Mad About Berries

How To Get Rid Of Moles In Your Yard

The common mole, scientifically known as "Talpa europaea," is an intriguing creature. This small mammal leads a largely subterranean existence, making its home in the depths of the soil. Equipped with powerful, claw-like forelimbs, moles are extremely efficient diggers.

While they're rarely seen due to their underground lifestyle, the havoc they wreak on yards and gardens is evidence of their presence.

Published: June 26, 2023.

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Moles feed primarily on insects and earthworms, consuming nearly half their body weight daily.

These tireless foragers create intricate networks of tunnels in pursuit of their prey. While this lifestyle serves moles well, it leads to significant issues for property owners.

How Long Do Moles Live

The average lifespan of a mole is approximately three to five years, though some individuals may live up to six years in ideal conditions. Factors influencing mole longevity include habitat, predation, disease, and food availability.

Moles face numerous predators, such as birds of prey, snakes, and domestic pets, which can impact their survival rates.

Additionally, their fossorial lifestyle exposes them to various diseases and parasites, further affecting their lifespan.

What Do Moles Eat

Moles are primarily insectivores, feeding on a diet consisting mainly of invertebrates, such as earthworms, grubs, and insects. Their voracious appetite contributes to their role as natural pest controllers in gardens and agricultural fields.

Moles possess an acute sense of smell and touch, which they use to locate and capture their prey within the soil.

While moles do not typically consume plant matter, their burrowing activity can inadvertently damage plant roots and compromise the health and stability of garden plants and turf.

Do Moles Hibernate

Moles do not hibernate, but they do exhibit some seasonal behavioral changes. During the winter months, moles will continue to be active, primarily focusing on hunting for food.

They adapt to colder temperatures by digging deeper tunnels to access food sources in the subsoil, where earthworms and other invertebrates tend to migrate during colder periods.

Due to their subterranean lifestyle, moles are less vulnerable to extreme weather conditions and can maintain their activity levels throughout the year.

What Is The Difference Between Moles, Gophers, And Voles: Mole vs. Gopher vs. Vole

While moles, gophers, and voles share some similarities as burrowing rodents, there are notable differences in their appearance, diet, and tunneling habits. Moles have a cylindrical body, paddle-like front limbs, and a hairless, pointed snout.

Gophers are larger with powerful front teeth, while voles resemble field mice with short tails.

Moles primarily consume insects and worms, whereas gophers and voles primarily feed on plant matter.

In terms of tunneling, mole tunnels are typically more extensive and shallow, whereas gopher and vole tunnels tend to be deeper and less intricate.

How Moles Damage Gardens and Lawns

A single mole is capable of significant upheaval to your lawn or garden. As they burrow through the soil, moles create visible ridges or 'molehills,' unsightly mounds of earth that can disrupt the aesthetic appeal of your yard.

These tunnels and hills can not only mar the surface of your lawn but also displace plants and damage their root systems. This destruction can lead to wilting or death of your plants, vegetables, or flowers, impacting your landscape's overall health and appearance.

Moreover, the network of tunnels created by moles offers easy passage for other pests. Rodents such as voles and mice can utilize these passageways to infiltrate your garden, leading to further damage.

Additionally, mole activity can lead to soil erosion and loss of stability, posing potential hazards to structures like patios or walkways. Considering this plethora of issues, the importance of addressing a mole problem becomes evident.

Getting Rid Of Moles

Mitigating the damage caused by moles begins with detection. Look for signs of their presence, such as molehills or irregularities in your lawn. Once you've confirmed an infestation, there are several methods available to remove moles from your yard.

Trapping is one of the most effective methods. Mole traps are designed to catch the creatures in their tunnels, and several varieties are available depending on your comfort level and local regulations.

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Live traps allow for humane removal and relocation, while kill traps provide a more immediate resolution. It's important to note that successful trapping often requires patience and a good understanding of mole behavior.

If trapping isn't appealing, consider repellents. Castor oil-based products, for example, can make your yard unattractive to moles, causing them to seek greener pastures. Sonic devices that emit low-frequency vibrations into the soil are another humane option. These vibrations disturb moles and encourage them to leave.

In some cases, changing your lawn or garden environment may help. Over-watering, for instance, can attract earthworms, a mole's primary food source. By moderating your watering habits, you can potentially reduce the number of earthworms, thereby discouraging mole activity.

Home Remedies For Getting Rid Of Moles

While professional assistance can be useful in eliminating moles from your yard, there are a number of home remedies that can be employed for this purpose. These techniques offer a more natural and less invasive approach to the problem.

Castor Oil

Castor oil has been widely regarded as an effective natural repellent for moles. The scent and taste of castor oil are disagreeable to these creatures, prompting them to leave the area. You can make a homemade repellent by mixing two parts castor oil with one part dish soap to help the oil mix with water.

