How to Get Rid of Moles

lawn destroyed by a mole

Are moles wreaking havoc in your lawn? Don’t let these subterranean tunnelers dominate your yard. We have everything you need, from identifying mole activity to implementing effective control methods. From traps and bait to DIY mole deterrents, here’s how to get rid of moles in your yard and create a beautiful, mole-free landscape.

How to Get Rid of Moles

We’ll explain how to identify mole damage, choose the best mole control method, and prevent future infestations to say goodbye to moles in the yard and hello to a beautiful lawn.

Identify Mole Activity

side by side mole activities on a lawn
Photo Credits:
Vegetation Damage: schulzie / Canva Pro / License
Mounds: user_with_dslr / Canva Pro / License

There are a few key differences between moles, voles, and gophers that can help you determine what is digging up your yard. Here are some characteristics that can assist in determining if it’s a mole hill:

  • Damage to vegetation: Moles rarely eat plants but tunnel and uproot flowers and vegetables. Voles and gophers, on the other hand, are herbivores and can cause significant damage to vegetation by feeding on roots, bulbs, and stems and causing noticeable harm to plants.
  • Mounds: Mole activity is often indicated by mole hills, which are conical-shaped mounds in the soil. A gopher mound, however, is crescent-shaped and looks like a fan.
  • Tunnels: Moles create a network of interconnected tunnels with some located just below the ground’s surface and others extending as deep as 3 feet. Voles, on the other hand, construct shallow tunnels or runways across your lawn, while gophers typically dig deep burrow systems.

There are two types of mole tunnels:

  • Surface runways: Grassless brown streaks that run along the lawn indicate tunnels under the topsoil.
  • Deep tunnels: Unlike surface runways, deep mole tunnels do not cause visible disturbances on the surface. Stepping on the area above a deep tunnel may feel soft and spongy. 

Choose a Control Method

There are multiple effective methods for controlling mole populations. Natural repellents, trapping, and mole baits are some of the options for mole control.

Natural Repellents

Natural repellents are one DIY pest control method to get rid of moles in your yard. These repellents use substances like castor oil or garlic to create an environment that moles don’t like. Apply these substances to your yard to discourage moles from digging and damaging your lawn and gardens.

Try the University of Nebraska’s DIY mole repellent spray recipe


  • 6 ounces of castor oil
  • 2 tablespoons of dish soap
  • 1 gallon of water


  1. Before applying the solution, irrigate the area to be treated with half an inch of water.
  2. In a spray bottle or sprayer, mix 6 ounces of castor oil and 2 tablespoons of dish soap.
  3. Once well mixed, dilute 1 ounce of the solution per gallon of water.
  4. Use the spray bottle or sprayer to spread the diluted solution evenly over your yard.
  5. After applying the castor oil spray, water the treated area again with at least 1 inch of water.

To enhance the effectiveness of the spray, consider adding cayenne pepper or essential oils like eucalyptus and mint oil. Moles have a strong sense of smell, and these scents repel them.


mole trap on top of a mole hill
Photo Credit: AGEphotography / Canva Pro / License

Trapping is the best way to get rid of moles in your yard. By placing mole traps in areas where moles are active, you can catch and remove them from your property. Trapping has been used for a long time to control mole populations without disturbing your yard’s ecosystem.

When using traps, it’s important to check local regulations and guidelines regarding trapping and releasing wildlife. If you are unsure of or uncomfortable with trapping moles yourself, consider contacting a professional pest control service for assistance.

You can use different types of traps, including humane and kill traps. Here’s how to trap moles:

Humane traps: Moles can be captured alive and released elsewhere with humane traps. These traps are designed to catch the mole without causing harm. 

To use a humane trap, follow these steps:

  1. Locate an active mole tunnel by checking for fresh mole activity, such as raised ridges or mole mounds.
  2. Clear the area around the tunnel entrance, creating a slight depression to place the trap.
  3. Set the trap according to the manufacturer’s instructions, ensuring it is positioned correctly in the tunnel.
  4. Cover the trap with a bucket or a dark cloth to create a dark and safe environment for the mole.
  5. Check the trap regularly, at least once daily, and release the captured mole in a suitable location away from your property.

