist mostly on grubs, insects, worms and invertebrates. The damage they do to a garden is from their avid tunneling, which will dislodge roots, uproot vegetables and allow plants to dry out. Large mounds of earth appear in the garden and the tunnel system can collapse, causing treacherous holes. The best way to remove a garden mole is to trap it. Moles remain active all year. Toxic baits do not work on moles since they rarely eat them.

Step 1

Tamp down areas of the moles' runways to determine which ones are the most widely used. Wait until the next day to see if the runways are again dug out. A deep runway is an ideal location for setting a trap. The deep runways tend to be the main roadways of the mole that are utilized every day. The likelihood of catching a mole in a main runway is much better than in runways that are only used occasionally.

Step 2

Look for the mound of the main runway. Moles always have an exit mound off a main runway. Set the trap at least 18 inches from the mound so it straddles the main runway. There are several types of traps that can be used to trap moles. According to the University of California, the scissor jaw variety or harpoon type mole trap are the most efficient and easiest to use.

Step 3

Dig out a hole for the trap that is slightly larger then the size of the trap. Make a tiny mound of flat soil in the middle of the hole that has been dug. This flat mound of soil is where the trap's trigger plate will rest.

Step 4

Set the trap's safety catch and then carefully place the trap into the hole. Make sure the trigger plate fits firmly against the soil mound so it will trigger easily. Sprinkle a light amount of dirt over the trap to camouflage it. Fill the hole with loose soil to the height of the tunnel. When the mole runs down its main runway it will run into the loose dirt. The mole will think it is a simple cave-in situation and will begin to tunnel through the loose dirt. Soon the mole will hit the trigger plate and the trap will snap into action.

Step 5

Release the safety catch once the soil is loosely over the trap. Look at the trap the next morning to see if it has sprung and the mole is trapped. Promptly remove the mole and choose another tunnel to try--most moles live in groups.

Tips and Warnings

  • Poisons do not normally work on moles but there are wide variety available on the market. Use these with caution around children and pets.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Scissor or harpoon mole trap


  • University Of California: Mole Management Guidelines
  • JSTOR: Food Habits Of the Common Garden Mole
  • Alabama Coorperative Extension: Mole Control

Who Can Help

  • University Of Missouri: Controlling Nuisance Moles
Keywords: garden moles, trapping garden moles, killing garden moles, moles