How to Kill That %$!#@&! Mole

August 31, 2014 | By | Comments (27)

Photo: zenera

The one critter I get most complaints about is a mole digging up the yard. “How do I get rid of this agent of Satan?” Forget about Juicy-Fruit gum, gas bombs, poison peanuts, or any other solutions you’ve read about on the internet. Here is the only thing that really works.

Now, this solution isn’t nice, so if you’re a wuss, stop reading now and suffer these little varmints to come unto you. But if you have the cojones to meet the problem head-on and exercise extreme prejudice, you can kill the little suckers and feel damn good about doing it.

Are you with me? Good. This is what you need.

Mole trap

Photo: Gempler’s

This is the steel Mole Eliminator Trap from Gempler’s. It looks mean. It IS mean — but only to moles. If you set one of these in an active mole tunnel and a mole comes scurrying through it, well………….Hell just gained one more mole.

How to Use This Trap
The key thing is to locate an active tunnel. A mole typically uses one main tunnel in your yard and then builds shorter side tunnels that lead to nowhere. The pattern, courtesy of the fine folks at Gempler’s, looks like this.


Photo: Gempler’s

To locate an active tunnel, use your shoe to mash down a 6-inch section of tunnel. Then come back later and see what’s happened. If the damage is repaired, you’ve found an active tunnel. Carefully following directions, you place the trap into this tunnel and gleefully await the carnage.


Photo: Gempler’s

Pressing down onto the trap with your foot sets it. When the mole comes along, he pushes up soil against the plunger, springs the trap, and scissor-like blades give him an extremely close cut. Pull up the trap and dispose of the body in a respectful way. Like feed it to your dog. Dogs eat anything.

Reader Testimonial
Reader Beth Winslett Fontenot recently emailed Grumpy, “We’ve recently discovered that we have MOLES tunneling through our yard! My yard looks like it has varicose veins! Any thoughts on getting rid of them?” I told her about the Mole Eliminator Trap. She ordered it. Caught the mole the very first night.

Lest cynics suggest that Gempler’s paid for this plug, Grumpy has not received a penny from them or a trap either. I just like their products. So if you have a mole problem that seriously ticks you off, order one of these traps. The first time it works, chew yourself a stick of delicious Juicy-Fruit gum.


  1. Trena

    Love all these comments and also appreciate the humor! As a kid ‘down on the farm’ we had a Spitz/American Eskimo dog that would carefully stalk the mole, then pose quietly with one foot up in the air. We knew to stay far far away from her and not make any noise. Suddenly, she would leap into the air and come down with all 4 feet digging. In a few seconds she’d proudly bring the mole to my mom in the front yard. It was just hysterically funny…..and I sure do need her now! ha ha

    July 15, 2016 at 8:03 pm
  2. Cynthia

    Golden Retrievers are excellent at clearing a 3 acre yard. As for flower beds I’m working on the moth balls…I’m going to try that. I can’t do the trap thing because they’re so cute. Hahaha! I really don’t want to kill them. Wait, do moth ball stick them out or kill them? Anyone know?

    May 21, 2016 at 4:41 pm
  3. victor

    After trying everything indicated I have developed the foolproof cheap method: Get gas lawnmower, gas powered electricity generator or some other internal combustion motor. I have used a small gas powered electricity generator but a lawnmower will work too as they use similar engines. Perhaps a car exhaust will work too but the long exhaust pipes of cars plus muffler plus catalytic converter drop the pressure of the car exhaust and it may not push the gases into the ground holes as well as the lawnmower, gas powered generator, chainsaw, etc.

    Get a metal pipe and fit it to the the exhaust of the lawnmower or whatever. It can go insider or outside the exhaust pipe as long as fit is fairly good to keep the gases flowing into the hole in the ground.

    The pipe I use is copper, any metal will do. Plastic can work too but it has to plastic that does not melt easily as the exhaust gases come out hot.

    Normally you will have to bend the pipe down so it goes into the hole. The holes come out at an angle, not straight up, this makes it easier to slide the end of the pipe into the hole. The pipe I use is 3/4 inch copper pipe.

