Hard work done on your lawn can quickly be taken away when a mole decides to show up out of nowhere.
One second your lawn is looking immaculate and then the next you have mounds all over your yard.
When this happens, you know you have a mole problem.
There are a few things you can do to control moles so they stay away from your yard and chase them away if they get there.
These tips include not overwatering your lawn, removing food sources, applying repellents, using plants as a barrier, scaring them away with scents. trapping and releasing, and digging a trench and lining it.
Read on to find out the details as to why each of these ideas might work for you.
How to identify you have a mole problem
It surprises us all when we go outside one day and find a bunch of mounds all around our lawn when we could have sworn hours earlier there were no mounds at all.
It caught me by surprise because I thought our dogs were the ones digging the holes.
But when I went to pull a weed out of the ground next to a hole, I saw something moving around in the hole and I could see all of my dogs.
At that point, I knew we had a problem with something digging under our yard.
According to CustomTurfInc.com, here are some sure signs you have a mole problem:
Raised ridges crisscrossing your yard.
Areas of discolored or dead grass that follow a specific path.
Raised mounds of dirt. These are usually the entrance/exit to mole tunnels.
Areas of your lawn feeling “squishy” or like the soil is very loose.Six Tell-Tale Signs Your Lawn Has Moles | Custom Turf (customturfinc.com)
If you see any of these signs around house, especially when it comes out of nowhere, you can be sure you have a mole problem.
Don’t overwater your yard
For anyone that has done some digging in their yard, they know a yard that has little moisture is easier to dig up than one that is dry.
In the same vein, moles love a yard that is wet.
So if you want to keep the moles away, leave your yard on the dry side.
Lawns typically need 1.5 to 2 inches of water a week.
And how much water your lawn gets depends on the output of your sprinkler system.
The easiest way to find out how much water your sprinkler’s output is to find a few food containers that are roughly the same size and place them around your lawn.
Then run your sprinklers for about 30 minutes.
After the sprinklers are done, retrieve the food containers and measure the depth of the water with a ruler.
Then find the average across all containers and that is your average output.
This will tell you how much water your lawn gets in a half hour time frame.
To figure out how much water your lawn gets in an hour, multiply your results by 2.
Now, if your lawn needs 2 inches of water a week, then figure out how many days a week and for how long each day you need to water your lawn.
For example, if your sprinkler system puts out 0.5 inches of water an hour, then you need 4 hours of watering.
You could water your lawn 2 times a week, an hour at a time and that would be enough.
Anything more than that, you could be inviting moles to come dig up your yard.
So try to stick as close as you can to 1.5 to 2 inches of water a week.
Remove food sources
Moles love to eat bugs; it is their main food source.
Bugs love a wet lawn as well, so making sure you aren’t overwatering your lawn will help here as well.
One all-natural product that can help control grubs and other insects is Diatomaceous Earth.
Diatomaceous Earth is known for killing bugs and other insects, whether it is around your house, on your animals, or in your garage.
If the insects ingests Diatomaceous Earth, they will die.
It is pretty harmless for humans as well. Just be careful how much you take of it.
Once you have gotten rid of the grubs and other insects, the moles should go away as well, since they will have no food source.
If you have gotten rid of the grubs and insects and the moles are still around, then you should try to apply some mole repellents to your yard.
Most mole repellents have a base of castor oil, which moles do not like the taste and smell of.
You can create your own repellent by mixing 3 tablespoons of castor oil with 1 tablespoon of dish soap and then mixing that with 1 gallon of water.
Then, spray that around your yard.
Outside of food and liquid repellent, you could also try mole deterrents, which emits a sonic pulse into the ground.
That sonic pulse then deters the moles away from your yard.
This is a good option if you don’t want to spread castor oil or any other liquid or powered repellent on your yard.
You can find solar powered ones as well, which is a nice feature.
Use plants as a barrier
There are a few plants that moles do not like.
And you can use this to your advantage.
If you create a barrier in your yard with these plants, the moles are going to find it hard to go any further.
These plants include the following:
- Crown Imperial
- Euphorbia lathris
Plant these in a raised bed on the outskirts of your yard.
You can focus these in the areas of your yard where the moles are most likely to come from.
The smell or taste of the plants will keep the moles away.
Scare them away with scents
Another option, but not as certain as other options, is to put scents around the yard that might scare away the miles.
These types of scents would include dried blood, tobacco, powdered red pepper, or coffee grounds.
Place these in or near the holes.
Moles also do not like the smell of tar, so find something to apply the tar to and place it in the hole.
Re-apply remedies after a rain, since the rain will wash the smell away.
Dig a trench and line it
Moles can dig pretty deep into the ground.
According to Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife:
Surface tunnels connect with deeper runways that are located 3 to 12 inches below the surface, but may be as deep as 40 inches. Deep runways are main passageways that are used daily as the mole travels to and from surface tunnels and its nest.https://wdfw.wa.gov/species-habitats/living/species-facts/moles#
But putting a trench on the outside of your yard might just be enough to deter moles from coming into your yard.
Dig a trench 2 feet deep and 6 inches wide around your yard.
Once you have the trench dug, fill it with rocks or line it with mesh then fill the trench back up with dirt.
Trap and release
If none of the other options work, or you like a humane option for getting rid of the moles, you can do a catch and release.
You can find some humane traps on Amazon.
Here is one.
Find an active mole tunnel preferable during the spring or fall when the moles are going to be most active.
You can find out if the tunnel is active by stepping on the tunnel to cave it in.
Come back later and see if the mound for the tunnel is back up again.
Once you’ve confirmed the tunnel is still active put the trap in the hole and wait.
Come back every few hours to see if the trap has a mole inside.
You should be able to tell if the trap has more weight to it and then you know there is a mole inside.
Once you have a live mole in the trap, take the trap into your car and drive a few miles away from any homes and then let the mole go.
You should only have to do this a few times, since moles don’t typically travel in packs.
When you trapped and released a few moles, hopefully no more will come back.
Moles can tear up your perfectly good yard.
They can be quite a nuisance if you don’t take care of them right away.
So lay traps, apply repellents, plant barrier plants, apply scents, or dig a trench.