The following question was sent
to the P&PDL
diagnosticians here at Purdue University:
do you get rid of moles in your lawn?
Question: We have been trying to get rid of this mole
problem for a month now, can't seem to kill or get rid of them.
We have tried bleach down the holes, we limed the lawn heavy,
stamped down the mole hills...they're still there!!! What kind
of mixture can I use to get rid of these pesky animals? Please
mostly feed on earthworms. While they do eat grubs, it’s
an old wives tale that grubs are the reason that moles are
in a lawn. Therefore using grub control products as a method
of controlling moles will not be effective. Even in grub free
lawns, moles continue to survive, because the majority of their
diet consists of the ever-present earthworm.
When the ground dries out in the summer (or when
it freezes in the winter), earthworms and soil dwelling insects
remain deeper in the ground - and so do the moles. This behavior
makes control difficult because one can never be certain that
the moles are truly eliminated even though they are not making
Moles are not rodents like rats and mice, which
can be baited using rodent foods. Poison peanuts or other grain
baits won’t work since moles don’t feed on seeds,
alfalfa pellets or any of the typical baits that are sold to ‘kill
rodents’ even though some are touted as a control for ‘rodents
People also should beware of false claims about
schemes to drive moles away. Many books and magazines having
to do with gardening and landscaping have references or advertising
concerning bizarre strategies to control moles. These include
putting mothballs, human hair, razor blades, or chewing gum
in their tunnels, or using pinwheels or ultrasonic devices
to scare moles away. The reality is that these just do not
The only two methods of effectively controlling
moles are to (1) to use a bait that they are attracted to OR
(2) to physically remove them. A fairly recent bait that has
been proven to be effective is packaged and sold in the form
of a worm. The attractive smell and taste that is incorporated
into the worm, together with Bromethalin (the active ingredient
that poisons the mole), makes for a lethal combination.
Two effective mole traps can be used depending
upon where the moles are working. A scissor trap is better
for use in subsurface, or deep, mole runs. A harpoon trap is
usually easier to use when the tunnels are near the surface.
Whether using traps or worm-shaped baits, placement
is critical. Choose a run that the mole uses regularly. Usually
this is a run that is in a straight line as opposed to squiggly
tunnels that are generally used for food foraging only. The
best straight runs follow a structural guideline such as a
curb or a gutter, because these are used regularly as the moles
travel from their nest to the foraging area. To determine if
a run is active, stomp it down flat then check the following
day to see if it is pushed back up. If the tunnel has been
repaired, it is usually an active tunnel and should be considered
for trapping or baiting.
Mole traps and baits are available at most hardware,
home repair and farm supply stores, generally right there in
the middle of a bunch of mole control products that do NOT
work. Buyer beware!
For additional information on moles and mole
control, contact the Wildlife
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