Do Mole Repellents Work?

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No. I have worked with moles for years, and have moles in my own yard from time to time (before I kill them with traps, that is), and I've tested every known mole repellent, just to see. Because it would be a lot easier to try some spray, liquid, powder, or machine to take care of the problem than to do the work that goes into expert and effective mole trapping.

Moles live down in the dirt. They eat only live earthworms and grubs. As such, it's pretty much impossible to affect them. So, what if you spray castor oil, as is suggested, on the ground? A little oil goes in the topmost layer of dirt. Moles don't care. The oil doesn't reach them, and even if it does, they don't seem to care. How would moth balls work? They give off a bad scent in the air. No animals seem to care about it though, and least of all moles, which live in dirt. Some shysters have created sound machines. Again, the sound is muffled by dirt, and even when sounds are loud and clear, they don't affect animals like rats or squirrels. All I'll say is this: if you don't believe me, go ahead and buy and try mole repellent products. When they don't work, you'll want to solve the problem the correct way, with trapping and removal. Click here for a nationwide list of 100's of professional mole trappers serving all 50 states.

Below is an article that my niece wrote for a class project, having done internet research on the subject, and while she's a fine writer, it's just plain wrong. A symptom of all the bad information out there.

Mole Repellent - If you are a person that takes pride in getting the lawn looking as perfect as possible, then you may find your worst adversary is moles. Moles can be beneficial to the ground as they aerate the soil they live in. They also eat some insects that would make an afternoon BBQ a nightmare. Moles are not all good news though; besides eating those insects they can also eat the vegetation in your garden and the seeds that you depend on to keep your yard looking green and perfect. You have a few options to getting rid of moles but you should know the positives and the negatives of those options. There are also other options available to you like a company that removes wildlife from your yard. Those companies are usually the best option to get the job done but if you want to try to get the moles out of the area yourself then keep on reading.

Commercial Repellents - There is a good amount of mole repellents available online and at gardening stores everywhere. They are somewhat effective, but they are not always the as good as the label promises. You should try to learn more about a repellent’s effectiveness before you make a purchase. Another thing that you should know about over the counter mole repellents is that most of them will be toxic; that means that if you have children or pets then it is not the best idea to use these types of repellent because they can cause damage to your family that is simply not worth it. The repellents are also toxic to other types of wildlife, so you should exercise some caution when using these products. You could instead use some other natural ways to repel moles. They can often be as effective and as easy to get as the commercial types of repellent.

Eucalyptus Or Mint Oil - This repellent is a safe way to get the moles out of your yard. If you ever got your hands on eucalyptus oil then you already know that it is a strong smell. The strong smell is not something that moles favor and the same is true about mint oil. You will also need cotton balls that you will soak with the oils. If you find a hole on the ground then you may be in luck. If you see fresh tracks then all you need to do is put the soaked cotton balls in the hole. Do not use your hand; instead push the cotton balls into the hole with a stick to avoid being surprised by a mole. If you find more than one hole do the same process with all of them, and then cover the holes. This process needs to be repeated a few days to ensure its effectiveness. Eventually the moles will move to a different location.

Castor Oil And Water - Another combination that has shown to work in a few occasions is the combination of water and castor oil. You can use a bucket or a smaller jug, but the combination must remain consistent. The recipe is simple; all you need to do is get three quarters water and one quarter castor oil. Just like with the eucalyptus oil this combination must be poured in the hole where a mole may be; look for all the holes that you can find and repeat the process. You should also do this for a few days to get the moles out. Natural solutions to repel moles exist and they are non-toxic, humane ways to get the moles out of your property. If you decide to go with an over the counter repellent you should look at the ingredients and use with caution.

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About Mole Repellents

There are more suggested mole repellents on the internet than you can shake a stick at. At first glance, it might seem like getting a mole to leave your home or property would be an easy task, especially with so many so-called natural deterrents for moles to rely on. Sadly, the reality of the situation is going to be very different from what you're currently thinking. Getting rid of wild animals IN GENERAL isn't an easy task and these repellents that are supposed to work brilliantly in no time at all? They rarely work. If they do work, they only work for a short time.

