Stop moles by trapping them
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Moles dig tunnels just under the turf,
searching for worms and grubs.
Moles can eat their weight in
worms and grubs every day,
so they find healthy, well-watered
lawns—which are full of worms
and grubs—very attractive. Tunneling as
fast as a foot per minute under the sod,
one mole can make an average yard look
like an army invaded it.
To their credit, moles do a good job of
aerating the soil and controlling Japanese
beetle larvae and other harmful bugs, and
they don't eat flowers or plants. If you can
live with them, they generally won't cause
any serious, long-term damage to your
yard. However, if you can't, you'll have to
trap or remove them. The population
density of moles is generally no more than
three per acre, so catching even one might
take care of the problem.
Livetrapping by setting a deep bucket
under an active tunnel is sometimes effective.
To set up a live trap, dig a hole at the
tunnel deep enough to set a 2- to 5-gallon
bucket below the level of the tunnel. Pack
the dirt around the edge of the bucket,
then cover the hole with sod or plywood
so you can check the hole daily. The mole
will fall in, and then you can take it to a
However, the most effective, time-tested
method is to set up a spring-loaded prong
or choker-loop trap that is activated when
the mole pushes against it.
For the spring trap, flatten an area of the
tunnel slightly bigger than the base of the
trap and set the trap over it. Follow the
manufacturer's directions to arm the trap,
then cover it with a 5-gallon bucket to
keep kids and pets away. Remove it and the
mole after it's been triggered, or try a different
tunnel if it hasn't been triggered
after several days.
Whether you set up a live or a spring-loaded
trap, the first step is to locate the
active tunnels. Step on the tunnels you see
in one or two spots to collapse them, then
check those spots the next day. If the tunnel
has been dug out again, it's an active
one, and a good spot to set a trap.