Backyard Moles

Backyard Moles

How can I get rid of moles in my backyard?

- Polk County, Oregon

No simple answer to Moles.

Listed below are a number of ways to control moles:

  • Trapping: Moles can be captured by using specially designed traps. Harpoon- and choker-type traps are available through farm and garden-supply stores or hardware stores. Directions for using these special traps are furnished by the manufacturers. You are more likely to be successful at trapping moles in the spring or fall when they are not using the deeper burrows. This probably fits into the "best" but "not humane" category.
  • Mechanical: Small areas such as flower beds can be protected by barriers of 1/2-inch hardware cloth buried in the ground to a depth of at least 12 inches, so as to prevent burrowing. Don't forget to fence the sides!
  • Pesticides: A number of chemicals are registered and available for use in mole control. However, there are no scientific studies indicating that they are effective.
  • Repellents: There are no repellents for moles.
  • Smoke fumigation: Smoke fumigation using specially designed cartridges for mole control is difficult. The key problem is treating a wide enough area with enough cartridges to be effective. All parts of the tunnel must be treated simultaneously. Many mole tunnel systems are so extensive that this is not practical. Hint: read that last sentence again.
  • Vibrating devices: Devices such as electrical vibrators or plastic windmills that send slight tremors through the ground will repel moles. Unfortunately, each device has a very limited range of effectiveness, so the average yard would require dozens of them to be effective. In any case, there is NO evidence that they work.
  • Cats/Dogs: Cats or dogs may kill the occasional star-nosed mole, but more often they catch shrews which are the mole's natural predator, so killing them may add to your problem.

Read more about moles and their control Mole Management Tips.

Master Gardener Diagnostician
Share this