The Most Efficient Ways to Get Rid of Moles and Gophers

Moles and gophers can destroy your lawn if left untreated.
Moles and gophers can destroy your lawn if left untreated. (Image: sunbathing mole image by Steve Mann from

Moles and gophers are burrowing animals. As they burrow under the surface of your lawn, they destroy roots, which leads to dead or destroyed grass and other plants. Professional exterminators are trained to remove these rodents from your property permanently. Hiring a professional exterminator, however, is expensive. If you are looking for a do-it-yourself remedy to save yourself some money, you have a few choices for effective mole and gopher removal.

Things You'll Need

  • Castor oil granules
  • Sprinkler
  • Trap
  • Peanut butter
  • Earthworm

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Castor Oil

Sprinkle castor oil granules around your yard. Focus on high traffic areas where you have physically seen moles and gophers, or have identified potential damage caused by them. Continue to sprinkle the granules through the rest of your property. Leave a 12-inch wide path that leads out of your yard.

Adjust the water pressure setting on your sprinkler attachment so it is at the low setting. Turn on the sprinkler and spray your entire yard with the sprinkler. This will wet the castor oil granules, which will feed the castor oil smell throughout the yard. The lower setting keeps you from washing the castor oil granules away. The path you left in your yard will not contain the castor oil odor. Moles and gophers dislike this smell and will use the untreated path as an escape route.

Reapply castor oil granules, leaving an escape path for the rodents. This should be repeated once a week as needed until the pests have left for good.


Position a mole trap or pocket gopher trap around your yard. Set them up so the traps are on dirt mounds. These mounds are the tunnel routes of the moles and gophers.

Bait the trap with peanut butter or earthworms. Earthworms work for moles and gophers like peanut butter.

Reposition the traps by moving them to a new location once every three days.

Release captured moles and gophers. Take the trap with the pest in it away from your home. Go at least 5 miles away to make it harder for the pest to return home. Open the trap and allow the animal to escape.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wear work gloves when handling cages. The animals inside are wild and may attack out of fear. Wearing gloves also protects you from potential diseases from scratches.


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