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A beautiful lawn is a testament to hours of hard work. Moles can destroy that work in no time by digging tunnels under the grass, looking for earthworms and other food. Their excavations disrupt the grass roots and leave unsightly piles of dirt—mole hills. Although Washington state allows the killing of moles, the body-gripping scissor or pinching traps commonly used elsewhere are illegal in the state. There are some legal ways to kill moles in Washington state, according to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Water the area of your lawn where the moles appear to be the most active. Moles love moist soil and will be drawn to the area to dig and feed.
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Fill a 5-gallon bucket with water and pour it into one of the holes. Repeat with additional buckets to flood the mole tunnel. A running hose can be used, but buckets will work more quickly, according to wdfw.wa.gov.
Set up a chair in the area of your yard where you have watered and flooded the tunnel, making sure you have a full view of the most active mole zone.
Sit quietly and watch for any activity, making sure that your shovel is close at hand.
Seize upon any perceived subterranean movement quickly, delivering critical shovel blows to the moving area.
Dig up the area with a shovel to remove the mole. You want to make sure that it is dead, often necessitating a final blow of the shovel.
Using a gun to kill moles is legal in Washington state, but only in areas where discharging a firearm is legal. Poisons are ineffective on moles, and gas cartridges are unreliable, according to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Cats and dogs are highly effective mole killers and should be considered as auxiliary tools.
Only use a firearm to kill a mole after you check with your local law enforcement agency to determine if it is legal to fire a weapon in your area. You must follow proper firearm safety rules and make sure no one is in danger of being injured by a stray bullet. Moles can bite and scratch, so be sure a mole is dead before handling it. If you use toxic mole bait, follow directions on the label to prevent poisoning people, pets and other animals. Flooding a tunnel too close to a building can flood the crawl space or basement, or damage the foundation.