Best Mole Traps for a Molehill-Free Garden

Updated on by Jared Belson | Please note that there may be affiliate links on this page.

Many people may still be wondering if the damage caused by moles is merely aesthetic. It doesn’t matter if you’re an animal lover or otherwise, I’m here to tell you that you’ll want to arm yourself with some of the best mole traps and you might as well do it sooner than later.

A mole infestation won’t always aerate the soil (like some people might claim). It’s quite possible that the excessive digging and particular eating habits of moles will damage your plant roots and ruin your garden, lawn, and edible plant beds. Whether you want to capture them alive or eliminate them swiftly, here are some of the best traps for either purpose.

8 Best Mole Traps for Inexperienced Homeowners

The Wire Tek 1001 is a very simple trap to use. Although it may look intimidating for the average user, it’s really nothing more than a modern interpretation of the classic scissor-jaw mechanical trap. The reason why it’s so easy to use is that you won’t need to use your hands to arm the trap.

Once you’ve located the mound and the tunnel, you can push the trap inside with your work boot. You’ll also note that the jaws are closed at this point. Only after you’ve established a firm footing for the trap inside the tunnel that you should use your boot to arm it.

The setting lever will then sink the scissor mechanism deeper and arm it. Another cool thing about it is the fact that it’s a two-way trap. This means that the jaws are on both ends so that the trap can be triggered regardless of the direction the mole is going.

I also like that the trap pops up a bit off the ground once sprung. This is great as you can avoid digging through dirt to see if anything is caught in the trap and you’ll only have to use your hands once the mole has been dealt with.

Cleaning the trap might get a bit messy so you’ll want to wear some gloves. Other than that, the mechanism doesn’t need any maintenance or prepping before you arm the trap again in another tunnel.

  • No need for digging
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    Jaws are closed until armed
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    Can be easily set up with one foot
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    All-metal build
  • Cleaning the scissors can be hazardous

If you’re looking for a no-kill mole trap, CaptSure makes one of the best in the business. This trap comes in two sizes, small and large, both of which can be used to take care of your mole problems.

The trap looks like a cylinder with a flat base. It’s almost like an aircraft hangar when standing on its base. It features a spring door entrance which closes after a mole or other critter gets inside and triggers the door latch. At the other end, the trap has a release door which also houses the bait compartment.

There are plenty of air holes in the trap’s design which will allow a nice airflow, the better to attract moles to the bait. The clear acrylic cage will also allow you to see when a mole gets caught inside so you won’t have to go out of your way and check too often.

To set up this trap, you have to remove the exit door, detach the bait compartment, fill it up, and then place it back in the door before sliding it back. The entrance can be pushed down inside the trap until it locks into place.

It’s really not a messy process when you think about it. Especially since you won’t have to touch the critter to release it since the entrance door simply slides upward.

  • Simple to use
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    Weather resistance
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    Available in two sizes
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    Humane capturing method
  • You’ll have to buy and set up bait

This is a classic choker loop mole trap. The heavy-duty galvanized steel construction features a treated cast aluminum base. This gives it good weather resistance and durability. At the same time, this means that the trap is reusable.

In terms of effectiveness, the Nash 100 is almost unbeatable. The sheer power of the choker loop will catch any critter big enough or small enough to spring the trap. However, it’s not the easiest one to set. It doesn’t just require strength but also some digging and a great deal of care.

What you have to remember is that this trap needs to be placed in a mole run or mound. For this, you’ll need to dig two openings at the sides of the mole run and then flatten the ground where the loops go into the run. Then you’ll have to push the loops through the base – this is where you’ll need a good deal of finger strength for flipping the lever over to hook it into the release lever.

Once you get a hang of it, the moles don’t stand a chance, as long as you’re able to locate the trap in high-traffic mole run.

  • All weather trap
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    Highly durable
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    Reusable trap
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    Effective kill trap
  • More difficult to set up

Sometimes getting a bit down and dirty is the only way to deal with moles. No matter how hard the setup, you may only need one good trap to deal with multiple moles. Something like the Victor Out O’ Sight Mole Trap may be ideal if you want a budget-friendly option that offers a high success rate.

All of the moving parts on the Victor Out O’ Sight 0631 mole trap are kept underground at all times. This means that you won’t have to worry about the safety of your pets and kids. The iron jaws of this trap are malleable, powerful, and durable.

Although the trap is best suited for sandy soil, it should work in almost any environment. The presence of setting levers is another reason why I recommend the Victor Out O’ Sight Mole Trap. It makes the setup so much easier and safer.

I also like that the trap is not too sensitive. It’s just not going to activate unless a mole tries to reopen a tunnel. After all, it has to be packed under quite a bit of dirt in order to lure a mole to it.

