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Get Rid of Moles Humanely

Updated on July 8, 2018
Virginia Allain profile image

Virginia has years of experience with gardening and wild pests in New Hampshire, Kansas, Australia, and other locales.

Just a Few Molehills

Ack, no one wants their lawn to look like this. Moles are expert tunnelers and can be damaging to the landscape.
Ack, no one wants their lawn to look like this. Moles are expert tunnelers and can be damaging to the landscape. | Source

Moles in Your Yard - Oh, No!

You take pride in your yard and your garden, but one day you notice a raised area in the lawn or under the mulch or in a flower bed. Ack, it's moles! Naturally, you want a quick solution to save your precious plants or your carefully tended lawn.

I felt the same way when I noticed tunnels running through my planting areas and then under a mulched pathway. Being a librarian, I researched ways of repelling moles. I'll share my findings with you here.

My New Hampshire vegetable garden. Doesn't it look great? You can see why it upset me when moles started tunneling here.
My New Hampshire vegetable garden. Doesn't it look great? You can see why it upset me when moles started tunneling here. | Source

My Experience with Moles

Several weeks ago, I noticed some raised sections of dirt and mulch in my garden. They looked suspiciously like mole tunnels. I flattened them with my foot.

Each day as I enjoyed my flowers and strolled about the garden, I'd notice the mole tunnels showing up in new areas. The critter wasn't going away.

Since wishful thinking hadn't taken care of the little pest, I started browsing online for solutions. One advised spraying castor oil on the ground and plants. It said they would go away for a month or 6 weeks.

I'm a lazy gardener and didn't want to mess around with a sprayer and hose. Check out what I found. The information below shows how it worked for me.

Do You Have Problems with Moles?

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What I'm Using Now - to Drive away the Moles

After all the online research, I checked the pest section at Home Depot. That gave me a chance to read the warning labels on the packages and see how complicated the application might be.

One that seemed simple to use and without lots of drawbacks was the Mole & Gopher Sonic Spike made by Sweeney's.

The gadget was solar powered, so no need for batteries. Not cheap. It was $19, but the other methods are pricey too. Think of how much you have invested in your plantings and yard care. You want to protect that investment.

Back at home, I peeled off the plastic protector so it could start absorbing sunlight. Using my garden tool, I made a hole to stick the plastic spike into the ground. You have to be careful not to break off the solar collector on the top.

Immediately it started making a mechanical sound every 30 seconds. This radiates through the ground for for a 95 foot radius. Supposedly the moles don't like it and will leave after a week or two.

The sound is audible to me but not annoyingly so. It can take a week or so to drive away the moles.

2nd Year of Using the Sonic Spike

I noticed a mole tunnel, so I hunted out my spike from last summer. When I turned it on, it started right away making its tone. Amazing that it held the power over the winter in my garden storage bin.

It's in place now and soon I expect the mole(s) to decamp and head for the neighbor's yard. "Sorry, Theresa and Phil."

Learn More about Using Sonic Spikes - to Repel Moles

The first video reviews the Sweeney's Sonic Spikes.

The second video shows someone catching a mole by hand. Not my idea of a safe way to get rid of moles. I imagine that they bite when cornered.

Video Review of Sweeney's Sonic Spikes for Moles and Gophers

Get Rid of the Grubs That Attract Pesky Moles

The food source that moles and voles are mostly looking for is grubs. A friend found that if she used Milky Spore in a couple of areas that it helped do away with the grubs. She said, "it is natural and safe for kids, animals, and plants."

For a change, she was thinking about using nematodes this year. The milky spore no longer seemed to be working, but it's been about 10 years since she put that down. I thought that sounded good if a preventive method worked for almost 10 years.

Where can you get milky spore?

Check your hardware or gardening store or try on Amazon.

What is it?

Milky spore is actually a microscopic bacterium. The bacteria eat the grubs in the soil. Without the grubs to attract them, the moles, voles, and gophers look for a new place to live.

Ways to Catch Moles

Many of my friends touted their success with a good cat, but not all cats are mousers/hunters. Also recommended were terrier dogs who love to dig for critters.

Guinea hens will deter moles too if you live where you can have fowl in your yard. Below is a video of hand-catching moles. Not something I would try though.

I'm Not Sure I'm Brave Enough to Catch a Mole by Hand

Peppermint for Pests

This was going to be my next method if the sonic spike didn't work. Friends recommended spraying peppermint oil around the garden. Sounds pleasant, but maybe not, if you are a mole.

Here's Another Mole

It's rare to see the actually little fellow as mostly they stay underground. He sort of looks like that Whack-a-Mole game, doesn't he?
It's rare to see the actually little fellow as mostly they stay underground. He sort of looks like that Whack-a-Mole game, doesn't he? | Source

Chase It Away Or Kill It? Which Is the Solution for Your Problem?

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Here's What a Mole Looks Like

I found this fellow when I was out for a walk one day. I'm not sure what killed the little creature. Maybe it was a cat or old age or some sort of poison.
I found this fellow when I was out for a walk one day. I'm not sure what killed the little creature. Maybe it was a cat or old age or some sort of poison. | Source

Maybe you've tried one of the methods above and can recommend it or let us know if it wasn't successful for you. Maybe you've developed your own unique solution. Let's hear about it.

© 2014 Virginia Allain

Tell Me about Your Mole Problems - And What You've Used to Drive Them Away

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    • Les Trois Chenes profile image

      Les Trois Chenes 

      4 years ago from Videix, Limousin, South West France

      Aw - poor little things! I have lots of moles and like to think of them as part of the rich wildlife of the garden. I am especially keen on them when I need soil for potting plants but the best thing about moles is that mine seem to produce EXACTLY the right amount of soil to fill in all the holes that my dog digs in the garden.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      4 years ago from the beautiful south

      Very interesting. I don't have moles now but years ago they ate up so many of my expensive bulbs and it seemed nothing I tried worked so if I see any I will certainly remember this. Thanks!

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 

      5 years ago from San Diego California

      I don't think we even have moles here in Southern California, not that I've heard of anyway. We do have gophers, and I got rid of them using the nuclear option of poison pellets. Poor little things, but I know how they can destroy a garden. Next time perhaps I will try the sonic treatment and see what happens. Great hub.

    • Pawpawwrites profile image


      5 years ago from Kansas

      We depend on our cats to help us out. I've tried a few things, but haven't found anything that works that well. I haven't tried the sonic spike yet though.

    • javr profile image


      5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      We had them once in Washington State. Luckily they are not present on Vancouver Island.

    • BLouw profile image

      Barbara Walton 

      5 years ago from France

      Sorry but I've learned to live with my moles. I've noticed that they throw up EXACTLY the right amount of soil to fill in the holes the dog digs. And what about all that good work they do turning and aeriating the soil? Plus, they are soooo cute!

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 

      5 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I don't know which is worse: the groundhogs or the moles. They must have quite an underground party going on at our house.

    • gottaloveit2 profile image


      5 years ago

      I think I'm one of the few people who had a soft heart for moles. I just think they're adorable. I've learned to live with the little suckers.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      6 years ago from Canada

      Works for Gophers too. If you have a small space to care for you can also use whirly gigs as well.

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 

      6 years ago from Seattle, WA

      I haven't had to deal with them so far - let's hope it stays that way.


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