Kill traps: Mole traps are designed to capture and kill moles as quickly and efficiently as possible. These traps are either set underground within the tunnel or pushed into the tunnel area from the surface of your yard. It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and carefully handle the traps when using kill traps.

Here are the steps for using a kill trap:

  1. Identify an active mole tunnel. Compress the soil around the tunnel to determine if it is active. Within 24 hours, if it is active, the mole will raise the turf or soil again.
  2. Prepare the area by clearing any debris or obstructions from the tunnel entrance.
  3. Set the kill trap according to the manufacturer’s instructions, ensuring it is positioned correctly in the tunnel.
  4. Cover the trap with a bucket or a dark cloth to create a dark environment for the mole.
  5. Check the trap regularly to remove any captured moles and reset the trap as needed.

Mole Bait

Tomcat Mole Killer, Mimics Natural Food Source, Poison Kills in a Single Feeding, 10 Worms For Rodents

Following the manufacturer’s instructions is important when using mole bait, as each product has specific guidelines. Here are some general steps to keep in mind:

  1. Choose the bait: There are different types of mole baits available, including gel baits, granular baits, liquid baits, and worm-shaped baits. Select a mole bait suitable for your situation and follow the instructions on the packaging.

    Here is a list of different types of mole baits and how to apply them:

    Gel baits: Gel baits are a popular option for mole control. They typically come in tubes or syringes and can be applied directly into mole tunnels.
    Granular baits: Granular baits are another effective option. Scatter the granules over the affected areas, focusing on mole tunnels and activity sites. Water in the bait to activate the granules.
    Worm-shaped baits: Worm-shaped baits mimic the natural food source of moles. Place these baits in mole tunnels or near mole activity areas.
  2. Locate active mole tunnels: Look for signs of mole activity to identify active mole tunnels. These are the areas where you should place the mole bait.
  3. Place the bait: Carefully place the bait inside the active mole tunnels or near the mole activity areas. Follow the instructions on the packaging for the recommended amount of bait to use.

    Granular bait can also be spread across the entire affected area or lawn using a fertilizer spreader. Remember to water thoroughly to activate the granules.
  4. Secure the bait stations: If using bait stations, ensure they are securely placed in the ground to prevent them from being easily moved or disturbed.
  5. Check and reapply: Regularly check the holes where you placed the bait to see if it has been consumed. If the bait has been eaten or removed, add more as directed on the packaging.
  6. Follow safety precautions: Always wear gloves and avoid direct contact with the bait when handling mole bait. Keep children and protect pets from the baited areas to prevent accidental ingestion.

Implement your chosen method: Follow the instructions for the specific control method you selected. Please be patient, as it may take time to see results.

Monitor and adjust: Regularly check for new mole activity and evaluate the effectiveness of the control method you have implemented. Make any necessary adjustments or try alternative methods if needed.

Alternative Methods

There are various home remedies and unproven tactics available that offer to get rid of moles in your yard. A list of some of these methods is available here. Even if someone else swears by them, it’s important to note that there’s no scientific evidence to back up their efficacy.

  • Vibrating Stakes

The theory behind vibrating stakes is that placing them strategically in your lawn and garden creates an environment that moles dislike, reducing their presence. However, the effectiveness may vary, so consulting a professional pest control service is recommended for persistent mole issues.

  • Household Pets

While dogs and cats are natural predators, they are not typically effective at getting rid of moles. Moles are underground creatures, and dogs and cats may not have the ability to dig deep enough to catch them. Additionally, moles are fast and elusive, making it difficult for pets to hunt and eliminate them successfully.

  • Fumigants

When it comes to mole control, fumigants are not recommended and legal use is restricted. Fumigants are typically used for controlling pests in enclosed spaces, such as buildings, and may not be effective or safe for outdoor use.

  • Home Remedies

Commonly suggested home remedies for mole control, such as planting specific plants, flooding, chewing gum, or using household chemicals like bleach or mothballs, have no scientific evidence to support their effectiveness. Furthermore, these methods may be dangerous to your family, pets, and can potentially damage your lawn.

What Are Moles?

Moles are small mammals that live underground and are famous for digging tunnels. They have a cylindrical body, soft fur, and strong front limbs for digging. Although they don’t harm humans, their tunnels can cause ugly mounds and damage plant roots.

