Are there mounds of dirt appearing in your yard? Have you run across a few grey, furry creatures with large paws?
You are experiencing a take-over by the common grey ground mole. This mammal, which feeds mainly on insects and grubs, will burrow tunnels under the ground to construct a nesting and feeding space. The excess dirt they dig up is left above ground in mounds, which is an eyesore in an otherwise lovely lawn.
To rid yourself of these particular pests for good, you will need to trap them. To learn about the best mole traps and how to use them, read on.
Best of the Mole Traps
Professional pest control companies rely on one of the most effective, time-tested mole trapping methods—the spring-loaded prong trap. These metal traps are activated to snap and kill the mole when it pushes against the metal which sits inside their tunnel.
To use these types of traps, locate the tunnel that the moles are digging. Tunnels usually can be found between the mounds of dirt on your yard. Use a stick or probe to poke in the soil between mounds until you feel the ground give out. Step on the tunnels you see in one or two spots to collapse them, then check those spots later. If the tunnel has been dug out again, it’s an active one, and a good spot to set a trap.
To set the trap, flatten an area of the tunnel a bit bigger than the base of the trap and set the trap over it. Each manufacturer will have different arming instructions, so make sure to follow those. To keep kids and pets away from the traps, cover them with a large bucket. Remove the mole once it has been caught. If you don’t catch anything, move your trap to a different spot.
Like the prong trap, the scissor trap will kill a mole instantly and sits inside the mole tunnel, camouflaged by grass and dirt. This trap allows you to determine from a distance if it has been set off, which makes it easy to use.
To set this scissor trap, locate a mole tunnel with a probe and then dig a small section around that spot using a trowel. Place the trap scissors down inside the hole, and cover it with soil and grass. When you trap the mole, you can reuse the traps in case you sight more mole signs after trapping the first one.
Choker Loop Trap
A choker loop trap catches the mole around the neck.
Dig a hole and make sure the loop portions of the trap can sit upright in the hole. Remove any loose soil or small stones from the hole. Follow the trap’s directions to set the trap, taking care not to get your fingers caught in the process.
The choker loop trap, as all the traps mentioned so far, kills moles instantly, which some people feel is a more effective and humane way of ridding your yard of moles.
But there are methods for trapping moles that keep them alive so that they can be relocated to a place other than your yard.
Humane Trapping Methods
For those who do not like the idea of killing moles with traps, here are some traps labeled as “humane” methods of capturing moles for relocation.
An easy, cheap method of trapping and relocating moles is with a large bucket.
Dig a hole at the mole tunnel deep enough to place a 2- to 5-gallon bucket below the level of the tunnel. Pack dirt around the edge of the bucket, then cover the hole with sod or plywood so you can remove and check the hole daily. The mole will fall in, and then you can take it to a new location.
If this method is not effective enough for your mole problem, there are plastic mole tube traps available that will keep moles alive.
Plastic Tube Mole Traps
Each of these traps consists of two short plastic tubes that fit together to produce one long tube. There is a swing door at either end allowing the moles to enter at either side, but hinges keep the moles from going out in the opposite direction.
To set them, place them underground in the same way you would set a spring trap. Add cut-up earthworms as bait before you set the trap in the ground. Cover the trap well, allowing no outside light into the tunnel. When a mole is caught, place it in a covered bucket and take it to a relocation site far from your yard.
Repellants and Poisons
There are natural and artificial mole repellants, such as certain plants, castor oil, granulated pellets, and vibrating stakes. But these will only drive the moles away from your property and into the next one, which could mean trouble for your neighbors. Not everyone finds these methods effective, as well.
A final option is to lay down mole poison which comes in many forms. Keep in mind, that moles only eat insects, so they may turn their noses up at a granular poison like that used for other pests. There are some poisons meant to look like grubs or worms that might be more effective.
While these methods may have some benefit, to get rid of moles completely, trapping with instant kill is the most effective method.
Use Professionals to Set Mole Traps
While you can buy and set up all the mole traps you need as a DYI project, you might benefit in the long run by hiring a professional animal trapping company that specializes in mole elimination.
While hiring a pro will cost you more money, you will save enough time and hassle to make up for the initial expense. You will know the job will be done right, and that safety for your pets and family will be respected. Most importantly, you will be rid of your mole problem.
If you are in the Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky area, contact us for mole control. We handle both residential and commercial properties, and can help you regain control of your lawn!