How to Kill Moles, Voles and Gophers

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Moles, voles and gophers can devastate a yard or garden in less than one season. These pesky animals feed on worms, grubs, plants and vegetation inside and around a yard. The tunnels mess up the yard and create tripping hazards. One way to eliminate this problem is to kill the animals with different kinds of traps. Trapping the animals rather than poisoning them keeps other animals, such as dogs and cats, safe from the risk of poison.

Things You'll Need

  • Harpoon mole traps
  • Spring mouse traps
  • Peanut butter
  • Oats
  • Gopher pincher trap
  • Trowel
  • Stick

Moles

  • Identify main runways throughout the yard or garden. Main runways will be in more or less straight lines, with smaller offshoots. Main runways will often run along the border of a garden or along concrete pathways or fences. You can identify where the runways are by the slight rise in the ground.

  • Depress a small section of the runway by 1 to 2 inches. This will make it harder for the mole to squeeze through, giving the trap enough time to spring.

  • Stick the trap in on either side of the runway. Make sure the spikes on the trap touch the dirt in the middle of the runway. Wait 4 to 5 days to catch the mole. If no mole is captured in that time period, try a different runway.

Voles

  • Find the runways that the voles use. Voles will often use mole runways, so the humps are easy to identify. If voles make their own runways, the mounds will be smaller because voles are smaller.

  • Fill the traps with peanut butter coated in oats. Set the traps and place them at the entrance and exit points along the runways. You can also place the traps near large areas of ground cover.

  • Check the traps each day for voles. Reset the traps every day. Remove the traps once no voles have been caught for 2 weeks.

Gophers

  • Locate main runways by poking a stick 1 to 2 feet away from a mound. Tunnels will be identified by the ground collapsing or by the stick traveling easily through the hole.

  • Dig a section of the tunnel out with a trowel. Set the trap, then place a pincher trap inside the tunnel, and cover it with soil. Place an additional trap near the other end of the runway, at least 10 feet away from the first trap.

  • Check the traps each day for gophers. If no gophers are caught within 4 days, move the traps to another gopher tunnel.

  • Leave the traps inside the tunnels for about one month after all the gophers are dead. Sometimes new gophers will use old tunnels and the traps will discourage gophers from invading. Collapse the gopher tunnels with a shovel if desired.

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References

  • Photo Credit Prarie Dog image by Phartography from Fotolia.com
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