Some may think moles are adorable and harmless animals in the yard. Unfortunately, they can easily destroy your lawn and garden by making hundreds of underground tunnels. If you suspect moles live under your beautiful garden, professional removal or extermination might be the correct choice.
Mole infestations can be addressed through poisonous bait, trapping, or fumigation, followed by removal. The national average cost to remove moles from a yard or home is $300 to $500, with the most homeowners paying $400 to trap and remove a medium infestation of moles. This project’s low cost is $50 to treat a small infestation of a single mole with poisoned bait. The high cost is $750 for a large infestation of moles treated through fumigation, removal, and repairs for damage to the lawn or home.
|Mole Extermination Cost|
|National average cost||$400|
Most mole extermination companies trap and kill moles to address the infestation, but some combine fumigation with trapping, depending on the extent of the tunneling. A few companies offer live trapping for homeowners hoping for a non-lethal treatment. The most common methods include poisonous bait, trapping, and fumigation. Bait and trapping may be all that is needed to remove the moles for a small or medium-sized infestation. On the other hand, fumigation ensures all moles are exterminated and removed quickly if there are many moles. The prices for an average situation are listed below.
|Service||Cost for a One-Time Visit|
|Bait||$50 - $100|
|Trapping||$200 - $500|
|Fumigation||$200 - $500|
Most mole exterminators charge a per-trip fee ranging from $50 to $100 for poisonous bait services. The average infestation is 1 to 3 moles and can be addressed in a single trip to set poisonous bait for a conservative cost. It is typically used for small mole infestations when the homeowner wants an inexpensive service. More trips may be needed if there is a larger infestation, increasing costs. Not all exterminators offer bait services because they are less effective than trapping or trapping and fumigation.
The most effective method of pest removal is trapping, and professionals charge approximately $75 to $150 to set traps with a cost of $50 to $80 per mole for removal. This is about $200 to $500 for an average small-to-medium mole infestation. The service typically costs the same for live traps and includes relocating moles to a shaded, woody area. Lethal traps may be used with sick moles. However, some locations do not allow lethal traps.
Yard mole removal costs using fumigation vary from $200 to $500. Mole fumigation is not often used alone because it is less effective than trapping. However, exterminators use trapping and fumigation. Fumigation is typically done alone for small infestations and costs slightly less, but it is pretty uncommon. It is often used with trapping for larger infestations to ensure all moles are properly exterminated and removed. Fumigation has a cost per mole to remove the bodies like trapping. Expect to pay around $50 to $80 per mole, which can quickly add up when many are in a yard.
The number of moles found on a property can affect the price of exterminating or removing them. The tunnel extent and size can also have an effect. The more moles, the larger the holes tend to be. A small mole infestation is 1 to 2 moles, while a medium infestation could be a family. Large infestations may have 2 to 3 families. Most infestation removals are small or medium, so those costs are most common. Multiple visits may be needed for larger infestations, increasing costs.
|Number of Moles||Cost per Treatment|
|Small||$50 - $300|
|Medium||$300 - $500|
|Large||$400 - $750|
In some cases, a homeowner may select a contract for mole extermination and removal. Many companies offer yearly, quarterly, or monthly visits. These recurring visits can be less expensive for serious pest issues. For example, a one-time removal of a medium infestation might be $300 to $600. Seasonal visits on an annual contract are also available on a six-month basis. This costs about $400 to $650 per year. Other yearly contracts are more expensive but provide better coverage. For example, quarterly contracts might cost $500 to $750 a year, and monthly contracts may cost $600 to $1,200. Pest control companies also offer one-time visits, which are not included in the contract, at a cost of $300 to $600.
Most monthly plans are designed for moles, gophers, and voles, with 12 visits a year. Quarterly plans are provided every 3 months and may be useful for keeping the mole population to a minimum if an infestation is hard to control. However, those with a single infestation or rare moles are often happier with a single or yearly service to save money and avoid unnecessary visits.
|Frequency||Cost per Year With Contract|
|Yearly||$250 - $500|
|Seasonal||$400 - $650|
|Quarterly||$500 - $750|
|Monthly||$600 - $1,200|
While moles do not often enter a house, it is possible. You are most likely to experience moles in your yard, but they may be tempted to come inside. The location where the mole is found determines how difficult it is to remove. Depending on the area, removing a small-to-medium-sized infestation ranges from $50 to $500. Moles may be found in basements and garages and are uncommonly located in attics, kitchens, and bathrooms.
