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I have a new lawn that is infested with moles. The new sod must be prime real estate for them. I'm looking for peoples' advice on how to get rid of them.

What I've tried so far:

  1. A pesticide to remove their food. After about a month, that does not seem to have had any effect.

  2. Setting rat and mouse traps with pepperoni (yes I read that somewhere). Trap is tripped every day but it could be from anything.

I've read many things about what to do when you catch the mole in the act. I've never seen them active and I'm not confident that I will. My life isn't such that I can spend the day staring at the lawn.

Can anyone share something that's worked for them?

EDIT (4 years later): I wanted to let people know how I eventually got rid of them for good. Whenever I saw a mound, I'd first root around with a hose until I found the burrow and got the water running smoothly down the hole. My theory was this ensured the burrow was open and not blocked off. If I could not get water flowing I'd abort. Then I just used some of those off the shelf smoke sticks. After doing that 4-5 times they were gone for good. This solution is so easy and cheap I'd recommend anyone give it a try.

marked as duplicate by Tea Drinker Jan 22 '14 at 13:06

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • same question as gardening.stackexchange.com/questions/8814/… – kevinsky Jan 20 '14 at 11:43
  • you folks really know how to over-moderate a website. while this question is generally the same as the linked, there are many details about it that are different. stop ruining this website. – Jeffrey Blattman Sep 28 '14 at 17:46
  • the question can be reopened if you point out what details make your mole problem different than the other mole questions – kevinsky Sep 28 '14 at 17:58
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Moles are desirable to the extent that they eat grubs and other lawn pests. You might want to eliminate those with milky spore. This is a natural bacteria that should reduce the populations if you release it at the right time.

Voles are a real problem because in addition to their tunnels they eat the roots of plants.

A simple and immediate cost effective solution would be "predator pee." A search should get you what you're looking for. I believe the bobcat is the natural predator of these rodents and that should scare a number of them off if you use it properly.

As to catch and release most experts believe that's just a death sentence for the animal in one form or another.

Some things I've found after your response.

"...and a mole rarely stays in the same area for any length of time. Once it has eaten the local soil insects, it moves on." "Most species of moles are not gregarious. In fact, they are highly territorial and will fight to the death other moles attempting to enter their own burrow system." "Various folk remedies have been repeatedly recommended for removing moles from the garden. If they appear to work, it is largely by coincidence, since moles don’t stay long in an area" source - http://www.vegetablegardener.com/item/4311/much-ado-about-moles

  • thanks. i've read the pesticides don't work because moles primarily feed on worms, not grubs. i'm not going to go the pee / repellant route simply because it's expensive and gets washed away fairly quickly. i don't care about killing them, i want them gone. – Jeffrey Blattman Jan 23 '14 at 2:37
  • @jeffrey blattman It's not that expensive if you consider how long the bottle will last you... and it only gets washed away of it rains. Finally killing them doesn't solve the "why are they here" issue. Remove them via execution or relocation and new ones should fill the vacancy if there are resources there for them. This solution may not be right for you but nonetheless it is an effective route to go... so I may not get the accepted answer vote but... – hortstu Jan 23 '14 at 4:46
  • @jefferey blattman some more ideas "common defensive measures include used cat litter and blood meal..." added to the burrows. "However, in many gardens, the damage caused by moles to lawns is mostly visual, and it is also possible to simply remove the earth of the molehills as they appear, leaving their permanent galleries for the moles to continue their existence underground." source= extermine.com/moles.html and while they do eat earth worms there is nothing "primary" about it. " their chief diet consisting of earthworms, grubs and various insects in the adult and larva stages" – hortstu Jan 23 '14 at 4:54
  • @jefferey blattman sorry to keep hitting you with these but I keep finding more interesting tidbits... – hortstu Jan 23 '14 at 4:58

I've always caught and released them with a modified trap I received from the local animal control. I also tamp down their hills, which sometimes (admittedly rarely) encourages them to dig further below ground. Honestly, I welcome them. They aerate the soil, deposit some nutrients, and don't harm anything.

But, that's probably not the answer you're looking for, especially if you just put some money into sod.

My grandfather tries to flood them out, but occasionally to the opposite effect; Moles love moist soil so flooding their runs might actually be a welcomed remodel. My great dane and hound have caught them, but only after weeks of trying. There are some really gimmicky solutions out there (vibration, supersonic so-and-so, predator hair, etc.) that simply do not work. Mole traps, not rat traps, are the only sure way to get rid of them.

  • thanks. my dad would flood them as well. timing must be just right though because he had to catch them in the act. they'd come out of the ground to avoid drowning. i just purchased a mole trap. doesn't look easy to get right, so we'll see. – Jeffrey Blattman Jan 23 '14 at 2:39

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