Mole in the backyard

How To Know If Moles Are Under Your Lawn

Moles can be a major problem for homeowners. Not only do they create unsightly mounds in the yard, but they can also damage plants and underground cables. If you have been noticing strange mounds in your yard and suspect that you might have a mole problem!

In this blog post, we will discuss how to know if moles are under your lawn and what to do about it if they are.

What is a Mole?

Moles are tunneling ground-dwelling carnivores that prefer to eat insects over your garden. Their subterranean passageways, on the other hand, may harm your garden and grass, making it easy for mice to gain access to your plants.

If you have a lot of moles or other pests, it’s an indication of trouble. Moles are generally found in areas with lots of organic matter in the soil. Their presence in extreme numbers might be due to a high number of soil insects. As a consequence, their presence is an indication that the soil life as a whole is not well.

What Do Moles Look Like?

Moles look like rodents but are actually small mammals. They tend to be around 3 to 8 inches in length, weighing in between 1.5 to 5 ounces. Moles have a long head and snout, small eyes that are extremely difficult to see, and no external ears. The mole’s short blackish-brown fur has no texture, allowing it to slide effortlessly in both directions through tunnels.

Moles have paddle-shaped feet and large digging claws. They have very large and broad forefeet with webbed toes. Their hind feet are narrow with slender claws.

Moles dig tiny tunnels in the turf and create volcano-shaped mounds in the grass. Each day, they may dig 150 feet of tunnels in the lawn at a speed of 18 feet per hour. Moles are accomplished diggers that consume up to 60 percent of their body weight each day in insects, grubs, and earthworms. That means that a 5-ounce mole consumes over 68 pounds of food each year.

They love moist, loamy soil and are most active in the early morning or late afternoon in the spring or fall. You will also notice more activity from moles after a warm rain.

Signs of Moles in Your Yard

Moles create unmistakable traces of activity. Your lawn will have raised brown, grass-less stripes that are produced when moles tunnel below if you have a mole problem. Another sign to look for is “mole hills,” which are created when the mole shovels dirt and debris from deeper tunnels and burrows to the surface.

Common Signs of Moles in Your Yard:

  • Raised ridges crisscrossing your yard.
  • Areas of discolored or dead grass that follow a specific path. 
  • Raised mounds of dirt. These are usually the entrance/exit to mole tunnels.
  • Areas of your lawn feeling “squishy” or like the soil is very loose. 
  • Soil that has been thrown up from tunnels.
  • Grass that is sparse and thinning over an area corresponding to a mound or trench.

Why Are Moles in Your Garden or Backyard?

If you have moles it is because your lawn has a lot of food in the soil like grubs and earthworms. Moles dig tunnels in the soil, forming raised tunnels on the surface and piling up dirt as they make exit holes. They do this while they’re in search of food.

If grubs have infested your grass and you’ve seen dead patches of grass, it’s likely that moles have come to devour the grubs. Moles need a lot of food in order to survive. A yard with grubs is more appealing than one without them.

If your lawn looks healthy and doesn’t have any brown patches, it is likely that it is abundant in earthworms. Worms are another creature that moles love to eat and they can survive well on a steady diet of them.

What Damage Do Moles Cause?

Secondary pests, such as ants and grubs, may follow moles into their tunnels and prey on the remnants of your plants. Voles and mice are known to use the tunnels as a route for transportation and will frequently walk along them eating seeds and plant roots in your yard.

Moles may tunnel beneath the earth, but their presence can have severe consequences for your lawn on top of the surface. While moles aren’t eating your grass, as they aren’t consuming plants, their damage is usually caused by the tunnels they dig in search of more worms!

  • Moles feed on insect pests, grubs, and soil organisms, including helpful ones such as earthworms.
  • Moles, unlike vegetarian voles, dig deep. Unless they’re searching the surface for a spouse, their tunnels are typically 10 inches or more below the earth’s surface.
  • They harm grass roots, causing brown patches.
  • Moles can damage the roots of vegetables and other plants while tunneling for insects, as well as uproot grass.

How to Get Rid of Moles in Your Lawn

We recommend that you consult a professional before treating your lawn for moles if you suspect an infestation. Moles may be confused with pocket gophers and voles on occasions. Once you establish that moles are the source of your yard’s issues, there are several options for dealing with them.

Mesh Wire and Fences

If you just have a small area to protect, like a garden, mesh wire fences can be hidden along the perimeter to keep moles from tunneling under. These won’t eliminate the moles, but they will at least help keep them from digging in your vegetable garden.

Improve Soil Drainage

Moles require routine burrowing to keep their tunnels and mounds moist. Maintaining a damp lawn allows them to move about easily, making it easier for them to tunnel. Improve soil drainage for a drier yard to deter mole activity.

Let an Expert Handle It

If there are moles living in your backyard, hiring a professional to get rid of them is the most effective approach. They will make sure to safely remove the moles without damaging your yard or garden.

Trapping Moles

Set a live trap by digging a hole deep enough to conceal a 2 to 5 gallon bucket beneath the tunnel’s level. Fill the space around the bucket with dirt for trapping moles, then cover the hole with sod or wood so that you may check it on a daily basis. The mole will fall into the pit, at which point you can relocate it to a new area.

  • Trap permits are not required.

Place traps in active runs, where moles will pass by. Make sure the run is still active before setting a trap; if the soil is raised the next day, the run is still viable.

Straight runs, especially those near the edge of a driveway or sidewalk, are ideal. If your trap doesn’t capture a mole in two days, move it to another run.


Moles can be a nuisance in your lawn, but with the right information, you can start to get rid of them. If you’re not sure what is causing your lawn problems, we recommend having a lawn professional inspect your yard before starting any treatments.

If you have moles in your backyard or garden and would like to get rid of them, there are a few methods available. Trapping moles is one option, though it’s important to place traps correctly so that they’re effective. You can also try improving soil drainage or fencing off an area to keep the moles out. If all else fails, contact a professional for help getting rid of these pests!

Moles can be a real pain to deal with, and they are usually active all year long. To avoid having moles on your property, you should create an environment that is not as appealing as others. Make sure that your lawn has good drainage and the soil is dry.

If you have tried everything but still see signs of mole activity in your yard, get ahold of a professional.

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