Moles create widespread damage to yards, gardens, and landscapes. Their expansive tunnel systems and dirt mounds are evidence of that. So, the best way to get rid of them is by hiring a professional exterminator.
The national average cost for mole extermination is $300. However, it can be unclear what’s included in that price. Also, is it worth it to tackle this complex problem yourself?
Here, we’ll show you:
- The methods used to determine costs
- How to tell between moles and other pests
- Health risks associated with mole infestations
- The difference between DIY vs. hiring an exterminator
- How to confidently hire a pest control expert
If trying to exterminate moles on your own becomes too challenging, we recommend Orkin, Terminix, and Aptive. These exterminators have some of the best-trained professionals that are able to use traps, baits, and other chemically treated solutions that are often more effective than standard DIY methods.
For quotes from Orkin, call 866-701-4556, or fill out this form.
For Terminix quotes, you can reach them at 866-577-5051 or with this form.
For a free quote from Aptive, call 855-521-7075 or visit the company’s website.
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Ed has been working in the pest control industry for years helping 1,000's of homeowners navigate the world of insect and rodent management. He manages Pest Strategies now helping homeowners around the world!
Table Of Contents
What Influences Cost?
Pest control companies set their prices using several key factors. Below, you’ll discover what those are and the costs associated with them.
One of the factors affecting mole removal costs is the methods used by the pest control technician. Each one has its strengths and weaknesses.
One method you can try before going the extermination route is to exclude moles from your garden areas. Place wire mesh or galvanized steel screen material about one to two inches below the surface.
This method will help keep burrowing pests such as moles from uprooting your plants. But, it’s not a perfect solution since they eventually find a way around the barrier.
Hiring someone to perform this task usually costs between $80 and $200.
Grubs are the larval stage of beetles, and moles love to eat them as much as they enjoy tasty earthworms. So, it makes sense to reduce the grub population in your yard, thereby reducing the mole’s food source.
It’s best to employ a granular insecticide rather than a spray. Once watered in, they go to work, introducing harmful bacteria that kill grubs over a few weeks.
Usually, a landscaper can do this for you, but it may be more cost-effective as part of a yard maintenance plan.
For one-time grub treatment, expect to pay $80-$200 on average.
Mole exterminators often utilize smoke bombs to kill or repel moles. Some of these devices turn into phosphine gas when lit. Others rely on sulfur or common chemicals.
In some cases, the technician may employ high-grade nitrogen gas poisoning. They administer it using a pressurized tank with a flexible hose attached. During the treatment, the tunnel fills with nitrogen, displacing the oxygen particles and killing the moles living underground.
The most recent development in mole control is the use of carbon monoxide fumigation. The technician floods the tunnel with lethal exhaust fumes during this process to kill moles underneath the surface.
The success rate for the procedure is typically around 80 percent, which is much higher than the majority of techniques currently available.
The technician must ensure a tight seal through the tunnel system to prevent fumes from escaping.
The typical cost for fumigation services is $400-$600. However, look for prices to drop dramatically within the next few years. That’s because cheaper hand-held fumigators are starting to become more available to pest control providers.
Trapping moles is the preferred method for eliminating them from your yard, but it’s rather time-consuming and it requires constant follow-up.
Snap traps are legal to use in most states, but it would also be best if you took great care in placing them. After all, you don’t want children or pets to go anywhere near a set trap!
For that reason, a scissor-type mole trap is the better option since you can place them directly in the ground where moles tunnel through the soil. Once the mole trips it, the scissors cut the mole in half, killing it instantly.
Live mole trapping is not practical since they seldom surface above ground. In addition, flooding with a hose doesn’t work either. That’s because they can escape easily into one of many hidden tunnel systems.
While it’s true that trapping for moles yourself will save money on labor costs, you still need to purchase the traps, and that could require a substantial investment.
To hire an exterminator to trap moles for you, expect to pay between $100 and $200 per visit. But, it’s best to negotiate a contract where the technician will follow up at least once.
