Homeowners dread seeing all their hard yard work go to waste, and moles are often the main cause. While these critters mean no harm to your garden plants, they open the door for destructive pests. We’ll show you how to catch a mole using several techniques to keep your yard and garden pest-free.
Moles are carnivorous and dig deep tunnels beneath your yard, searching for food sources, such as grubs, larvae, and earthworms. This tunneling activity tends to draw in voles, gophers, and other herbivores that destroy plants and gardens.
Mole catching is important to keep your yard healthy. Calling pest control is expensive, and trapping moles is a safer alternative to killing moles with chemicals and poisons.
The common mole is easy to get rid of using castor oil and other repellents. However, there are several ways to catch a mole and move it to a new location.
- How to Get Rid of Moles by Trapping and Catching
How to Get Rid of Moles by Trapping and Catching
While moles are not necessarily harmful to your plants, there are other rodents just waiting for the opportunity to invade your garden. We’ll show you how to trap moles to prevent your yard from being taken over by opportunistic pests.
What are Moles, and Why is Catching Moles Necessary?
Moles are mysterious creatures since they spend most of their time hiding underground. Their presence goes unnoticed except for their surface tunnels. Unfortunately, mole activity draws in herbivores, and removing moles from your yard becomes necessary.
As a preventive measure, grow some plants that deter moles and you won’t have to worry about them.
Moles are small, furry critters that live primarily beneath the ground. They dig tunnels through the dirt with their wide front feet and long claws searching for food sources such as grubs.
Since they spend a vast majority of their time in the dark, their eyes and ears are barely noticeable.
Marc Hamer, a Welsh writer from Wales, spent years catching moles and expresses his passion in his book, How to Catch a Mole: And Find Yourself in Nature.
These animals are not harmful to humans and do not eat vegetation from your vegetable garden or favorite rose bush. However, their underground tunneling clears the way for plant-eating rodents.
It’s essential to keep them out of the yard, and catching moles is more humane than using chemicals or poisons to kill moles in your lawn.
How to Catch a Mole by Locating an Active Tunnel
Before you try your hand at catching moles, it’s necessary to find the main tunnels first. Not all of the tunnel system is active, so knowing exactly where the mole spends most of its time is key to trapping it.
The main tunnel is generally straight and runs the perimeter of your lawn. Follow the tunnel, making sure not to disturb it, and puncture it with a half-inch dowel.
Mark each hole by placing a flag beside it and continuing to do this along the length of the suspected tunnel. Wait for one or two days, and then inspect the tunnel section for repairs. If the holes are still present, it is not an active area.
Best Way to Catch a Mole with Traps
Having a mole party in your backyard is not a good idea if you like a tidy lawn. It also leads to other more destructive rodent activity, and the best way to catch a mole is to use traps.
Rather than use a harpoon trap as the best way to kill moles, consider using a catch and release trap as one of the best ways to get rid of moles instead. Inspect the tunneling system and locate the main runway. Follow the instructions for your particular trap style and place it in the middle of the active tunnel.
Activate the trigger and wait until the trap signals a trapped mole. Carefully remove the trap and place it over a bucket before releasing the mole. Transport the mole to an area far away from your home and release it safely.
Note that catching skunks is better with a different type of trap than the one you use for a mole.
Catching a Mole by Flooding
Like most other creatures of the world, moles do not like a flooded home. Catching moles by introducing large amounts of water into their tunnels is a simple way to force them into a trap.
Locate the active molehill by searching for a mound with fresh dirt around the sides. Set the tip of a garden hose into the mound’s hole and turn the water on low or medium.
Do not turn it on high to give the mole a chance to safely realize the tunnel is flooding and make an exit. Put on thick gloves and keep an eye on other mole mounds for activity as the tunnels fill with water.
Keep a bucket in hand and be ready to catch a fleeing mole. As soon as you spot the critter, quickly capture it and place it into the bucket. Transfer the mole to a location away from your home or contact animal services for relocation information.
How to Catch a Mole with a Bucket
The best way to catch a mole is to use a bucket trap. It’s simple to set up, and they accidentally fall into the bucket while going about their business, making their capture quick and efficient.
Search around your yard for the active molehill and follow a tunnel going away from it. Dig a hole through the tunnel until you get below it, and make it large enough to fit your bucket.
Set the bucket into the hole and pack the dirt on each side of the tunnel. When the mole reaches the dirt, it digs its way through and falls into the waiting bucket.
Place a large piece of wood over the top to keep sunlight out and leave the area. Check beneath the wood every day to see if the mole is trapped and relocate it to another area.
Easy Way to Catch a Mole with a Shovel
Using a shovel to catch moles is a hands-on job. If you have some time to kill, two shovels, and a good pair of gloves, this technique is right up your alley.
While this method is humane and effective at removing moles from your yard, it requires patience. Do not use this solution to catch a skunk or you will probably end up getting sprayed.
To get rid of moles in your backyard, start by using a shovel to flatten out all the molehills in your yard. Remove yourself from the area and stand at a good vantage point. Watch for movement in the soil that indicates the mole is trying to repair the damage you made to the hills.
As soon as you notice disturbance, rush over to the spot, and plunge a shovel into either side of the area to trap the mole to cut off the exit tunnels so that the mole cannot escape.
Slip on a pair of protective gloves, carefully dig the mole out of the ground and place it in a bucket or box.
Ways to Prevent Moles in the Future
After spending an afternoon or two catching a mole in your yard, you probably do not look forward to doing it again. Use one of the home remedies for keeping moles out of your yard. Luckily, there are several ways to prevent them from returning.
Ultrasonic devices are useful for keeping moles out of your yard. They emit pulses that annoy the critters, and the sound tricks them into thinking other moles are digging in the same territory.
Another method to keep these pests away is to use castor oil for moles. Many garden centers carry products that contain this oil, and dissolving it into the soil releases a scent the moles hate, forcing them to find a more suitable place to tunnel.
Castor oil may also be effective as one of the natural ways to get rid of chipmunks that eat your plants.
There is much to love in this natural world, and there is also much to contend with, including yard moles.
While these critters mean us no harm, their burrowing and underground tunnels invite unwanted guests. Fortunately, it’s easy to get rid of moles with the right know how and mole control solutions.
We hope you enjoyed learning how to catch a mole using one of our methods, and we’d love it if you’d share our mole catching techniques with your family and friends on Facebook and Pinterest.