    Slide the pipe in 3-4 inches then put earth around and on top to prevent the gases from coming back out. You want the gas to flow into the underground network of tunnels.

    Be careful when you start the machine that does not collapse the hole. Most machines with the pull cord start shake a bit as you pull the cord.

    If you have more earth mounds around the lawn step on them to ensure the exhaust fumes, mostly “Al Gore gas” (CO2), do not easily come out, otherwise the fumes many never reach the far holes.

    Now let the gases flow in for 30 minutes or so to ensure they reach all tunnels to the end. It takes a while for the fumes to “soak” the ground because the ground is a bit porous and the fumes flow loses strength as it advances.

    Start the engine, make sure the pipe does not come off the exhaust and do something else for 30 minutes or so. I suppose the type of soil makes a difference. The more loose-porous the soil the longer the more time you may need. I have not done it but I suspect giving the soil a good watering before injecting the fumes will help keep the gases flowing through the tunnels because the moisture in the surrounding soil will act as a sealer to help keep the gases in the tunnels.

    It is the second time in so many years ands works like a charm. The little “terrorist” tunnel makers do not suffer as the fumes first effect is sleep.

    This year I had about 15 mounds spread over an area of 45 x 25 ft. I put the fumes in 5 days ago and not a single new mound. I suspect the hole terrorist cell has perished has perished and gone to heaven to meet the virgins, as it happened las year because no new mounds appeared.

    Voilá, de voles and the moles are gone.

    Note: make sure no small kids around. Exhaust parts get hot and lawnmower blades turn when the engine runs.

    By the way, the method does not damage the soil as the gases dissipate into the air (yes it is CO2, greenhouse gas but remember your beautiful tomatoes, etc., now will grow and absorb CO2, so no guilt).

    Good luck.

    April 25, 2016 at 3:48 am
  4. Gene Boh

    tried everything from sprays to granules…no luck….finally bought 50 moth balls and planted in my back yard…..2 days later …moles are gone

    March 23, 2016 at 1:31 pm
  5. Marquita

    Fantastic site. Plennty of helpful info here. I am sending it to sevral buddies ans additionally sharing in delicious.
    And certainly, thank youu to your sweat!

    February 25, 2016 at 8:20 pm
  6. Kris

    Cats! When we moved into our house the back yard was not safe to walk in due to all the mole tunnels and the previous owners left a bottle of mole poison for us. It took the cats a few weeks to settle in and feel at home, but once we started letting them out unsupervised the little bodies started showing up in our kitchen. We’ve been here 9months now and there are no tunnels; there haven’t been for months.

    October 21, 2014 at 5:16 pm
  7. Charm Dreier

    You could also plant “Mole Plant” that has toxic roots and will scare away moles in the area. It’s botanical name is Euphorbia lathyris, and it’s other nicknames include “Gopher Plant” (since it scares away the gophers, too), and “Spurge”. It is a weird looking plant that looks like it belongs in an alien planet’s landscape, but it works and I have been using it for years to control critter activity in the garden.

    September 15, 2014 at 7:17 pm
  8. Julia

    Dachsunds also love moles. My sister’s dog laid waste to a mole one afternoon. Get a dachshund.

    September 15, 2014 at 11:53 am

    He might try to convince you by giving you false promises about quality
    but do not be moved by it and do not sign any agreement also and neither should you give
    any advance. She used to go through in details the photos of her childhood.
    Wedding photo journalism is the motto and style for this company.

    September 5, 2014 at 1:18 pm
  10. Martha

    i personally like to flood the active tunnel with a water hose…they eventually have to come up for air and with a good dog, they get it before i see it. That is why after a heavy rain, they head for the high ground and you can place a hand shovel as a detour then the nasty rodent is yours!🙂

    September 5, 2014 at 3:25 am
  11. Steve Bender


    The trap is designed to work for moles because you can easily locate the tunnels. Locating vole tunnels is hard, because they generally work under the mulch and not the lawn.

    September 4, 2014 at 10:14 am
  12. Drusalina

    Spread used dried out coffee grounds in your yard. Keeps out the moles, armadillos and other lawn damaging critters. They can’t smell the bugs, because the coffee grounds are more prominent. It also adds nitrogen to the soil to keep your grass green!.