Moles might not seem like the biggest problem to have. The odd molehill here and there might not even bother you that much, but it’s what you can’t see that you should worry about. What’s going on under the surface is going to be a much bigger predicament than whatever you can see above the ground. They dig and tunnel, sometimes creating huge underground structures, and not just the moles will use them. Other nuisance wildlife will join the party, and rats and other rodents could even use the tunnels to gain access to your property too. If these creatures are given enough time down there, they can wreak havoc, digging up tunnels beneath your land, making it unstable, and even under your home or any outbuildings and garages too. What if your family dog were to accidentally fall into a mole tunnel and break its leg? The same thing could happen to you, your kids, and even bigger animals too, such as horses and livestock. If a horse breaks its leg, that's the end. A mole hill or tunnel really could be the cause of all of that heartache.

One of the biggest reasons behind repellents and deterrents for moles being a very bad idea is because you will need to wait a while before you’ll know whether or not it has worked. When you spray a repellent down, for example, you will need to wait and see what happens, checking regularly for signs of mole activity. If you don’t know where the tunnels are running (and it's likely that you won’t), you might not even spray the repellent in the right places. The same reasoning applies to traps too — if you put traps (or anything else designed to rid your land of moles and other wild critters) in the wrong places, including disused tunnels, you will not have any luck in getting rid of them.

Moles tend to create two types of tunnels. The ones that they use the most often are going to be deeper down in the ground. They will create smaller tunnels closer to the surface, but these are considered to be temporary tunnels, perhaps used as a male heads off to find a female to mate with, without having to venture up to the surface. If you use deterrents or traps in these temporary tunnels, they won’t catch anything at all. Moles will simply seal them off from their main tunnels and stop using them once they realize they have been tampered with.

Repellents and mole deterrents come in many forms. You can opt for something “natural” and homemade, such as castor oil or growing castor beans. There are even mole-repelling plants to try, including marigolds and daffodils, among others. The problem with this, of course, is that castor bean plants and mole plants are actually toxic and could be dangerous to other animals, kids, and even adults.

Castor oil will wash away after a good rain or a thorough watering in the summer, and this means that this, like other liquid-based repellents for moles, will need to be reapplied regularly to keep them having effect. If you are using a liquid repellent, like a spray, you would need to make sure that you have enough, or at least a steady supply, forever. The moment you stop using the repellent, the animal is free to come back. If the tunnels are left unsealed, other animals will move in and use them, or the same mole/other moles will move right back in. If you use mole repellents on their own, you won't have solved the problem and, over a long period of time, it will actually work out a lot more expensive than just hiring in a professional to get the job done.

Other mole repellents include using insecticides to get rid of earthworms. Moles eat mostly earthworms, so if you take away their main source of food, they will be less inclined to hang around. If you are going to go down this route, make sure you check the ingredients of your insecticides. Dangerous chemicals should not be sprayed around without due care and attention. It will contaminated soil, water sources, and even other animals, and can even cause poisoning of many species.

Flooding is often advised as a way to get rid of moles, and also to deter them for a short period of time, but this is not the best plan of attack here. Firstly, think about the added cost to your water bills. Secondly, do you really want a back yard or garden that you can't run around in with the kids because it is waterlogged? Thirdly, all that water with tunnels under the ground could spell disasters. With more and more stories of sink holes and similar problems spreading across social media like wildfire, having these mole tunnels alone is ill advised. Mixing that dangerous situation with water, however, and lots of it, could be incredibly detrimental. If those tunnels do extend beneath actual buildings, such as your home, garage, conservatory, shed, or other outbuildings, they could be rendered unstable and, therefore, not safe to inhabit. This may sound like a far-out situation, but with large mole tunnel issues, this situation could actually become a reality. We do not advise, under any circumstances, using water to remove moles from your property. You could drown them, especially if there is a mother mole with her youngsters in an underground nest. You could also ruin your own home or building. Making that structure safe again is not going to be a cheap job, and some insurance companies won't cover the cost of repairing the damage if the mole damage is extensive. Part of your responsibility as a homeowner is to make sure that your home is well-maintained. Keeping it animal-free is part of that maintenance. The insurance company is likely to see this problem as your fault. If you had looked out sooner, performing regular inspections on your property, the damage would have been spotted sooner and further damage avoided.

