How to Get Rid of Ground Moles with Dawn Soap?

Moles can be destructive in your garden or lawn. They are known to destroy crops, grass, and trees mainly by attacking and weakening their rooting system. They often dislodge plant roots by creating numerous intricate networks of tunnels and mounds in the ground. Although they often feed on destructive insects and grubs, moles can disfigure your lawn, destroy your flower bed, and wreak havoc in your small garden plot.

Fortunately, moles can be controlled using natural home remedies. As it turns out, you can get rid of ground moles with Dawn soap. Here is a complete guide on how to use Dawn dish soap to eliminate ground moles in your garden.

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What Are Ground Moles?

Moles are small, rat-like mammals that burrow underground in search of insects to feed on. Although they closely resemble shrews and meadow mice, you can easily distinguish moles by their cylindrical bodies and a furless, pointed snout. The rest of their body is covered in velvety fur.

Moles have really small eyes and ears. The eyes are poorly developed because they rarely use them underground. To make up for this, they have an incredible sense of smell and touch that enable them to hunt insects and dodge predators.

Although their hind limbs are reduced, mice have broad, powerful forelimbs with shovel-like paws adapted for digging effectively. Moles are not social animals. They live in solitary and only socialize when reproducing.

Moles are skilled, fast diggers. Studies have found that they can tunnel at a rate of 8 feet per 30 minutes. They are mainly active in fall and winter when the soils are moist and easy to tunnel. These loners rarely come to the surface unless they are collecting nesting materials or foraging for food when the soil is dry. Baby moles (pups) also come to the surface when they leave their mother's burrow in search of new harborages.

Because they spend most of their lives out of sight, moles have very few natural enemies. The only predators threatening their survival are dogs, raccoons, cats, owls, hawks, coyotes, badgers, and red/grey foxes. Their primary diet constitutes destructive and beneficial insects like beetles, grubs, and earthworms.

What Is Dawn Soap?

According to their website, Dawn soap is America's best-selling dishwashing soap. It is a highly-foaming dishwashing liquid containing uniquely powerful surfactants with minor skin irritation. Dawn soap is a go-to product for many households, helping cut through grease and grime in even the dirtiest plates, glasses, and cutlery.

Luckily for pest control DIYers, there is evidence that Dawn soap can help eliminate destructive ground moles in the garden, lawn, and flowerbeds.


Does Dawn Soap repel Moles?

Whether you can get rid of ground moles with dawn soap has become a hot topic online. Many DIYers swear that a combination of Dawn dish soap and castor oil is an effective way of eliminating ground moles.

Although they are nearly blind, moles have a hyper-sensitive sense of smell. If you have ever observed a mole in a new environment, it moves its nose back and forth as it sniffles and zeros in on a food source. That's how strong their sense of smell is.

Dawn soap has a noticeable smell that affects mole's sense of smell. On the other hand, castor oil has a bitter taste and a very strong unpleasant smell. Moles are sickened by Dawn soap and castor oil's bitter taste and irritating smell.

In fact, castor oil is a key ingredient in many commercial repellents that help drive voles, moles, and other tunnelling animals from the garden. So if you are looking for a home remedy that can repel moles and unwanted digging animals from your yard or garden without hurting them or exposing your plants to poisonous chemicals, Dawn soap is a great option.

How to Make Mole Repellent Using Dawn Soap?


  • Two spoonfuls of unexpired Dawn dish soap

  • Eight ounces of castor oil (you can purchase this light yellow oil at your local drug store)

  • Four Quarts warm water

  • Garden sprayer, kettle heater, large sealable jar

Note: Castor oil is inflammable, hence must be used carefully and stored safely away from direct sun.


  • Heat the water in a kettle

  • Measure 8 Oz of castor oil and pour it into the jar

  • Add the four quarts of warm water into the jar

  • Pour two tablespoons of Dawn dish soap

  • Stir the mixture thoroughly or shake it to mix the ingredients

  • Pour the solution into your garden sprayer

A Step-By-Step Guide on How to Get Rid of Ground Moles with Dawn Soap

Liberally Spray Your Garden or Lawn

Spray a generous amount of the mixture in your garden, flowerbed, or lawn while ensuring the ground is saturated. You should thoroughly treat every nook and cranny of the garden so that moles won't find an untreated spot to hide.

If you have a relatively big garden, consider dividing it into small sections in order to treat every spot generously. Small sections are more manageable and less daunting to treat. In case the treatment runs out, simply prepare another one, pour it into the garden sprayer and proceed to cover every part of your lawn with a generous amount of the treatment.

