Do I have moles in my yard?

Moles create surface tunnels and dirt mounds that resemble mini volcanoes. If you have dirt mounds in your yard, it's more likely that you have a mole. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Tim K.)

Moles create surface tunnels and dirt mounds that resemble mini volcanoes. If you have dirt mounds in your yard, it's more likely that you have a mole. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Tim K.)

Have you ever walked around your yard and noticed a dirt mound or a tunnel sinking in the surface of your lawn? How do you know if a mole was the cause of your yard's damage and not some other tunneling creature?

Do I have moles in my yard?

Moles are creatures that tunnel through your yard searching for their favorite foods; earthworms and grubs. You may confuse a path caused by a mole with the path of a rodent that is another threat to yards and gardens, called voles, also known as field or meadow mice. Voles may use mole trails instead of creating their own as they search for bulbs, roots and tubers.

How can you tell if the path that you are tripping over was caused by a mole or a vole? Moles create surface tunnels and dirt mounds that resemble mini volcanoes. If you have dirt mounds in your yard, it's more likely that you have a mole. In addition to the tunnels or mounds, if you find grubs or earthworms in your yard you can bet that a mole is the cause of the path.

Voles use the tunnels created by moles when present, but most of the damage caused by voles is above ground. If you have damage to your grass, perennial roots, and other seeds and bulbs, it's likely that a vole is the cause of the damage.

How to get rid of molehills

The easiest way to prevent a molehill is to rid your yard of the mole. You may also try to prevent moles from creating molehills by eliminating a mole's source of food. By removing the earthworms and grubs, you may cause the mole to move to another area.

Getting rid of moles can be tricky. Many of the home remedies found on the Internet can be ineffective or even harmful to pets and children. Some home remedies for ridding moles include placing castor oil or cayenne pepper inside a mole's trail.

Although there are many resources for removing moles from your yard, there are only a few that work well. These resources include the following three methods.

  1. Scare Tactics - There are many electronic devices for sale that claim to scare moles out of your yard using sonic waves, vibrations or magnets. Research the product before selecting the one you will use to trap the mole. If you have pets or children, read the label to make sure that the device is safe around them.
  2. Poisons - There are also poisons available in stores that effectively rid your yard of moles, but use caution. Follow all instructions for use before using any poison or chemical in your yard. Poisons or chemicals can be hazardous to children or pets and could accidentally enter water sources when used improperly.
  3. Traps - The quickest and most effective way to rid a mole from your yard may include hiring a professional pest control service to trap and remove the mole. Check Angie's List for reviews before hiring a professional to clear your yard of moles.

Making mountains out of molehills

According to an article by Kansas State University, before you attempt to rid the mole, consider the benefits that moles can be to your lawn. If you can tolerate the trails and dirt mounds, moles are natural aerators and eat the pests harmful to your lawn.

If you decide the mole is a menace to your yard and choose to have it removed, a professional lawn company will provide the same services naturally performed by a mole. Removing the mole from your yard may not keep you from stepping in a sinkhole, but walking in your yard will be much easier.


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Help! Moles are tunneling through my lawn

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mole damage lawn (Photo by member Deb G. of Indianapolis)
Moles can kill your lawn by causing the grass to detach from the root. (Photo by member Deb G. of Indianapolis)

Moles and voles can cause significant damage to a yard by tunneling underground. Highly rated trappers offer tips to remove the pests so they don't come back.

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