Moles present a problem for gardeners and homeowners who don't like the ridges, holes and hills their tunneling creates in a yard or garden. Their holes can be a hazard for the ankles of the unwary, and they can easily destroy a carefully planned landscape. The presence of moles usually means you have a good supply of grubs and earthworms, their main food source. There are several methods for getting rid of moles in your garden or yard, and what works for one person may not work for another. Try less-invasive and complicated methods before moving on to pesticides and traps.
There are two commonly used natural mole deterrents that will make moles avoid an area, but may not work permanently or across your entire property. You can find fox urine spray at garden and outdoors stores, and human hair clippings are also sometimes used. Put these down active mole tunnels. You can tell if a tunnel is active by blocking its entrance with some dirt; if it is unblocked in a few days, it is in use.
Use moles’ natural enemies against them. This means snakes and birds. You can attract these to your yard with adequate habitat like trees and birdhouses for birds, and damp logs and shady areas for snakes. Some gardeners will swear by putting ratsnakes (which are generally non-aggressive toward people) down an active mole tunnel to get rid of the animals. If you prefer not to introduce snakes to your property, though, and if you are concerned about birds possibly eating your garden harvest, try a different tactic.
You can reduce moles in your garden or yard by getting rid of one of their primary foods: grubs. Use a targeted, selective insecticide like Merit, Lorsban 15, Mach-2 or Grub-Ex in early summer to kill grub eggs and remove this food source. Keep in mind they still will eat earthworms, which you do not want to get rid of.
There are also mole baits available which will poison the moles. However, moles are very picky eaters and may push untouched poisoned baits up to your garden or yard’s surface where pets and children can happen upon it. Supervise both children and pets carefully when you use these traps. Be sure the ones you use have the most effect by placing them in active tunnels, and using appetizing baits like worm baits like TomCat or Talpirid. These resemble the mole's favorite food, and will kill the mole when ingested.
The final option for getting rid of moles is to trap them. You can buy mole traps and do this yourself, or hire a pest control company that has experience working with moles. It is a tricky process and traps are ineffective if not used properly. They must be used on active tunnels also. There are a variety of traps; one effective type is a harpoon trap that will shoot the mole when it comes up a hole.
Be cautious in trap use around pets and children, or keep them away from trapped areas. There are no effective mole traps that do not kill the mole.
Things You Will Need
- Fox urine spray
- Human hair clippings
- Targeted grub insecticide
- Poisoned worm bait
- Mole traps
- Observe your moles for a while before trying removal methods. Researching how they tunnel and finding out the times and locations at which they are the most active will help your chances of success. You also should be ready to try several methods of mole removal.
- Castor oil and bubble gum are other remedies recommended by gardeners to put down the active mole holes to repel moles.
- If you are concerned that you do not want to kill the moles, realize that there is no good way to trap moles without killing them, and pesticides often also have the result of killing moles. If this is not an option for you, you may have to learn to live with the creatures.
- Check with local environmental agencies before using pesticides, poison baits or chemicals to get rid of moles. In some locales this is illegal or a license must be purchased first.