When to use mole fumigants: Pros and Cons

Moles may seem like cute little creatures, but they can cause plenty of damage in lawns and gardens by tunneling and uprooting plants. If left unchecked, they can quickly turn a well-kept yard into a disaster zone. While there are many methods available for controlling moles, fumigants are one option that has both pros and cons. In this article, we will explore when and how to use mole fumigants, as well as alternative methods for controlling these pesky rodents. So, if you’re struggling with a mole problem, stay tuned to learn more.

Pros of using mole fumigants

Pros Of Using Mole Fumigants
It’s important to consider the benefits and drawbacks of using mole fumigants before deciding to use them in your yard. While they can be an effective way to control mole infestations, there are also potential risks and hazards associated with their use. However, there are several advantages to using mole fumigants that should be taken into account. Here are some of the pros of using mole fumigants:

Effective mole control

One of the pros of using mole fumigants is their effective mole control. Mole fumigants work by releasing a toxic gas that permeates the soil and kills moles in their tunnels. This method of mole control can be highly effective in reducing mole populations, especially in large infestations.

In fact, according to a study published in the Journal of Integrated Pest Management, mole fumigants are one of the most effective mole control methods available. The study found that mole fumigants achieved a 52% reduction in mole activity, compared to a 47% reduction for trapping and a 29% reduction for repellents.

Mole fumigants can be especially effective in eliminating moles that may be out of reach of other control methods, such as trapping. This is because the gas released by fumigants can penetrate deep into the soil and reach moles that may be farther down in their tunnels.

However, it is important to note that mole fumigants are not a guaranteed solution for eliminating mole problems. Moles are highly adaptable animals and may find ways to avoid the toxic gas, which may require multiple treatments or additional control methods.

To learn more about mole fumigants and their effectiveness, check out our guide to understanding mole fumigants, or explore our comparison of different mole fumigant products.

Convenient to use

One of the pros of using mole fumigants is that they are convenient to use. Fumigants typically come in the form of pellets or smoke bombs and are easy to apply. All that is needed is to place the fumigant into the mole’s active tunnel, light it as per the manufacturer’s instructions, and cover the opening of the tunnel with soil to prevent the gas from escaping.

These fumigants are designed to penetrate deep into the soil to reach the mole’s intricate tunnel system, which can be challenging to access using other control methods. This fact makes mole fumigants effective in destroying moles that are deep down in the soil.

However, using mole fumigants should not be taken lightly. While they may be convenient to use, it is essential to take safety precautions to avoid the potential risks and hazards associated with their use. Additionally, it is vital to use mole fumigants as directed and avoid applying them during periods of high wind or rain, which can cause the fumigant to disperse or wash away.

While convenient, mole fumigants should not be the first choice for controlling mole infestations due to their potential risks and limitations. It is essential to assess the situation carefully and determine if other control methods or frequently asked questions may be more suitable before considering mole fumigants.

Broad range of use

Mole fumigants have a broad range of use, making them a versatile and effective tool for controlling moles. One of the advantages of fumigants is that they can be used in a variety of settings and situations, from residential lawns to golf courses and agricultural fields.

Fumigants can be used to control not only moles, but also other burrowing pests, such as gophers, voles, and ground squirrels. This makes them a valuable tool for farmers, landscapers, and homeowners alike.

Additionally, fumigants come in different formulations, such as pellets, gases, and smoke bombs. Each formulation offers unique benefits and can be used in different ways depending on the specific situation. For example, pellets are easy to apply and can be scattered in the ground, while smoke bombs are ideal for targeting specific burrows.

The broad range of use of mole fumigants makes them a popular choice for controlling moles and other burrowing pests in various settings. However, it is important to note that fumigants should only be used when necessary and with proper precautions to ensure safety and effectiveness. If you are unsure about how to apply mole fumigants to your lawn, consider consulting with a professional or seeking alternative methods of control.

Cons of using mole fumigants

Cons Of Using Mole Fumigants
Although mole fumigants provide effective control against these pesky burrowing creatures, their usage comes with certain drawbacks that must be considered. Below we will discuss some of the cons of using mole fumigants that one should take into account before deciding to use them. These drawbacks include potential risks and hazards associated with their usage, an unpleasant odor that is left behind, as well as the possibility of harm to non-target animals and plants.