You could always turn to ultrasonic devices, of course, which are designed to send out high-pitched frequency sounds that moles and other wild critters don’t appreciate much. You will need to take many things into consideration if you choose these devices as your mole repellent method. To start with, some of these devices can be costly, especially if you choose solar-powered ones, which are obviously going to be the cheapest ones to run.

The ones that are now solar-powered, on the other hand, will be a drain on your energy bill, as if it wasn’t expensive enough as it is. Either that or you'll need to but expensive and probably rather large batteries to keep the thing running.

The moles that are driven away by the repellent device will come back as soon as you switch the device off, and that means you would need to have it running constantly. That's presuming you have put the device in the right place to actually reach the animal. Tunnel systems can be long, vast, and deep too.

There are too many things that have the potential to go wrong when you put your trust in mole repellents, and all the time those repellents aren't working, the moles are building more and more tunnels and pathways, some of which may even be rendering your building unstable. Repellents for most wild animals are ill advised, especially for long term use.

Mole Repellents

Sometimes, the problem is how to get rid of moles that are already inside your garden or lawn without the hassles of building underground fences, trapping or poisoning them. There sure are ways to do that, even though it may not be as effective as the other methods- and this is by the use of repellents. A lot of repellents are not as useful as they are advertised to be, but you can still give them a try.

Several types of repellents exist for the purpose of deterring moles from setting up house on your property – you get to choose between natural (home-made) and store bought repellents. All of them basically perform the same function, which is to send moles away without killing or harming them. Below are some common ones:

Repellent plants

Repellent plants are capable of repelling moles with their unpleasant smells when grown in your yard or garden. Such plants are mole plants, castor bean, daffodils, marigold, alliums and fritillaries. Please note that mole plants and castor bean are poisonous and should be kept away from kids and pets.

However, moles being the stubborn little creatures that they are, may get accustomed to the smell of these plants after a while, especially if there is a lot of food to gain at said location. In this regard, repellent plants would only serve as temporary solution to your moles.

Moth balls

Moth balls are also believed to work in keeping moles at bay; buy moth balls (also called naphthalene) from stores, drop it inside their active tunnels and watch how they scare moles away- well, they do scare them away for some time. But after a passage of time, the mole may just kick the moth balls aside and continue with its activities or it may go make another tunnel. A mole can build a tunnel as long as 18 inches in just one hour, so digging to avoid moth balls is definitely not a problem for them.

Castor oil

Castor oil is another common repellent used for animal control. All you have to do is mix castor oil with dish soap in a gallon of water, then apply the mixture to your garden or lawn by pouring it on the soil. The bad smell of this mixture is likely to keep moles out of your property. You will have to keep applying this mixture from time to time because the smell will fade within a short period of time. Rainfall and watering of the garden can also wash away the mixture making it ineffective. Castor oil mixed with red pepper and oil soap cleaner can also be used as an alternative.

Some store-bought mole repellent granules also have Castor oil for their main functional component. The granules are dropped by hand into the lawn or garden, and they break as they drop, thereby giving way to the castor oil to go into the soil. You can apply little quantity of water to facilitate the Castor oil entering the soil well.


The smoker simply uses smoke to repel moles. It is a store bought repellent, which is to be placed in the tunnel and then be plugged in. It emits smoke that disturbs the moles, thereby sending them away. It is safe to be used around children because it does not make use of any harmful chemical.

Ultrasonic sound emitter

Ultrasonic sound emitters like solar mole produce annoying sounds and vibration that irritate and scare moles away. The solar mole, for example, is simply placed inside the garden or lawn from where it emits ultrasonic sound into the environment. Solar mole makes use of solar energy, hence no need of buying batteries to power it.


As unappealing as this may sound, flooding does repel moles for some time. Just pick a water hose, locate the tunnels made by the mole and flush them with water one after the other. The rush of water will force the moles out and they will try to escape, you may kill or just let them move out of your property.

The downside of flooding is that it does not stop them from coming back, hence you may have to keep flooding their tunnels at regular interval.

Note: Remember that while these repellents may seem all useful, but do not have a great track record for effectiveness in getting rid of moles.

Go back to the Mole Removal page.

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