The guide to catching moles consists primarily of instructions on when not to catch moles – almost always. It is important to clarify this, not only because of the sensitive fine, but also because more and more citizens are now reporting such animal cruelty and this fine is getting closer in practice. It doesn’t help, moles are part of a healthy environment, and a healthy environment also helps us humans – that’s why driving moles away is a realistic option at best, (useful and useless) tips on this are discussed in the article.

Moles are not pests

The mole is still considered a pest by some garden owners. Wrongly so, the mole is one of our beneficial creatures, it does a lot for our gardens:

  • It eats grubs, wireworms and snails, which any garden owner who has dealt with them will appreciate.
  • It makes itself useful by destroying many insects that might otherwise get the upper hand.
  • If a pile appears, the mole is loosening your soil, free of charge and possibly saving you a lot of work.
  • The earth that he digs out during his tunnel digs is loose and interspersed with the nutrients of all layers.
  • So if you need soil for a bucket or something similar, you can thank the mole and clear the hill.
  • A mole in the garden is basically a compliment: it only feels comfortable in healthy garden soil
  • In which obviously many small creatures are on the move, otherwise “your” mole would starve…

Moles are protected

Through its thorough loosening of the soil and the associated pest extermination, the mole makes itself a useful member of our society.

That is why moles are also protected, according to § 44 of the Federal Nature Conservation Act, the protection regulations for specially protected animal and plant species apply to them. They are pretty comprehensive:

  • Pursuing, catching, injuring or killing moles is prohibited under Article 44 (1).
  • Their development forms (young) must not be taken from nature, damaged or destroyed
  • Even the molehills are under protection, namely that the breeding sites or resting places of wild animals must not be damaged or destroyed
  • They are not taken from nature either, but that is certainly not the issue with a molehill
  • According to § 44 (2) it is forbidden to take possession of moles

The Federal Species Protection Ordinance (BArtSchV) states that the mole is one of the particularly protected animal and plant species, it is one of the native mammals (mammals) in Appendix 1.

These nature conservation laws apply to everyone in the open countryside and in closed settlement areas (in the garden), with the consequence of significant fines for violations.

Pursuant to Section 69 Paragraph 6 of the BNatSchG, stalking, catching, injuring, killing and even disturbing the mole and its burrows can be punished with a fine of up to fifty thousand euros. In practice, the maximum is not exhausted, but courts consider 4-digit sums to be quite appropriate, because nature conservation is protection of the environment and thus protection of the living space of all citizens. Economically interesting protection, the 100,000 protected areas on earth alone add around 5,000 billion dollars to the coffers of the world every year, as was calculated in a global study ( -biological-diversity/teeb/ ).

Things are looking bad with catching (see below for exceptions), you will probably live more relaxed if you change your mind and try to make friends with the “Talpa europaea”.

For motivation, go to to see how cute he is; hardened anti-mole opponents could be persuaded to change perspective with a mole-chocolate dome cake:

It’s best to just let it live

Here are a few more amazing facts, a little respect for the mouse might also help it to be tolerated more in a few gardens:

  • Moles feed on many predators, owls, buzzards, ravens, white storks and many small predators
  • Good for these animals, but the reason a mole almost never lives to its maximum age of 3 to 4 years is more than 2/3 of a population is one year old or younger
  • Moles eat almost half their own weight in pests every day
  • Every year, a 100g mole eats around 30 kilos of worms and insects
  • For this, each mole needs a territory of about 2000 square meters
  • Moles can dig up to 7 meters per hour
  • They dart through their tunnels at a speed of 4 km/h, which is unbelievable for moles
  • Moles can also climb and swim, surprisingly well
  • Although they are almost blind and quite hard of hearing, they can smell “stereo”, a different scent with each nostril
  • Our mole is “all alone in the world” in Central Europe, the only representative of his family

Other arguments for just letting the mole live in the garden are of a factual nature. According to Dirk Jansen, there is no effective method of driving away a mole, he just said in an interview. Jansen works as a manager at BUND NRW. Of course, Jansen also says that the mole is part of the ecosystem and rightly enjoys protection, see -mole.html.

If the mole cake tasted so good that the resolution was made to let the mole be a mole, this resolution can still fail in certain garden areas.

mole in the lawn

When a mole lets off steam in the sanctuary of many hobby gardeners of all places, hateful thoughts quickly arise. Wrongly from the lawn’s point of view, the grass plants would like to develop an extensive, strong root system and are happy when the mole opens up new areas and new nutrients to them.

