Updated Jan 12, 2023
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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:
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.
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.
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 do you know you have an infestation of digging little critters in your yard1 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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