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The use of ground mole traps is one of the most universally applicable and dependable methods of getting rid of moles. Many experts and professionals deem ground mole trapping to be one of the most effective methods of ground mole control. NOTE: Ground moles are very dynamic insectivores and will adapt to changes in food supply and source as different insects become available in different places and at different times throughout the year.
Because these networks of surface tunnels are used for feeding, ground moles are compelled to keep these types of tunnels open. THIS VERY FACT IS THE BASIS FOR GROUND MOLE TRAPPING AND IS WHAT MAKES GROUND MOLE TRAPPING EFFECTIVE! NOTE: The snout of a ground mole is very sensitive and if it encounters a foreign object in the burrow (actually touches the trap), the ground mole is likely to plug off that portion of the ground mole tunnel and dig around or under the object.
The main runways of ground moles tend to follow fence rows, walkways, foundations and other types of man-made borders.
Be sure to avoid twisting surface ridges and do not place traps on top of ground mole mounds or hills. Active runs and ground mole tunnels can be determined by tamping (stepping) down sections of surface runways and ground mole mounds. The brand names of the more preferred traps are: Victor® mole trap, Out O’ Sight®, and Nash® (choker loop) mole trap.
Scissor-jaw traps are best when set in a ground mole’s main underground tunnel usually 8 to 12 inches below the surface. Set the trap and wedge it firmly into the opened ground mole burrow with the trigger placed snugly against the top of the soil plug. Scatter loose soil over the set trap and fill with dirt until it is level with the rest of the tunnel. Harpoon (spear) traps are set by crushing the tunnel with your feet or hands and arming a trap above the blockage. Many ground mole traps are commonly designed to discharge when the ground mole pushes up on the trigger. Common characteristics of mole yard damage are torn-up flowerbeds and torn-up grass roots from inconvenient burrowing habits leaving your yard a mess! Moles are active all year round at any time of day, but are rarely seen due to their underground existence.
Before setting out to control what you assume to be mole damage, be sure to properly identify the animal causing the damage.
A mole’s territory is a mazelike system of connecting, intertwining underground tunnels located at various depths (Fig.
Surface tunnels connect with deeper runways that are located 3 to 12 inches below the surface, but may be as deep as 40 inches.
Digging is most pronounced in fall and winter when the soil is moist and easy for moles to work. Moles have broad front feet, the toes of which terminate in stout claws faced outward for digging. Pocket Gopher – Pocket gophers are stout-bodied rodents with small ears and eyes and large clawed front paws.
Because of the surface tunnels and mounds they create, moles may be considered pests in yards, ball fields, golf courses, and other locations. Moles, gophers, and voles (large mouse-like rodents which also occupy mole tunnels) can be found in the same location, and positive identification is needed, as control methods differ for each species. Moles are here to stay and extermination is very difficult, and even harder to discourage from coming back, especially if your property borders an area that has typically served as a source of moles.


