Moles in lawns & turf

There is nothing worse than seeing your beautiful lawn ruined by the sight of mole hills. Large heaps of soil are pushed to the surface so the moles can make tunnels.

These tunnel can also be unsightly if they create raised ridges on your lawn. All types of soils and lawns are vulnerable to moles.

Prevention & control of moles in lawns

With the damage that is caused by moles, prevention is obviously better than cure. As worms are the main food source of moles reducing the number in your lawn is advisable. Once you have a mole problem, steps will need to be taken to remove them or encourage them to move on.

There are many methods and techniques that have been written about. These include moth balls, disinfectant, burning paper, used cooking oil amongst others. You can try any of these methods but the moles are likely to return if they have not been killed or removed completely.

Trapping is an effective way of mole control but it is quite a skillful operation. To set a trap follow this procedure.

  • You need to find a run in which to place a trap. If the runs are raised they will be easy to find. If it is not raised push a bamboo cane or similar into the ground where you think the run may be. You will know when you find it as there will be no resistance where the run is located.
  • Once you have found the run you will need to dig a small hole with a trowel in which to place the trap. Try to do this with very little disturbance. It is important to you rub your hands and the trap with soil from the mole hill before you do this. Moles have a very keen sense of smell and you want to disguise the smell of human scent.
  • When you have created a hole in the run set the trap and cover it with some turf and soil or a bucket turned upside down to stop any light entering the run.
  • Check the trap 2-3 times daily, if the mole has pushed any soil into the trap remove the soil and repeat the above steps. Once you have caught the mole it can be relocated to a safe area away from your garden if it is still alive.

How to set a mole trap

Mole control

mole

(1) Find the mole run. Do this using by pushing a cane into the ground where you think the runs will be located. This is usually between two mole heaps. You will know when you have found it as there will be very little resistance and the cane will go in the ground easier. (2) Once you have found the run, use a hand trowel or similar to dig down to the run. The run can be seen in the bottom of the hole in the above image. This is used by the mole to travel under the lawn.

mole trap

mole control

(3) The trap is then placed in the run. Place the trap so it faces the direction that the mole travels through the run. The trap used here is a scissor type mole trap. (4) Cover the hole and trap with some turf or similar and mark with a cane if necessary. Check the trap 2 - 3 times a day. If the mole has pushed some soil into the trap reset it. You should eventually catch the mole.

There are a few different types of trap available, we are using the scissor trap in the above photos.

If you are not confident of trapping you may want to enlist the help of a professional contractor.

Another method is gassing the mole using phosphine pellets, however these can not be purchased for home use. A professional contractor would need to use them but there are legal requirements to follow when using these pellets.