How to Remove Ground Moles

Updated November 21, 2016

Moles can destroy your lawn and garden as they tunnel underground looking for grubs and worms to feed upon. Moles do not eat roots or plants, but as they tunnel, root systems are destroyed, which can kill your plants. Moles spread disease, as well as the other rodents that may be introduced into your yard using their tunnels. Removing ground moles from your yard takes persistence and ingenuity.

Kill the food source that moles eat, which are grubs and worms. Grubs are the larval form of beetles that resemble fat white or beige worms. Lay down milky spore, which is a naturally organic insecticide that will kill Japanese beetle grubs in warm climates. If you detect your beetle grubs are not the Japanese variety, use an insecticide made to target grubs and worms. Visit your local garden centre and ask for insecticides to kill grubs and worms in your area.

Flood the mole tunnels with a high-powered hose end sprayer. Have several people standing ready with shovels and buckets to trap any escaping moles. They can either whack the moles with the shovel or trap them under the bucket.

Catch or kill a mole while they are digging their tunnels. Mole tunnels have a ridge of soil that rises up through your lawn or garden as they burrow forward. If you catch them in the act of tunnelling, quietly approach the moving dirt and slam a shovel down just where they are digging, hoping to kill them with the blow. Alternatively, shove a flat-end shovel behind them so they can't move backward in their tunnel. With a quick flipping motion, dig the mole up and flip it into a nearby bucket.

Dig a deep trench around your garden. Moles do not like to run on the surface of your yard and will avoid it at all costs. Shovel out a trench two feet deep by six inches wide around the perimeter of your garden. Fill it with stones or gravel to make it impossible for the moles to tunnel through.

Fill the mole tunnel system with smoke. Purchase a dozen or more smoke cartridges through a garden centre. Smoke fumigation is only successful when you can fill the entire tunnel system with smoke. Have several people help you quickly light the cartridges and place them in the tunnels. Cover some of the openings with cardboard. Be prepared with buckets and shovels for escaping moles.

Trap moles in their tunnels. Determine which tunnel the mole is actively using. Use one of the mole traps available such as choker traps, which is the simplest to use according to Michigan State University Wildlife Extension.


Moles do not hibernate and are active all year long. They tend to be more active when grubs are at their highest peak in the spring, summer or fall when there is no snow on the ground.

Things You'll Need

  • Milky spore or other grub and worm insecticide
  • High-powered hose end and sprayer
  • Shovel
  • Bucket
  • Gravel
  • Stones
  • Smoke cartridges
  • Mole traps
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