Your yard and garden should be a refuge from the hectic day-to-day grind—a place where you can sit back and relax, grill a few burgers or steaks, and just enjoy some conversation and relaxation. However, moles, voles, gophers, and other pests can tear up your garden and leave dirt tunnels and holes all over the yard, turning relaxation into frustration. These tunnels, holes, and mounds destroy the tranquil appearance of a yard or garden, but they can also be a severe tripping hazard that can cause twisted ankles, broken toes, and impact injuries from bad falls.
The best mole trap is designed to be set up in the mole tunnels, ensuring the moles will travel directly to the trap and trigger the spring-loaded mechanism that either captures or kills them. This guide will explore a variety of top-rated products on the market featuring several types of mole traps. To ensure you have adequate information before deciding on a mole trap, read on to find important shopping tips and product considerations.
- BEST OVERALL: Wire Tek 1001 EasySet Mole Eliminator Trap (2 Pack)
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: CaptSure Original Humane Mouse Traps, Easy to Set
- BEST SCISSOR: Victor 0631 Out O’Sight Mole Trap, Weather-Resistant
- BEST TUNNEL: The Original Blackhole Gopher/Rodent Trap
- BEST PLUNGER: GopherHawk Trapping Set, Includes Wedge and Probe
- BEST LIVE-CATCH: Cadrim Mouse Trap, 2 Pack Big Humane Mouse Catcher
- ALSO CONSIDER: Gonzo 100518702 Dead End Packaged Gopher Trap
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Mole Trap
Before choosing the best mole trap to treat a pest infestation, it’s crucial to determine the type of trap you want to use, the benefits and drawbacks of certain materials, and even the ground conditions in the affected area of the yard. Keep reading to learn more details about these essential product features.
Mole traps are typically made out of either metal or plastic. In some circumstances, the design may use both materials.
- Metal mole traps prioritize power and durability. Users can rely on them to work quickly and effectively, driving a spike down into pests or slicing through pests without slowing or getting stuck. While this seems cruel, the metal design is intended to instantly kill the moles so they don’t suffer.
- Plastic is commonly used for humane mole traps. These traps are essentially hollow tunnels with a one-way entrance, so once moles enter, they are trapped until users release them. The plastic construction is water- and corrosion-resistant. It’s also lightweight and less expensive than metal.
- Combined plastic and metal mole traps feature a plastic tunnel or box to lure in the moles and metal wires that kill them with a choker- or loop-style construction.
There are several types of mole traps, each with a unique design intended to capture and—depending on the type—kill moles, including scissor traps, tunnel traps, plunger traps, and live-catch tunnel traps.
- Scissor mole traps are set inside the mole tunnel. One set of spring-loaded blades sits at either end of the trap, and the trigger is set in the middle, where it’s held in place by piled dirt. When the mole attempts to move the dirt to continue through the tunnel, this action sets off the trap, closing the powerful scissor blades and killing the mole.
- Tunnel mole traps can also be referred to as box-, choker- and loop-style traps because they feature an enclosed box with a metal wire loop that is pulled upward by a spring-loaded system as soon as the mole triggers the trap. When the mole activates the trap, the metal wire catches the mole and quickly kills it.
- Plunger mole traps feature a spring-loaded spike that is shot down into the ground when the mole triggers the trap. The trap is relatively easy to set up with minimal digging involved, and the plunging spike takes care of moles in a hurry.
- Live-catch tunnel mole traps are enclosed tunnel-style traps that are placed into the mole tunnel with some dirt pushed up against the door. Moles try to dig through the dirt but will quickly find themselves trapped inside the tunnel. Users who want to remove moles from the yard without killing them should consider this type of trap.
The ground conditions of the yard or garden may seem like an odd factor to consider when choosing a mole trap, but this is necessary because the traps are most effective when set up underground in the actual mole tunnel. This means the trap’s mechanism needs to be able to move quickly through the dirt for the trap to be effective.
