Understanding Mole Behavior for Effective Control

The sight of molehills on your otherwise neat lawn can be frustrating, to say the least. These small, subterranean rodents can quickly turn a pristine yard into an unsightly mess. Understanding mole behavior is the first step towards effective control. But what draws these creatures to your yard in the first place? And, once they’ve made themselves at home, how can you get rid of them? In this article, we’ll explore the details of mole behavior and some of the most effective control strategies available. So, if you’re tired of dealing with mole damage, read on to discover how you can take back control of your yard.

Mole Behavior

Mole Behavior
As homeowners, we take pride in having well-manicured lawns and gardens. However, one nuisance that can ruin our efforts is the presence of moles. These underground-dwelling mammals are known for their destructive behavior, which can cause significant damage to both the appearance and health of landscaping. Understanding mole behavior is crucial in implementing effective control strategies. We’ll explore what attracts moles to your yard, how they behave, and ways to identify mole damage in this section. Whether you’re dealing with a minor or severe infestation, it’s possible to take control and restore the beauty of your outdoor space.

What Attracts Moles to Your Yard?

Moles are known for their burrowing habits, which can cause significant damage to your lawn and garden. To effectively control the mole population in your yard, you need to understand what attracts them. Here are some factors that might attract moles to your yard:

  • Insect Infestation: Moles feed heavily on insects like grubs and worms. If your yard has a lot of these insects, then moles may be attracted to it as a food source.
  • Moist Soil: Moles prefer moist soil, as it makes digging easier. If your yard has recently had a lot of rain or you overwater it frequently, then it may be an inviting environment for moles.
  • Fertile Soil: Moles are also attracted to fertile soil, which is high in organic matter and nutrients. If you fertilize your lawn and garden regularly, then you may be inadvertently attracting moles to your yard.
  • Warm Climate: Moles are most active in warm weather, so if you live in a warm climate, you’re more likely to see mole activity.
  • Open Areas: Moles prefer to tunnel through open areas, as it makes their digging easier. If your yard has a large expanse of open space or a lot of unobstructed lawn, then moles may find it an attractive place to burrow.

Understanding what attracts moles to your yard can help you prevent mole infestations from occurring. By creating an unfavorable habitat for moles and taking steps to remove sources of attraction, you can reduce the likelihood of a mole invasion.

How Do Moles Behave?

Moles are notorious for their subterranean behavior. They are creatures of habit that burrow and dig underground tunnels for a variety of reasons. Here are some interesting behaviors exhibited by moles:

  • Food searching: Moles are insectivorous animals and search for food mostly underground. They dig shallow and deep tunnels in search of insects, earthworms, and grubs that live in the soil.
  • Tunneling: Moles tunnel underground to find food and create a safe place to rest. These tunnels can typically range from 6-24 inches deep, and the mole can dig up to 18 feet per hour.
  • Mound building: When moles create tunnels, they push soil to the surface, creating mounds of dirt known as molehills. These molehills can range in size from several inches to a foot or more in diameter.
  • Marking territory: Moles use their scent to mark their territories and communicate with other moles. They also use their scent to locate food.
  • Environmental factors: Moles are sensitive to changes in their environment, such as soil condition, moisture, and temperature. They will dig deeper or closer to the surface, depending on the weather and the availability of food.
  • Reproduction and family: Female moles give birth to litters of 2-5 pups in the spring. The young ones will stay with their mother for a few weeks before venturing out on their own.

Understanding these behaviors and why moles exhibit them can help you take better control strategies to tackle these pests. However, if you’re still facing mole problems in your yard, you can learn about the best strategies for mole control by clicking here.

How to Identify Mole Damage

Mole damage can be challenging to identify for those who are new to this problem. Here are some common signs of mole damage that you should look for:

  • Molehills: Molehills are a telltale sign of mole activity. These small mounds of soil are created by moles when they burrow and create tunnels underground. You may notice these mounds in your lawn or garden.
  • Tunnels: Moles create tunnels just below the surface of the ground as they search for food. These tunnels can be identified by the raised ridges that they create in your lawn. If you step on these ridges, the ground may feel spongy or soft.
  • Damaged Plants: Moles don’t eat plants, but their tunnels can damage the roots of plants and cause them to die. If you notice plants that are wilting or dying for no apparent reason, it could be due to mole damage.
  • Bare Patches of Grass: Moles can also damage your lawn by burrowing underneath it. This can cause the grass to die, leaving behind bare patches.

