Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

How to Eliminate Moles

By Contributor

If tunnels popping are up on your lawn, the likely cause is a mole. Moles do a lot of damage to your lawn, but they also aerate the soil and eat insects. Perhaps you might learn to live with the tunneling. Perhaps you want the mole gone. Whether you prefer to eliminate or repel the little vermin, many choices exist.


Consider building a gravel moat around a garden, or any area you want to keep moles out of--moles will not burrow through gravel. Make it 2 feet deep and a foot wide. Cap the moat with crushed rock for a more appealing view. Alternatively, dig a trench 2 feet deep and line with hardware cloth or wire mesh. Once filled back in, the moles won't be able to trench through the barrier. You could also build an elevated area at least 6 inches off the ground. Moles cannot climb up into your elevated area.

Understand the mole's biology. Moles do not have very good eyesight. Compensating for that is an acute sense of smell. Moles do not like castor oil. You can purchase castor oil granules at most hardware stores. Spread them over your entire yard using a seed spreader, and water the yard to activate the granules. You could also purchase castor oil and spray over your yard using a spray attachment to your hose. Granules will work for several weeks. The oil itself would need to be reapplied after each rain.

Try natural methods. Due to their acute sense of smell, any variety of items poured into their holes should deter the mole. Try straight castor oil, eucalyptus oil or any variety of mint. This will force the mole to move. With any luck, they will move to another yard. You may need to repeat this step frequently.

Adopt a cat. They will keep the moles, and voles, out of your yard.

Killing or Capturing

Find the active mole tunnel. Test whether or not it is active by crushing the tunnel with your foot. If the tunnel is rebuilt the next day, it is an active tunnel.

Using any commercial mole trap, set the trap directly in or near the tunnel entrance. If possible, cover the trap with a large bucket or box that will not tip over. This keeps children or other critters from disturbing the trap or possible harm.

Try flooding the hole and capturing the mole as it exits another hole. There is a high likelihood you will be unsuccessful in doing this. If you are able to catch the critter, move to a location far away from your home.


Things You Will Need

  • Mole or vole problem
  • Castor oil mole repellent


  • Moles are solitary creatures. Once you remove one, your problem is likely taken care of.
  • You may have voles instead! Voles eat flowers, vegetables and bulbs whereas moles do not.
  • Reapply mole repellent every few months.


  • Don't touch the mole. If contact happens, wash thoroughly.

About the Author


This article was created by a professional writer and edited by experienced copy editors, both qualified members of the Demand Media Studios community. All articles go through an editorial process that includes subject matter guidelines, plagiarism review, fact-checking, and other steps in an effort to provide reliable information.