In the United States, six species of moles are commonly found.

Here are seven common mole species found in the U.S.:

person holding a Star nosed mole
Photo Credit: myrrha / Canva Pro / License
  1. Eastern mole (Scalopus aquaticus): Typically found in the eastern and central U.S., it has dark gray to black fur and a cylindrical body with powerful front limbs for digging tunnels.
  2. Star-nosed mole (Condylura cristata): Found in northeastern parts of North America, including the eastern United States, it has dense fur and large, clawed front feet. It is named after the unique star-shaped appendage on its snout.
  3. Hairy-tailed mole (Parascalops breweri): Primarily found in the northeastern United States and parts of Canada, it has dark gray to black fur and a long, hairy tail. It has powerful forelimbs designed for digging tunnels.
  4. Broad-footed mole (Scapanus latimanus): Native to the western United States, it has broad, paddle-like front feet and velvety fur. It is known for its ability to create extensive tunnel systems.
  5. Townsend’s mole (Scapanus townsendii): Found in the western United States, it has dark fur and strong forelimbs for digging. It primarily inhabits moist areas such as meadows and marshes.
  6. Coast mole (Scapanus orarius): Native to the Pacific coastal regions of North America, it has a streamlined body, small eyes, and powerful forelimbs. It prefers sandy or loamy soils.
  7. Shrew mole (Neurotrichus gibbsii): Common In the Pacific Northwest region of North America, including parts of the western U.S.. It has black or blue-black fur, but isn’t as plush as other moles. One distinguishing feature is its tail, which is around half the length of its body.

What Attracts Moles to Your Yard?

Moles are mainly attracted to yards that offer a suitable environment and plenty of food. Factors that can attract moles include:

  • Moist soil: Moles prefer moist soil conditions, so well-irrigated lawns and gardens attract them.
  • Grubs and insects: Moles feed on grubs, earthworms, and other insects found in the soil. Yards with a high population of these tasty treats can attract moles.
  • Dense vegetation: Thick vegetation, such as overgrown grass or shrubs, can provide moles with cover and make it easier for them to tunnel undetected.

How to Prevent Moles

Preventing moles from invading your yard can be challenging, but there are steps you can take to make your yard less attractive to them:

  • Reduce soil moisture: Avoid overwatering your lawn and improve drainage to discourage moles from digging tunnels.
  • Control pests: Regularly treat your yard for grubs and other insects to eliminate a food source for moles.
  • Maintain your landscape: Keep your grass and shrubs trimmed to reduce cover for moles and make their presence more visible.
  • Install fencing: To prevent moles in your garden, consider the cost of a wire fence. Extending the fence partially underground will give added protection.

FAQ: About Moles

Are Moles Dangerous to Humans or Pets?

Moles are not harmful to humans or pets. They mainly dig tunnels underground and search for food like grubs and insects. Moles generally avoid contact with humans and pets and are not a direct danger, but their tunneling can damage lawns and gardens.

Are Moles Blind?

Scientific research suggests that moles are colorblind and nearsighted. However, moles have remarkable eyesight for detecting light, which helps them navigate tunnels and find food underground. Moles rely on their keen sense of touch and smell to survive in their underground habitat.

What Happens if a Mole Bites You?

Moles are not aggressive towards humans and usually avoid contact. If a mole bites you, it’s usually in self-defense or when it feels threatened. In such cases, the injury is typically minor, like a small scrape or puncture wound. Clean the wound well with soap and water to prevent infection. If you have any unusual symptoms or the wound gets infected, seek medical help.

When to Call a Pro

If you are dealing with a persistent mole problem or a large infestation, it is recommended to seek assistance from professionals. Pest Gnome connects you with the best local pest control services who use safe and effective methods to control destructive lawn pests. Contact a trustworthy professional today to enjoy a mole-free yard.

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Raven Wisdom

Raven Wisdom is a writer with a passion for pest control, gardening, sustainable living, and making a positive impact in the world. When she's not defending her garden from critters in the wilds of West Texas, Raven can be found writing, wrangling two kids in a neurodivergent family, and supporting her local animal rescues.