Pour Solution into Mole Holes for The Best Results

Moles spend most of their lives underground hunting insects. However, they can come out of their burrows for an outside adventure, for instance, after a warm rain. Luckily, it's easy to identify mole holes in your yard.

Unlike your ordinary vegetarian voles, moles dig very deep, with some digging up to 40 feet under. While they dig or tunnel, moles use the long claws on their front foot to push the soil upwards, creating a molehill. Search your yard for raised volcano-shaped soil swellings and check for mole holes or tunnels close by. Pour a generous amount of the solution into the holes to repel moles.

Fill Mole Holes with Dirt

Mole hills are unsightly in your garden, flowerbed, or yard. Therefore, it's a good idea to backfill dirt into the mole holes after treating them. This helps retain the aesthetic appeal of your lawn while keeping moles away for good.

Re-Apply the Repellent After Seven Days

Most, if not all, moles will run away once you apply the dawn soap treatment. However, it's advisable to regularly inspect your lawn to spot any new mole activities. If you see or suspect moles, prepare the dawn soap treatment and spray again. Treat and fill in any new mole holes to force all remaining moles out of your garden.  

Continue inspecting your lawn and repeat the treatment as needed. You should consider treating your flowerbed or lawn with this solution at least once at the beginning of each spring to repel moles and prevent them from infesting your yard.


Signs of Moles in Your Garden

Moles are pesky carnivores whose presence can be hard to detect. They are subterranean creatures that live underground and rarely come to the surface. While you might never spot the mole itself in your garden, here are some telltale signs of possible mole activity:


Moles are skilled excavators, tunnelling the ground and pushing the soil out with their powerful front feet. At first, you may notice small chunks of soil in your garden. This signifies that mole activity is just getting started. But as they continue digging tunnels, moles leave a heap of soil that looks like a volcano-shaped swelling.

Patched of Damaged Plants

Moles upset plant roots as they build tunnels through the soil. Damaged roots can cause a plant to discolour or die. If some of your flowers or grass is discoloured, dead, or dying, you may want to inspect your yard immediately for mole activity. Note that the longer moles occupy your garden, the more extensive the damage becomes.

Loose Soil

Moles are capable of tunnelling through seemingly unsuitable soils to reach a targeted area. This causes characteristic damages to the soil, for instance, loose soil. If you notice loose soil around your crops or flowers, the high chances are that there is a mole tunnel beneath the surface. If ignored, moles can cause extensive damage in your yard, including undermined concrete slabs, collapsed driveways and damaged above-ground pools.

Sudden Growth of Weed

Unbeknown to many, sudden weed growth can be a telltale sign of a mole problem in your garden. Moles are notorious for disturbing and overturning soil. This can cause your crops to die, providing the perfect conditions for weeds to take root and thrive.


Frequently Asked Questions

How Does Dawn Dish Soap Get Rid of Ground Moles?

Dawn dish soap is a popular dishwashing liquid that contains powerful surfactants. It helps cut through grease and grime in even the dirtiest dishes with negligible skin irritation. Dawn dish soap is usually combined with castor oil (a key ingredient in commercial repellents) and water to create a solution that exudes a smell and taste that irritates moles.

Will Dawn Dish Soap Kill Moles?

Castor oil and Dawn dish soap solution is a surefire way of repelling nuisance moles from your yard. This mole repellent does not contain any toxic compounds meaning that it will not harm the moles, you, your pets, or loved ones.

Can Coffee Grounds Keep Ground Moles Away?

Coffee grounds can help you force moles out of your garden. However, coffee grounds may not be a powerful mole repellent on their own, but they will assist in your mole repelling project. To repel moles with coffee grounds, you can sprinkle fresh or brewed coffee grounds in your garden as often as needed to get rid of moles.

Can Mothballs Get Rid of Moles?

Mothballs are small balls infused with toxic chemicals to repel moths when storing clothes. They release a strong and unpleasant acrid smell that can help repel moles from your lawn. You can put a few mothballs in mole tunnels and burrows to force them out.

Can Urine Get Rid of Moles?

Yes, human and animal urine can repel moles effectively. Urine contains a mild or strong ammonia-like smell which moles find unpleasing. If you have a pet dog or cat, you can let it do its business in your yard, and the mole problem will be taken care of. Alternatively, you can use your own urine to effectively get rid of moles. How to get your urine into the mole holes is a decision only you can make :).

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