Combating Mole Damage to Garden and Orchard

Gardens and orchards are a source of pride and joy for many homeowners, but they can quickly become a battleground when moles move in. These elusive creatures can wreak havoc on your beautiful landscaping and leave behind unsightly tunnels and mounds of earth. If you’re dealing with a mole infestation, you may be wondering how to combat the damage effectively. Fortunately, there are several prevention methods and trapping techniques that can help you solve the problem. In this article, we will explore the most effective ways to combat mole damage to your garden and orchard. So, whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a novice, read on to learn how you can protect your outdoor space from these pesky critters!

Prevention Methods

Prevention Methods
It is perplexing to deal with mole damage in a garden or orchard, especially if it has become a recurring problem. Finding effective prevention methods can save your plants or trees from the harmful effects caused by moles. While identifying mole damage to plants and trees is crucial, taking proactive steps to prevent it is vital. In this section, we will discuss various prevention methods that include creating barriers, using natural repellents, and removing grubs and insects that can attract moles. Applying these methods can help you prevent mole damage and ultimately, preserve the health of your plants and trees. To learn more about identifying mole damage to plants and trees, click here.

Create Barriers

One of the most effective ways to combat mole damage in your garden or orchard is by creating barriers with specific materials that moles are unlikely to cross. There are different types of barriers that you can install, each with its own set of advantages and challenges.


Types of Barriers Advantages Disadvantages
Hardware Cloth Can be buried under the soil surface to prevent digging, durable and long-lasting Can be difficult to handle and install, may not prevent moles from entering garden through other means
Wire Mesh Easy to install, affordable, and effective at preventing mole movement May rust over time and lose effectiveness, may need to be replaced periodically
Heavy Plastic Sheeting Relatively simple to lay down and install, effective at impeding mole movement May degrade over time from exposure to sunlight and/or ultimately tear and deteriorate due to weather conditions

It is recommended to install barriers prior to planting trees, shrubs or other plants that are vulnerable to mole damage. It is essential to make sure that the barrier goes deep enough beneath the soil surface so that moles are not able to burrow under it. Creating a barrier around an established tree or plant can be difficult, as it requires digging a trench around the perimeter of the tree, which may cause damage to the roots. Another important course of action is to ensure that the plants and trees are not overwatered, which can create ideal digging conditions for moles.

Combining barriers with other mole control methods can help maximize the effectiveness of your overall strategy for preventing mole damage to your plants and trees. For more information on how to prevent mole damage to plants and trees, see our article /prevent-mole-damage-plants-trees/.

Use Natural Repellents

Natural repellents are a great option to combat mole damage in your garden or orchard. There are several natural repellents that are effective in deterring moles from your plants and trees. Below is a table summarizing some of the most effective natural repellents.

Repellent Description
Castor oil A natural oil that emits an unpleasant odor and taste for moles.
Garlic The strong smell of garlic can deter moles from entering your garden or orchard.
Alliums Plants such as onions, chives, and leeks have a natural insecticide that can help repel moles.
Spicy peppers The capsaicin in spicy peppers can irritate moles and deter them from entering your garden.
Marigolds The strong scent of marigolds can mask the smell of your plants and deter moles from entering your garden.

Keep in mind that natural repellents may not be effective in all situations and may need to be reapplied frequently. It is also important to note that natural repellents may have an impact on plant growth and soil health. If you have a vulnerable plant or tree that is already suffering from mole damage, it may be best to try other methods of control before using natural repellents.

Remove Grubs and Insects

One effective method to combat mole damage is to remove grubs and insects from the garden or orchard. Moles feed on insects and grubs that live underground such as beetles, earthworms, and grubs. By removing their food source, the moles will be less likely to tunnel through your yard in search of food.

How to Remove Grubs and Insects

There are several methods you can use to remove grubs and insects from your garden or orchard:

Method Description
Handpicking Inspect plants and trees for signs of insect damage and remove the insects by hand.
Diatomaceous Earth Sprinkle diatomaceous earth, a natural insecticide, onto the soil around plants and trees to kill insects and grubs.
Nematodes Use nematodes, microscopic worms that feed on grubs, to reduce the grub population in the soil.
Insecticides As a last resort, use insecticides to kill off the insects and grubs in the soil.

