How to Get Rid of Moles (2022)

By Sarah Horvath

Waking up and seeing tunnels burying through your garden, your first thought might be to panic and begin searching for gophers. While gophers are known as nuisances to homeowners, a similar animal might be behind the damage in your lawn: moles. Moles are powerful mammals that spend most of their time burrowing below the ground using their sharp claws and hind legs. Getting rid of moles can be a major challenge, as trapping or getting into the dirt of your lawn is required to evict these stubborn pests.

Thankfully, there are plenty of ways that you can get rid of moles and get back to enjoying the beauty of your lawn. Read on to learn everything you need to know about:

  • What moles are and what attracts them to your lawn
  • How to get rid of moles — and keep them out
  • Strategies you can use to prevent these pests from returning

We’ll also help you learn more about professional pest control options and what you should do if you have a mole problem that simply won’t go away. 

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What Are Moles?

Moles are small mammals that are usually the size of your hand, or smaller. Most moles can fit into a human hand if you were able to pick them up. Moles are dark brown or black in color, and they have small eyes that look like they’re much better suited for the dark (which they are). Some moles appear to have no eyes at all, and it’s true that some species of moles have thin skin stretched right over their eyes.

Moles are diggers, which is why their front paws resemble spades — all the better to dig mole tunnels underneath all your landscaping. If you notice that your lawn is uneven and that molehills are popping up on your property, chances are that one or more moles have been digging. These paws end in long claws, so while you likely won’t encounter a mole yourself, they do have the potential to scratch you as well. 

It’s very rare that you yourself will come in contact with moles directly; if you do, or your pet comes into contact with a mole, there is always a small risk that whatever ticks and fleas are on the mole can jump onto you or your pet. These parasites can carry Lyme disease and can irritate you or your pets if you handle them. While moles are insectivores and it’s practically unheard of for them to bite humans, you should still always avoid handling these pests directly for the sake of your health. 

Moles and voles have similar names, appearances, and capabilities of destruction. Moles are insectivores and love to snack on grubs, earthworms, and larvae of any kind. If you have a grub problem on your property or another major pest infestation, you’re more likely to see moles destroying your lawn. Voles, on the other hand, are herbivores, and they will wreak utter havoc on the root systems of your garden plants because they consume the roots and stems.

Interestingly, a very small mole population can be beneficial to your property, as their burrowing aerates the soil and promotes plant growth. But when an infestation arises, instead of a helpful gardener, you’ve now got a full-blown mole problem. We’re here to discuss moles and the damage that they can do to your yard, how to get rid of a mole infestation, and how to prevent them from finding your yard appealing in the first place.

7 Ways to Get Rid of Moles

There are plenty of DIY methods and home remedies to deter moles and dissuade them from continuing to do their own “landscaping” in your yard. Let’s discuss how to get rid of unwanted mole activity and the options that you have. 

1) Eradicate Food Sources

As we mentioned above, moles love insects, especially grubs. If you introduce beneficial nematodes to your soil, these amazing, tiny little worm-like organisms are excellent pest control for your yard. If your soil is overrun with earthworms and grubs, these little guys will eliminate those delicious morsels and your moles will look elsewhere for food.

You can also introduce milky spores to your yard as an added pest control measure. In both cases, the pests you’re controlling are the food sources for the moles that call your yard home. Milky spore is actually a bacterium that kills beetles and grubs. If you add this white powder to your yard, it will kill the insects that moles are feasting on. However, use milky spores with caution, as it’s technically a biological disease and has the chance of creating harmful after effects. Only use this option if the beneficial nematodes released in your yard need some assistance.

2) Use Gorgeous Flowering Plants

Moles have an extremely sensitive sense of smell; after all, they spend the majority of their time underground in almost total darkness. Therefore, they loathe the smell of any plant that’s a member of the allium family, which includes lovely flowers like daffodils and marigolds. It also includes onions, chives, leeks, shallots, and some varieties of garlic. You can create a flavorful vegetable garden surrounded by cheerful yellow flowers, all while cultivating deterrents for mole habitation.

3) Make a DIY Repellent

You can use simple household items to make mole repellent — and some of the most effective ingredients may surprise you. Three parts castor oil to one part dish soap makes an excellent and cheap repellent. Simply mix a few tablespoons of this repellent into a gallon of water to dilute it and you have an affordable repellant. Pour this solution into the tunnels and atop molehills liberally. If moles consume or even come into close contact with castor oil, it can cause nausea, so they will associate the areas you place the repellent with this feeling and stay away.

4) Build a Mole-Proof Perimeter

This method is much more labor-intensive (and more costly) than the aforementioned methods, but it’s effective and may be a more long-term solution than the previous ways of getting rid of moles. Start by digging a trench around the perimeter of your yard. It should be about two feet deep (this is important — moles burrow deep) and about half a foot wide, all around the area you wish to protect.

