A Homeowner’s Guide on How to Get Rid of Lawn Moles
Has your beautiful, green lawn been ruined by crisscrossing lines of unseemly dirt mounds?
Unfortunately, these raised ridges are a sure sign of a lawn mole invasion. It’s one of the most frustrating occurrences for those who take their lawn care seriously.
Fortunately, even if you have lawn moles, there are measures you can take to get rid of them.
Whether you’re taking preventative caution to keep lawn moles out or trying to get rid of moles that have already taken up residence, read on to learn how to get rid of moles in your yard.
Methods for Getting Rid of Lawn Moles
Before we get into the hows and whys, here are the most common methods for riding your lawn of moles:
- Use a mole repellant
- Eliminate the moles’ food source
- Don’t overwater your lawn
- Use mole traps
- Use mole bait and poison.
- Plant mole-repellant plants and flowers
- Use ultrasonic mole-repellant stakes
- Try wind-chimes
Most of these methods can be quickly done by homeowners. However, if you’ve tried one or more of these without success, consider contacting an experienced pest control company.
Sometimes even the best DIY homeowner needs a little professional backup.
Eliminate Mole Food Sources
One of the most effective ways to get rid of moles is to make your lawn an undesirable home. How do you do this? Eliminate their food source.
While moles do feed on plant-destroying pests like grubs, they also eat beneficial insects like earthworms. As they pursue these food sources, moles tear through your plants’ root systems, causing extensive damage and unattractive mounding.
Removing earthworms may not be the best for your growing garden, but eliminating grubs is. Grubs are the larval form of most beetles.
They add little to no value to your lawn and garden, so finding ways to limit them will help you in more ways than one.
Limit the moles’ food supply and eliminate grubs by heading to your local hardware store and grabbing products labeled to control ants, grubs, mole crickets, and other “lawn insects.”
As you starve the moles of their food source, they will move on to “greener pastures”…literally.
Another helpful thing to realize is that earthworms are attracted to moist gardens and lawns. Over-watering your lawn and garden may attract more earthworms than needed, increasing your mole problem.
Earthworms and moles are especially drawn to moist lawns surrounded by otherwise dry areas. Most lawns thrive with only about 1 inch of water per week.
This amount can come from either rain or irrigation. If your lawn is getting more than 1 inch of water per week, re-assess the amount of moisture and adjust your watering habits.
Use Mole Repellant
Using lawn mole repellants is effective for mole management before or after they take up residence in your yard. Repellant granules, ready-to-sprays, and repellant stakes placed in-ground are all detestable to moles.
The main ingredient in most of these repellants is castor oil, a scent and taste that moles can’t stand. If you already have a mole infestation, apply these repellants monthly.
Typically, moles will relocate quickly once you have repellants in place; the castor oil permeates their homes.
For all the animal lovers out there, we list killing lawn moles as a potential last resort. Unfortunately, if the previously listed methods are ineffective, you may need to kill these pests.
Trapping and baiting are the two ways to kill lawn moles.
Spring and fall are the best times to trap and bait lawn moles. Early spring trapping or baiting gives the added benefit of eliminating pregnant female moles.
Traps and bait need to be placed in a mole’s active runway.
You can recognize active mole runways as they run around the perimeter of your yard. If you’re unsure which are active runways, poke a finger-sized hole through one of the dirt tracks in your yard. If it is an active runway, the mole will have that hole repaired in 1-2 days.
Then you know you’ve found the right place to put bait or traps.
Using Mole Traps
One of the benefits of using traps for killing moles is the assurance that it’s working. You can see the evidence each time a trap is filled.
There are a variety of mole traps. Some include a messier spear design, and others are hands-free and draw no blood. There are also scissor traps, choker traps, or harpoon traps. The choice is yours based on preference or availability.
Live traps do exist for mole removal but require you to relocate the trapped mole. This can be tricky and, in some states, illegal. Make sure you know your state laws about pest or mole relocation before choosing the traps.
If you’re unsure which is best or which is which, talk to a reliable pest control company, and they can advise you.
Using Mole Bait
Mole bait is placed in the active mole runways, simulating their food source (earthworms and grubs). Sprinkle or place the baited grubs or earthworms inside the mole tracks or just outside, where they are easily findable by the moles.
Moles will die within 12-24 hours of consumption. This usually happens inside their tracks where they feed, so you may not see when the moles die.
One common mole bait is the rodenticide warfarin. This chemical causes any rodents that ingest it to bleed internally. This bait is made for moles and placed in a worm-flavored gel that you can inject directly into the active mole track.
Injecting the rodenticide into the active track helps reduce the chance of another animal ingesting the poison.
Other mole baits contain zinc phosphide. When eaten by the mole, phosphine gas is released, which kills the mole within hours.
As with any pest poison, these products are also potentially harmful to humans. Read the handling directions carefully and avoid contact with the skin or mouth.
Do You Have Moles or Voles?
Most homeowners have heard of moles as runway-causing pests, but they fail to recognize another garden threat: the vole. Voles may sound similar to moles, but they are easily distinguishable.
Voles are small, mouse-like creatures. Their runways and tracks do not mound above ground as moles do.
Vole tracks appear as surface-level dirt tracks running through lawns. They are created by the voles continuously running over the path and eating the blades of grass around the track.
Moles are larger, around 6-8 inches long. Moles have long snouts and large paddle-like front claws used for digging.
Mole tracks mound above ground and sometimes appear like tiny volcanoes sticking above the ground.
Getting rid of voles vs. moles can be slightly different, so identifying which pest you have is essential. Keep in mind that other lawn pests may include gophers or pocket gophers.
With some education, you can quickly identify which is which and move forward with the best removal plan.
Other Signs You Have Lawn Moles
Along with above-ground tracks or tunnels is one sign you have moles. But there are other indications that your pest problem is due to lawn moles.
Uneven Surfaces Where the Ground Sinks In
Mole tunnels can cave in when it rains, or people step on them. Their tunneling can cause your lawn to look bumpy or uneven.
Above-Ground Tunnels with “Rooms” or Larger Mounds of Dirt at the Ends
In addition to digging tunnels, moles create actual rooms underground. These are used for things like food storage and consumption. This is unique to moles and can help homeowners differentiate between moles and voles.
Unlike voles, moles do not eat your grass. However, dead grass is a common sign of a mole infestation as their tunneling and digging often kill the grass around their tunnels and uproots other plants.
When moles burrow and dig for food in your yard, they leave behind volcano-shaped piles of soil 2-6 inches high, especially at the entrances to their tracks.
Dealing With a Lawn Mole Infestation
When all is said and done, even your best efforts may not be enough to rid your lawn of a mole infestation. Fortunately, you needn’t go it alone.
Our team of experienced and expert professionals has been helping homeowners handle pest problems for 50 years. With Amco Ranger, your satisfaction is 100% guaranteed.
Contact us today and let our team answer any questions about pest control for your home. We’re also happy to give you a free quote so you are fully informed about what mole removal may entail.
Don’t let lawn moles destroy the beautiful lawn and garden you’ve worked so hard to cultivate. Give Amco Ranger a call today!