Townsend's Mole

How To Get Rid Of Moles In Your Yard

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Written By: Mark Marino

a Massachusetts Core Applicator License holder and owner/operator of Lawn Phix,

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Many lawn pests can be found on the surface of your yard. Unfortunately, pests like moles create tunnels that allow them to live underground without being spotted. This makes them an incredibly frustrating animal to remove, as well as a dangerous creature capable of causing extensive damage to your yard.

In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at how to identify moles around your property and discuss some practical ways to get and keep them out for good. We’ll cover:

What is a Mole?

Moles are a species of rodent found in every US state. Unlike other lawn pests, moles actually live underneath the surface of the soil and use their strong claws to burrow toward potential food sources. Moles eat 100% of their body weight  every day, including grubs, earthworms, and other insects. This means they can wreak havoc around your landscaping, vegetable gardens, and early spring grasses.

Mole Identification

Thanks to their love of tunnels and a propensity to remain out of sight, you aren’t likely to see a mole up close. If you do spot a small rodent living near a tunnel, keep your eyes peeled for any tell-tale signs:

  • Dark brown, almost velvety fur
  • Long claws on large pink paws
  • Pointed snout with pig-like nostrils
  • No obvious eye or ear openings

Moles are often confused with voles, another common lawn pest known for digging tunnels. However, there are a couple of key differences to keep in mind. First, voles are extremely tiny, and consume plants and tree bark. Second, voles have visible eyes and ears, and resemble rodents much more than the average mole. A great way to remember this is by the first letter of their names. Moles (‘M’) are meat eaters. Voles (‘V’) eat vegetation.

Spotting a tunnel is a great way to identify a mole problem before it becomes an infestation. Check out the following identifiers of mole tunnels:

  • Mounds of earth and holes in lawn that resemble little volcanoes
  • Lines of dead grass with raised ridges
  • Tunnels opening into your flower bed, garden, or landscaped lawn

As soon as you suspect mole activity around your home, you should begin the treatment process immediately.

How to Get Rid of Moles

You have a number of options for getting rid of moles around the house, with chemical, trapping, and cultural controls available. If you’re looking to eliminate these pests as fast as possible, it’s a good idea to start with chemical controls.

Some of the most popular methods include mole traps, mole baits, and mole repellents.

Many of these tools can be applied directly to the lawn, or placed inside a mole tunnel for maximum effect. Bear in mind that the chemicals that kill moles may also affect humans. Wear gloves to protect your skin whenever possible!

Some homeowners prefer to use electronic pulses to mitigate the presence of moles, but these solutions might not have a very strong effect on everyone. You’re better off relying on other DIY techniques, including traps and repellents.

If you don’t mind waiting a little longer for your mole cure, cultural controls could be a good option. Check out the following home remedies to get a better idea of your options:

  • Eliminate mole food sources, including grubs and other insects. Insect larvae can be treated with beneficial nematodes. Sprays with milky spore as as active ingredient are another option.
  • Mix a solution that is three parts castor oil to one part dish soap, soaking all the tunnel entrances you can find. Sprinkle coffee grounds on top for a powerful barrier that deter moles significantly.
  • For a dramatic reduction of mole activity, install wire mesh around the lawn and garden.

The best solution to mole activity is a combination of home remedies, cultural controls, and some mole traps. If you don’t feel equipped to manage their elimination on your own, there’s always the option of professional pest control.

How to Prevent Moles in Your Yard

The best way to keep mole infestations from happening in your yard is to prevent their activity in the first place. There are a number of ways to do this:

  • Mow your grass to reduce harborage zones. Prune shrubs and trim back trees for added effect.
  • Cut down on your regular garden watering to reduce moisture pockets for moles to drink.
  • Moles aren’t picky about the plant roots they eat, but certain scents may keep them at bay. Add a plant barrier from the allium family (marigolds, daffodils, onions, etc) to protect tender greens.

Moles FAQs

Getting rid of a serious mole problem is not for the faint of heart. Check out some of our most common FAQs to get started.

What is the fastest way to get rid of moles in your yard?

The fastest and most efficient way to get rid of moles is to cut off the moles’ food supply. Eliminate grubs, reduce your daily watering amounts, and set up some mole traps to pick them off one by one.

Will yard moles go away on their own?

Once a food or water source has been depleted, moles will look for new territory to infest. It’s possible that moles will go away on their own, but this is not a guarantee. Active mole prevention is a great way to hedge your bets.

What will repel moles?

The most effective way to repel moles is with a combination of chemical and cultural controls. Start by spraying castor oil and dish soap around mole tunnels, and applying cayenne pepper to areas that have signs of mole activity. For an additional layer of protection, add mole baits, gopher traps, and chemicals like Ferti-Lome MoleGo Granules.

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Author's Note: this piece has been updated for accuracy since its first publication on
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Author: Mark Marino
My name is Mark Marino, and I am the founder, owner, and operator of Lawn Phix. With a passion for lawn care and turf nutrition for over a decade, I've dedicated countless hours to correcting soil and perfecting lawns. Today, my expertise, backed by formal courses at UMass Extension Pesticide Education, allows me to offer top-tier lawn care services and advice. I am a fully licensed and insured lawn care applicator in Massachusetts, specializing in comprehensive turf nutrition, weed control, and lawn pest control. My license number is AL-0053865. Contact me at [email protected] or +1 (508) 500-8402.

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