How Do Golf Courses Get Rid Of Moles? Mole Management On Greens

Golf courses, with their pristine greens and meticulously designed landscapes, offer a paradise for golfers seeking an enjoyable day on the links. 

However, beneath the surface, an often unseen adversary lurks, capable of wreaking havoc on these carefully manicured courses – moles

Golf courses employ a combination of tactics to get rid of moles, including trapping, repellents, and modifying the environment to deter their presence. These approaches aim to strike a balance between controlling the mole population and respecting the ecosystem of the golf course.

In this article, we will delve into the methods used by golf courses to deal with these destructive diggers.

What Attracts Moles To Golf Courses?

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Moles can be a persistent nuisance on golf courses, disrupting the pristine landscapes and causing damage to the turf. Understanding what attracts moles to golf courses is crucial in devising effective strategies for their control and management.

Abundant Food Sources

Moles are insectivores, and golf courses often provide a plentiful supply of their preferred food sources. The abundance of earthworms, grubs, insects, and larvae in the soil is a major draw for moles. 

Golf courses, with their well-maintained grass and irrigation systems, create an ideal environment for these small creatures to thrive, thereby attracting moles.

Soil Moisture and Drainage

Moles are attracted to areas with moist soil as it allows them to tunnel more easily. Golf courses frequently maintain proper irrigation to ensure lush greens, inadvertently creating an attractive habitat for moles. 

Moreover, inadequate drainage systems that lead to waterlogged areas can further entice moles seeking damp environments.

Suitable Shelter

Moles seek shelter and protection from predators while foraging for food. Golf courses with rough areas, thickets, and overgrown vegetation provide excellent hiding spots for moles. 

These areas offer an ideal combination of food and shelter, making them particularly appealing to moles.

Minimal Human Activity

Golf courses often limit human interference in certain areas, which can lead to reduced disturbances for moles. 

Moles are generally shy creatures and prefer areas with minimal human activity, allowing them to go about their burrowing and feeding undisturbed.

Lack of Natural Predators

Golf courses typically lack significant populations of natural mole predators, such as foxes, snakes, and certain birds of prey. Without these natural checks on their numbers, moles can thrive and proliferate, leading to increased mole activity on the course.

Warm Microclimates

Moles prefer areas with stable temperatures, avoiding extreme heat or cold. Golf courses, with their well-manicured greens, offer favorable microclimates, allowing moles to continue their activity year-round.

Soil Quality

The soil composition on golf courses can be attractive to moles. Rich, loamy soil is easier for moles to tunnel through, enabling them to create extensive networks of burrows.

How Do Golf Courses Get Rid Of Moles?

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To combat this issue, golf course managers employ various strategies to effectively get rid of moles without causing harm to the environment or the golfers. Here, we delve into some of the most common methods used to tackle mole infestations on golf courses.

Habitat Modification

Golf courses can make certain modifications to their landscapes to deter moles from inhabiting the area. By reducing the availability of their preferred food sources, such as earthworms and grubs, moles may be encouraged to seek out more hospitable environments elsewhere. Additionally, implementing proper drainage systems can prevent water accumulation in mole-prone areas, making the environment less appealing for these pests.

Sonic Repellents

Sonic devices that emit vibrations and sound waves can be placed strategically around the golf course to disturb moles’ sensitive hearing and seismic communication. 

These repellents aim to create an uncomfortable environment for the moles, encouraging them to vacate the premises in search of quieter locations.

Physical Barriers

Installing physical barriers like underground fences or mesh screens can help deter moles from accessing certain areas of the golf course. 

These barriers act as deterrents, preventing moles from burrowing into critical sections of the course while allowing the healthy growth of grass and vegetation.

Castor Oil-Based Repellents

Certain castor oil-based repellents have shown promise in deterring moles. These products are designed to be eco-friendly and safe for use on golf courses. The castor oil creates an unpleasant taste and odor in the soil, which can lead moles to seek more palatable surroundings away from the treated areas.


Trapping is a traditional and effective method used to catch moles on golf courses. Live traps, also known as box traps, are commonly employed to capture moles humanely. Once trapped, the moles can be released in suitable, non-golf course habitats.

Natural Predators

Introducing natural predators of moles to the golf course ecosystem can be an eco-friendly way to control mole populations. Animals like barn owls, snakes, and certain species of hawks are known to prey on moles, helping to keep their numbers in check.

Biological Control

Golf courses can also employ biological control methods, such as using nematodes (microscopic worms) that target and infect mole larvae. This approach can effectively reduce mole populations without harmful effects on other wildlife or the environment.

Monitoring and Maintenance

Consistent monitoring of mole activity is essential to gauge the success of the chosen control methods. Golf course staff should regularly inspect the grounds for fresh mole activity and promptly address any signs of infestation to prevent widespread damage.

How Do Mole Control Experts Get Rid Of Moles On Golf Courses?

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Moles can be a pesky nuisance on golf courses, wreaking havoc on the pristine greens and fairways. Mole control experts employ various effective methods to eliminate these burrowing pests and restore the course to its immaculate state. Let’s explore the strategies they use

Identification and Assessment

Before implementing any mole control measures, experts thoroughly assess the extent of the mole infestation on the golf course. They identify the species of moles present and determine the size and scope of the problem.

Natural Predators Introduction

One eco-friendly approach is introducing natural predators of moles to the golf course. These predators may include certain species of owls, hawks, and snakes. By encouraging a natural balance, mole populations can be reduced without resorting to harmful chemicals.