Add this mixture to the water in a ratio of one ounce for every gallon of water. Spray this solution over your yard, focusing especially on areas where you've seen signs of mole activity.

Natural Predators

Encouraging the presence of natural predators in your garden can also help to control the mole population. Animals such as cats, dogs, foxes, or birds of prey can deter moles. However, remember that these predators may also pose risks to other wildlife or pets, so consider this approach with caution.

Plant Repellent

Certain plants, such as daffodils, marigolds, and alliums, are known to repel moles. These plants can be used as a natural barrier around your garden or yard, preventing moles from causing damage.


Garlic and Hot Pepper

A homemade spray of garlic and hot pepper can serve as an effective deterrent. To create this mixture, blend two parts of water with one part of chopped hot peppers and one part of chopped garlic. Spray this mixture in areas of mole activity.

Coffee Grounds

Coffee grounds are a potential mole deterrent, and they also enrich the soil with nitrogen, making this method beneficial for your garden. Scatter coffee grounds around your garden and in molehills.

How To Get Rid Of Ground Moles With Vinegar

Vinegar is another common household item that can be used as a home remedy to deter moles. Here is a simple method on how to use vinegar to help remove ground moles from your yard:

Identify Active Tunnels

Firstly, you will need to determine which mole tunnels are active. You can do this by pressing down a small section of the tunnel. If it's repaired within a day or two, it's an active tunnel.

Prepare Vinegar Solution

For this step, you will need a 1:1 mixture of vinegar and water. Either white or apple cider vinegar can be used for this. Mix these two together in a large bucket or directly in a garden sprayer.

Apply Vinegar Solution

Pour or spray the vinegar solution directly into the entrance of the mole's tunnel. Be sure to use enough solution to soak the area thoroughly. The strong smell of vinegar is said to be offensive to moles and can encourage them to leave the area.

Repeat As Needed

You may need to repeat this process several times to fully deter the moles. Persistence is key when dealing with these tenacious creatures.

However, keep in mind that vinegar can alter the pH levels in your soil, which may have effects on plant health. It's a good idea to test the soil pH after using vinegar to ensure it remains suitable for your plants. If necessary, you can add lime to raise the pH or sulfur to lower it back to an ideal range for most plants (around 6.0 to 7.0).

Please also remember that while vinegar is a more natural and non-invasive method, its effectiveness is mostly anecdotal and may not work in every case. You might need to combine this method with other approaches for a more comprehensive strategy.

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How To Get Rid Of Ground Moles With Dawn Soap

Dawn dish soap, or any biodegradable dish soap, can indeed be used as a part of a home remedy to deter moles. It's often combined with castor oil, which is known to repel moles.

The soap helps to emulsify the oil, making it easier to mix with water and distribute through your yard. Here's a method you can use - the method is very similar to applying other home remedies:

Identify the Active Tunnels

First, figure out which of the tunnels are active by flattening a small portion of the tunnel. If the flattened portion is raised again within 24-48 hours, it's likely an active tunnel.

Prepare the Mixture

You will need to make a solution consisting of 1/2 cup of castor oil, 1/4 cup of Dawn dish soap, and 6 cups of water. The castor oil is the primary deterrent, while the soap helps to spread the oil more effectively. Mix these ingredients thoroughly until they are well combined.

Apply the Solution

Using a garden sprayer or a watering can, apply the mixture directly into the entrance of the active tunnels. Be sure to apply enough of the solution to thoroughly soak the area.

Monitor and Repeat

Monitor the treated areas over the next few days to see if there's still mole activity. If moles persist, you may need to repeat the process.

It's important to note that while these natural remedies can be a more environmentally friendly solution, their effectiveness may vary based on several factors, including the severity of the infestation, the specific species of mole, and local soil conditions.

If home remedies are not proving effective, it may be necessary to explore other pest control options or consult with a professional pest control service.

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While these methods may not be 100% effective, they offer a more humane and eco-friendly approach to dealing with moles in your garden. These solutions work best as preventative measures and may need to be combined with other methods for a more comprehensive control strategy.

Few Final Words

mole w600px mContending with moles in your yard can be a challenging task. These tenacious creatures can cause extensive damage to your garden and lawn.

However, understanding their habits and implementing effective control methods can help preserve the integrity and beauty of your outdoor spaces.

Whether you choose trapping, using repellents, or adjusting your lawn's environment, it's crucial to act promptly to mitigate mole damage. Patience and persistence often yield the best results in mole control.

Ultimately, remember that every garden or lawn is a miniature ecosystem; achieving balance is key to a healthy and visually pleasing yard.

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