How to Identify Moles Damage to Lawns and Gardens

If you have ever noticed strange patterns of dirt and grass in your lawn, you may be wondering what could be causing it. Moles are small burrowing animals that can wreak havoc on your lawn or garden, causing unsightly tunnels and mounds. Identifying the damage caused by moles can be tricky, but it is important to catch and address the problem early to prevent further harm. In this article, we will explore the signs and symptoms of mole damage as well as steps for prevention.

How to Identify Moles Damage to Lawns and Gardens

How To Identify Moles Damage To Lawns And Gardens
It can be frustrating to walk out into your lawn or garden and notice a significant amount of damage. This damage can be caused by a variety of factors, including moles. Moles can cause extensive damage to lawns and gardens, leading to a less-than-ideal outdoor space. But how can you tell if the damage is caused by moles? In this section, we’ll explore the signs and symptoms of moles damage, including identifying mole hills, tunnels, digging, and mounds, so you can take the necessary steps to prevent and repair any damage. Knowing how to identify moles damage can help you take early action and prevent further harm to your outdoor space.

What Are Moles?

Moles are small, burrowing mammals that belong to the Talpidae family. They are found throughout most of North America, Asia, and Europe. Moles have cylindrical bodies that are covered in short, dense fur, and they have short, powerful legs and feet that are adapted for digging.

Morphology of Moles
Moles have several unique physical characteristics that allow them to live underground. These include:

Characteristics Description
Sharp teeth Moles have sharp, pointed teeth that they use to catch and eat insects, worms, and other small animals.
Large, spade-like paws The front paws of the mole are large and spade-like, making them perfect for digging tunnels and burrows.
No visible ears or eyes Moles have no visible ears or eyes, as they are adapted to living underground and do not need these senses to survive.
Dense fur Moles have dense fur that helps to protect them from the soil that they dig through.

Moles are known for the extensive tunnels and burrows that they create underground. These tunnels are often used as feeding areas, as well as habitats for breeding and raising young. While moles are not inherently harmful to humans, their tunneling activity can cause damage to lawns and gardens if left unchecked. If you suspect that moles have caused damage to your lawn or garden, it’s important to take action and prevent further damage from occurring.

How Moles Cause Damage to Lawns and Gardens?

Moles are small underground mammals that usually live in lawns and gardens. Although moles do not feed on plants, they can still cause significant damage to your lawn and garden by their digging activity. Moles dig tunnels underground in search of insect prey such as earthworms and grubs. They can create up to 100 feet of tunnels per day, and in the process, they uproot grass and plants, causing unsightly damage to lawns and gardens. Even their digging activity can create air spaces in the soil, which can dry out roots and cause plants to wilt.

When moles are active in the same area for an extended period, the tunnels they create begin to collapse creating ridges or tunnels which can cause twisting and sagging that can damage the lawn or garden. Their digging can also expose rocks and other debris in the soil, which can also potentially harm the lawn mower and other garden tools. In some cases, moles might inadvertently damage plastic irrigation or outdoor lighting systems that are buried under the soil, leading to expensive repair costs.

Moles can cause considerable lawn and garden damage costing homeowners financial and physical setbacks. Identifying moles’ damage to your lawn and gardens can assist in creating efficient strategies for managing and preventing such damage. For more information on how to prevent moles damage, read our article on preventing mole damage tips and tricks.

Signs of Moles Damage to Lawns and Gardens

Moles are known to cause significant damage to lawns and gardens, which can often go unnoticed until it’s too late. The signs of mole damage can vary depending on the severity of the infestation, but some of the most common signs include:

  • Raised ridges or tunnels: One of the most visible signs of mole damage is raised ridges or tunnels that run across your lawn or garden. These are caused by moles burrowing underground as they search for food.
  • Bare patches of grass: Another sign of mole damage is bare patches of grass where moles have dug up the roots of the grass as they tunnelled underneath.
  • Plants that have been uprooted: Moles can cause damage to the plants in your garden by digging up their roots as they tunnel through the soil. This can cause plants to wither and die.
  • Mounds of soil: Moles usually push excess soil out of their tunnels, which can result in unsightly mounds of soil on your lawn or garden. These mounds can be a few inches to a foot tall depending on the severity of the infestation.

It’s important to keep an eye out for these signs of mole damage in your lawn and garden to catch infestations early. Early detection can help you take early action to prevent further damage to your property. If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to take action to both remove the moles and repair the damage they have caused.

How to Identify Mole Hills

Mole hills are one of the most common signs of mole damage to lawns and gardens. They are conical shaped raised portions of soil that are pushed up from tunnels made by the moles underground. To identify mole hills in your lawn or garden, look for small mounds of soil that are about 4 to 8 inches in diameter and the same in height.

To differentiate mole hills from those made by other creatures like voles or gophers, look for the characteristic shape of the mound. Mole hills are conical in shape with a circular base and a point at the top. The soil in mole hills is usually fine and crumbly, and may also contain bits of grass and other plant material.

Mole hills are not just unsightly, but they can also damage your lawn and garden by disrupting the roots of plants and creating uneven surfaces. If left untreated, they may attract more moles and cause further damage.

