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Mole trapping my way

Gonna post some piccies of moleing my way. I know a lot of you guys have been at this for years and will point out all the things I am doing wrong but I don't mind.  Constructive criticism is very welcome.  

First of all you will need to take a picture of a molehill, this will remind you of what the hell you are doing at 09.AM on a frosty morning (-3 oC) instead of drinking coffee and posting rubbish like this on the forums...   :xroll:

Next find the tunnel, this can be achieved by a) digging a hole every foot or so until you find one, b) using high explosives to move the dirt a little faster (this has the added bonus of removing most moles too... and most of the lawn...) c) use a probe to find the run between molehills, or even better the run leading to the molehills (not the same thing).

Once the run has been located you will either need to hire a JCB to get through the frosty top layer, get someone else to dig the hole, or if you are too cheap like me then dig the hole yourself, try to dig down to the depth of the run and not beyond.

Remove all loose soil from the run and ensure no soil has gone into the the tunnel at the sides of the hole.  :xcool:

Next, you need to tap down the base of the run until it is firm and smooth, I use the end of the mole probe which is simply a piece of seasoned oak branch, this has no smell of preservatives or anything else.  A metal probe handle is just as good so I have been told.  

Next you need to set the mole trap.  I prefer the Talpex, most real mole catchers prefer the half barrel types named after a man called Duffus.  I am not yet competent enough to even attempt a post using one of those!
Here you can see how finely I set the Talpex, the trigger rod is set so that it only just catches the trigger plate, get it wrong and lose a finger... Always best to let an adult play with scissors, that way it serves them right...  

Next lay the trap in the hole with the open scissors facing the tunnels.... laying the trap across the tunnels will confuse the mole considerably and it may die laughing, but you wont catch it.  

Next we half bury the trap with loose soil sieved and sprinkled through our fingers, (just like kinder garden) ensuring that no stones or twigs are put in the hole with the trap, this can jam the trap on activation preventing the jaws from closing fully.

Next we er... bury it some more... this prevents light and draft from entering the tunnel.  

In cold weather such as it is at this time of the year, it may also be worth covering the traps and hole with some from of protection.  An upturned bucket, granddads bowler hat, or just a sack.  Of course if you have several hundred traps out then... er... well I guess you know what your doing anyway!  

All the best


Addendum to the above.

Well folks, you will have take my word for it but this is the very same trap I laid two days ago.

I had the airgun with me as I walked down to the orchard to check my snares and traps and look what I saw...

I only had the cheap camera with me today as I thought it would rain. You can see where I had laid a bucket over the trap to try and keep the frost out.

I took this picture to prove it was the same mole hill I was trapping near but couldn't remember if I had previously taken a shot of the location anyway.

It's weird. I enjoy catching moles more than almost anything else now I think. No chance of me doing it for a living though, I'm too much of a softy for that!

My trusty dibber with oak handle, perfect size for just getting into tunnels and tamping down.

Well I think that should take care of the last mole in Hampshire... again...

Cheers all.


P.S. There is a great pile of dung just up from this set of works and when it rained, the yellow - brown sludge was washed down, over, and around the trap area. I for one would have thought it would have put the mole off that location but apparently not!

Edited to say a huge thank you to all that have helped me out with my mole trapping.  You will all remember a few weeks ago I could even catch a cold! I had enough traps out so that I had to put out a sign beware the minefield! But now I normally place two traps for every mole I think I have, in the above case I laid one.  So once again, thanks to all who gave their advice.

green man

Thank you very much TW a really well illustrated article I almost feel inspired but they are such cute little things, but they are only as cute as long  as your lawn is ok. :reindeer:      
mole trapper

Interesting post, only one question though, you said make sure there is no loose soil fallen into the tunnel, you then went on to say now finely sieve/ sift earth covering up the trap.  Well looking at the before and after piccys you have filled the tunnel full of earth, so you caught the mole because he was unfortunate enough to get trapped whilst trying to move all that loose soil.
When i first started out in trapping moles i used scissors, to stop the tunnel getting back filled when covering my traps i used to mould some soil into pieces that filled the glaring holes and then gently covered with the loose soil.
However once i saw the light about ten years ago and started using duffus exclusivly i no longer needed to fart around like this anymore, bit of a bonus when you run 270-300 of them from november to april.
As an aside you could not have chosen a better time to have learnt moleing, they are increasing in numbers ever year, and since that filthy strychnine was finally got rid of the only competition is gas, and generally that is no competition.  

Cheers Mole Trapper. You are quite right about what seems a contradiction. I should have explained that the Talpex works best when set in a hole that seems to the mole to be a landslide. Some people (and I was advised to do this too) pack a little earth in the center of a clean tunnel, then lay the Talpex in and then cover it. I found that the mole was digging too deep and was setting the trap off over its back or head. Now I place the trap in a clean run, then sift soil over it to mimic a fall in which the mole tries to clear, pushing the loose soil upward sets off the trap.

I bought 3 Duffus type traps when I failed dismally with the Talpex to start with, I got them from Solway Feeders I think, very good they are too. BUT! Using those things is an art I have yet to master (even learn actually) I do have most of the knowledge thanks to a lot of great advice from many good sources, but knowledge and experience are two very different things... One day I will give them a proper airing and see how I get on. I know that most professional mole men use half barrel traps and that they are supposed to be the easiest one to learn with too, but maybe it's just me, I like the Talpex. Luckily I will only be trapping maybe twenty moles a year on a two acre site. I won't attempt the farms around me... I leave that kind of work to real mole men!

All the best


Another after thought...

You will see from the pictures that the hole I made was too big for the trap. Try not to do this... I have yet to have my spade cut down to the size of a mole trap, if your spade is too big then use a trowel (unless you are digging past about 10 inches! Mole Trapper was quite right when he said about cleaning out the run and then letting soil fall back in A small hole, one that the trap squeezes into nicely is what you need.

mole trapper

Yes i saw that thread on HTL about the talpex methods, personally the only thing i can see that they have better is that the springs may last a bit longer than those on a duffus, but ho hum each to their own.

Instead of a trowl or cut down spade i use a knife, not dissimilar to a bowie shape, the blade is about eight inches, a freind of mine made it for me from an old circular saw blade. This makes a very precise neat hole for a very cosy fit. Another freind who is in my view a bit of a genius is making  a contraption that will allow me on hopefully most of the jobs to stand up for the whole setting process. The tool is being based loosely on the principle of the post hole spades. Got to get this sorted as my knees arent going to last another 10 winter seasons moleing, and summers of rabbit trapping and snareing.

Regards MT.

Perhaps the easiest way - and the most traditional is to call in a Traditional Molecatcher and now even these old traditional stalwarts of the countryside can be contacted easily on the internet !!


For free you can look up your nearest Molecatcher who uses Traditional methods.

Kind regards


Take it from me, nothing beats the satisfaction of having caught your own mole.  Thats the really traditional method. :xbigsmile:
mole trapper

BTMR THAT WILL BE ME THEN, A full time traditional mole trapper  

You still charging the 75 joining fee, if not i will put my name down again.

Regards MT.

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