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How can I get Rid of Lawn Moles?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 16, 2024
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The first question you should ask yourself is whether or not you actually want to get rid of lawn moles. Many people are mistaken about the role of moles in the garden, and these small, shy creatures are actually quite beneficial for the garden, although they can make a mess of the lawn sometimes. Most people who think that they want to get rid of lawn moles actually want to get rid of rodent pests like gophers and voles, which cause extensive damage to plants in the garden as well as digging unsightly tunnels. More probably, you want to relocate the lawn moles to make them work for you, instead of against you.

Moles are insectivores, so they eat insects, grubs, and other unwanted garden pests. Lawn moles are actually quite effective forms of natural insect control in the garden. They also keep the soil well aerated, making it easier for plants to grow and acting like nature's rototillers. Unfortunately, moles can wreak havoc on lawns with their tunnels, which cause lawns to become uneven, and when the moles surface, they form piles of dirt which are rather unsightly. As a result, some people want to get rid of lawn moles to keep their lawns looking neat and to make walking on the lawn safe; deep mole holes and tunnels can invite a twisted ankle or broken leg.

One way to get rid of lawn moles is with a commercial mole repellent, which typically comes in the form of a liquid which needs to be sprayed onto the lawn. You can also make your own with castor oil, a substance which moles don't enjoy. Another technique to get rid of lawn moles is to use a sonic repellent; this will also help to get rid of gophers and voles, sending out sound waves underground which make your lawn inhospitable to visitors. You can also set traps in the holes in the lawn to catch the moles in action; a number of companies produce humane catch and release traps which you can use to relocate moles.

Plants can also be used to control moles. Moles do not like the scent of crown imperial, siberian squill, daffodils, alliums, marigolds, euphorbia, and castor beans. Many people enjoy these plants are decorative features; you can plant a border of them around the lawn to keep the moles out and to liven up the garden. If possible, make the lawn less hospitable to moles by reducing the population of insects and grubs; the best way to do that is to under water the lawn.

You might also want to consider getting rid of your lawn altogether, replacing it with a groundcover you can walk on like Corsican mint, moss, and other alternatives to grass. Grass is notoriously energy hungry, and maintaining a lawn can be a massive waste of resources. If you live in an area with an insecure water supply, planting a drought-tolerant groundcover will be environmentally friendly, and it will keep the moles away, because you can keep the soil dry, rather than moist and insect rich like the moles prefer it.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a HomeQuestionsAnswered researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By Valencia — On May 16, 2011

As a child I had a real thing for moles, and would secretly wish for some to come live in our yard! When I was older I asked my father why my dream had never come true.

His reply was that instead of thinking of how to get rid of moles, you need to concentrate on not having them in the first place. His trick was to dig a six inch trench around your garden and fill it with stones or pebbles.

I have no idea why that works but it does. I have adopted the same method in my yard, and so far so good.

By Bakersdozen — On May 13, 2011

@surreallife - That's a good tip for me as I have two apple trees due to bear their first fruit this year.

I will have to do more research on the poison aspect of this plant though. I don't want to harm or deter any welcome wildlife visitors while I'm successfully getting rid of moles!

By MissMuffet — On May 11, 2011

I'm glad you recommended humane traps as I hate the idea of people killing an animal that hasn't really harmed them.

I wish more states would outlaw the fatal type that some people put in the tunnels as a drastic lawn mole removal method.

By surreallife — On Sep 03, 2008

If you do have fruit trees, plants like euphorbia will help control moles and mice. It is good to have some plants strategically placed especially by young trees. The sap of the plant is poisonous though, so great care should be taken not to touch it.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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