Tired of fighting annoying moles? Looking for ways to get rid of them fast? You’re in luck because in this guide, we’ll cover all types of mole poison on the market! We’ll also go through every aspect of using toxic baits, how and where to apply poison. Read on to discover the TOP 5 best mole poisons products on the market along with their differentiating features.
When I first encountered the mole problem in my own garden, I used traps and repellents with quite a success. But dealing with moles is never convenient: there are extremely apt and weaselly and can prove to be hard to catch. So if you’re frustrated with the options that you’ve tried, then go for mole poison. And while it is extremely dangerous for non-target wildlife, humans, and pets, poison sometimes can become the only option left in protecting your garden.
What You Will Learn from This Guide:
- Legal aspects
- How it works: Types of mole poison
- TOP 5 Best Mole Poisons
- Precautions (human and pets)
So, why do people choose poison?
While moles feed mostly on larvae, grubs, and worms, they can still damage the garden vegetation, even if that damage is purely incidental: mounds of loose soil pushed to the ground can destroy your beautiful lawn, holes in raised beds can damage the herbs’ root system, etc. Usually, moles act by themselves and considered solitary animals so trapping should work fine if you have a couple of moles digging in your garden. However, if you think that your property is invaded with lots of moles and there’s no way to catch them with traps, then the combination of repellents, traps, and poison should definitely work.
Now, before we delve deeper, let’s cover some legal issues concerning mole poison. While poison for mole control is legal in most states, some substances can be purchased only by professional pest control companies. Also, if you happen to live in North Carolina, then the only options that you have for controlling moles are traps and repellents, since gas cartridges, car exhaust, other fumigants, and poison are illegal.
Some states classify moles as nongame animals, meaning they are protected by the local departments of wildlife. If in your state, mole is a nongame animal, you will have to prove that moles are extremely destructive on your property and obtain a permit to control them. Otherwise, if your state doesn’t classify moles for preservation efforts, you can control them without obtaining special permits.
Please, check the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website to confirm that the substance you are about to purchase is legal in your state. Also, contact your state’s department of wildlife control, if you don’t happen to find relevant information on the EPA’s website.
Now that you’re sure you can use poison, let’s cover some mole poison basics, including how it works and what types are there.
What does science say on mole poison effectiveness?
Let me say that while poison can be effective in controlling rats and mice, the effectiveness of using poison for moles is still questionable, according to researchers from the University of Missouri. Primarily, it’s because moles are less than fully researched: they live underground and are very difficult to study. Also, the new mole poisons that are currently sold in the United States have not been on the market for long to determine its control value. Despite little research available, poison is widely used by pest control companies and consumers alike.
Now let’s cover the types of poison that exist on the market right now.
Gas bombs or gas cartridges
Gas cartridges, which produce carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide when ignited, are put into the moles’ tunnels to drive them out or to kill them by asphyxiation. Mole smoke bombs are not generally recommended since the tunnels that moles dig are pretty long and elaborate and the soil is too porous for gas to be effective. Also, moles can quickly seal off the gassed section and continue with their usual digging.
Soil fumigants used to eliminate primary sources of food for moles, earthworms and various other insects, are also not very effective since moles simply move their tunnels elsewhere where the fumigants have not reached. A partial removal of the food source can actually increase the mole digging in search of food.
There is a number of legal restrictions related to the use of fumigants, please, contact the department of wildlife in your area to be on the safe side.
Mole toxic pellets usually contain zinc phosphide. They are marketed for controlling both moles and gophers. These pellets, obviously, will have to be put in mole’s tunnel as well. When consumed, it will kill the mole within 2-3 hours. Poison peanuts fall in the same category since they also contain zinc phosphide. Ready-to-use pellets, peanuts included, might prove ineffective because moles do not feed on grains and nuts.
Toxic mole baits can come in two forms: the toxic bait gel containing warfarin that has to be injected into the tunnel, and worm-shaped baits containing bromethalin that also have to be dropped inside the tunnel. The baits that look like earthworms are usually effective since moles are primarily insectivores and will be tempted to feed on a toxic worm.
How long does mole poison last?
The duration of effectiveness of mole poison depends on several factors: the type of poison used and the amount of the precipitation your area has received. For example, if you used poison peanuts, then if there’s been no rain in your area, the peanuts can be active for months; if, however, there’s been a lot of rain, then 3-4 weeks at best.
How to apply mole poison?
Always follow the instructions on the label, when applying mole poison. Usually, all you have to do is either drop or inject the poison inside the tunnel. For gas cartridges, dig a hole somewhere in the middle of a straight tunnel, drop the bomb inside and tightly seal the opening.
Where to place mole poison?
First, you need to locate a regular tunnel that’s frequently used by the mole. Dig a hole inside the relatively straight tunnel, mark the area, and leave it for 24 hours. Return the next day and see if the hole has been repaired by the mole. And if it is, then this is the exact tunnel you would want to use for poisoning. If however, you see that the hole is not repaired, then look for other tunnels in your garden that might be actively used.
Now, let’s cover some of the top products for each category of mole poison, and find out what works best.
Tomcat Mole Killer – mole poison worm
This is by far the most effective mole poison on the market. Tomcat Mole Killer comes in a shape of an earthworm mimicking a mole’s natural food source.