If you see any of these signs in your lawn or garden, it’s likely that you have a mole problem that needs to be addressed. By understanding the behavior of moles, you can take steps to prevent and control their activity in your yard.

Mole Control

When it comes to maintaining a beautiful lawn or garden, moles can be a real headache. These small creatures can cause significant damage, leaving unsightly tunnels and mounds all over your property. Fortunately, there are several strategies you can use to control moles and minimize their impact. From preventive measures to natural predators and professional assistance, there are many ways to get rid of moles. In this section, we’ll explore some of the best methods for mole control to help you keep your lawn and garden looking great. For more information about identifying mole behavior, check out our previous section on mole behavior.

Preventive Measures

Preventive measures are crucial when it comes to controlling mole infestation. Here are some precautionary steps that can be taken to keep moles away from your yard:

Preventive Measures Description
Reduce the food source Since moles feed on insects, grubs, and worms, reducing their food source by keeping your lawn free from pests is one of the best ways to prevent their infestation.
Keep the soil well-maintained Healthy grass and well-maintained soil do not attract moles. Ensure proper drainage and maintain proper aeration to make the soil less habitable for moles. For more information on soil maintenance, check out our soil mole habitation guide.
Keep the lawn well-mowed Short grass with frequent mowing discourages mole activity, as it exposes them to predators and reduces the availability of food.
Control watering Excessive watering provides a favorable environment for grubs and worms to thrive, thus attracting moles. Water your lawn diligently and avoid excess moisture. Check our informative article on weather, climate and mole behavior.
Install barriers Physical barriers such as mesh or hardware cloth installed around gardens and flower beds can help prevent moles from burrowing in your yard. However, ensure the barriers are buried deep enough underground to prevent the moles from digging under.

Taking these preventive measures can significantly reduce the chances of mole infestation and save you from the hassle of having to remove them from your yard.

Trapping Moles

To trap moles, you can either purchase traps or make your own. There are different types of traps that are effective for capturing moles. Here are some common trapping methods for mole control:

Trapping Method Description
Scissor traps These traps have scissor-like blades that snap closed when the mole enters the trap. They are placed over an active mole tunnel and should be checked daily. Scissor traps are only effective if placed correctly and often require more than one trap.
Harpoon traps Harpoon traps feature harpoon-like spikes that shoot into the mole when it passes through the tunnel. When triggered, the trap will send the mole flying into the air making it easy to find. Harpoon traps are also a humane option for trapping moles.
Bait traps Bait traps are designed to lure the mole into the trap with bait placed inside. Once inside, a triggered door will close and trap the mole. These traps are effective if the proper bait is used and placed properly in the mole’s active tunnel.

It’s important to regularly check and reset traps until no more moles are caught. You can release live captives in designated areas but it is important to check local laws and regulations beforehand. In some cases it may be necessary to use lethal traps.

Remember, trapping is just one method of mole control and should be combined with other methods for the most effective results. For more information about mole behavior and control strategies, please see our articles on mole tunnels and habits, and how to remove moles from your lawn.


When it comes to dealing with moles, many people turn to repellents as a potential solution. Repellents work by creating an unpleasant scent or taste that discourages moles from tunneling in a certain area. However, it’s important to note that repellents are often not very effective and may only provide temporary relief.

Some common types of mole repellents include:

  • Castor oil-based repellents: These products contain castor oil, which is thought to make the soil and plants in your yard less appealing to moles. However, the effectiveness of castor oil-based repellents is not well-supported by scientific research and may only work for a short period of time.
  • Garlic and pepper-based repellents: These products use the strong odor and taste of garlic and pepper to deter moles. However, there is very little evidence to suggest that these types of repellents actually work.
  • Ultrasonic repellents: These devices emit high-frequency sound waves that are designed to drive moles away. However, there is very little scientific evidence to suggest that ultrasonic repellents are effective, and they may even be harmful to other animals in your yard.

It’s also important to note that some homemade mole repellents, such as using mothballs, may actually be harmful to pets and wildlife in your yard. If you decide to use a repellent, make sure to read and follow the instructions carefully, and consider using other mole control methods in combination with the repellent for the best results.

Natural Predators

Natural predators can be a great way to control mole populations in your yard. These predators typically include animals like owls, hawks, and snakes. They can be a natural deterrent and help control mole populations without the use of harmful chemicals.

One of the best ways to attract natural predators to your yard is by creating a hospitable environment for them. This can be achieved by planting native vegetation, providing a water source, and maintaining a healthy and diverse ecosystem.