Moles can be easily removed from yards through traps and removal. This makes this process the least expensive. The cost is slightly higher for basements and garages because of the contained space. Moles typically enter through holes and open doors. Once inside, they can be difficult to remove. The most complicated area to remove a mole from is the attic because there may be many belongings and items, and it may not be easily accessible. The table below offers costs for these situations.
|Location||Cost (One-Time Visit)|
|Yard||$50 - $200|
|Basement||$200 - $350|
|Garage||$200 - $350|
|Bathroom||$300 - $450|
|Kitchen||$300 - $450|
|Attic||$400 - $500|
Two major national companies offer mole removal to homeowners: Terminix and Orkin. Both have decades of experience and provide various pest control services. Orkin typically charges $300 to $500 to remove moles from a yard. They include a 30-day guarantee and free touch-ups between treatments. Terminix has mole removal for $400 to $600 and are considered premier pest removal experts. In addition to removing moles, they offer various wildlife plans to ensure the pests stay away once removed from the yard or home.
|Company||Cost of Removal (One-Time Visit)|
|Orkin||$300 - $500|
|Terminix||$400 - $600|
A mole inspection involves a professional visiting your home to determine if there are moles and how many are present. This is the first phase of the removal process. Mole inspections are typical so that professionals can give insight into what should happen next. The person inspecting looks for moles and where they may be living or entering the home if they are inside. If the inspection has a price, it typically ranges from $50 to $100. The inspection occurs first, followed by traps being set at appropriate locations. The caught moles are removed later.
In most cases, emergency services are not required if you discover a mole in your yard. Homeowners can make an appointment for the future while staying away from the animal. However, emergency removal may be needed if a mole has entered your home. Notifying a wildlife control specialist for emergency removal typically costs $100 more than standard removal appointment costs. It is also considered an emergency if a dead mole is in the house because they may carry diseases. Calling someone out on a weekend or after business hours also constitutes emergency service.
Unlike some wild animals, ground moles are mostly safe. While bats, raccoons, coyotes, skunks, and foxes carry and spread rabies, no evidence has been shown that moles do the same. Moles do not bite or harm humans in most cases, but it can still happen. If you are bitten by a mole, speak with a physician. However, the bite should heal alone if it does not become infected. The hills that mark mole tunnels can also be dangerous because people can trip and fall.
Sometimes, moles cause damage to a yard or home. Mole damage to grass and gardens is common. Digging complex tunnel systems beneath yards and gardens can ruin the lawn, damage tree roots, and provide other pests with easy access to vegetation. Once moles are removed, many homeowners hire a landscaper to repair damage. This involves flatting veins, locating and filling holes, aerating the lawn, and replanting grass.
An untreated mole infestation can lead one or more moles to damage the house’s foundation. The intricate and extensive tunneling beneath the ground can interrupt the freeze-thaw cycle under the foundation, allowing water to pool in tunnels and leading to cracks. Foundation repairs are much more costly than yard repairs.
While less common, moles can gain entry to the home like mice, entering through walls, cupboards, and other areas, leaving urine and droppings. It is rare for a mole to enter the home, but an indoor garden can attract them. The easiest way to remove a mole is to open the door. Remove food sources to discourage entry in the first place.
|Lawn Aeration||$80 - $250|
|Sprinkler Damage||$100 - $400|
|Lawn Repair||$100 - $600|
|Tree Replanting||$150 - $2,000|
|Lawn Fertilization||$200 - $500|
|Lawn Reseeding||$700 - $1,800|
|Foundation Repair||$5,000 - $10,000|
Most professional pest removal experts work with traps, causing no harm to pets or other animals. These are considered the safest method for homes because no toxic baits or fumigants are used, which could create harm to pets or humans. Professionals place mole traps in the most active tunnels to catch and relocate the animals. While lethal traps exist, most companies no longer use them.