The most cost-effective method to eliminate moles and other burrowing pests is with rodenticide baits. These poisonous substances contain ingredients that kill the rodent over time. As a result, it may take more than one application.
In most cases, the technician places the bait directly into the tunnel opening. This safety precaution ensures that non-target animals don’t eat the toxic bait.
The typical price for mole bating is between $125 and $275, depending on the size of the tunnels and where they’re located.
It typically doesn’t matter how many moles there are. It’s more a matter of the size and scope of the tunnel system that determines the price. The technician determines this when performing the inspection.
There are also indications such as the number of molehills present that can become a factor.
Generally, you’ll pay anywhere from $100 to $250 for one or two molehills. For three or four, the price will be around $290 to $380. Anything larger than that, you may be looking at prices soaring above $500.
Pest control companies now offer scheduled service plans for mole extermination. This option can save a lot of money long term.
Be sure to read the contract thoroughly, so you know what you’re getting into. Also, you may have to pay an initial visit fee of between $150 and $300. So, be sure to ask about it before signing anything.
With monthly service agreements, you’re guaranteed to be free of moles in your yard between visits. These plans typically save you money per visit, but you’ll have to sign a one-year contract.
The payments are from $40 to $60 per month and typically only cover moles, voles, and gophers, not indoor pests.
With quarterly contracts, you’re guaranteed to have the technician to your home at least four times per year. Despite that, it can sometimes be hard to know what’s covered. So, again, it’s important to ask.
For example, you may have a difficult time getting the technician back to pick up dead animals. So, it’s best to read the contract thoroughly to ensure all expectations are in writing.
If you opt for a quarterly plan, you can expect to pay anywhere from $100 up to $300 per visit.
Spring and summer months bring on the highest mole activity. For that reason, many pest control providers make available a seasonal option.
With the majority of plans, you get a choice between a three-month or six-month option where the technician visits every month for the duration of the contract.
- Removing dead animals
- Setting traps
- Placing bait stations
- Replacing markers to show locations of traps
The cost for a seasonal plan is generally about $100 to $175 per month.
The total budget for mole extermination includes the cost of repairing your yard, and it also depends on the extent of the damage.
The price to have a landscaping professional get it back into shape for you can be from $100 to $500, depending on the size of your property.
Signs & Causes of Mole Infestation
Moles can be confused with voles and gophers. But there are some distinguishing features between all of them. Also, it’s important to know the signs of infestation before it becomes a major concern.
Moles are small rodents that live almost exclusively underground. They are about four to six inches long and have cylindrical bodies. Their snouts are pointed, and their tails are short and nearly hairless.
Moles are anti-social, which means you’ll only find one per tunnel. The exception is the mating season, where you may find several males vying for a female.
Mounds are created when they start to dig. Moles create round-shaped mounds, whereas gophers’ mounds are crescent-shaped.
Voles, on the other hand, are opportunists. They utilize holes that are already dug by moles.
Voles are often confused with moles. Voles appear more mouselike, except with short tales and small ears.
Moles do not eat plants and roots like gophers and voles. Instead, they subsist on insects, earthworms, and grubs.
Moles create surface-feeding burrows that appear as ridges on the lawn. These are only temporary, with the permanent tunnels being far below the surface.
The greatest activity comes when heavy spring and summer rains soften the soil to make digging easier. During the winter months, digging slows, and the moles venture further underground.
Although moles frequent yards the most, they often construct tunnels underneath gardens and other landscapes.
The most recognizable sign of an infestation is the burrow entrance. When the mole starts to dig, it leaves a circular mound that can be in the form of small chunks. In contrast, the gopher’s mounds are crescent-shaped with finer dirt particles.
Another difference is in the number of mounds. Moles often leave only a few in the yard, whereas gophers can construct several in only one day.
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Health Risks of Moles
Scientists classify moles as rodents, and they can pass on diseases just like other species. Because they are solitary animals, it isn’t as likely.
Still, it is possible. So, we’ve listed two diseases that moles can pass on to humans.
Leptospirosis can spread to humans through contaminated water sources. Also, a primary source of disease transmission is through ingesting food contaminated by the rodent. While this is highly unlikely, it is possible.