It’s important to note that using insecticides can harm beneficial insects and worms in the soil, so it’s best to use natural methods first.

Removing grubs and insects from your garden or orchard not only helps with mole control, but it also benefits plant growth and soil health. By reducing the population of harmful insects and grubs, you can improve plant and tree health, which ultimately makes them less vulnerable to mole damage.

If you’re interested in learning more about the impact of moles on plant and tree health, check out our article on mole control methods for plants and trees.

Trapping Methods

Trapping Methods
As much as we try to prevent mole damage, sometimes these pesky critters find a way to infiltrate our garden or orchard. In such cases, trapping methods can be an effective solution to control the mole population and prevent further damage. Traps come in different shapes and forms, and knowing how to set them up properly can make all the difference. In this section, we will explore different trapping methods and the best practices for using them. But before we jump into the details, it’s worth revisiting why moles can cause such harm in the first place. To learn more about the impact of mole damage on trees and plants, check out our article on how moles damage plant roots and impact tree health.

Types of Traps

When it comes to trapping moles, there are different types of traps to consider depending on your personal preference and the severity of the infestation. Here are some options to consider:

1. Snap Traps: Snap traps are the most common type of trap used for moles. These traps work by utilizing a trigger pad that, when pressed down, will trigger the trap to close on the mole.

2. Scissor Traps: Scissor traps are similar to snap traps in that they function by using a trigger pad, but their design is different. These traps consist of two levers that are designed to close when the trigger pad is pressed down, similar to a pair of scissors.

3. Tunnel Traps: Tunnel traps are designed to be placed in active mole tunnels. These traps consist of a spring trap that will trigger when the mole passes through the tunnel, essentially trapping them.

4. Bait Traps: Bait traps work by placing bait inside a trap, which the mole will enter in order to reach the bait. Once inside, the trap will close, trapping the mole.

It’s important to note that whichever trap you choose to use, make sure to follow the instructions carefully to avoid any harm to yourself or the mole. Additionally, if you’re unsure which trap to use or how to set it up properly, it’s always a good idea to seek professional help to ensure the best possible outcome for your garden or orchard.

If you want to learn more about the effects of mole damage on plant growth and how to prevent it, check out our article on moles and plant growth.

How to Set Up Traps

Traps are an effective way to get rid of moles that damage the garden or orchard. However, it is crucial to set up the traps properly to ensure their success. Below are the essential steps for setting up traps:

Steps Instructions
Step 1 Select the right type of trap
Step 2 Identify active tunnels and burrows by flattening them and marking them with flags or sticks
Step 3 Wear gloves to avoid leaving human scent on the trap
Step 4 Read and follow the instructions included with the trap
Step 5 Place the trap perpendicular to the runway or tunnel, with the trigger pan facing up
Step 6 Avoid setting the trap in areas where it can be activated by non-target animals such as pets or wildlife
Step 7 Cover the trap with soil so that it is level with the ground and doesn’t obstruct the tunnel
Step 8 Check the trap frequently and remove any captured moles as soon as possible

It’s important to note that traps should only be used as part of an overall mole control plan, which should include preventative measures and ongoing monitoring. If traps are not effective, homeowners may need to seek professional help to solve the problem.

If you want to know more about how mole damage affects soil health and plant nutrition, read our related article on /moles-soil-health-plant-nutrition/.

When and Where to Place Traps

When and Where to Place Traps

Placing traps in the right location and at the right time is essential in catching moles effectively. Experts recommend locating areas where there is evidence of mole activity to set the traps. Make sure to find a location where there are no obstructions such as rocks or roots. Since moles are active year-round, any time of the year is suitable for setting traps.

Here are some guidelines to follow when setting traps:

  • Locate active tunnels: Identify the active tunnels, which often have fresh soil mounds around them or feel spongy when stepped on. These are the tunnels that moles frequently use, and placing traps here increases the chances of catching them.
  • Protect the traps: Cover the mole traps with an upturned bucket or a crate, but make sure to leave some space for air to circulate, and to check the trap as often as possible. This will prevent other animals from getting caught in the trap, such as birds or pets.
  • Place the traps in straight tunnels: Straight tunnels are considered the main travel routes for moles, and often, these tunnels connect to several feeding tunnels. Setting the traps in these straight tunnels makes it more likely to catch the moles.
  • Check the traps regularly: Check the traps twice a day, in the morning and in the evening. This will give the best chance to catch the moles as soon as possible, and prevent them from causing more damage to the garden or orchard.

