Moles Situations & Solutions

Moles often get a bad rap. They are blamed for eating vegetation and seeds in backyard gardens, which is more likely the work of voles and mice. And while some landowners disdain moles, their benefits are numerous.

They consume larvae and adults of many pest insects, such as Japanese beetles. In addition, their tunneling activity loosens the soil, aerating it and mixing deeper soils with surface material, all of which improve soil quality.

Management Options

Mole activity in a given area is likely to be temporary or seasonal, and often stops before any control action can be undertaken. In extreme cases, however, you may want to take action.

  • Don't over water your lawn. Over watering can keep earthworms and other mole prey near the surface and result in increased surface tunneling.
  • Encourage native plant species to establish themselves in the lawn. Native grasses do not usually require as frequent watering as non-native species.
  • Erect barriers around small flower or garden beds by burying quarter-inch mesh hardware cloth 12 inches deep, with a 12-inch extension at a 90-degree angle. This fencing should extend 5 inches above ground.
  • A castor-oil mixture has been known repel moles. To treat a given area, sprinkle a castor oil mixture on the ground after a heavy rain or watering. Castor oil mixture directions: Whip 2 ounces of castor oil with 1 ounce of liquid dish detergent in a blender until it holds its shape. Add 6 tablespoons of water and whip again. Fill a sprinkling can with water, add two tablespoons of the castor mixture and sprinkle on areas of heaviest concentration of burrowing.
  • Milky spore disease, a naturally-occurring fungus available in commercial form, may help reduce the number of grubs and limit the mole's food supply in due time. This option is most effective when used in combination with one of the options described above.

Moles and the Law

Relocating wildlife is illegal in Massachusetts. It is detrimental to the well-being of wildlife as well as the public. Learn More

Moles and Disease

Moles are not susceptible to rabies and present no real health threat to humans.