Another option is to install nesting boxes for birds of prey, such as owls or hawks. These boxes can provide a safe place for the predators to nest and thrive in your yard, thus encouraging them to stick around and hunt moles.

It’s important to note that relying solely on natural predators is not always a foolproof solution. Predators may only target moles when they are readily available, and their diets may also include other types of animals. To supplement predator control, additional methods such as trapping or repellents may also be necessary.

Table: Benefits and drawbacks of natural predators as a mole control method

Benefits Drawbacks
Effective natural control without the use of chemicals Predators may not always target moles or may move onto other areas with better food sources
Can create a more balanced ecosystem May take time to attract and establish predator populations
No additional costs or maintenance once predators are established May require additional methods for more thorough mole control

Natural predators can be a helpful addition to your mole control strategy, but they shouldn’t be relied on as the sole method. By creating a hospitable environment for these predators, you may be able to provide a more environmentally friendly solution to mole control.

Professional Mole Control

Professional mole control services are usually the last resort for homeowners who have exhausted all other means of controlling these pesky creatures. If you’ve tried all the preventive measures, trapping, repellents, and natural predators but still have an infestation, it may be time to call in the professionals.

What do professional mole controllers do?

Professional mole controllers are experts in identifying mole activity and damage. They use specialized equipment such as mole traps and baits to safely and effectively rid your yard of moles. These professionals know how to set traps correctly and how deep to dig to ensure traps are placed in the right location for successful captures.

How much does professional mole control cost?

The cost of professional mole control varies depending on the severity of the infestation and the size of your yard. Typically, mole control services can range from $100 to $500 or more. Some companies also offer annual contracts that include regular inspections and treatments throughout the year.

How effective is professional mole control?

Professional mole control is generally highly effective. These experts have the knowledge, skills, and tools needed to successfully eliminate mole infestations. However, some moles may be more challenging to catch than others, and the process may take some time. It’s important to discuss the expected results with the professional you hire to ensure you have a clear understanding of what to expect.

What to look for in a professional mole control service?

When looking for a professional mole control service, it’s important to do your research. Look for a company with experience and positive customer reviews. Additionally, make sure the company is licensed and insured in case any accidents or damages occur during the process. Ask for a detailed quote beforehand so that you know exactly what services they will provide and at what cost.

Professional mole control services can provide effective and safe solutions for homeowners dealing with mole infestations. While they may be more expensive than other control methods, they may also offer the most efficient and long-lasting results. Be sure to do your research and work with a licensed and insured company for the best outcome.


After exploring the behavior of moles and the best control strategies available, it is clear that the key to success is in preventative measures. By making your yard less attractive to moles, you can avoid the damage caused by their burrowing habits altogether.

If you must resort to mole control methods, trapping is the most effective option, although it can be time-consuming and require some expertise. Repellents and natural predators may work in some cases, but they are not guaranteed solutions and can actually be counterproductive in some situations.

Professional mole control services can be expensive, but they are worth considering if you are dealing with a severe infestation or have tried other methods without success.

It’s important to remember that while moles can be a nuisance, they are a part of the ecosystem and play an important role in aerating soil and controlling insect populations. If possible, choose control methods that are humane and minimize harm to these beneficial creatures.

In the end, the best approach to mole control will depend on your individual situation and priorities. By understanding mole behavior and the range of control strategies available, you can make an informed decision and take steps to protect your yard from the damage caused by these elusive creatures.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the feeding habit of moles?

Mostly they feed on insects, earthworms and other small creatures found beneath the ground.

Can moles damage trees?

Yes, their burrowing may damage the roots of the trees, causing them to dry out.

Do moles hibernate?

No, they do not hibernate. Moles are active throughout the year.

What is the lifespan of a mole?

The average lifespan of a mole is around 2-3 years.

Do moles carry diseases?

No, moles are not known to carry any diseases that can infect humans or pets.

Do moles chirp?

Yes, moles can make chirping sounds when communicating with other moles.

Can ultrasonic devices get rid of moles?

While some ultrasonic devices claim to repel moles, there is no scientific evidence that they are effective.

What is the best time of year to trap moles?

The best time to trap moles is in the spring or fall when they are most active and surface tunnels are more visible.

What is the difference between moles and voles?

Moles are burrowing animals that feed on insects, while voles are herbivores that are known to damage plants and root systems.

Can flooding remove moles from my yard?

Flooding is not an effective mole control strategy and can actually make the problem worse by causing moles to dig even deeper into the ground.