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Mole Trapping

Feb. 03, 2018


Mole Trapping

Trapping is the most universally applicable and dependable method of mole control. Several different kinds of mole traps are available at hardware stores, nurseries, or directly from the manufacturer.


Understanding mole behavior helps improve the efficacy of mole trapping. To be effective, the trap must be set to catch the mole underground. When a mole's sensitive snout encounters a foreign object in the burrow, the mole is likely to plug off that portion and dig around or under the object. Therefore, traps should be set to straddle or encircle the tunnel or be suspended above it.


Moles are active throughout the year and can be trapped at any time. Before setting mole traps, determine which runways are currently in use. Moles dig a system of deep tunnels that are more or less permanently used as well as a network of surface runs used for feeding. Some of the surface tunnels are only temporary, so they may not make a good trap set. Moles are more likely to be trapped in the deep runways, which they reuse almost permanently.


Set the scissor-jaw trap in the mole's main underground tunnel, which is usually 8 to 12 inches below the surface. Using a garden trowel or small shovel, remove a section of soil slightly larger than the trap width, about 6 inches. Build a plug of soil in the center of the opened runway for the trigger pan to rest on. Moist soil from the opened tunnel or from a nearby fresh mound can be squeezed together to build the plug. With the safety catch in place, set the trap and wedge it firmly into the opened burrow with the trigger placed snugly against the top of the soil plug. Next, scatter loose soil onto the set trap to about the level of the top of the tunnel. This excludes light from the opened burrow and probably makes the mole less suspicious of the plugged tunnel. Release the safety catch, and the trap is completely set.


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