If you notice mole hills in your lawn or garden, check for mole tunnels to confirm the presence of moles. These tunnels can be identified by the ridges or raised portions of soil that run along the ground. To locate mole hills, follow the tunnels until you reach the raised portions of soil.

Moles Tunnels: How to Identify Them

Mole tunnels are a tell-tale sign that you have moles in your lawn or garden. There are two types of mole tunnels: subsurface tunnels and feeding tunnels.

Subsurface tunnels are dug deep below the surface of the soil and are typically used as a means of transportation. They are often difficult to spot unless the soil is very loose or the lawn has been watered recently. One way to detect subsurface tunnels is to use a probe rod, which is a long metallic rod that can be inserted into the soil to detect resistance.

Feeding tunnels, on the other hand, are closer to the surface and are used by moles to search for food. They are usually located around the roots of plants, in areas where the soil is soft and moist. Feeding tunnels are often raised and can be felt or seen as raised ridges in the lawn or garden.

To determine if the tunnels you have spotted are indeed created by moles, you may want to inspect them further. Look for molehills or mounds nearby, which are often located at the end of a tunnel, as these are created when a mole excavates soil from its tunnel system.

If you are still unsure, you may want to consult with a professional lawn and garden service, who can help you identify the tunnels and take appropriate action to prevent further damage.

Natural remedies can be an effective way to prevent moles from creating tunnels in your lawn or garden. Additionally, using a mole repellent can also help keep moles at bay. It’s important to take quick action when you notice mole tunnels, as moles can cause significant damage to your lawn and garden if left unchecked.

Knowing how to identify mole tunnels is an important step towards preventing damage to your lawn and garden. By regularly inspecting your lawn and garden for signs of mole activity, you can take action to prevent further damage and keep your lawn and garden healthy and beautiful.

Moles Digging: How to Identify Them

Moles Digging: How to Identify Them

Moles are known for their burrowing habits, which can leave unsightly and damaging tunnels in your lawn and garden. If you notice mole tunnels or burrows in your yard, it’s important to take action as soon as possible to prevent further damage. Here is how you can identify mole digging:

Signs of Mole Digging Description
Long, winding ridges on the surface of your lawn Moles push up soil and grass as they tunnel underneath the surface, leaving raised ridges in their wake.
Sunken areas on your lawn or garden Moles may sometimes dig deeper tunnels, which can cause the soil above to sink, leaving unsightly sunken areas in your lawn.
Visible dirt or mounds on your lawn or garden When moles dig surface tunnels or burrows, they may push up small mounds of dirt, which can be seen on your lawn or garden.

If you notice any of these signs of mole digging in your lawn or garden, it’s important to take action to prevent further damage. You can try natural remedies or commercial methods to deter moles from burrowing in your lawn and garden to avoid further damage. For more information on mole damage and how to prevent it, check our article /moles-vs-voles-damage-lawn-gardens/.

Moles Mounds: How to Identify Them

One of the most obvious signs of mole damage in your lawn or garden are mole mounds. These are small to medium-sized piles of soil that have been pushed up by the mole as it digs through the earth.

Here are some ways to identify mole mounds:

  • Look for small piles of soil that are raised above the surface of the ground.
  • The mounds are typically round or oval-shaped and can range in size from just a few inches to more than a foot in diameter.
  • They can be found in a variety of locations throughout your lawn or garden, but are often found in clusters in areas where moles are more active.
  • Mole mounds can also be identified by their shape, which is often conical or crescent-shaped, with a depression in the center where the mole has dug its burrow.
  • The soil in and around the mound may be loose and displaced, and you may be able to see holes or tunnels leading into the mound.
  • It’s important to note that mole mounds can be easily confused with other types of soil disturbances, such as ant hills or gopher mounds. However, there are a few key differences you can look for to help identify mole mounds specifically.

By carefully examining the soil and the shape of the mound, you should be able to distinguish it from other types of disturbances in your lawn or garden. Once you have identified mole mounds, you can start taking steps to prevent further damage and protect your plants and grass.

Preventing Moles Damage to Lawns and Gardens

We all know how frustrating it can be to see our beloved lawns and gardens damaged by moles. It’s not only an eyesore, but also poses a threat to the health of our plants. Fortunately, there are some preventive measures that you can take to keep these small creatures at bay. In this section, we’ll discuss some effective ways to prevent moles from damaging your lawn and garden. So, let’s dive in and see what you can do to protect your outdoor space from these pesky critters.

How to Prevent Moles from Coming to Your Lawn

Preventing moles from coming to your lawn is one of the best approaches to keep your lawn and garden healthy. You can use preventative measures to ensure that your lawn is not a target for moles. Below are some methods you can use to keep moles at bay:

Method Description
Remove Food Sources Since moles are attracted to grubs and insects, get rid of them in your lawn. Use a lawn insecticide to get rid of grubs and other insects.
Proper Lawn Maintenance Moles prefer softer and moist lawns, so ensure proper watering and drainage. Keep your lawn healthy by regular mowing and fertilizing.
Install Physical Barriers Install a physical barrier such as a mesh fence around your garden or lawn to keep moles away.
Plant Deterrents Choose plants that moles do not like, such as daffodils or alliums, and plant them around your lawn or garden.
Remove Existing Moles Removing existing moles from your garden or lawn will help prevent further infestations.