Scissor traps and plunger traps don’t function well in rocky ground because the rocks can impede the movement of the spike or the closing of the scissors. In this case, it’s best to use either a box trap or a live-catch tunnel trap. Additionally, moles enjoy very moist ground, so it may be a good idea to pause the irrigation system while trying to rid your yard of moles.
The safety of kids, pets, and even adult users should always be a primary consideration when deciding which trap to choose. After all, most of these traps are designed to maim and kill at a high speed, with the goal of causing the least-possible suffering. Mole traps are dangerous, and their location should be properly marked on the yard’s surface so it’s always obvious where the traps are set.
However, marking the traps isn’t enough for homes with curious kids and pets. These devices can be triggered with a slight amount of pressure and have enough power to cut clean through a finger. It’s recommended to either keep kids and pets far away from the traps or invest in a live-catch trap that isn’t dangerous to use. If you decide on a live-catch trap, make sure to wear proper protection, like gloves, shoes, and long pants, when releasing the mole.
Our Top Picks
The best mole trap ensures that the pests are captured or quickly and efficiently killed to rid yards and gardens of built-up molehills and return them to their previous appeal. This list of top picks features some of the top-rated products on the market, chosen with overall quality, price, and the abovementioned important shopping tips and considerations in mind.
The Wire Tek 2-pack includes a pair of durable and water-resistant stainless-steel scissor-style mole traps that are easy for users to set.
Wire Tek includes two mole traps in this product bundle, so users can address mole infestation problems twice as fast without having to purchase additional traps. The mole traps feature a scissor-style design that users embed into the ground, so the scissors are directly in line with the mole tunnel. These traps are made of durable stainless steel that’s resistant to water and corrosion, ensuring they won’t fail when triggered.
The traps boast an easy-set system. Users don’t need to dig into the ground and set the traps up by hand; they simply push the traps into the ground with their foot. However, keep in mind that this easy-set system is designed only for surface and shallow tunnels. For deeper tunnels, users will need to first dig into the ground to directly access the tunnel.
This inexpensive CaptSure 2-pack of live-capture mole traps features a curved tunnel and flat base with a see-through plastic design, allowing them to humanely capture moles.
The affordable two-pack of CaptSure mole traps is also useful for mice, voles, and gophers, helping ensure that the yard is clear of more than just moles. The traps feature a transparent plastic design and resemble tunnels or narrow holes where rodents like to travel or make burrows. They have a single door at one end and can be loaded up with bait to draw in the moles. Once the mole pushes inside the trap, the door locks in place, capturing the mole without killing it.
These live-capture traps are a great option for homes with kids and pets or even if users just prefer to leave the mole alive. The plastic design is resistant to both water and corrosion, so the traps can safely be left out for multiple days and reused again and again for any future mole infestations. It is recommended to check the traps at least once daily to avoid inadvertently harming any trapped moles.
Use this Victor 2-pack of scissor mole traps to quickly and effectively eliminate mole infestations without the need for harmful poisons or chemical baits.
This two-pack of mole traps from Victor features a scissor-style design with spring-loaded blades that react to being triggered by snapping shut with enough force to cut off a finger. The traps are nontoxic and don’t require bait. They are made of durable water-resistant iron that can withstand rain, sleet, and frost, helping to ensure that the traps will work without issue.
These traps include setting levers and safety clips, so users can carefully set them up below the ground surface directly in line with the mole tunnel. This placement is ideal for encountering burrowing moles because they tend to use tunnels they have already dug. Setting the traps underground also helps to keep them away from kids and pets, reducing the chance of an accidental trigger.
This simple and reusable Blackhole tunnel mole trap doesn’t require bait and features a weather-resistant plastic-and-stainless-steel design.
This tunnel mole trap features a cylindrical shape that users place directly in line with the mole tunnel, so the hollow center resembles the tunnel, encouraging the mole to pass through. Upon entering the tunnel, the mole triggers the trap, and the metal wiring quickly kills the mole. To deal with additional moles or other critters, just empty the trap, clean it, and reset as necessary.
