How to Get Rid of Moles in Your Backyard This Weekend

How to get rid of moles in your backyard. Photo of lawn with mole hills.

Moles are a common problem for many homeowners. They can cause damage to your lawn and garden, and they’re incredibly annoying! You want them gone as soon as possible, but you’re wondering how to get rid of moles in your backyard. We know what works and what doesn’t work when it comes to getting rid of moles so that you can enjoy your backyard again without worrying about those little guys ruining everything.

How to Get Rid of Moles in Your Yard

Dealing with moles in your yard can be an ongoing battle.

I know because I’ve dealt with them in my own yard.

They can destroy plants, burrow into your lawn, and even cause structural damage to the foundation of your home.

If left to their own devices, moles can be a real nuisance as they dig their tunnels forming little volcanoes of soil throughout your beautiful lawn.

While there are some people who like moles and will even try to attract them as a natural form of pest control, most homeowners want to get rid of moles as soon as possible.

While moles do not pose any threat to humans or other animals that live in your yard, they can be a real nuisance if you have plants or an established lawn that you want to keep healthy and free of mole hills.

The good news is that there are many effective and safe ways you can get rid of moles in your yard for good.

Mole popping out of tunnel in a lawn.

What are moles?

Moles are small mammals that live mostly on the ground, but can also travel through tunnels.

They have a cylindrical body with short legs and long claws made for digging.

Moles spend most of their time looking for food underground or in your lawn (lucky you!) and can cause a lot of damage when they are digging.

They are closely related to voles and shrews, and while many people consider these creatures to be rodents, they are not.

Moles live in  North America, Europe, Asia and some parts of Africa.

Moles are most active at night, when they get to work and burrow through your yard looking for food.

They eat mostly insects, earthworms, grubs and other invertebrates like rolly-pollies and insects that they find underground.

Moles are often confused with gophers, which are a different type of animal that also can cause damage to your lawn.

Side by side comparison of what a mole looks like compared to a vole and gopher.

Gophers have larger heads and shorter tails than moles. One way to know if you are dealing with a mole vs a gopher is to look for the mole’s tunnels. Gopher tunnels are typically much deeper, while mole tunnels are closer to the surface and may be visible.

Signs You Have Moles in Your Backyard

It’s not hard to determine whether or not you have a mole problem.

Mole activity can cause damage to your lawn and garden, which is one of the most obvious signs that you have them in your backyard.

Most likely, you’re reading this because you have noticed large molehills or those telltale dirt piles around their tunnels.

Examples of mole hills and mole tunnels in a backyard.

Moles leave a trail of soil behind as they tunnel, so you may also see this “dirt” on your lawn or in flower beds.

Moles are active mostly at night, so if you see something moving around in your yard when it is dark out, there is a good chance that it is a mole.

They are also pretty noisy while they tunnel through your lawn at night. While you may not be able to hear them, your dog probably can. If you notice your dog barking or scratching at the ground a lot at night, there is a good chance that he is trying to tell you there are moles in your backyard.

If you see any of these signs, you probably have moles in your backyard.

Mole control can be difficult, but if you know what works and what doesn’t work when it comes to getting rid of moles then it will help reduce the damage they cause and get rid of them quickly.

What Attracts Moles to your Yard?

There are many things that can make your lawn attractive to moles.

Moles are attracted to yards that have a lot of loose soil. If you have rich,  dark soil that is easy to dig through, you are more likely to have moles in your yard.

They are also attracted to yards with a lot of moisture. If you have a lawn that is constantly wet or has a lot of standing water, moles will be more likely to take up residence there.

If you have a lot of trees or shrubs in your yard, moles may be attracted to those areas because they provide good cover for them from predators and their root systems also offer lots of food opportunities.

Another factor to consider is that moles love to eat earthworms and grubs. Their diet consists of mostly insects, so if you have rich soil in your lawn or garden area full of bugs, the moles are going to want to eat them.

A mole eating an earthworm.

If you want to get rid of moles in your backyard, it is important to understand what attracts them there in the first place. Once you know what is attracting them, you can take steps to reduce or eliminate that attraction

Addressing these attractants can help reduce the number of moles in your yard and make future mole control easier.

Please know there are a lot of products on the market that claim to help get rid of moles, but not all of them work.

In this article we will share with you some tips and products that have been proven to be effective when it comes to getting rid of moles.

What’s the Best Way to Get Rid of Backyard Moles?

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There are many ways to get rid of backyard moles, but not all of them work.

In this section we will share with you some tips and products that have been proven to be effective when it comes to getting rid of moles.

Mole Traps (If you really want to get rid of them fast)

Ok, I’m going to cut right to the chase.

You’re reading this post because you want to get rid of moles in your backyard, and one of the only tried and true ways to do so quickly, is by using a trap.

Other methods will work, but they will take much longer.

You can buy mole traps at your local hardware store or online.

Depending on your end goal you can find live traps and humane kill traps.

If you plan to try to catch and release a mole you must consider where you can do so. You will want to be sure to find an area where the mole can continue to live happily ever after without ruining anyone else’s lawn.

That being said, most homeowners opt for a kill trap.

