Wildlife Control: How to Get Rid of Moles in Your Yard


First of all, what is a mole exactly? These small, underground creatures can be easily confused with voles, gophers, and groundhogs. Yet, what distinguishes moles is that they tend to stay in the lawn (while other creatures may start nibbling in your garden), they create large tunnels under your lawn, and they only eat three things: earthworms, beetle grubs, and cicada larvae. Now that you know what they are, here are some humane wildlife control methods you can use to trap the moles in your yard and relocate them:

Locate the Main Runway

An above-ground mole trap needs to be set in the main runway to effectively catch the mole(s) in question. Once you find one of the moles tunnels, you will need to determine if it is their primary tunnel. You can do this by lightly puncturing holes in the tunnel with your finger, marking the tunnel with lawn flags, then revisiting it after 24-48 hours. If the holes you made have been repaired, this indicates that it is indeed a primary tunnel that the mole uses.

Prepare the Tunnel

Once you are certain that you have found the mole’s primary tunnel, you can move on to the next wildlife control step: preparing the tunnel for the trap. You will first need to use your heel to create a one-inch indentation in the middle of the tunnel that you can use for the trap trigger. Then, use the jaws of the trap to mark the tunnel on either side of the indentation you just made and use a square-bladed spade to create five-inch deep slots across the tunnel for the trap to be inserted.

Insert and Set the Trap

Now it is officially time for the most important wildlife control step: inserting and setting the trap itself. To insert it, simply slide the trap jaws into the slots you already created over the tunnel. Then, press directly down on the foot pedal until the trap latches and the trigger post comes through the trigger slot. Be sure to not cover the trigger slot on the pedal with your foot! Finally, after your trip is set up, you can activate it. Do this by pressing the trigger post flush with the top of the foot pedal. When set correctly, the base of the trap should lie flat on the ground.

Remove the Trapped Mole

You should periodically check your traps to see if a mole has been caught in them so that is not trapped in there for too long. The foot pedal of the trap will pop up into a raised position when a mole has become trapped in it. Next, you will need to set the trap on a bucket and press the foot pedal with your hand to release the mole into the bucket. Quickly and securely cover the bucket, then either release the mole in a different area yourself or call a wildlife control officer to remove the mole for you.