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How to Trap a Mole - Trapping Tips

Mole Trapping Tips - Many times when we want to rid ourselves of one pest or another it is because they are within our home and cause either damage or disgust, or both. Moles do not fall into that category. They do not harm us physically nor have they been known to spread disease. However, since moles live on a diet of worms and grubs, they can do much unsightly damage to your lawn and garden. If you have spent a fair amount of money to have someone care for your lawn, then you certainly do not want unsightly lines disturbing the smooth grassy surface. If you have done your own work to have a showcase of flowers and other plants, then the destructive forces of moles can be nothing short of irritating. The way to get rid of pesky moles is by trapping them.  

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First off, I have to point out that there is no such thing as a live catch mole trap. These animals dig underground, and no one has yet developed a trap that can effectively catch them alive underground. Thus, all mole traps currently sold are lethal traps that kill moles. How to Kill Moles. There are three major types of mole traps:

Spear Traps - These are set on top of an active surface tunnel. Squish the tunnel down, and set the spear trap on top, with a trigger pan against the dirt. When the mole crawls through the tunnel, it will push open the squished down area, and this will push up the trigger pan, causing the spears to slam downward, impaling the mole and killing it.

Scissor Traps - These traps are set over an active surface tunnel, with the scissor blades in the ground, on each side of the tunnel. When the mole crawls through the tunnel again, it triggers the trap, and the blades snap together, killing the mole.

Paper Clip Traps - These are actually set down inside the tunnel, often back to back, each facing outward. When the mole crawls through the tunnel as usual, coming from either direction, it will hit a pin holding the paper clip trap open, causing the pin to slip and the trap to slam shut on the mole, killing it.

Finding the right mole tunnels to set the traps on is imperative. The more active, the better. Straight tunnels, or ones against edges (like a house or sidewalk) are a good bet for repeated use. The branching, winding tunnels that stretch out to nowhere might just be one-time use feeding tunnels, and thus not heavily travelled and not as productive for trapping. It is not effective to set on top of mole hills. Read more about What is a mole hill?

What Is Another Reason For Wanting To Get Rid Of Moles?
Getting rid of moles may save you an ankle or a toe. The tunnels those little creatures dig, with admirable precision, leave loose dirt on the ground and a hollow tunnel underneath. If you are not careful where you step, you may step into one such tunnel and twist or sprain your ankle. If that isn’t enough to want them to leave your lawn, then the dead flowers you just planted may be the clincher.

What Do We Need To Know When Getting Rid Of Moles?
There are several rules to observe for successful mole trapping. It is important to have traps that are without scent. New traps may be best although you can work with old traps if you clean them thoroughly, expose them to the elements for a few days, then bury them in dirt, also for a few days before you use them. Rub dirt all over your hands before touching the trap. Any critter that can smell a worm can surely smell the scent of human hands.

Other Ideas To Consider When Catching Moles
You need to find the mole’s center “parlor,” from which it digs its additional tunnels outward, like the spokes of a wheel. That’s where the trap will be the most effective. The way to find this central tunnel is to follow the dirt mounds the mole leaves on the lawn. With a little detective work of looking, touching, maybe smelling, you will learn which mound is the freshest.

The mounds are the mole’s exit as well as the dumping place for the excavated dirt. If you dig carefully around a mound, maybe up to as much as a foot away, you will probably find the main tunnel. A long stick may also aid you in this determination. Carefully probe the ground in short intervals all the way around the mound until you feel less resistance. That will be the area for your trap.

How Should The Trap Be Placed?
The trap should be placed directly into the tunnel and pushed a little into the ground for stability. Make sure that there is no extra room on either side of the trap where the mole could slip by. Fill any extra space in with dirt. To keep the trap from being displaced by the mole, put a piece of wood on top and cover everything with dirt or sod. It is important to cover everything so that pets or other animals which may come to investigate will not be injured.

What’s Next?
With any luck at all, you will have a mole in your trap the next day. Traps should be checked every day. If no moles are trapped in several days, it may be a good idea to move the trap to a different location and the search for the tunnel begins again. It sounds time consuming but it really isn’t. It just takes a little patience. Sooner or later you will be successful and your lawn will once again be the pride of the neighborhood.

For more information, go to may main mole removal page.

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