Best Mole Traps and How to Use One

mole pest control traps
The best mole trap is the spring-loaded prong trap and is one of the most effective and time-tested mole trapping methods. This trap involves metal arms that, when activated, snap and kill moles inside their tunnel.

Dealing with moles can be frustrating. These tiny critters are burrowing machines that can dig around eighteen feet in under an hour.

So, when you see dirt mounds appearing in your garden or yard, you probably have a mole infestation. Moles mainly feed on grubs, insects, worms, larvae, and earthworms.

Moles build an underground tunnel system to create feeding and nesting areas, and the excess soil they dig up is pushed above ground. These mounds can be an eyesore in your otherwise manicured garden or lawn.

The most effective way to get rid of moles is by using a mole trap. Trapping moles is the surest way you have done away with these elusive pests. Read on to learn about the best mole traps and how to use one!

What is the best trap for moles?

The best mole trap is the one you feel most comfortable using. The other factor is the location and the mole species you’re looking to trap.

According to pest control experts, the spring-loaded prong trap is an extremely effective and tried and true mole trapping methods. This trap works well with the common grey ground mole.

This type of trap is spring activated when a mole pushes against a metal trigger placed inside the tunnel. When triggered, it quickly snapes shut kill the mole.

To use this trap, you must locate the active tunnel between the soil mounds. Once you identify the tunnel using a probe or stick, place your trap accordingly.

mole traps

How to set up a mole trap

To set a mole trap, you need to flatten the tunnel area a bit bigger than the base of the trap. From there, set the trap over the tunnel and wait for the mole to be trapped.

Every manufacturer has different arming instructions, so ensure to follow them. You can cover the trap with a large bucket to keep pets and kids away from the traps.

Once caught, remove the mole and relocate the trap to a different area if you don’t catch anything.  Setting a mole trap depends on the type. Below we look at the different types of mole traps.

Types of mole traps

There are several types of mole pest control traps, all of which work well if used correctly: 

Harpoon mole trap

The harpoon trap has sharp spikes that spear the victim as it passes. The harpoon trap is also known as the Victor plunger style mole trap and is made with a weather-resistance material, meaning it can work even in the most severe weather changes.

It is made from corrosion-resistant steel and can be placed in the ground for long without rusting. You set this trap in a straight tunnel with the trigger facing the hole blockage.

When the mole comes to re-open the hole, it gets trapped by pushing up on the trigger. The steel trap is shaped like a plunger with spears on several sides on the ends designed to kill the mole immediately.

This trap is equipped with a safety pin, making it safe to use around children and pets. The trap has been used for decades and has proven to be an effective mole trap that’s also reusable. 

Wire Tek or the scissor mole trap

Often called the scissor trap, the Wire Tek mole trap has pincers that look like the blades of scissors. This trap is easy to set and works in active tunnels, typically the straightest ones.

Lodge the trap into the dirt with gloved hands as the bare hands could repel the moles because of your smell. Ensure the tines are parallel to the tunnel and open the tines within the soil, and set the trigger lever.

As the mole burrows through the earth you’ve filled into the active tunnel, the activated scissors will snap shut—killing the mole instantly.

Choker-loop mole trap

The choker loop trap catches the moles around the neck just as the name suggests. To set this trap, dig a hole and ensure the loop portions of the trap sit upright. Remove the small stones and loose soil from the hole. 

Follow the instructions to set the trap and ensure your fingers don’t get caught. The choker loop trap kills moles instantly, making it more effective than other humane ways when removing moles in your yard or garden. 

mole coming out of the ground

How long does it take to trap a mole?

The time it takes to trap a mole depends on several factors, including the type of the trap, mole activity, and how you’ve set it up. However, you must bury the new trap in the ground for three days before catching moles.

If lucky, you can catch a mole in minutes or hours. Make sure you don’t disturb the soil at the bottom of the mole run, and you must not store the traps in areas where oil is kept as it will repel the moles. 

What do you bait a mole trap with?

A strong-smelling lure like peanut butter is the best bait for a mole trap. Although the mole doesn’t eat peanut butter, the sweet fragrance will attract it to the trap. You can also use cut-up earthworms and a pinch of oatmeal as bait.

What is the best time to catch moles?

The best time to catch moles is fall and spring when the ground isn’t frozen, as this is when moles’ activity is highest. In most cases, you’ll only have a single mole or two to trap to solve your mole problem because they don’t live in groups.

Although moles are active throughout the day, mole activity peaks around noon and midnight after a warm, soaking rain when the insects they prey on are most active. 

Why are my mole traps not working?

Your mole trap could not be working for several reasons. First, ensure you’ve set the trap in an active tunnel with fresh activity. You can identify an active mole tunnel by the moist, loose soil.

Also, ensure you’ve created air holes in the tunnels on both sides of the trap to draw in the mole. Wear gloves when handling the trap as they’re repelled by human scent. When storing your traps, ensure no oils are stored in the same place. 

Alternatives to traps 

Aside from traps, there are other ways you can keep moles and voles away from your yard and eliminate the infestation. These include:

  • Eliminating their food sources such as grubs
  • Apply a mole repellent such as castor oil around the entryways to the tunnels
  • Using plants as barriers
  • Digging a trench
  • Call a mole control expert
  • Keeping the lawn tidy
  • Creating an artificial drought
  • Adding predators such as an owl
  • Using ultrasonic devices to discourage moles
  • Planting plants that moles hate

There are several plants that will naturally repel moles. For example, euphorbia lathris is also known as gopher surge because it has a taste and smell that repels moles and gophers. Other plants include:

  • crown imperial
  • narcissus
  • castor bean


Joseph Wales is a professional SEO content writer specializing in pest control, varmint removal, pets, and everything in nature. When not publishing, he’s busy teaching college and university students how to write admission essays and structure their academic papers. Writing has always been his passion, and he spends most of his time outdoors with his two lovely daughters in his spare time. He is also a skilled farmer, always traveling to his rural home to check on the livestock and corn field when he has the time. Armed with hands-on experience, Joseph uses his SEO writing skills to communicate accurate and engaging information that will also be valuable and educational, adding to the value of his readers.

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