Potential risks and hazards

When considering using mole fumigants, it is important to be aware of the potential risks and hazards involved. These include:

  • Toxicity: Mole fumigants are toxic chemicals that can be harmful to humans and animals if not used properly. They can cause serious health problems, including respiratory distress, dizziness, nausea, and headaches. In extreme cases, exposure to these chemicals can even be fatal.
  • Environmental impact: Fumigants can contaminate soil, water, and air, which can have damaging effects on the environment. They can kill beneficial insects, birds, and other wildlife, as well as harm plants and trees.
  • Fire and explosion: Many mole fumigants are flammable and can be ignited by sparks or flames. This can result in fires or explosions, which can cause injury, property damage, and even death.

It is essential to take the necessary precautions when using mole fumigants to minimize the risks involved. It is also recommended to consider alternative control methods that are safer for both humans and the environment.

Unpleasant odor

One of the potential drawbacks of using mole fumigants is the unpleasant odor they emit. This odor can be quite intense and can linger for hours or even days after the application. It can be particularly bothersome for people who have sensitivities to strong smells or who live in close proximity to the treatment area.

In addition to being unpleasant, the odor from mole fumigants can also be hazardous to human health if inhaled in large quantities over a prolonged period of time. This is why it’s important to follow all label instructions carefully, use protective equipment, and keep your distance from the treated area until it’s safe to return.

To minimize the unpleasant odor, some fumigants are designed to work more quickly, thereby reducing the amount of time the odor lingers. However, this can also increase the risk of accidentally exposing non-target animals and plants to the fumigant.

While the unpleasant odor associated with mole fumigants can be a significant drawback, it’s important to weigh the potential risks and benefits of using these products before making a decision. If you do decide to use a mole fumigant, be sure to take all necessary precautions to protect your health and the health of those around you.

May harm non-target animals and plants

Mole fumigants can be effective in controlling mole populations, but they also come with several disadvantages. One significant drawback is the possibility of harming non-target animals and plants.

When using mole fumigants, it’s essential to remember that they can have unintended consequences on the environment around them. Fumigants can seep into the soil, affecting plants and beneficial organisms like earthworms that live in it. Additionally, these chemicals can pose a danger to pets, wild animals, and even humans.

Below is a table that lists the possible non-target organisms that mole fumigants may harm.

Non-target Organisms Effects of Mole Fumigants
Earthworms Death or disruption of burrows, reducing soil aeration and nutrient cycling
Bees and other pollinators Death or disruption of nests and populations, reducing the number of flowers and fruit produced
Small mammals (squirrels, rabbits, etc.) Death or displacement of populations, disrupting the ecosystem’s balance
Children and pets Accidental poisoning or injury from exposure to chemicals

It’s crucial to weigh the benefits of using mole fumigants with the potential risks and harm they can cause. Understanding the potential dangers of these chemicals can help manage their use and minimize non-target effects. Additionally, following safety guidelines and reading the label instructions can prevent accidents and ensure safe use.

When to use mole fumigants

When To Use Mole Fumigants
Determining when to use mole fumigants can be a perplexing decision. While they can be a highly effective form of mole control, they also come with potential risks and drawbacks. However, there are certain situations where using mole fumigants may be the most appropriate option. By examining the specific scenarios where mole fumigants are most effective, you can make an informed decision about whether to use them for your particular mole infestation. Below are three common situations where mole fumigants are typically most effective.

Large infestations

A situation where large infestations of moles exist is a compelling reason to use mole fumigants. When numerous moles are actively burrowing throughout an area, it can be challenging to control the population using alternative methods like trapping or repellents. Fumigants can quickly target multiple burrows within an infested area, making it a more effective means of controlling the mole population.

Mole fumigants generally have a broad range of use, allowing for coverage of a large area. However, when using fumigants for large infestations, it is essential to follow safety instructions carefully as the concentration of toxic gases can be much higher. It is important to consider the potential harm to non-target plants and animals when using a fumigant in a large area.


