Identifying mole holes and hills: guide & pictures

mole coming out of a hole
Moles usually dig raised tunnel ridges, leaving volcano-shaped mounds, creating a closed tunnel system that lacks visible entrance holes.

If you’ve had moles in your garden or yard, you already know how they can be a nuisance. Moles dig up the soil as they build mole tunnels underground, destroying your yard and disturbing plant roots and the integrity of your property.

Moles are ground carnivores that prefer eating insects instead of plants. Unlike their vegetarian counterparts, voles, and gophers, moles usually dig deep, at least ten inches underground.

This guide will help you identify mole holes and vole tunnels and what you can do to deter these persistent critters from your lawn or garden.

What does a mole hole look like?

Moles are tiny burrowing insectivorous animals found all over Europe, Asia, and North America. They range from 4 to 12 inches long and most weigh less than a pound. Moles are nearly blind, with small eyes but have an acute sense of smell.

They spend most of their time underground feeding on grubs, earthworms, beetles, slugs, larvae, ants, and other insects. Contrary to what most believe, moles do not feed on plant roots and tubers like the voles.

However, their burrowing causes damage to roots, especially in lawns and flower beds. Mole holes usually appear like raised-volcano-shaped swellings in your garden or yard.

You’ll also identify moles in your yard by the unmistakable raised ridges crisscrossing your garden. This can also include sections of dead or discolored grass following a particular path, raised dirt mounds, squishy areas, or very loose soil.

mole holes

How do you get rid of a mole hole?

Some of the most common solutions to mole holes are spraying castor oil around the entrances and putting mothballs in the tunnels. However, you cannot effectively get rid of them using these methods.

For effective and sure results, you need to use a mole trap and get rid of them. After you’ve caught the mole, you need to get rid of the mole hole and flatten your yard.

You can achieve this result by following the steps outlined below:

  1. Spray the mounds and tunnels with a garden hose to wet the soil. You can also flatten the tunnels and mounds after the rain.
  2. Step on the mounds and tunnels to flatten them to grade. It would be most suited and ideal if you did this for the slight mole damage.
  3. Tamp the raised soil using a tamper until the mounds and tunnels are even with the rest of the yard.
  4. Place and pull a drag mat across the lawn flattening and dragging the raised soil to distribute all the areas evenly. You can also use a plywood piece or a box spring tied to a chain or string.
  5. Roll your lawn with a roller to smoothen the bumpy lawn areas. You can also opt for manual rollers to work on large systems.
  6. Fill in the low spots in the soil with fresh topsoil to remove depressions where there were ridges.
  7. Spread new grass seeds or thing grass patches over the new topsoil. This will help remove the damaged grass damaged by the moles.

Mole vs Voles tunnel

Both voles and moles are rodents that can burrow through your garden, yard, or backyard laying waste to your carefully tended lawns and gardens. However, that’s where their likeness ends. Moles are half-blind and feed on insects, worms, larvae, and other small insects.

On the other hand, voles are timid and nocturnal; chances are you’ll never see them during the day. Voles look like mice but are more compact and stockier and feed on plant matter, bark, bulbs, and roots. Voles usually make surface tunnels that are two-inch wide runways with golf-ball-sized entryways.

You can easily spot vole tunnels in the yard in early spring when they’re most active. These tunnels have open entryways and make surface runways through the topsoil that a visible in the grass.

On the other hand, moles dig tunnels with raised tunnel ridges, leaving mini volcano-shaped mounds. Besides, they create more closed tunnel systems that lack a visible entrance hole.

What can I fill mole holes with?

Moles are pests that people detest and would do anything to get rid of. After trapping the mole with a mole trap, you must fill in the holes and reclaim your yard or garden.

It’s advisable to use a mixture of fifty percent sand and fifty-percent topsoil. If you only use topsoil, moles will simply dig through and continue with their tunneling.

Fill in the mole hole using the following steps:

  1. Remove the excess soil using a shovel
  2. Fill the recessed parts with a mixture of fifty-fifty sand and topsoil
  3. Lightly retake the exposed soil
  4. Apply grass seed
  5. Compact the soil back
  6. Cover the exposed sections with peat moss
  7. Water your lawn regularly as the seeds germinate
mole above ground

Can you flood a mole tunnel?

After encountering a mole hole, the first instinct that people have is to flood it. While flooding is an option, most people consider it inhumane.

If you decide to go this way, you can block all the entrances and leave one before flooding the tunnels with your water hose. This will flood the tunnels and drown the moles.

Can you flatten molehills?

It’s important to note that mole soil has been removed from the ground below. Flattening it above the ground will make a bumpy mess.

You need to get a hose pipe and gently flush the dirt back down the hole from where it came. Afterward, roll or tread the tunnels below the lawn surface to allow the grass to re-root.

You can also repel or deter moles by using mole repellents or a wire mesh to prevent them from burrowing underground tunnels. You can also use poisoned bait or call mole control experts to help with the mole infestation.


Joseph Wales is a professional SEO content writer specializing in pest control, varmint removal, pets, and everything in nature. When not publishing, he’s busy teaching college and university students how to write admission essays and structure their academic papers. Writing has always been his passion, and he spends most of his time outdoors with his two lovely daughters in his spare time. He is also a skilled farmer, always traveling to his rural home to check on the livestock and corn field when he has the time. Armed with hands-on experience, Joseph uses his SEO writing skills to communicate accurate and engaging information that will also be valuable and educational, adding to the value of his readers.

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