The trap is constructed of rugged plastic, and the wire and spring mechanism is made of stainless steel. This combination is resistant to water, corrosion, and rapid temperature changes, making it a great choice for early spring when rain is plentiful and late fall when freezing temperatures are common.
The GopherHawk Trapping Set is a plunger-style mole trap that includes a wedge and probe tool, making it easier for users to locate and open a mole tunnel to set the trap.
A plunger-style mole trap is a good option for users who want a visible trap that works quickly without the use of baits or poisons. With this trap from GopherHawk, the trigger is set up in the mole tunnel, and the mole sets off the trap when it digs through the tunnel. The top of the trap, however, sits mostly above ground. While this visibility makes it easier for adults to avoid the trap, it may draw children’s and pets’ attention. Parents and pet owners should take extra care to keep kids and pets away from the trap.
Ideal for moles and gophers, this mole trap is made with thick, durable plastic that’s resistant to water and corrosion, and the spring mechanism is made of stainless steel. It includes a handy wedge and probe tool so users can quickly locate the mole tunnel in which to set up the trap. The trap can still be set using a shovel, but the wedge and probe tool provides a narrow design that cuts through sod and dirt without damaging a large portion of the lawn or garden.
This 2-pack of cylindrical Cadrim live-catch traps is designed with see-through plastic to visualize a trapped mole and reinforced metal plates on both doors to prevent escape.
This two-pack of Cadrim traps is made for humanely catching moles, mice, chipmunks, rats, and voles, using bait to draw them into the live-catch tunnel compartment. Upon entering the trap, the mole triggers the door and is trapped inside until users can safely release it in an alternate location. The bait door is detachable to easily remove the mole from the trap, but it’s still advisable to wear protective gear, like gloves, closed-toe shoes, and long pants, to reduce the risk of scratches or bites.
These live-catch traps are a good choice for homes with kids or pets because they don’t include any components that could cause harm. However, parents and pet owners should still check the traps for captured moles before allowing pets or kids to play nearby. The traps feature durable plastic that won’t rust or corrode and reinforced metal door plates to help prevent moles from escaping.
The Gonzo tunnel mole trap features a simple cylindrical design that resembles a narrow tube, making it easy to align the trap with the mole tunnel.
With a cylindrical shape and half-moon entrance, the Gonzo Dead End tunnel mole trap is designed for catching and killing pests in their tunnels. This trap should be placed in line with the mole tunnel so the mole will simply follow its route and trigger the stainless steel wire. While it will work without a lure or pesticide, the trap is more effective with bait to coax the moles inside.
The trap features a water-resistant plastic tunnel and a stainless steel spring-loaded mechanism to trap and kill moles. This reusable trap is a good option for eliminating minor mole or gopher infestations, though it may not be a suitable choice for homes with pets or kids because of the dangerous killing mechanism.
FAQs About Mole Traps
Taking care of a pest problem in your yard can seem challenging. If you still have questions about mole traps and how they work, read on to find answers to several of the most frequently asked questions.
Q. Are mole traps dangerous to pets?
Yes, most mole, vole, and gopher traps are designed to be lethal and often use powerful, spring-loaded mechanisms that can be dangerous to kids and pets—and adults, if not handled with care.
Q. Can mole traps be used for voles or gophers?
Mole traps can be used for both voles and gophers because all three of these pests tunnel under the lawn. However, repellents and pesticides may differ in effectiveness based on the three kinds of rodents’ various lifestyles and diets.
Q. What time of day are moles most active?
Moles are most active in the early morning and evening, especially during the spring and autumn seasons.
Q. Where is the best place to put a mole trap?
Position mole traps inside an existing mole tunnel to have the best chance of getting rid of these critters. This is the most effective strategy as the moles will usually follow their pre-dug tunnels and dig through minor cave-ins and obstructions, where they typically trigger most traps.
Q. How long do you leave a mole trap?
Check a mole trap at least once every day to know if it has caught or killed any moles or would be more effective in a different location. However, it’s recommended to try a location for 2 or 3 days before moving the trap.