While you may be able to remove an existing mole population or drive moles elsewhere, if suitable conditions exist and moles occur nearby, other moles will eventually move into vacated areas. If you have a nuisance mole control problem, the best solution to remove the moles from your property is through mole trapping. Through effective and efficient mole control techniques, you CAN eliminate your mole problems using humane animal handling techniques and mole control strategies. This entry was posted in Minnesota Wild Animal Management, Mole Removal and tagged mole control, mole removal, repair animal damage, wild animal management on June 18, 2013 by MN Wild Animal Management. Several different kinds of ground mole traps are available at hardware stores, nurseries and the web. The “trick or art” of trapping is to first understand the biology and behavior of ground moles. Grubs and millipedes are also common foods known to be eaten by ground moles, but the core food of their diets are worms.
Ground moles will change tunnels and readily recolonize other existing or deserted tunnels. The goal is to trap (kill) the ground mole when it travels through or attempts to reopen its main tunnels.
To prevent the ground mole from digging around the trap, traps should be set to straddle or encircle the tunnel or be suspended above it. As mentioned above, ground moles dig systems of deep tunnels that are more or less permanently used as well as networks of surface runs used for feeding.
Ground mole hills and these types of tunnels are often “probes” of a sort and are quickly constructed by ground moles at about 15 to 18 feet per hour.
Observe these areas daily and re-tamp any raised sections, making note of the areas of activity. The Victor® trap has sharp spikes that impale the ground mole when the spikes are driven into the ground by the spring. One trap may very well solve the problem, but increasing the number of traps used can impact the speed and overall success of the ground mole trapping program. The Out-Of-Sight trap is a great ground mole trap that allows you to dig into an active tunnel to place the trap exactly in the ground moles path. This excludes light from the opened burrow and makes the ground mole less suspicious of the plugged tunnel.
The goal is to harpoon the ground mole as it tries to re-open the closed tunnel that you created. The latch will slide into position inside of the pan lip, holding the plate and spikes above the tunnel. The ground mole does this by trying to squeeze beneath the blocked portion of the tunnel when attempting to reopen a ground mole run. Before pulling a discharged spear trap, dig on both sides of the spears to see if there is a deceased ground mole beneath the spikes.
They are best recognized by their molehills, which they push up along their tunnel systems. Deep runways are main passageways that are used daily as the mole travels to and from surface tunnels and its nest.
Their large front teeth are used to loosen soil and rocks while digging, as well as to cut and eat roots.
Moles may also inadvertently heave small plants out of the ground as they tunnel, or damage plants when their mounds cover small seedlings. In addition, it is important to understand that mole problems rarely can be resolved by a quick fix method, but that a continuing commitment to whatever solutions are adopted is required.


If moles are causing property damage, calling a Minnesota Wild Animal Management Expert ensures humane and effective removal of this most annoying animal and to be sure they will not return. Keep in mind that the best ground mole traps differ from those for pocket gophers, as very few traps are effective for both ground mole control and gopher control. Understanding ground mole behavior helps property owners improve the efficiency of trapping because it enables you to more accurately develop a strategy on how to get rid of ground moles. As a result, if you are able to locate where the worms are likely to be found (moist and cool areas), then you are also likely to discover where the freshest ground mole tunnels are to be found. Also, be aware that ground moles may seem to vanish during extended cold or dry periods, but in reality they may have only gone deeper underground. As the ground mole clears the tunnel, it pushes up on the trigger pan, releasing the spring and is skewered or crushed by the trap. Some of these surface tunnels are only temporary, so they may not be the ideal locations to set good ground mole traps.
Also, deeper ground mole tunnels can be located by probing between or next to a fresh mound with a pointed stick, slender metal rod, or gopher probe.
Consequently, such rambling or twisting surface ridge type tunnels and mounds may or may not ever be reused by the ground mole(s) again. Selecting a frequently used runway is very important to the success of your ground mole control efforts.
Moist soil from the opened tunnel or from a nearby fresh mound can be squeezed together to build the plug. Some illustrations of setting this trap can be misleading as they show an open tunnel below the trap.
Therefore, this portion should be directly below the trigger pan resulting in the mole trap always being triggered.
Both moles and pocket gophers construct tunnels and mounds, but there are distinct differences. These appear as 3-inch wide ridges or rips in the lawn or in soil, or as puffed-up areas in mulch.
Permanent or deeper tunnels will be the most productive since these tunnels may be used several times daily by the ground moles. If the ground mole tunnel or run is re-opened in 24 to 48 hours, you have likely discovered an active tunnel. Ground moles have sometimes been caught with certain pincer-type gopher traps set in ground mole runways, but these have not proven to be as effective as the harpoon or scissor-jaw types of traps. They routinely scent-mark their tunnels while patrolling for insects and other invertebrates that travel or fall into their tunnel systems. The answer to this question is because it is common for ground mole tunnels to cave-in, so consequently, ground moles tend to be undeterred by soil blocks in tunnels and often continue digging through them rather than around them. Pat yourself on the back and move on to the next step of choosing a ground mole trap for your property. Others include the Easy-Set ground mole eliminator, Cinch ground mole trap, and the Death-Klutch gopher trap. Surface tunnels wind around with no apparent direction or plan; they are used once or revisited several times for feeding purposes, and possibly for locating mates in the breeding season. Moles will adapt to changes in food supply and source as different insects become available in different places and at different times throughout the year.



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