By applying the right methods, homeowners can successfully combat mole damage to their garden and orchard. If you want to prevent mole damage, consider using natural repellents, creating barriers, and removing grubs and insects. If you already have mole activity, trapping is an effective way to get rid of the pests. Set traps in active tunnels, protect them, and check them frequently. By keeping these tips in mind, you can effectively control mole populations in your garden and preserve your beautiful landscape.

In case you already have some damage and need some inspiration on how to improve your garden after getting rid of moles, check our article about mole damage repair techniques for plants and trees. If you want to make sure your plants and trees are not vulnerable to mole damage, our article about mole damage in landscape design can give you some ideas on designing your landscape.

Professional Help

If you have attempted preventative and trapping methods with little success in combating mole damage, it may be time to seek professional help. A landscape designer or pest control company can provide effective and long-term solutions to your mole problem.

Landscape Designer: A good landscape designer can adjust your garden or orchard design to discourage moles from entering or nesting in your soil. For example, they may suggest incorporating raised beds or container gardening to avoid creating ideal conditions for moles to thrive. Additionally, a landscape designer can introduce plants and flowers that deter moles.

Pest Control Company: A pest control company has the experience and knowledge needed to tackle persistent mole problems. A professional exterminator can assess the extent of the infestation and determine the best method for mole removal. They might use different techniques, such as fumigation, baiting, or trap-setting, depending on the severity of the situation.

It is important to note that both landscape designers and pest control companies can be costly, so it is worth considering the extent of the damage and weighing the pros and cons of hiring a professional.

Conclusion: While professional help may provide the most effective and efficient solutions to mole damage, it is important to try preventative and trapping methods first. Consider consulting a landscape designer or pest control company if your attempts have been unsuccessful. Remember, mole damage can have long-term impacts on your garden or orchard, so addressing the problem promptly is key to ensuring a healthy and thriving landscape.

To learn more about the impact of mole damage on landscape design, please visit /mole-damage-landscape-design/.


In conclusion, combating mole damage to gardens and orchards requires a multi-faceted approach. Prevention methods such as creating barriers, using natural repellents, and removing grubs and insects are effective in deterring moles from damaging plants. However, if prevention methods fail, using trapping methods can be an effective solution. There are various types of traps available and knowing how and where to place them is essential for success. It is important to note that seeking professional help may be necessary if mole damage continues to persist. Ultimately, taking action and implementing these effective methods will lead to a healthy and thriving garden or orchard free from mole damage. Don’t let moles destroy your hard work and investment, take action now to protect your plants.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if I have mole damage in my garden or orchard?

You can look for raised ridges of dirt in your lawn or garden and small holes in the soil. Additionally, damaged plants tend to have wilted, yellowing leaves.

How do moles damage my garden or orchard?

Moles burrow under the ground as they search for food, which can uproot and disturb plant roots. They also create tunnels that can dry out plants, leaving them more susceptible to disease.

What are some natural repellents I can use to deter moles?

Moles can be deterred by planting certain plants like daffodils or alliums, as well as using natural substances like castor oil or garlic oil as a spray.

How do I remove grubs and insects from my garden?

You can use biological controls like nematodes or parasitic wasps, or handpick the insects off the plants. Additionally, soil amendments like diatomaceous earth can be used.

What are the most effective types of mole traps?

The most effective types of traps are the scissor trap and the harpoon trap.

How do I set up a mole trap?

You should locate an active tunnel, dig out a small section of the tunnel, place the trap inside, and cover it back up with soil.

When is the best time to place a mole trap?

The best time to place a mole trap is in the spring or fall when moles are most active.

What should I do with a trapped mole?

You should release the mole at least five miles away from your property, preferably in a rural area with plenty of food sources.

When should I consider seeking professional help for mole control?

If you have tried multiple prevention and trapping methods and still have significant mole damage in your garden or orchard, it may be time to seek professional help.

Is it safe to use pesticides to control mole infestations?

Pesticides can harm beneficial insects and have potential health effects for humans and pets. It is best to avoid using pesticides and opt for natural or mechanical control methods.