Once the trench is dug, you have several options of materials to use for your fill. You can fill the trench with rocks, use wire mesh throughout, or place hardware cloth into the trenches before you fill them in. This is the solution on this list with the most longevity, although you will likely have to replant grass on top of the trench or cover it with sod to make it presentable.

5) Meticulous Landscaping

Another method of mole control is keeping your lawn meticulously manicured. If you take away all moles’ senses of security and comfortable lodgings, they will be forced to move elsewhere. Get rid of thick piles of mulch or any stacks or piles of old wooden debris. Keep the lawn mowed and trimmed, and make sure that you have a home schedule in place so that your lawn isn’t able to grow uncontrolled. Keep your flower beds free of weeds or piles of soil. And keep in mind, the more you water your lawn, the more ideal grub habitat you’re creating, so try to avoid excessive watering.

6) Sonic Spike

One interesting new way to keep moles at bay is to purchase and insert a sonic spike or two in your yard. These devices send out electrical pulses which disturb and confuse underground pests like moles and will create an environment they no longer wish to be in. This may not be as effective a method as the others, so you may wish to combine this option with one or more of the above techniques.

7) Conventional Extermination

The ways of getting rid of moles we’ve mentioned so far are humane and relatively new — old school ways of getting rid of moles are still available to you, although these methods kill the moles. You begin by considering traps for mole removal. After you discover where to place the traps by locating mole runways, you can place your trap within the tunnel to trap them during movement. You can then kill the mole or dispose of it off your property. 

You can also bait moles using poison to kill them rather than entrap them. There are mole poisons on the market made to resemble moles’ favorite foods — grubs and earthworms. This method is slightly more attractive than the mole trap method because the moles will die underground, and you won’t have to dispose of mole bodies.

How to Know You Have a Mole Infestation

How do you know you have an infestation of digging little critters in your yard? Here are some signs that you’ll need to keep your eyes out for in order to catch moles before they can do serious damage to your lawn. 

  • Patches of dead grass: Because the digging activity of moles disrupts the activity of and kills plant roots, you will begin to see patchy grass and areas of dead grass because the roots were killed off. Multiple dead patches in your lawn might indicate that a mole has been digging.
  • Molehills: These mounds of loose earth are one of the most obvious signs you have at least one mole living in your yard. Molehills are the doorways to mole tunnels, and they are shaped like volcanoes. Molehills can be small or sizable depending on your area and the type of mole creating them. These mounds are about usually stationed six feet apart or further, as opposed to gopher mounds, which can be right next to each other.
  • Unstable lawn: If you have moles in your lawn, you might notice that when you’re walking across your grass, it will feel squishy and unstable. After it rains, your foot may even sink into the earth in some areas. If this happens to you, chances are you’ve literally stumbled across a network of mole tunnels. If you have broken into a mole tunnel, you will also see chunks of dirt on the surface of your yard. This is how moles make tunnels—their powerful shovel-like paws toss clods of earth up and out.

How to Prevent Moles

There are measures you can take to prevent a mole infestation before it even begins. After you’ve gotten rid of any lingering moles in your lawn, be sure to use these tips to prevent pests from returning. 

  • Disperse natural mole repellents: You can use commonly composted or edible materials to enrich the soil around the perimeter of your yard as well as reduce the chances of moles popping up. Compostable materials including coffee grounds, cayenne pepper, castor oil, or peppermint oil will act as natural mole repellents. Moles also hate the smell of mothballs, so you can place these anywhere you think has potential for mole activity.
  • Water your yard sparingly: As we mentioned above, the more you water your lawn, the more insect activity you will have. Having insects flourish in your lawn isn’t only annoying and damaging to your grass — they also attract moles. Try a type of grass like bermuda grass that doesn’t need a lot of water and still looks lush and fresh.
  • Plant “smelly” flowers: Marigolds and daffodils are winners when it comes to deterring yard pests, including insects that may consume your vegetable garden. These flowers also deter moles because of their strong “odors,” and they enhance the look of your property as well.
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Hiring a Pest Control Company

Sometimes, the best way to get rid of a mole is to work with people whose entire expertise is centered around pest problems. Professional exterminators and pest control professionals are well acquainted with mole behavior, they have the proper equipment and materials to deal with mole infestations, and they usually have a 30-day guarantee on services. This means that after the pest control company of your choice performs their mole removal services, if you notice any telltale signs of moles returning to your yard, they will come fix the problem free of charge. Companies like Terminix even offer guarantees on their package pest prevention plans, ensuring that you don’t end up overpaying for services that aren’t effective. 

Best Pest Control Companies 

Now that you understand when you might need a professional pest control company to visit your property, it’s time to start thinking about which mole removal is right for your home. At House Method, our team understands that you need the right pest control service the first time that you call — which is why we’ve spent time reviewing all of the country’s major exterminators to recommend the best options to you. Read on to learn more about our recommended pest control service providers and to get a free quote from each reputable nationwide provider. 