No matter what type of trap you decide to use, placement is key. You want to place the trap in the tunnel that the mole is using.

If you are not sure where the tunnels are, start by finding a mole hill and then use a garden trowel or metal rod to poke around in the ground until you find an active tunnel.

There will be a tunnel on either side of the mole hill and it’s best to put a trap in each tunnel as you do not know where they will be coming from.

To determine precise placement you will need to follow the directions provided by the manufacturer of the trap you decide to use.

Once you have the trap in place, patience is key. Since the moles are active at night, so you will need to check your traps each morning to see if you have caught one.

If you are using a live trap, be sure to release the mole as soon as possible.

Mole Repellent Granules and Spray

Another option is an all-natural mole repellant that can be used in your yard.

There are both granules and sprays available, and they work by creating a scent that moles do not like.

You can find these products at most hardware stores or online.

While mole repellent is not always 100% effective, it can help reduce the number of moles in your yard.

Repellants can also be combined with other mole control methods to make them more effective.

Mole seen coming out of a mole hill in a backyard.

Castor Oil

Moles do not like the smell of castor oil, so if you want to use a natural method this is one that has been proven to work against moles.

To get rid of backyard moles using castor oil:

Find the mole entrances to your yard and pour castor oil on them.

You can also make your own DIY mole repellant by mixing 3 tablespoons of castor oil with 1 tablespoon of dish soap. Add the mixture to to a gallon of water and douse the entrances to their tunnels and anywhere else you see signs of their presence.

You can also purchase ready to use castor oil based repellents as mentioned above.

Make sure to avoid getting the oil on any plants or flowers, as it will kill them.

Castor oil is a non-toxic way to get rid of backyard moles, but it may take some time for it to be effective.

You will need to reapply the castor oil every few days until the moles are gone.

Use Plants to Deter Moles

Another way to get rid of backyard moles is by planting flowers and herbs they don’t like.

Plants like lavender, rosemary, thyme, and marigolds have a strong scent that moles do not like.

You can plant these around the edges of your yard or in areas where you are seeing evidence of mole activity.

While using plants to deter moles is not always 100% effective, it can help reduce their numbers.

Chemical Poisons

Personally, I think that the poisons are cruel, so I don’t recommend them.

These poisons work by suffocating the mole after they eat it and ingest it through their saliva glands.

There is also another type of poison called zinc phosphide. This one works because the mole will be attracted to the bait and then ingest it.

This poison works by causing seizures in the mole that eventually leads to death.

The last type of chemical poisoning is called strychnine, which has been illegal for use since 2012 because of its toxicity level. This one causes nervous system failure after a few days of eating the poisoned food source.

Now you can see why we don’t suggest these methods.

Mole Removal Methods That Don’t Work

Mole in flowerbed.

If you take a quick look online, you will see many suggestions for removing moles that are simply a waste of your time. Here are a few of the most commonly recommended mole removal tactics that don’t really work.


Shoving the end of your hose into a tunnel and filling it with water will not work. The moles will simply dig another tunnel and the problem will persist.

Home Remedies

There are a number of home remedies that people have tried over the years to get rid of moles in their yard, but none of them have been proven to be effective.

These include:

– cayenne pepper

– garlic

-coffee grounds

– vinegar

– ammonia

These remedies either don’t work or they are so unpleasant that homeowners will not continue with the treatment.

Ultrasonic Repellents

Ultrasonic repellents are devices that emit sound waves that are supposed to scare the moles away.

However, there is no scientific evidence to support the claim that these devices work.

In fact, one study found that ultrasonic repellents actually made the mole problem worse.

Ridding Your Yard of Insects

When researching mole removal you will find many people suggesting that you should kill off the insects in your lawn to remove the mole’s food supply.

While this could actually work, why would you want to do that?

The insects in your lawn serve a variety of purposes, including keeping your lawn healthy via aeration, nutrients and pest control.

You should never kill off all of your insects – they are very important to the ecosystem!

Backyard damaged by mole tunnels.

How to Keep Moles from Coming Back

Once you have gotten rid of the moles in your yard, it is important to take some steps to keep them from coming back.

Wire Mesh

Installing wire mesh is a good way to keep moles from digging tunnels into your yard.

While not an easy process, it works really well by preventing the moles from tunneling into your yard.

To install the wire mesh you will need to dig a trench around the perimeter of your yard and place the wire mesh in it.

The mesh should go down at least a foot below the surface of the ground to block the moles from entering.

The wire mesh should also be buried in the soil so that it is flush with the ground to prevent injuries, tripping and to avoid breaking your lawnmower.


While moles typically enter your yard through underground tunnels they do sometimes come to the surface. 

A fence will help keep them out of your yard by preventing them from inadvertently entering your property.

Backyard Mole FAQ’s

What is the fastest way to get rid of moles in your yard?

If you are looking for a fast and effective method to get rid of moles in your backyard, a trap is without a doubt your best bet.

A trap can get solve your mole problem within 24 hours if you get the placement right on the first try.

Will yard moles go away on their own?

Moles are not likely to go away on their own and in fact, may continue to cause damage to your yard as they search for food.

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