You should also remember that moles are a natural part of our environment and definitely have a right to exist.

If your lawn is healthy and strong, it will survive the mole unscathed and even benefit from the loosening of the soil, which opens up completely new root spaces (on the way to a magnificent turf). So the smartest thing from a gardener’s perspective would be to let the mole continue to loosen soil until it moves on on its own (or dies, which happens to most moles very early).

If you notice the mole quickly and absolutely cannot live with a pile of dirt on the lawn, you can try to get it to move on.

drive away moles

Moles don’t like some things, different scents e.g. B., and neither does noise. So, there are several harmless remedies you can try:

  • Moles are said not to like buttermilk in molehills, but it is not known whether this applies to every mole
  • Bottle Magic: Empty bottomless bottles put into the ground are said to produce unpleasant wind tones for moles
  • Elder branches or elderberry stock
  • Garlic mixed in water is said to deter moles, but a garden party probably shouldn’t be held close to the molehill either
  • Feces of dogs, cats, guinea pigs
  • Lay branches of the tree of life (nicely smelly thuja) in the aisles
  • Imperial crown lilies (Fritillaria imperialis), are said to drive away moles from their area, presumably with their poison
  • Horseradish mixed in water
  • human hair
  • whey and milk
  • mothballs
  • Music, if possible as a sound wave towards the ground
  • Perfume, probably the best in the purple and gold plastic kitsch bottle from the Grabbeltisch
  • aftershave

With all these means, you can also try to declare a part of your garden a “mole-free zone” by putting up a “scent fence”.

Stay away from these methods

As always, there are many nice tips in the thoughtless section of the Internet that you can use to not drive away moles, but to damage yourself and your human environment or really annoy you. Here is a small list of activities that you should rather skip:

  • Pipe exhaust gases into the molehill: No comment on this weird idea.
  • Chlorinated water: flattens your garden soil and drives away the most important soil dwellers, the earthworms (but not the moles).
  • Fertilize with double/triple the amount, e.g. B. the lawn: Is poison for the lawn, it could die.
  • Put fish heads in the molehills: And after 10 days walk past it, faint and call the emergency services…
  • Noise installations with hammers and iron bars in the ground: why not let the mole dig right away?
  • Carbite: Bursts into flames when wet, sometimes with explosive reactions, enjoy!
  • Petroleum, because of the penetrating smell: creates every plant and drives away the roommates, garden as a desert, woo-hoo.
  • Horses, Walk the Lawn Every Few Days: I’m sure the lawn will look great after the season is over.
  • Mole scarer with ultrasound: The moles quickly become deaf from these devices and are then immune to it

All of these tips encourage you to engage in activities that carry interesting fines under the Conservation Act, and some of these tips give you a good chance of making yourself a criminal offense too…

catch mole

From the above, catching moles is not such a good idea, you could try to get a special permit from your local conservation authority to catch and relocate the mole.

This special permit requires a convincing justification. The argument that the molehills in the lawn don’t look good isn’t usually appropriate. A garden is part of the nature that surrounds us, in which moles are also allowed to leave their mark. At most, a threat to the mole from your cat or dog could serve as a justification, always with the risk that the nature conservation authority will oblige you to keep the pets away from the mole and not vice versa. There should be exemptions if the mole endangers the stability of a property.

If you were actually able to get a special permit, you still have a long way to go to set up a live trap. With us, not every garden owner can simply attack his surroundings with traps, but hunting with traps is regulated by law. Only hunters are allowed to hunt. In most federal states, these hunters need an additional test for trap hunting, a trap hunting license.

Then the live trap must be operated in accordance with animal welfare. The trap must ensure that the mole is unharmed, must be constructed in such a way that it does not pose a risk to humans and other animals, and must be checked regularly, several times a day. Once you’ve caught the mole, you have to release it as soon as possible, in a nice field where it can dig well.

If you find a baby mole, just leave it there and move away, the mother will be nearby. If it doesn’t go away after a while, something might have happened to Mother Mole. What to do now depends on several things, the best thing to do is seek professional advice, e.g. B. via Raising the baby mole is definitely not an option, moles then usually simply die from stress.

Catching moles is forbidden, the corresponding fines are not funny, special permits for relocating a mole are rare. You can try to drive a mole out of the garden, but you can also leave it alone – the second option is preferred by all gardeners who value good garden soil.

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