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How to Remove Ground Moles

By Patrice Campbell ; Updated September 21, 2017

A couple of moles can dig a network of tunnels to cause a lot of damage to a garden. Tunneling through lawns and gardens searching for grubs and earthworks, these garden pests can harm seedlings and root systems. While they don't eat garden plants, they can spread disease. Their tunnels can also be used by field mice, which will nibble on plant roots. There are ways to remove ground moles from lawns and gardens. Remember that there are fewer moles than the tunnels might indicate.

Dig out moles when you are able to see ridges rising up in the soil as they are tunneling by inserting a shovel behind the mole and flipping it into a bucket.

Flood a mole run with a garden hose. Expose the run with a shovel, insert the garden hose and turn on the water. Watch for the exit holes, and be ready with a shovel when the adult moles try to escape.

Eliminate grubs from the lawn and garden so that the moles will find a better feeding area and leave on their own. Find pesticides that fit with your needs at the garden center.

Build a barrier to deter moles from the garden. Dig a trench 6 inches wide with a depth of about 2 feet around vulnerable areas of the lawn or garden. Fill it in with compacted or stony soil and heavy clay. Moles will have a hard time digging through to the protected area.

Dump used cat litter into the mole tunnels. The strong odor repels moles. Don't use this option in food gardens or play areas.

Trap moles in the early spring when it's easier to identify active mole runs by the ridges in the soil. Types of mole traps are scissor-jawed, choker traps and harpoon traps. Follow the manufacturer’s directions when setting these spring-triggered traps available at the garden center.


Things You Will Need

  • Shovel
  • Bucket
  • Hose
  • Water
  • Pesticides
  • Stony soil or clay
  • Cat litter
  • Windmill, pinwheel and/or empty glass bottle


  • Windmills, children's toy pinwheels and even empty glass bottles set along a mole run can cause a vibration that seems to drive moles away.
  • Many homes are equipped with natural mole predators. Cats and dogs will kill moles, but not eat them.

About the Author


Patrice Campbell, a graduate of Skagit Valley College, has more than 20 years of writing experience. She has worked as a news reporter and features writer for the "Florence Mining News" and the "Wild Rivers Guide," penned promotional material for various businesses and charities, and written for various websites.