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Get Rid of Moles Humanely

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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?

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

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.

© 2014 Virginia Allain

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

Les Trois Chenes from Videix, Limousin, South West France on January 13, 2016:

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 from the beautiful south on January 02, 2016:

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 from San Diego California on April 22, 2015:

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.

Jim from Kansas on March 22, 2015:

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 from British Columbia, Canada on October 28, 2014:

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

Barbara Walton from France on October 08, 2014:

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!

Nancy Tate Hellams from Pendleton, SC on October 07, 2014:

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 on October 05, 2014:

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.

Lorelei Cohen from Canada on August 06, 2014:

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

Angela F from Seattle, WA on August 03, 2014:

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