    September 3, 2014 at 12:57 pm
  13. Sara

    Yes. Steve Bender is grumpy. But he is also the funniest serious garden writer around. Even his letters to the (newspaper) editor are funny and grumpy. Gotta love this droll curmudgeon.

    September 3, 2014 at 7:51 am
  14. Corinne Leatherman

    Dear shekan7,
    Not to be insensitive to your ecological philosophy, but unless you have moles in your yard, it is impossible to understand the amount of carnage they do to a yard.

    I have tried everything remotely human and still can not get them out of the yard. Recently, we spent nearly $4,000 to have new topsoil brought in and regarded our yard.

    Now, instead of them staying below a certain level, they are digging their way up to my front sidewalk. I have not used the above trap but will be more than “OK” to try it.
    They are ruining our yard but I honestly have tried all possible attempts to have them leave my yard.

    September 3, 2014 at 7:36 am
  15. fran cooper

    We have rat terriers, they dig the moles out and kill them.

    September 3, 2014 at 6:09 am
  16. skehan7

    So God intended you to kill a variety of animals, just so that you can have a garden bed? If you have to brutalize nature to enjoy it, find something else to enjoy.

    September 2, 2014 at 10:40 pm
  17. Julie

    Are these traps safe in yards where Jack Russells try to find moles? Thanks

    September 2, 2014 at 9:12 pm
  18. Sylvia Mitchell

    How about chipmunks?

    September 2, 2014 at 1:37 pm
  19. Karen Brody

    OK Grumpy, now how about some advice on how to get rid of GROUNDHOGS! Cucumbers, parsley, zucchini….you name it, he eats it. I’ve tried a humane trap, but he just laughs at it.

    September 2, 2014 at 1:05 pm
  20. Irene Bates

    My dad was so frustrated with the moles in his yard that backed the ’51 Chevy over a mole tunnel then proceeded to run a hose from the tailpipe into the mole tunnel and idled the engine for at least an hour. I’m not sure how many moles he killed but he did have the best looking yard on the street. In later years he sat in a lawn chair over the tunnels and watched for the earth to move. He then speared the rascal with a pitch fork and you know the rest of the story.

    September 2, 2014 at 12:57 pm
  21. Hillary

    I don’t know the difference between moles and voles, so I’m not sure which I have in my yard. I’ve never seen the creature(s) creating the chaos in my backyard, all I know is that I have tunnels. Will the Gempler trap work for both moles and voles?

    September 2, 2014 at 10:59 am
  22. Betsy

    You’re right about cats liking snakes. I’m always rescuing snakes from the cats. I had one cat who used to go into the woods and bring snakes home. He couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t let him bring them into the house.

    September 1, 2014 at 1:08 pm
  23. Dea

    Yep, I was just going to say — cats like moles. They like voles. They like mice. And (IMHO) best of all, they like snakes! Sometimes they eat them. Sometimes they just kill them and bring them up as a present to their staff. (Remember? Dogs have masters; cats have staff.) At any rate, if you have one or two outside cats in your neighborhood, you probably won’t have much of a problem with moles. Also, if you’re squeamish about Grumpy’s mole trap, cats do usually dispose of the remains themselves.

    September 1, 2014 at 12:42 pm
  24. Jeanne Broome

    I am with you Betsy, Our cats Daisy and Lila do the job nicely!🙂

    August 31, 2014 at 12:55 pm
  25. Lisa

    Get rid of the grubs. I treat my patents property with a grub killer twice a year. No armadillos, no moles, no critters digging up their yard. I spent years trying to get rid of critters. Get rid of the food source and they will go somewhere else.

    August 31, 2014 at 12:29 pm
  26. Betsy

    My solution was a cat named Bandit. He spent one summer hunting them. Don’t have any mice or voles.

    August 31, 2014 at 12:25 pm
  27. Diane Cook

    Our best solution: This spring the nearby river overflowed its banks and our yard flooded. All my wooden garden edging floated away, but apparently the moles drowned, because for months now we’ve been tunnel free. Yay!

    August 31, 2014 at 10:29 am

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