Survey: Homeowners share how to get rid of moles in your yard

Survey: Homeowners share how to get rid of moles in your yard

Survey: Homeowners share how to get rid of moles in your yard

Survey: Homeowners share how to get rid of moles in your yardSurvey: Homeowners share how to get rid of moles in your yard

There's a lot of advice out there on how to get rid of moles in your yard. From traps to Juicy Fruit gum, what works for one homeowner might fail for the next. 

A mole's tunnels and mounds leave an unsightly scar on a lawn. The benefit of a mole is that it can naturally aerate and fertilize; plus, moles eat pests like beetles, ants, snails, termites, and grubs. 
The 215 homeowners we surveyed wanted to eliminate or relocate their mole. Several found that their lawn not only looked worse due to their mole problem but that the critter's digging destroyed their plant and grassroots and created an environment for weeds to thrive.

In some cases, a mole was behind more severe damage to lawn equipment, sprinkler systems, and underground water lines. 

Key Takeaways 

  • # 87 respondents mentioned that traps are the most effective way they've found to get rid of their mole problem, tallying up to the most used method at 40.5 percent of the answers.
  • # 15.3 percent relied on a professional to take care of the problem.
  • # Nearly 17 percent of respondents claimed to have succeeded with a method professionals have deemed a myth. These include lining a mole's tunnel with Juicy Fruit gum and filling the holes with fumes from their vehicle's exhaust pipe.
  • # Of the traps named, the Gopher Hawk was mentioned by 40 survey takers, making it the most listed tool to take care of a mole problem.
  • # Hiring a professional received the second most individual votes at 33, while dogs took the third spot with 23 votes.

How to get rid of moles in your yard, survey

Homeowners choose Gopher Hawk as their preferred way to get rid of moles

Many respondents named Gopher Hawk as their tool of choice to eliminate their mole problem. The trapping set includes the probe tool, the trap, and the wedge.

They appreciated its ease of use. First, the fact that they did not need to dig holes to set the trap was a plus. The wedge made it simple to move dirt outward without further damaging the lawn or completely collapsing the tunnel. A mole will work to repair holes with a minor disturbance, but they could reroute around the tunnel if it has completely collapsed. 

The trap itself is set above ground. 

Its swivel trigger knabs the critter regardless of the direction it's coming from. This is one of the best parts of the Gopher Hawk. It won't trigger prematurely. Moles push dirt ahead of them when moving around, so the trap must set off when the critter is in its grasp and not when dirt moves through it. 

The Gopher Hawk team breaks down the steps it takes for a successful catch: 

1) First, locate the ideal spot to set the trap. Probe six to ten inches away from the mound. (The instructions note that finding a place between two mounds is best). 

2) From there, the user creates a hole in the tunnel using the wedge until they reach the tunnel base. 

3) Homeowners place the unset trap at the base of the tunnel but do not push it downward into the trap. Instead, they grasp the endcap and pull back on the black tube until it locks.

4) Users can reset the trap by striking the black tube once the trap is engaged. Gopher Hawk cautions that users ensure their fingers are clear of the trap straps. 

Homeowners noted that sometimes the trap would eliminate the critter, other times it won't — something to consider.  

One respondent said, "I've tried everything possible to eliminate moles. I've tried exhaust fumes, flooding the tunnels, traps, and hands down, the Gopher Hawk is the best. Once it's caught, the trap lets you know."  

Another plus for the Gopher Hawk is that it catches both moles and gophers. Some traps are critter-specific, so it's important to find out what animals the trap is designed for before purchasing. 

Instant results, success with scissor traps against moles

Many say scissor traps provide the best answer of how to get rid of moles in your yard

Several respondents mentioned that scissor traps eliminated their mole problem. Homeowners said that the scissor trap is easy to set up, and when it does catch a mole, it's an instant and humane elimination method.

Most scissor traps are easy to set — locate the tunnel, push the closed jaws straight down into the tunnel, and step on the lever to open and set the trap.

Here are a couple of tips for success when using any trap: 

  • Set traps where the tunnel is most likely recently dug and active. Indicators of a fresh tunnel are loose — possibly moist — soil. Most definitely, an active tunnel will be straight, long, wide, and close to the surface. Straight tunnels are actively used by moles. Generally, a mole uses a meandering, feeding runway for foraging and may utilize them infrequently or for a single use. Setting a trap in a tunnel closer to the surface increases the chances of a successful catch. 

  • Keep in mind that burrowing animals like moles have a great sense of smell. Wearing gloves and avoiding getting scents on a trap will increase the odds of a successful catch. Place the trap in boiling water to clean it, and avoid using detergent, soap, or any other scented chemical, as these smells may linger. 