Pros Cons
Effective mole control Potential risks and hazards
Convenient to use Unpleasant odor
Broad range of use May harm non-target animals and plants

Areas with little vegetation

When deciding whether or not to use mole fumigants, it’s important to consider the specific characteristics of the area you’re trying to treat. One factor to consider is the amount of vegetation in the area.

Areas with little vegetation can be more suitable for fumigation because the moles may not have as many options for shelter and food. Without vegetation, the moles may be more likely to come into contact with the fumigant and be affected by it.

However, it’s important to note that fumigants can also harm non-target animals and plants, so it’s crucial to read and follow label instructions carefully and be cautious in their use. Additionally, if there are any signs of active mole burrows in a heavily vegetated area, other control methods may be more appropriate.

In order to prevent further mole damage, it’s essential to properly assess all factors that may influence their behavior and the effectiveness of the control methods used.

If other mole control methods are ineffective

When dealing with a mole infestation, it’s important to try various control methods in order to determine what works best for your specific situation. However, there may be cases where other mole control methods prove to be ineffective. If this is the case, mole fumigants may be a viable option to consider. Here are some scenarios where using mole fumigants may be necessary:

  • Extensive damage: If your lawn or garden has suffered extensive damage due to mole activity, it may be time to consider using mole fumigants. The use of fumigants can quickly eliminate a large number of moles, which can be especially effective in combating extensive damage.
  • Resistance: In some cases, moles may build a resistance to certain mole control methods, such as traps or repellents. In this situation, mole fumigants may be the next logical step. However, it’s important to note that fumigants should not be relied upon as the only solution, and other control methods should be used in conjunction with fumigants.
  • Difficult terrain: In areas where there is difficult terrain, such as hills or hard soil, it can be more challenging to use other control methods. Mole fumigants can be a convenient and effective solution in this scenario, as they are relatively easy to apply and can infiltrate hard-to-reach areas.

It’s important to remember that mole fumigants should not be the first option when dealing with a mole infestation. Other control methods, such as trapping or repellents, should be attempted first. If these methods prove to be ineffective, it may be time to consider using mole fumigants. However, it’s important to use caution and follow label instructions carefully to ensure safe and effective use.

How to use mole fumigants safely

How To Use Mole Fumigants Safely
When using mole fumigants, safety should always be the top priority. These products can be hazardous if not handled properly, and can cause harm to both humans and animals. It is important to take necessary precautions and follow the instructions provided on the product label. In this section, we will discuss some tips on how to use mole fumigants safely to ensure effective mole control without any negative impacts on health and the environment.

Read and follow label instructions carefully

It is crucial to read and follow the label instructions carefully when using mole fumigants. The label provides important information on how to use the product safely and effectively. Here are some tips to follow when reading and following label instructions for mole fumigants:

  • Pay attention to the active ingredient: The label will list the active ingredient(s) in the product. Make sure you are using the right product for the job, as different products may contain different active ingredients that may have varying levels of effectiveness and safety precautions.
  • Use the recommended amount: The label will also specify the amount of product to use for different situations. Using too little may not be effective, while using too much may be hazardous.
  • Know the application method: Mole fumigants can be applied in different ways, such as by applying pellets or by using gas cartridges. The label will provide information on the proper application method, which may vary depending on the product and situation.
  • Understand the safety precautions: The label will provide safety precautions, such as wearing protective equipment or avoiding contact with skin and eyes. It is important to follow these precautions to avoid potential harm.
  • Be aware of environmental hazards: The label will also provide information on how the product may impact the environment, such as by harming non-target animals or contaminating water sources. It is important to be aware of these hazards and take appropriate measures to minimize them.

By following the label instructions carefully, you can ensure that you use mole fumigants effectively and safely. It is important to remember that these products can be hazardous, so it is crucial to understand and follow the instructions in order to minimize risks.

Use protective equipment

When using mole fumigants, it is crucial to protect yourself from potential harm by using appropriate protective equipment. This includes gloves, goggles, and a mask or respirator.

Gloves: Wearing gloves will protect your hands from coming into direct contact with the fumigant. Choose gloves that are made of a durable material, such as nitrile or rubber, and that fit snugly on your hands to prevent the fumigant from seeping in.