The restrictions that the manufacturer outlined were: not for sale in Hawaii, New York, and North Carolina.
So, if you’re not from one of the above states, then you might safely purchase the poison without compunction.
Applying is simple: locate a regular tunnel, dig a little hole and drop a worm inside, ensuring it falls directly on the floor of the mole’s passageway. Seal the hole or cover it with a piece of rock so that no light travels inside the hole and distracts or scares the mole away. Check the runaway again in 5 to 7 days: pinch a hole and see if it’s repaired within 24-72 hours. And if it is, then the mole avoided the bait and you need to re-bait the mole. If the tunnel is not repaired, you mole has most probably been killed.
Tomcat Mole Killer – poison grubs for moles
Tomcat Mole Killer mimics another mole’s favorite food source, namely grubs. The manufacturer has outlined the same sale restrictions as with the previous poison: not for sale in NY, HI, and NC.
The mechanics of application are the same as with the worm-shaped poison. Locate a tunnel, dig a hole, place a grub-shaped bait inside and slightly cover the hole to prevent light from coming into the tunnel. Check the bait after 5-7 days. Pinch a hole inside a tunnel and if it’s not sealed, then voila, your mole is dead.
Sweeney’s Mole and Gopher Poison Peanuts – poison pellets
Sweeney’s Mole and Gopher Poison Peanuts comes in a form of peanut pellets containing zinc phosphide. The peanuts might prove effective against gophers, but rather ineffective against moles. However, peanuts will work great if you are not entirely sure which species exactly have invaded your property.
Application is fairly straightforward and is not different from the other toxic baits. You have to locate the tunnel that is fairly active by pinching a hole and leaving it for 24 hours. If the tunnel’s repaired, then it’s active, if the tunnel’s not repaired the look for other tunnels in your yard that might be more active. After finding a suitable runway, pinch a hole and drop a teaspoon of the pellets inside. Carefully seal the hole and leave it for a few days. Then check the tunnel for any activity and if it still seems active, then re-apply the pellets.
Poison pellets are extremely dangerous to pets, so make sure your pet doesn’t have an opportunity to find and eat them.
The Giant Destroyer – mole smoke bomb
Giant Destroyer comes in 4 tubes and is advertised against a myriad of different ground animals, like gophers, hogs, squirrels, moles.
The ingredients are sodium nitrate (50%), sulfur (38%), and charcoal (9%). When ignited they produce carbon dioxide and nitrogen, which are asphyxiants, carbon monoxide, various nitrogen and sulfur oxides, which are very toxic.
The “chemical blend” that’s produced by the bomb will asphyxiate the moles by depriving them of oxygen and will make them flee if they can.
It’s important to seal all the possible holes so that the critters don’t have openings to escape from or time to dig their ways out.
Atlas Giant Destroyer – Gas Bomb Mole Killer
Atlas Giant Destroyer comes with 8 tubes total and is good for killing all sorts of ground animals.
The ingredients are the same as with the previous product: sodium nitrate (50%), sulfur (38%), and charcoal (9%).
The mechanics are the same as with the other Giant product: wedge the wicks inside the cartridges with a round toothpick and ignite it. Then put inside the tunnel or burrow, preliminary closing off any holes you see around the garden, so the moles won’t escape easily.
Since all types of poison are extremely dangerous to humans and pets, it’s necessary to exercise caution when applying poison.
- Keep pets and children away from the areas where the poison has been applied
- Cover the holes in burrows or tunnels where poison has been applied
- Do not let your pets dig up an area where the poison is used
- Build fences, barriers, or keep your pets on a leash until moles are killed or poison baits removed.
- Dispose of the poison that has not been used in a timely and careful fashion according to the label of the product
- It’s important to note that when pets consume poison, they might start vomiting to remove the toxicant from their bodies. If zinc phosphide has been used as primary bait, then your pets’ vomit can contain phosphine gas which can make anyone close to it sick in no time. Stay away from your dog and call for help.
- Call 911 immediately if you or your child has been exposed, or call Poison Control at 1- 800-222-1222 if any in your household has been affected, including your pets.
Is mole poison harmful to dogs?
Yes, it is. You should be especially concerned with poison pellets containing zinc phosphide. You should exercise extreme caution when applying those baits. If you think your pet has consumed the poison, please, call Animal Poison Control immediately.
Can mole poison kill a dog?
Yes, it can. Please, be careful while applying toxic baits. Keep your pets away from the area where you used the poison and call Poison Control immediately if accidental exposure has occurred.
Will mole poison kill a cat?
Yes, it will, if you don’t show your cat to the veterinary or call poison control immediately after exposure.
Will rat poison kill moles?
Yes, since it contains the same ingredients. However, the consumption of the rat poison by the mole is questionable, as rat baits are often different and might be unattractive for moles.
What other moles killers exist?
Read more about the best mole killers in this article.
Comparative chart of Mole Poisons
|Tomcat – worm bait|
|Tomcat – grub bait|
|The Giant Destroyer|
|Atlas Giant Destroyer|
While there’s still little research on the cost-effectiveness of poison baits for moles, consumers are generally satisfied with their effectiveness. If traps and repellents haven’t given any satisfactory results, then poison, unless restricted or banned in your state, can be considered as a viable option in controlling the mole population.