How to Kill a Mole in a Yard


Moles are small mammals that resemble shrews or mice. They feed on small insects, such as earthworms, mole crickets and grubs that destroy plants or foliage, which is why some farmers and gardeners prefer to keep them. They live in underground burrows where they dig a network of tunnels in search for food. Although we cannot see the tunnels, their activity, in the form of mounds of upheaved dirt, in our yards is visible. Not only does this affect the appearance of a yard or lawn, it causes grass roots to separate and die.

How to Kill a Mole in a Yard

Step 1

Walk through your yard to determine where moles are most active. Notice where there are soil mounds, and stomp them down with your foot. Do this to all the dirt mounds, so the soil falls back into the underground tunnels. Check your yard next morning to determine where mounds are made again, as moles will re-dig the caved-in tunnels. This will give you an idea of where the moles are situated.

Step 2

Dig a hole around the previously caved-in tunnel with a shovel, large enough to accommodate your mole trap. Level the bottom of the hole with the back of the shovel so you can rest the trigger plate of the trap on it. The mole must step on the trigger plate to activate the trap.

Step 3

Set the safety mechanism on the trap and lower it into the hole carefully, resting the trigger plate flat on the ground. Add soil into the hole to slightly cover the trap, stopping when you reach the fill line on the trap. The mole will begin digging a tunnel, assuming another cave-in has occurred and eventually step on the trigger plate. This will activate the trap and kill the mole.

Step 4

Check the trap the next day to determine whether it has sprung. If it has, dig it up carefully and remove the dead mole appropriately. Set the trap in another hole if there are more moles damaging your yard.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Mole trap
  • Gloves


  • The Ohio State University: Effective Mole Control
  • UC IPM Online: Moles
  • University of Missouri Extension: Controlling Nuisance Moles
Keywords: mole traps, killing moles, trapping moles

About this Author

Tanya Khan is a freelance author and consultant, having written hundreds of thousands of words for various online and print sources. She has an MBA in Marketing but her passion lies in giving her words wings.