Goggles: Fumigants can irritate the eyes and even cause blindness in extreme cases. Wearing goggles will provide a barrier between the fumigant and your eyes. Choose goggles that fit snugly and are made of impact-resistant materials.

Mask or respirator: The fumigant gas can cause respiratory problems and even be lethal in high concentrations. Wearing a mask or respirator will protect your lungs from inhaling the toxic gas. Choose a mask or respirator that is appropriate for the fumigant being used and ensure it fits snugly over your nose and mouth.

Additionally, it is important to note that protective equipment should be worn even after the fumigation process is complete. The fumigant can linger in the area for several hours, and exposure can occur if proper precautions are not taken.

Using proper protective equipment is crucial when using mole fumigants to prevent harm to yourself. Wear gloves, goggles, and a mask or respirator to protect your hands, eyes, and lungs from potential harm. Remember to wear the protective equipment even after the fumigation process is complete, as the fumigant can linger in the area.

Keep away from children and pets

When using mole fumigants, it is important to keep them out of reach of children and pets. Mole fumigants can be hazardous and potentially lethal when ingested or inhaled. Extra precaution is necessary to ensure the safety of loved ones and pets. Here are some important tips to follow:

Tips for keeping fumigants away from children and pets
1. Store fumigants properly
When storing mole fumigants, make sure they are in their original containers and properly labeled. Keep them in a secure location that is out of reach of children and pets, such as a locked cabinet or shed. Do not store them near food or drinks.
2. Keep children and pets away during application
During application, keep children and pets away from the area being treated. If possible, create barriers or use temporary fencing to prevent access. Make sure that children and pets do not have access to the area until it is completely safe.
3. Dispose of used fumigants properly
After using mole fumigants, dispose of them properly according to label instructions. Do not dispose of them in the trash or down the drain. Keep them out of reach of children and pets until they can be disposed of properly.
4. Wash hands and clothing after application
After using mole fumigants, wash your hands and clothing thoroughly to remove any residual chemicals. Keep all clothing and equipment used during application out of reach of children and pets until they are properly cleaned.

By following these simple tips, you can ensure that your loved ones and pets are safe while using mole fumigants. Remember to always read and follow label instructions carefully, and never use fumigants around food or water sources.

Alternatives to mole fumigants

If using mole fumigants is not an option for you due to potential risks and hazards or unpleasant odors, there are several alternatives that you can consider. These alternatives range from trapping to cultural practices that can help discourage moles from inhabiting your yard. In this section, we will explore some of the most effective alternatives to mole fumigants and discuss their pros and cons. By the end of this section, you will have a better understanding of the different options available to you for controlling moles without resorting to harsh chemicals.


Trapping is considered to be one of the most humane and effective methods for controlling mole infestations. Trapping involves setting up devices that can capture the mole alive without harming it so that it can be safely released into a new environment. This method is highly targeted and doesn’t pose any risks to non-target animals, plants or the environment in general. Additionally, it doesn’t involve the use of any chemicals, which makes it eco-friendly.

There are two common types of mole traps – the scissor-jaw and the harpoon. The scissor-jaw trap is designed to close around the mole when it pushes up the soil while the harpoon trap traps the mole when it passes through a tunnel-like structure. Both of these traps can be set manually or by using special tools.

One of the advantages of using traps is that they can be reused multiple times, making them an economical choice for long-term mole control. However, it’s important to note that trapping requires a significant amount of skill and patience. It may take some time to successfully catch a mole, and there’s a risk that the mole may become trap-shy, making it more difficult to catch in the future.

To ensure success, it’s important to choose the right type of trap and to position it correctly. Moles are attracted to areas with fresh soil, so it’s recommended to place traps in active mole tunnels. Additionally, baits such as earthworms, mealworms or peanut butter can be used to lure the mole into the trap.

Trapping can be an effective and humane method for controlling moles, but it requires skill and patience to be successful. It’s also important to check local regulations regarding the trapping and release of moles.