Trapping Techniques

Mole control experts use specialized traps designed to capture moles without causing harm to other wildlife. These traps are strategically placed in mole tunnels, and once caught, the moles are safely relocated to a more suitable habitat.

Mole Repellents

Various mole repellents are available, and experts may use a combination of natural and commercial products to deter moles from staying on the golf course. Repellents often emit vibrations or odors that moles find unpleasant, encouraging them to move elsewhere.

Soil Management

Experts pay close attention to soil management as moles are attracted to areas with an abundance of insects, grubs, and worms. By implementing proper soil maintenance practices, they reduce the mole’s food source, making the environment less appealing for them.

Sonic and Vibratory Devices

Some mole control experts utilize sonic or vibratory devices that emit high-frequency sounds or vibrations, disrupting the moles’ sensitive hearing and causing discomfort, prompting them to leave the area.

Fumigation Techniques

In severe infestations, mole control experts may consider fumigation as a last resort. Fumigants are carefully administered in mole tunnels, and the moles are forced to exit, exposing themselves to the chemical. It’s crucial to use fumigants safely and responsibly.

Regular Monitoring and Maintenance

Once mole control measures have been implemented, experts monitor the golf course regularly to ensure the effectiveness of the chosen methods. Maintenance is essential to address any new mole activity promptly.

Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

Mole control on golf courses often employs Integrated Pest Management, which involves combining multiple strategies to achieve long-term control with minimal environmental impact. IPM emphasizes sustainable and eco-friendly practices.

Education and Awareness

Mole control experts work closely with golf course staff to educate them about mole behavior, signs of infestation, and prevention methods. Raising awareness can help the staff take proactive steps to prevent future mole problems.

Preventive Measures To Minimize Mole Infestations

Moles can wreak havoc on golf courses, damaging the greens and fairways. Employing preventive measures is crucial to keep mole infestations at bay and maintain the pristine condition of the course.

Proper Lawn Maintenance

Regularly mow and maintain the golf course lawns at the recommended height. Moles prefer to burrow through longer grass, so keeping the grass short reduces their potential nesting areas.

Soil Compaction

Aerate the soil on the golf course to minimize compaction. Moles are deterred by loose, aerated soil as it makes it more challenging for them to dig and create tunnels.

Implement Vibrating Repellents

Utilize vibrating mole repellents strategically placed throughout the golf course. These devices emit vibrations that imitate predators, discouraging moles from settling in the area.

Natural Predators

Encourage the presence of natural mole predators, such as owls, hawks, snakes, and domesticated pets like cats and dogs. Creating an environment that supports these predators can help keep mole populations in check.

Barrier Planting

Strategically plant mole-repelling flora like daffodils, marigolds, alliums, and castor bean plants around vulnerable areas. The strong scent of these plants acts as a natural deterrent for moles.

Proper Irrigation Management

Maintain a consistent watering schedule and ensure proper drainage to avoid waterlogged areas. Excess moisture attracts moles, so it’s crucial to keep the soil relatively dry.

Physical Barriers

Install underground barriers made of wire mesh or hardware cloth around high-value areas, like putting greens. These barriers prevent moles from burrowing into sensitive locations.

Monitoring and Early Detection

Regularly inspect the golf course for signs of mole activity, such as raised tunnels or mounds of soil. Early detection allows for prompt action before the infestation worsens.

Humane Traps

Consider using humane mole traps as a last resort. These traps capture the mole without causing harm, allowing for its release in a more suitable environment away from the golf course.

Ultrasonic Repellents

Introduce ultrasonic repellents emitting high-frequency sound waves inaudible to humans but bothersome to moles. These devices deter moles from staying in the vicinity.

Adjusting Plant Selection

Choose plants that moles dislike, such as daffodils, alliums, or fritillaries, and incorporate them into the landscaping design to create a less appealing habitat.

Filling Existing Tunnels

When moles have already created tunnels, filling them can help disrupt their nesting areas and force them to seek a new location.

Frequently Asked Questions

Moles can cause damage to the golf course greens, and it’s essential to deal with them effectively. Here are the most common questions and answers to help you understand the process better.

What Are Some Common Methods To Get Rid Of Moles?

Golf courses often use traps, repellents, and sonic devices to deter moles. Traps humanely catch moles, while repellents and sonic devices discourage them from settling on the course.

How Do Traps Work To Remove Moles?

Traps are placed in mole tunnels, and when the mole passes through, it triggers the trap, safely capturing the mole for later release away from the golf course.

Do Repellents Harm The Moles?

No, repellents are designed to create an unpleasant environment for moles without causing them harm. They emit odors or substances that moles dislike, encouraging them to leave the area.

Can Sonic Devices Be Effective Against Moles?

Yes, sonic devices emit sound vibrations that are annoying to moles, making them seek quieter areas away from the golf course.

Are There Any Preventive Measures Against Moles?

Yes, golf courses can take preventive measures such as regular lawn maintenance, proper drainage, and keeping the grass at the right length, which can discourage moles from settling in the first place.


Effectively managing mole infestations on golf courses requires a combination of preventive measures and targeted control strategies. 

By understanding what attracts moles and implementing eco-friendly solutions, golf course managers can maintain their greens’ pristine condition and provide an enjoyable experience for golfers. 

Early detection and regular monitoring are key to preventing extensive damage and ensuring mole populations remain in check.