How to kill the moles in a yard

Updated February 21, 2017

Most homeowners consider moles to be pests and with good reason. They leave unsightly molehills behind as they dig and their network of tunnels creates havoc on a garden because, as they tunnel, they kill the roots and bulbs of plants. Although there are humane ways of getting rid of moles, such as using traps that capture them live, the most-effective way of ridding your yard of moles is to kill them. Follow the steps below to find--and kill--the moles in your yard.

Check with your state's Department of Wildlife before you begin. In some states, such as Washington, it is illegal to use body-gripping traps to kill moles, although it is fine to trap them using cage traps. Some states also forbid the use of poisons due to environmental concerns.

Determine where the tunnels are. If you want to catch and kill a mole, you need to find out where the tunnels are. First, find an area that has a number of molehills. Take a large stick and poke around in the ground near the molehills. If the dirt suddenly gives way, you have found a tunnel.

Set a deadly trap. Two popular brands of traps, Victor® and Nash®, make traps that choke or impale the mole. You will need to follow the trap's directions carefully to set it up properly, but it basically involves placing it in the tunnel, where the mole will come across it.

Drown the moles. Some mole experts claim that you can stick a hose down a molehill and flood the tunnels, drowning the moles. Other experts claim that this inexpensive option is also ineffective.

Poison the moles. The most popular poison is Talparid mole bait, which looks like earthworms and kills moles in less than a day. Simply place the poison in the tunnels, according to the package directions.

Gas the moles. This is another way of poisoning them. Giant Destroyer is one type of gas that some people have had success with, but you usually have to apply it more than once, and make sure there are no pets or children in the area. Follow the directions on the package to use it.


If you are thinking about poisoning or gassing your moles, it is safest to have a professional exterminator do it.


Moles eat grubs, which are also a garden pest, so you may have to choose between the two.

Things You'll Need

  • Mole traps
  • Mole poison or gas
  • Garden hose
  • Long stick
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