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Problems with Moles?

Category: Gardening Tips, How-to Guides | Posted by: Jeremy Newell

There are few things that interrupt the visual beauty of a carpet of green lawn like mole hills and tunnels. It’s no fun to walk outside and see your turf dotted with volcanic soil eruptions and tunnels that look as if they were made by giant worms from a science fiction movie.

Moles can cause damage literally overnight. Those tunnels (or ‘runs’ as they are called in academic mole research) are indications of the animal’s search for food. Moles eat anything soft-bodied in the soil. This includes earthworms, grubs, and other soil insects. While it makes strategic sense to eradicate the mole’s food source as a control method, you obviously don’t want to get rid of earthworms.

There are a number of ways to control moles including repelling, poisoning, and trapping.


The idea of repellents is to ‘annoy’ the animal away. You can find scent repellents and even sonic devices. These tend to be temporary solutions because ultimately, a mole will stay or return to an area that holds a food source.


There are a number of poison products available as well. The key to effective poison control is to find a product that has a compelling scent bait. Since moles don’t normally eat non-living things in the soil there needs to be a pretty good reason for the mole to be attracted to the bait. Since the mole dies underground the only way to know if the poison worked is by seeing if the damage does not continue.


The most effective way to control moles is trapping. Mole traps come in two mainly two versions: harpoon style and scissor style. Harpoon traps are the ones that have 1 to 3 spikes that impale the mole as it burrows through it. I have always found these a little unnerving to set for fear of losing a finger. Scissor style traps are typically easier (and safer) to set as you step on them rather than use your hands. The mole is clamped (the ‘scissor’ blades are not sharp) and killed instantly as they burrow through the trap.

We have most of these options available at the garden center and would be happy to help you decide the best mole exit strategy. Good luck and happy hunting!

P.S. Of course, a good feline ‘mouser’ beats all of the above!

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