The following content is factual information and honest advice on mole behavior, ecology and mole control.
The cheapest and easiest way to deal with mole damage is to pick up the piles of dirt and not step on them. Spread the dirt around. You’ll find there is good grass under the dirt and there won’t be a large bare spot. Mole tunnels should be walked down to keep the grass from browning out. This won’t necessarily get rid of moles but the lawn will look better and the exercise should be beneficial.
If you decide to trap, be prepared to stay with the job. Mole traps have never been “user friendly”. If you decide to hire a trapper, don’t think all mole trappers are the same. If a trapper gives a firm price without inspection, get someone else! You can also ask for a referral from your lawn company.
If cheap was a bargain, choices would be simple. They’re not! While per-mole pricing may sound cheaper, long term contracts that include all moles throughout the season are in the homeowners best interest. Remember, talk and lousy service won’t control moles. Poisons won’t either.
Compare service before price! Ask for references!
Where to Start
There are lots of ways for you to waste time and money fooling around with moles. There are home remedies, retail gimmicks, concoctions, even inexperienced companies more than happy to help you fool with them.
Homeowners get confused by all of the conflicting “advice” on mole control. It seems like anyone and everyone has their two-bits worth of mole remedies and concoctions. They’d like you to believe that every control method or home remedy is worth trying. Over the years, I made it a point to learn all that I could about mole behavior and control. I’ve even lectured on the subject at Purdue, Ohio State University, Clemson and most recently Penn State University (January 1999). The bottom line is simple. Chemicals and home remedies (including castor oil, grub controls and poisons) don’t work. They’re not only ineffective, but allow the moles time to establish and become major problems. All knowledgeable sources consider trapping the only effective method of mole control!
When moles have been a problem for any length of time or when residential properties are bounded in any way by woodland (a mole’s natural habitat), trapping is most effective when done over long periods of time. If you decide to use a trapper, insist on long term contracts. Get references! If you want to do the trapping, take some time to learn about a moles habits and biology. (Get some hands-on help if available.) The mole’s home range is measured in acres so almost any mole problem is usually a part of a larger mole population. Trapping is a war of attrition. It’s labor intensive, time consuming, and it’s effective.
I have been trying to list mole trappers who provide mole trapping as a service in other cities and states. I know some of them personally. Others I have talked with to get a good idea of how they provide their service before listing them. I DO NOT CONTROL HOW THEY CHARGE OR PROVIDE THEIR SERVICE! THEY ARE REFERRALS ONLY! I have never been comfortable with per-mole trapping. Short-term or per-mole trapping might be an option after newborn moles have dispersed (mid to late summer) but expensive and ineffective for early spring work or more established mole populations. I can’t say it enough times, when dealing with moles, recolonization is going to be the problem, not the number of moles presently in your lawn.