How to Repel Moles and Gophers from Your Yard

Tips for letting moles and gophers know it's time to pack their bags—and keep them from stopping by in the first place.

Who can blame nuisance rodents like moles and gophers for being attracted to your well-maintained lawn? After all, a fantastically lush yard atop rich soil teeming with dinner-worthy earthworms and grubs is, to put it simply, a mole paradise. As for all those beds of vigorous plants, roots, and bulbs, what gopher could resist?

Unfortunately, when moles and gophers make your lawn their home, the incessant tunneling and burrowing can tear up your yard, leaving behind ugly, hard-to-mow-over dirt mounds and severely weakened plant roots. The solution: Repel moles and gophers so they don't enter your yard in the first place.

Here are 3 tried-and-true ways to help keep moles and gophers away.

1. Apply a repellent.

Both moles and gophers despise the smell and taste of castor oil, so one excellent way to repel them is with a castor oil-based repellent like Tomcat® Mole & Gopher Repellent Granules or Tomcat® Mole & Gopher Repellent Ready-to-Spray. Both of these repellents feature a special technology that allows the castor oil to mix better with water so it can penetrate deeper into the soil to help drive moles and gophers out of your yard.

2. Remove their food.

Gophers are plant eaters that don't like to feed in the open, so remove weeds, excess vegetation, and any other place they can do their noshing. When planting up your landscape beds, choose gopher-resistant plants (ask your local nursery or extension service for recommendations). Moles, on the other hand, prefer to snack on worms and grubs. Make a point of controlling lawn grubs, plus limit your lawn watering to one deep watering a week so worms are fewer and farther between.

3. Limit their access.

Physical barriers may also help repel moles and gophers. Try adding fencing around flower beds, garden beds, and raised beds. Make sure barriers are robust by using something like sheet metal or hardware cloth. Bend each barrier at the bottom, then bury it below the soil surface with the bent portion facing away from plants and landscape beds.

Though less effective, you also can try frightening moles and gophers away with electronic, magnetic, or vibration devices, or even the family pet. Usually, though, these kinds of scare tactics only work for a little while, as the rodents get used to the sounds and eventually return.

It all comes down to this: There's no need to put up with a lawn ravaged by annoying rodents. Use these ideas to repel moles and gophers, and reclaim your lawn for your own enjoyment!

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