Here are some of the known symptoms of the virus:
- Muscle aches
- Yellowing of skin
- Eye redness
In rare cases, meningitis may develop. Also, kidney failure is possible if the disease is not treated promptly.
You’re more likely to develop a bacterial infection known as tularemia from handling dead moles than anything else. That’s why it’s crucial to wear gloves when working with rodents.
These are the common symptoms of tularemia:
- Skin ulcers
- Lymph gland swelling
- Sore throat
- Mouth ulcers
DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
Managing yard pests is not easy. But with the correct tools and a bit of patience, it is possible. Here, we tell you the differences between doing it yourself and hiring an exterminator.
DIY Mole Elimination
Homeowners have several methods available to remove moles from their yards. So, it’s just a matter of finding the right one for your situation.
Trapping for moles is easy once you practice a few times. The best kind is the scissor trap. It’s the simplest and most effective for most circumstances.
Place it into a run (tunnel) and push down on it with your foot. The trap is spring-loaded, so it takes a bit of firm pressure to set.
The mole moving through the tunnel will trigger the trap. Once that happens, the scissor mechanism will slice through the animal, killing it.
Poison bait formulations typically use a rodenticide such as bromethalin as the active ingredient. But it’s the attractant that lures the animal to the bait. So, it has to mimic either grubs or earthworms.
There are granular baits that have a fish flavor, and others use grain flavors. But no matter what bait you use, it’s important to read the label carefully to get the full effect.
To keep burrowing pests away from ornamental plants, place 1/2 inch wire mesh about two inches below the surface, providing a barrier to tunneling by burrowing rodents.
You can also employ raised flower beds with wire mesh bottoms to completely exclude moles from your garden.
A variety of natural mole repellents are available. Some offer granular formulas, while others make use of liquid spray solutions.
Either application method typically utilizes a mixture of essential oils. However, most contain castor oil as well.
Hiring a Professional
When hiring a pest control company to remove moles from your yard, it’s important to consider its experience. Also, it would be best if you had someone you can trust.
Here are three top-rated providers we confidently recommend:
- Terminix handles mole extermination by setting traps and monitoring them with a follow-up service guarantee.
- Aptive technicians are trained in the latest wildlife removal strategies, including humane trapping methods and correct identification procedures.
- Orkin is a leader in eco-friendly rodent control by utilizing only EPA-approved materials when trapping or baiting for moles and voles.
No matter what company you choose, make sure they’re licensed, bonded, and insured in the state where you live. Also, it’s crucial to get everything in writing before signing an agreement. After all, you don’t want any surprises!
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What’s the Standard Mole Extermination Process?
Calling an exterminator for the first time can be intimidating. But rest easy. We’ll walk you through the process below.
The First Time You Call
When setting up the initial visit, it’s important to include as many details as possible. Only then will the customer service rep be able to schedule the right technician for the job.
Also, be sure to let them know as much detail about your property as possible. This will help the tech plan ahead of time and gather the proper equipment.
Once the technician arrives, they will inspect the yard to ensure all mole tunnels are located. At that time, they will decide how to proceed.
In most instances, they place markers at various locations throughout your yard. These indicators help locate tunnels and surface burrows, so they know where to set the traps.
Mole Extermination Methods
When trapping for moles, it’s essential to set them where the mole doesn’t know they’re in the ground. So, this is why it’s a huge advantage to have an expert perform this vital task.
If opting for poison baits, the technician will ensure that no children or pets have access to them. This can be done using locator flags. Or they sometimes mark the area with yellow construction tape.
Keep in mind that not all companies offer a follow-up visit. This means that it’s up to you to check the traps. For that reason, it’s important to ask about this before agreeing to the service.
Final Thoughts on Mole Exterminator Costs
Mole exterminator costs can be somewhat elusive. But hopefully, we’ve helped take the mystery out of shopping for a professional.
It’s important to remember that pest control companies charge based on several criteria, including methods used and the size of the problem. While mole control costs are not set in stone, pricing should always be fair based on your local area.