The Q&A Archives: Moles

Question: Terrible mole problem this fall!! Tried smoking them out, digging them out and just waiting for them to pop out of the ground! Causing some good damage to the lawn. Help!

Answer: There are many ways to try to get rid of moles. Moles feed
on grubs and earthworms living in your lawn or garden. The
damage they do is to plant roots while they are tunneling.
Your first consideration should be to control the grub
population in your lawn with beneficial nematodes or milky
spore powder, both of which are spread on the lawn.
Another tactic is to flush the tunnels with water (best done in
the spring), or protect your garden by burying a fencing of
small mesh, tightly woven hardware cloth. You could also
try trapping them live in a Havahart trap.

Moles hate the smell of castor oil beans, and Gardener's
Supply has a repellent containing castor oil. The company
also carries a Mole Chaser that creates underground
vibrations that deter the critters. You can reach them at
1-800-863-1700 or visit their website at

Unfortunately the only truly effective method of controlling moles is to trap them with the other kind of trap. You can be successful if you set the traps in the
main runs rather than in lateral tunnels. Moles use the main
run frequently, but the laterals go to sleeping dens and
places where they pile debris. To find the main run put on
your detective cap and carry a long, thin stick or metal
probe. Start exploring the yard, trying to find the direction
and location of a long, straight tunnel. Once you've
eliminated the short runs and honed in on the main tunnel,
carefully set your trap (scissors-type traps are most
effective). Cover the top of the trap with a piece of plywood
or sod to eliminate light or you'll scare the critters away.
Properly set in the main tunnel, your trap should net you a
mole. Empty the trap and reset it as often as necessary to
get all of the moles.

I hope this helps.

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