The first sign of a mole is usually a winding ridge of loose soil. The mole digs through loose soil at the surface, looking for insects and earthworms. He also has a permanent series of deeper runs, but most hunting is near the soil surface.
Moles are natives of woodlands, where they tunnel through the forest duff. They like loose soil, and have adapted very well to gardens. They are active day and night. If it’s any consolation, moles like moist, organic soil full of worms and other delicacies. So their presence is a compliment to your abilities as a gardener.
Moles don’t eat plants, but sometimes tunnel around the roots so thoroughly that the plant dries out and wilts. Other than that occasional damage, they are only a problem because of their runs. Runs are especially disfiguring to lawns.
Although moles are attracted to grubs in lawns, they also feed on other insects and earthworms. Getting rid of the grubs is a beginning to ridding your garden of a mole, but will probably not be enough to make him leave.
The most effective way to get rid of moles is to trap them. Several different kinds of traps are available in garden centers, and they all work. The harpoon traps are probably the easiest to use.
Step on some runs, then check back a couple of hours later or the next day to see which are pushed back up. These are the runs the mole is using. Stomp that one down again and set the trap over it. When the mole comes through, he triggers the trap. Then you have to empty it. Hire a neighbor kid for that part.
If you don’t catch the mole in a couple of days, move the trap. Just keep trying, and you’ll get him eventually. Moles are solitary, so when you get one, you’ve solved your problem. Unfortunately, moles often move into old mole runs, so it may not stay solved very long.
Poisons work sometimes, but you don’t know for sure if you’ve killed the mole. When you trap a mole, you know you have him. There are a million other remedies for moles, and you’re free to try as many as you wish. Somebody swears by each of them, so probably they each work sometimes or somewhere. But trapping always works.
More more information about moles, visit Mole-ested at the Missouri Department of Conservation.