Several homeowners claim home remedies got rid of their mole problemHomeowner tales, mole myths and misconceptions

The home remedies listed here are myths and not established ways to get rid of moles in your yard based on professional advice. However, we asked homeowners a simple question: "What works best to remove or eliminate a mole?"

Many replied with home remedies like Juicy Fruit gum (17 votes) or filling the critter's tunnels with exhaust pipe fumes (4 votes). Suggestions like scooping dog feces into a mole’s tunnels (9 votes) and using sound devices (10 votes) made the list as well.

We can't validate the claims, but many noted that — despite how outlandish it might seem — they had a mole problem one day and didn't the next. Professionals refute these claims. 

Juicy Fruit stands out as the most-believed myth according to the survey. 

The thought behind it is that if a homeowner lines a tunnel with the gum, the mole will eat it, be unable to digest it, and die. 

It's also commonly believed that getting rid of grubs will stop a homeowner's mole problem. Purdue University Extension's Plant and Pest Diagnostic Lab noted, "While (moles) do eat grubs, it's an old wives tale that grubs are the reason that moles are in a lawn. Therefore using grub control products as a method of controlling moles will not be effective. Even in grub free lawns, moles continue to survive, because the majority of their diet consists of the ever-present earthworm." 

Moles also cannot be baited out using rodent food despite product claims. They're not rodents.

The Purdue Extension goes on to say there are only two ways to get rid of a mole: physically remove or eliminate them or use poisonous baits they are actually attracted to. 

Here are a few other myths that homeowners believe eliminate moles:

  • Human hair
  • Ultrasonic devices
  • Pinwheels
  • Mothballs
  • Windmills
  • Broken glass
  • Cat Litter
  • Dog feces
  • Kerosene

Many homeowners say their dogs and cats help eliminate their moles

Twenty-seven respondents said their dog or cat has been the most helpful in combating their mole problem. Both dogs and cats have a natural hunting instinct, but domesticated animals may or may not be interested in capturing the critters. 

Two of our respondent's answers frame this truth well: 

"My dog is a mole-catching machine. We never taught her. She just goes for it."

"My dog could care less about the moles. I even took him out into the yard to see what help he might be. Useless. Love him to death, though." 

Dogs can be trained to catch moles.Pet-safe practices, Homeowner experiences with pets and moles

However, it's essential to consider that not everyone uses pet-safe products.

If a dog or cat somehow consumes a mole that ingested poison, that's an issue. The mole may also scratch, have rabies, or have fleas; if a pet eats it whole, it may cause intestinal obstruction. 

If they're going after moles, be mindful of how they're eliminating them and know that there are some risks. 

33 survey respondents relied on professional help

Moles are go-getters. If given good soil conditions, a single mole can tunnel up to 18 feet per hour. For several homeowners, hiring a professional to remove the mole is much more affordable than trying to nurse their lawn back to health after a mole destroyed it. 

Recent data shows that hiring a professional to eliminate a homeowner's mole problem costs $400 on average. Many companies charge a cost-per-mole rate, so it might be worth considering a package based on how regularly moles present a problem.

Homeowners can expect to pay some of the following for mole removal packages based on the frequency of the services selected:

Once per year: $250–$500

Biannual: $400–$650

Quarterly: $500–$750

Monthly: $600–$1,200

While mole removal services are often not cheap, they can offset the frustrations and costs of helping a lawn recover from a mole. 

Replanting and reseeding alone can cost upward of a thousand dollars. Add in a few broken sprinkler heads, and moles become quite a costly problem whether seeking professional help or not.

Quick Summary

Traps (40.5%), Professional Help (15.3%), Myths (17%), Dogs (10.7%).
Most Effective Traps
Gopher Hawk (40 mentions), Scissor Traps (mentions not specified).
Myth Methods
Juicy Fruit gum, Exhaust pipe fumes, Sound devices, etc
Professional Assistance
Reliable but costly ($400 average).
Pet Assistance
Dogs (27 mentions), Cats (mentions not specified).

Moles can aerate and fertilize lawns, but their tunnels and mounds look bad. Plus, a mole's activity can destroy grass and plant roots. They often weaken the surface of a lawn. 

Many homeowners used traps to capture moles, while others hired a professional to handle the problem. Several respondents said their pet eliminates moles. 

A good number of homeowners said methods like lining a mole's tunnels with Juicy Fruit gum got rid of their mole problem. Professionals refute these claims. Find top landscapers on Greenpal Now

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