By using the methods mentioned above, you can prevent moles from finding their way into your lawn and causing damage. Remember that addressing the problem before it becomes severe is the best approach.

Natural Remedies to Prevent Moles Damage to Your Lawn and Garden

If you prefer natural remedies over commercial methods, there are several options available to prevent moles from damaging your lawn and garden. Here is a table summarizing some of the most effective natural remedies:

Remedy Description
Castor Oil Moles do not like the smell of castor oil, so applying it around their tunnels and mounds can deter them.
Spicy Repellents Plants such as daffodils, alliums, and fritillaries have a spicy smell that moles dislike. Planting them around your yard can help prevent moles from coming near.
Vibrating Devices There are vibrating solar-powered devices available that emit high-frequency sounds and vibrations that moles find annoying.
Pet Urine Moles do not like the scent of certain animals, such as dogs and cats. Sprinkling pet urine around your yard can deter moles from entering.
Coffee Grounds Again, moles do not like certain smells. Spreading used coffee grounds around your yard can also help keep moles at bay.

It is important to note that while natural remedies are generally safer for the environment and animals, their effectiveness may vary depending on the severity of the mole infestation. It may be necessary to combine multiple remedies or consider commercial methods for more persistent mole problems.

Commercial Methods to Prevent Moles from Damaging Your Lawn and Garden

One effective way to prevent moles from damaging your lawn and garden is by using commercial methods. Although some of these methods can be quite costly, they are often more reliable and efficient than natural remedies. Here are some commercial methods you can use:

Method Pros Cons
  • Efficient at catching moles
  • Can be reused multiple times
  • No chemicals involved
  • Can be expensive
  • Requires knowledge on how to set up and operate the trap
  • Moles can become trap-shy if not set up properly
Poison Baits
  • Can kill the entire mole population in your lawn or garden
  • Easy to use
  • Faster action compared to other methods
  • Can be dangerous to pets and children
  • Can cause environmental damage
  • Moles can sometimes avoid the poison baits
  • Non-toxic and safe for pets and children
  • Does not harm moles, but instead repels them away
  • Easy to apply and does not require much maintenance
  • Not 100% effective and may only work for a limited period of time
  • Requires frequent reapplication
  • May not work for all species of moles
Sonic Devices
  • Non-toxic and safe for pets and children
  • Emits ultrasonic waves that disturb moles and make them leave
  • Can cover large areas of lawn or garden
  • May not work for all species of moles
  • Requires electricity or batteries to operate
  • Can be expensive

Remember to weigh your options and choose the best one that suits your needs, budget, and type of mole damage. It is also important to read and follow the instructions carefully to ensure safety and effectiveness of these commercial methods.


After identifying mole damage to your lawn or garden, it is important to take the necessary steps to prevent any further damage. While there are various natural remedies and commercial methods available to prevent moles from invading your property, it is important to keep in mind that completely eliminating them is not always possible.

It is recommended to first try natural methods, such as planting certain plants that moles dislike, like daffodils or alliums, or using castor oil granules which disrupt the mole’s sense of smell and taste. Additionally, keeping your lawn well-watered and fertilized can make it less attractive to moles.

If natural methods do not work, commercial options are available, such as sonic repellers and mole traps. However, it is important to use these methods with caution and according to instructions to avoid harming any other animals in the area.

Ultimately, it is important to remember that moles play an important role in their ecosystem, as they aerate the soil and eat insects, and eliminating them completely can have unintended consequences. However, by identifying the signs and taking appropriate preventative measures, you can minimize the damage caused by moles in your lawn or garden.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some common types of moles?

Some common types of moles include Eastern Moles, Star-nosed moles, and Hairy-tailed moles.

Why do moles make hills?

Moles make hills as excess soil from digging the tunnels is pushed to the surface.

How do moles damage lawns?

Moles damage lawns by digging tunnels and upending soil, which can create unsightly mounds, kill grass roots, and displace plants.

Are moles herbivores or carnivores?

Moles are carnivores and feed on insects, grubs, and earthworms.

Do moles cause damage to gardens too?

Yes, moles can cause damage to garden plants, as their digging can uproot plants and damage roots.

How can I tell if my lawn has mole damage?

Signs of mole damage may include raised ridges, mole hills, tunnels, and unsightly mounds of overturned soil.

What are some natural remedies for preventing mole damage?

Natural remedies for preventing mole damage include spreading castor oil or planting daffodils, marigolds, and alliums as these plants are known to repel moles.

Can I trap moles myself?

Yes, you can trap moles yourself, but it is important to be knowledgeable in humane trapping methods, local wildlife regulations, and disposal of captured animals.

Is it legal to kill moles?

The legality of killing moles varies depending on your location, so it is important to check local wildlife regulations before attempting to kill them.

How can I prevent moles from coming to my lawn?

You can prevent moles from coming to your lawn by removing their food sources, such as grubs and insects, and making sure your lawn has proper drainage to discourage mole tunneling.