Moles are driving me crazy and my yard is a mess. What can I do or use to get...

Asked July 8, 2013, 12:07 AM EDT

Moles are driving me crazy and my yard is a mess. What can I do or use to get rid of them?

Charles County Maryland

1 Response

Although moles are usually considered to be pests, they are actually beneficial predators. Moles do not eat vegetation. They aerate your lawn soil. Moles do eat earthworms, but they also eat grubs, beetles, and other soil dwelling insects. Also, moles are loners and they are extremely territorial. In other words, you may only have one or two moles in your entire landscape, but they can dig up to 12 feet per hour.
The easiest and safest way to control them is to use lethal traps. Although you can purchase various types of mole traps, you could simply use two standard mousetraps for the same effect. Some of the runways in your lawn are used every day and some will not be used again. So, find an active runway by pressing several down and marking which ones pop up the next day. Using a hand trowel or small shovel, remove the 'roof' of the active runway for a distance of about one foot. Clean out the floor of the runway so that you can place two traps on the floor. Set the traps without baiting them and place them end to end so that the trip mechanism of each is facing toward the runway in each direction. Press the soil down on either side of the traps. Place a board or piece of tile or other appropriate device over the hole so that no light gets into the trap hole. Check the traps the next day hoping for success.
Be advised, since moles are so territorial and will fight over their territory, if you eliminate one mole, another mole may eventually take over the territory.