Repellents are another alternative to using mole fumigants. These products work by creating an unpleasant scent or taste that moles find repulsive, thus driving them away from the treated area. Here are some common types of mole repellents:

  • Castor oil-based repellents: These repellents contain castor oil which is said to make the soil and the plants in the area taste and smell unpleasant to moles.
  • Essential oil-based repellents: These repellents contain essential oils like peppermint or rosemary that create a strong scent that moles find offensive.
  • Ultrasonic repellents: These devices emit high-frequency sound waves that are meant to irritate and repel moles.

Repellents are generally considered to be less effective than trapping or fumigating methods. They may work well in small areas or to prevent moles from entering new areas. However, they may not be effective in areas with established mole populations or in areas with a lot of vegetation. It’s also important to note that not all repellents work for all species of mole. It’s important to choose a repellent that is specifically designed for the type of mole you are dealing with. Repellents can be a good option for people who want to avoid using harmful chemicals and prefer a more natural approach to mole control.

Cultural practices

Cultural practices refer to the changes homeowners can make to their lawn and landscaping to make the area less hospitable to moles. While it may not completely eliminate the problem, cultural practices can be an effective way to deter moles from the property without using potentially harmful chemicals.

Practice Description
Reduce watering Moist soil is a prime habitat for moles. Decrease watering frequency to make the soil less attractive.
Reduce mulch Moist and rich organic matter, such as mulch, can attract soil-dwelling insects, which in turn will attract moles. Reduce mulch in areas where mole activity is high.
Remove thatch Moles feed on earthworms and grubs, both of which can be found living in thatch. Regularly remove thatch from the lawn and dispose of it properly.
Mow regularly Taller grass provides cover for moles. To reduce the likelihood of a mole infestation, mow grass regularly and keep it short (usually around 2 to 3 inches).
Plant deterrents There are some plants that moles dislike, such as daffodils, marigolds, and alliums. Plant these species around the perimeter of the yard to discourage moles from entering.

Implementing cultural practices requires patience and persistence, as it can take time for the changes to take effect. However, in combination with other mole control methods such as trapping and repellents, cultural practices can be an effective way to keep moles at bay without resorting to harmful chemicals.


In conclusion, while mole fumigants can be effective in controlling mole infestations, they come with several drawbacks that must be carefully considered. The potential risks and hazards, unpleasant odor, and the harm to non-target animals and plants, should not be ignored. It is important to only use them when necessary, such as in cases of large infestations, areas with little vegetation, and when other mole control methods have been ineffective. Additionally, following proper safety measures when handling and applying fumigants is crucial, including reading and following label instructions carefully, using protective equipment, and keeping away from children and pets. However, there are also alternatives to consider, such as trapping, repellents, and cultural practices, which may be a safer and more environmentally friendly option for controlling moles. Ultimately, weighing the pros and cons of mole fumigants and considering all available options will lead to a more effective and responsible approach to mole control.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are mole fumigants?

Mole fumigants are chemicals used to control moles by poisoning them through their burrows.

Do mole fumigants work effectively?

Yes, mole fumigants are effective in controlling mole infestations when used properly.

Are mole fumigants safe to use?

Mole fumigants can be hazardous if not used properly, and can cause harm to non-target animals and plants if misapplied. It is important to follow label instructions and use protective equipment.

What are the potential risks of using mole fumigants?

Potential risks of using mole fumigants include harmful exposure to humans and pets, environmental contamination, and harm to non-target animals and plants.

Do mole fumigants have a strong odor?

Yes, mole fumigants usually have an unpleasant odor, so proper ventilation is important when using them.

When should I use mole fumigants?

Mole fumigants should be used in cases of large infestations or when other mole control methods are ineffective. It is important to also consider the level of vegetation in the area before use.

Can mole fumigants harm my pets?

Yes, mole fumigants can be harmful to pets if not used properly, so it is important to use caution and keep pets away from the application area.

What alternatives are there to mole fumigants?

Alternatives to mole fumigants include trapping, repellents, and cultural practices such as proper lawn care.

What protective equipment should I wear when using mole fumigants?

It is recommended to wear gloves, a mask, and eye protection when using mole fumigants to prevent harmful exposure to the user.

Can mole fumigants harm non-target plants?

Yes, using mole fumigants can potentially harm non-target plants if not applied properly, so it is important to follow label instructions and avoid applying near desirable plants.