The chemicals and products used with fumigation and bait extermination may not be safe for pets. It is important to let the pest professional know pets are present in the house or yard. You may need to move the animals to a different room or area to avoid harming them. Professionals may have another recommendation based on the pets you have.
Moles are small, black, potato-shaped insectivores. Many homeowners recognize signs of infestation, but identifying the pest can be more challenging. Spotting a mole is the easiest way to identify a problem. They have a unique look that makes them easy to identify. However, it is not uncommon to spot signs without ever seeing a mole because moles prefer to be underground and rarely come in plain sight, so homeowners must rely on the signs to identify the problem. Moles are carnivores and do not eat vegetation, so looking for signs of “nibbling” on garden produce is not effective for identifying a mole infestation.
Signs of a mole infestation include visible tunneling in the yard, creating a “veiny” appearance on the surface, and holes that look similar to gopher holes. Many homeowners need to consult a professional to tell the difference. The primary difference between a gopher hole and a mole hole is the mound they leave behind. The mound near a gopher hole is 10” to 20” across, while the mound left by a mole, called a “molehill,” is closer to 2” across. Homeowners may also notice mounds of dirt sitting on the lawn. Moles leave mounds of dirt above ground as they burrow and dig.
Moles have unique features, making them easy to identify - pointy, hairless snouts, black fur, small beady eyes, and large, webbed front feet for burrowing. Moles eat insects and dig complex underground tunnel systems beneath yards, gardens, golf courses, and fields, leaving mounds of dirt behind, disrupting the freeze-thaw cycle beneath the yard, and giving pests direct access to garden vegetation. These troublesome carnivores can damage your foundation, lawn and garden, and home if they enter.
However, there are some benefits to having moles in the area. These animals eat pests, such as grubs 1, beetle larva, and other insects. They can also eat centipedes and spiders around the home. Eating these insects can prevent garden issues because many grubs and beetles consume plants. The presence of moles means your soil is healthy and can act as an aerator, meaning water and air flow easily and stimulate plant growth.
Several moles can be found in yards in the United States. These include the eastern mole, hairy-tailed mole, American shrew mole, coast mole, star-nosed mole, Townsend’s mole, and broad-footed mole. You can learn about each mole and its specifics below.
American shrew moles are most commonly found on the western side of the United States and prefer locations with organic matter. They are mostly found in rainforests with deep, soft soil. These moles are the smallest, at 2” to 2.5” long, with black or bluish-black hair thinner than other moles.
Coast moles are often located on the west coast of Oregon and Washington and as far south as California. These moles burrow in forests, grass, swamps, and sand. They are 6” to 7” long with a tail almost 2” long. The diet of the coast mole is largely made up of worms but also insects and invertebrate animals.
The star-nosed mole has a distinct look with 22 tentacles near its nose. It is about 7” to 8” long, making it one of the larger moles to find in a yard or garden. The moles can be found in the eastern U.S., from Virginia to North Dakota. It has short, coarse hair that is light brown underneath. These moles largely consume invertebrates.
The Townsend’s mole is typically found in the Pacific Northwest from California to Washington and Oregon. It prefers to burrow in deep soil and can be found in grasses, forests, and among flowers. This is the largest U.S. mole at 8” or longer. It has a streamlined body with little fur and mostly eats earthworms.
The last species in the United States that may end up in a lawn or garden is the broad-footed mole. It is typically found in California but may also be seen in Oregon and Nevada. These are smaller moles ranging from 5.5” to 7”. It is typically a black color with large front feet. This mole is most likely to eat centipedes, earthworms, spiders, and insects.
While some homeowners might be surprised, moles prefer marshes, meadows, and woods over lawns but have adapted to live in lawns and gardens when food is available, and the dirt allows for easy digging. Lawns enriched with earthworms and peat moss create the ideal environment for a mole and attract moles in the Eastern states and Great Plains, areas naturally inhabited by the star-nosed and eastern moles.
Moles build nests underground, padding them with layers of soft, dry plant growth. While homeowners may desire to find and remove a mole nest in the yard, the nest causes no damage and does not need to be removed. Pest control specialists focus on removing the moles. For this reason, the cost does not vary on the presence of a nest but varies on the number of moles in the yard.