Terminix 

Terminix is a nationwide American pest control provider offering single pest control treatments as well as continuous, year-round protection. When you book your pest control through Terminix, you’ll enjoy guaranteed service with the company’s Nix Pest Guarantee. If your pest problem returns between treatment appointments, a Terminix employee will apply additional treatments at no extra cost to you so long as you have coverage. With almost a century of experience in the pest control business and 50,000 homeowners assisted every day, it’s easy to see why Terminix remains a top choice for mole infestations.

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  • Offers a Terminix Promise™† (visit site for additional details) and an extended work guarantee for those experiencing a commercial pest problem
  • Provides online chat services
  • Available in 47 states

our rating9.8

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Terminix’s team prides themselves on being on the cutting-edge of pest control technology. They employ a team of on-staff entomologists with a combined 560 years of experience within the pest control industry, and they offer services in 45 states through 300 independent locations. This nationwide availability and large staff help Terminix optimize pest control treatments based on your local ecosystem and the type of grass that you have growing in your lawn.

In addition to staying on top of developments in the pest control industry, Terminix also leads the pack when it comes to customer service. Their phone-based customer service team is available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, allowing you to get help no matter your location or time zone. When a Terminix representative is on their way to your property, you’ll also receive a courtesy text message. Convenient and affordable, Terminix is one of the top choices for mole removal and pest control.

Orkin

Another major name in pest control services, Orkin has been providing both residential and commercial treatments for more than 100 years. Like Terminix, Orkin’s professionals are well-trained and equipped to deal with pests of all types, ranging from termites to stubborn moles. Before any Orkin professional visits your property, they must complete more than 160 hours of training — helping you rest with the peace-of-mind that comes with knowing that you’re getting the right service the first time.

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  • Several decades of pest control experience
  • Specializes in residential extermination
  • Top tier termite exterminator services

our rating9.6

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In addition to pest treatment services, Orkin also offers preventive pest control. Orkin’s professionals will take a look at your property to determine which pests are most likely to visit your lawn. They will then create a preventive treatment plan and apply it to the perimeter of your home, stopping pests before they’re able to enter your house. This can make Orkin an especially great choice for new homeowners who are purchasing their first property and who want to ensure that they won’t have to deal with the expense of pest problems right after moving in.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get rid of a mole on my own?

You can use traps, but these are violent and then you have to dispose of dead moles. The best way to get rid of a mole on your own is to soak cotton balls in a mixture of peppermint oil and castor oil and place these in the entrances to the mole hills. Replace them every few days, and the mole should move on, especially if it’s a solo mole.

What is the fastest way to get rid of moles naturally?

The fastest way to get rid of moles naturally is to make the repellent solution we mentioned above that’s three quarters castor oil and one quarter dish soap. You then add four or five tablespoons of this to a gallon of water and soak the mole tunnels in this solution.

How do you get rid of a mole overnight?

There really isn’t a simple answer or guarantee to make sure a mole leaves overnight. Try one or a combination of the methods on this list, and if all else fails, trust a pest control company for fast and easy mole removal. It’s pricey but that’s because it’s effective and you’re not the one handling the task. The castor oil and dish soap solution may not work overnight, but it could work in the course of a few days, depending on the severity of your mole population.

Why do I have moles in my yard?

The main answer to this question is that moles find your yard habitable. This means that there is abundant food for them; as insectivores, they’re loving all the larval life you’ve got in your soil. You can use an insecticide that won’t kill everything in your yard, like beneficial nematodes, to get the moles’ food sources under control so that they won’t want to inhabit your yard anymore. 

Will moles eventually leave my yard?

Technically, yes. They can and will do extensive damage to your yard, but eventually, they will exhaust their food sources and move on to greener pastures — or rather, wormier soil. You can keep the damage under control by vigilantly flattening their ridged mole runways and molehills. 

House Method Rating & Methodology

Our research process involves a multi-step process to get real insights into the customer experience for each company. We contacted each pest control company directly and spoke to representatives via phone and online chat (if available). This allowed us better understand the company’s treatment offerings and customer service. We also consider BBB accreditation and what customer reviews say about each company. Additionally, we fact-check and update company data regularly to ensure accurate and up-to-date information. 

We developed a 100-point rating system to compare the companies numerically. 

  • Plan options (35 points): Companies with more plans and flexibility on services to address specific issues were given a higher score. 
  • State Availability (5 points): Those that offer coverage in fewer than 45 states were deducted points for availability. 
  • Trustworthiness (10 points): This is based on whether companies have money-back guarantees, service guarantees, and additional satisfaction assurance measures.
  • Customer Service (30 points): We considered accessibility (including on weekends and holidays) of technicians and customer support. 
  • Additional Benefits (20 points): Companies that offer further conveniences such as an app, comprehensive resources, and other benefits were rated higher. 

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