One of the most important components of effective mole pest control is prevention. Homeowners in the Eastern states and Great Plains should take measures to prevent mole infestation in their yards and gardens. Common mistakes that attract moles to the yard or garden include adding earthworms to compost 2 because moles are carnivores and seek environments that provide ample food. They spend the most time in gardens enriched with earthworms. You can also use mulch in landscaping, but moles are attracted to it. Adding peat moss to soil in flower beds or gardens can also be an issue. Peat moss softens the ground, making it easier for moles to burrow.
Homeowners can also build a barrier 24” to 30” below the ground surrounding outdoor gardens, hire a pest control specialist for chemical deterrent options, and incorporate mole-repelling plants into their landscaping, including crown imperial, narcissus, castor bean, and euphorbia lathyris. If mole removal has already been performed, some companies offer a six-month guarantee and provide free services if moles return in that period.
Homeowners often request mole extermination rather than mole removal due to a misconception that extermination is more effective, but exterminators typically suggest removal. Because live-and-kill traps are highly effective in remediating mole infestation and live traps are more humane, it is the most recommended method.
Homeowners might expect relocation to be more costly and are often surprised to learn that professional medium mole infestation removal costs the same, averaging $300 to $500 for a medium infestation, whether live or kill traps are used.
|Removal||$300 - $500|
|Extermination||$300 - $500|
Some homeowners have difficulty determining if they have gophers or moles. However, there are several ways to determine which is on your property. The first is that gophers are often larger than moles. Gophers also carry more weight than moles. Identifying the animal is essential because gophers carry various diseases and should be avoided.
The body composition and shape are also different. Moles have short fur, often brown or gray, while gophers are generally all brown. Moles have a pointed nose and small eyes with powerful forelimbs for digging. Gophers have large cheeks covered in fur to remove dirt while building tunnels.
The diet of moles and gophers also distinguish them. Moles are omnivores, while gophers only eat plants. Removing moles ranges from $300 to $500, while removing gophers runs from $500 to $700. The same process is used to remove either animal.
|Mole||$300 - $500|
|Gopher||$500 - $700|
It is important to know if moles or voles are present in your yard to handle them properly. The easiest way to tell them apart is by appearance. Moles are about 4” to 7” long with digging claws and paddle-shaped feet. Voles look like mice with compact bodies, small eyes, short tails, and somewhat hidden ears. They can be confused for moles because they dig holes into already created mole tunnels. Voles eat through plant roots and cause foliage in the yard to die. Voles typically live in groups, so control is important.
Another thing distinguishing moles from voles is diet. Moles are meat-eating animals that consume earthworms, grubs, and other insects. Voles do not eat meat and are vegetarians who focus on the stems and roots. The cost to remove these animals is also different. Mole removal ranges from $300 to $500, while voles cost $500 to $700. The method of removing moles is the same as for voles.
|Mole||$300 - $500|
|Vole||$500 - $700|
Moles live in tunnels underground in many locations. The tunnels assist with soil aeration but can cause issues for plant roots. Installing a wire mesh fence can create a barrier to control moles, but it may only work temporarily. Depending on the wire fence, the costs range from $1 to $8 per linear footto complete installation. Many wire mesh fences also keep out other wildlife.
Yes, many exterminators offer mole removal or extermination services, including live traps, professional poisonous bait, and fumigation. Mole removal services average $300 to $500.
Most mole infestations require professional extermination services due to the complex mole remediation process. The most common methods used to eliminate moles from the yard and garden include a combination of live traps and fumigation averaging $300 to $500, but sometimes poisonous bait averaging $50 to $100 is viable.
Trapping is the fastest, most effective way to eliminate moles from the yard or garden. An experienced trapper can identify active tunnels and set the traps in the most strategic locations for quick results.
The cost to trap moles ranges depending on the infestation size, but the average cost for mole trapping is $300 to $500.
The cost ranges from $50 for a minor infestation to $750 for a large infestation. The average cost is $300 to $500 for a medium-sized infestation.
Pest control companies and exterminators in areas where moles are prevalent usually have the training and equipment needed to handle a mole infestation.