  • Weather-resistant
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    Easy lever-arming
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    Reusable
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    Affordable
  • Devoid of visual sprung trap indicators

One of the coolest things about the Cinch Mole Trap is that it comes in a two-pack. This means that you can attack two tunnels at once. By placing two traps end to end, you can ensure that you’ll catch at least one mole, whichever way it’s heading.

To set up one of these traps, you’ll probably need to do some digging. Usually, six or seven inches will be enough to reach the bottom of the mole run. You’ll have to cover it a bit, of course, and then insert your tunnel marking flag to mark where you’ve placed the trap.

There are no visual indicators for when the trap has sprung. However, the trap isn’t sensitive enough to be sprung by some loose dirt, so chances are that it will stay active once set until a mole triggers the mechanism.

This is considered a humane and non-suffering trap because it takes care of the mole instantly. That’s thanks to the sheer power of the spring-loaded mechanism. There’s also little mess involved. The traps are fairly large so you won’t have to touch the mole to get rid of it. You can simply hold the steel trap over a trash can and release the trap and see the mole slide off on its own.

The ideal tunnel for the Cinch Mole Trap should be around 2.25” in diameter. However, it can work in larger tunnels too.

  • Quick Cinch Capture
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    Reusable trap
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    Weatherproof
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    All-metal construction
  • Needs periodic inspections

Scissor-jawed traps aren’t always the easiest to set up. Wait till you see how Aspectek tackles this.  It’s interesting and effective, to say the least. The Aspectek Professional Mole and Gopher Trap looks like a monstrous galvanized steel mechanism to most people. That’s because it is exactly that.

This is a two-way trap with jaws on both ends for added deadliness. It’s mounted completely underground, which takes care of kid and pet safety concerns. Another cool thing about it is that it has a foot-operated lever action. This ensures that you won’t have to get your hands dirty.

After you locate a good spot for your trap, you can simply push the lever down with your foot to arm it. Whether you want to put it at the edge of a tunnel or in the middle of a mole run is completely up to you.

With materials and build quality, it should be clear that this Aspectek mole trap is reusable many times over. The only true downside is that you might not always be able to tell if a trap had been sprung. At the very least though, disposing of the mole afterwards shouldn’t be difficult. Just press down on the lever with your hand and hold the trap over the trash.

  • Galvanized steel construction
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    Simple 2-in-1 lever operation
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    Two-way trap
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    Weather-resistant and reusable
  • Slightly expensive for an individual trap

The Tomcat Mole Trap looks very cool indeed. The build is reminiscent of a tomcat (the animal, not the fighter jet). It’s fairly bulky and it’s black and yellow in appearance. Above all else, this trap is effective for most people who live in a house with a yard, and that’s perhaps all that matters.

This trap has a simple installation and arming process. Essentially, you’ll only be responsible to find where the tunnel or tunnels are and push the trap into it with your foot. You can arm it by pressing down on the yellow trigger/lever. The yellow trigger comes back up as soon as the trap is sprung.

What makes it a good choice over the more common alternatives is that the trap can handle large moles equally well (and therefore the size of this thing as mentioned earlier). The mechanism acts quickly to close the jaws so that even the smaller moles won’t have sufficient time to escape once they trigger the trap. The visual indicator jumps out at you and makes this an out-of-sight trap.

  • Relatively safe for kids and pets
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    Quick-action jaws
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    Weatherproof
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    Yellow sprung indicator
  • You’ll have to dig a hole for it

The LassoTrap Mole Trap is very similar to the gopher trap from the same manufacturer except in size as the jaws on the mole trap are understandably smaller (2-1/8” interior diameter). This makes them best-suited for tunnels of up to 2.25” in diameter, which should cover all mole runs small and large.

In terms of build quality, you can hardly ask for more than galvanized steel, and this one has also been oil hardened for flawless operation during any season. The trap will also work in any soil type: sandy, dry, muddy, or a combination.

I also like that the trap has a visual indicator for when it caught something. However, you’ll still have to get pretty close to see it. I should also point out that all LassoTrap Mole Traps are sold in pairs.

Setting up the trap may take some time but it’s very safe compared to other traps. The diagram that comes with the two-pack contains a well-written guide that’s complete with visual representations.

  • Rather all weather
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    Galvanized steel build
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    Suitable for small and large moles
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    Tapered jaw
  • A bit hands-on to set up and dispose of the pest

Different Types of Mole Traps

There are three types of mole traps: Nash or choker loop traps, scissor-jawed also known as Out O’Sight, and harpoon traps. Although there are clear technical differences between these traps, the basic principle behind them remains the same.

Each trap uses a spring-loaded mechanism to spring the trap once a mole lifts the soil under the trap.

Nash or choker loop traps are quite self-explanatory. They feature choker loops which tighten around the mole. Although some may deem them less effective, they’re known for their superior installation safety for the trapper.

Scissor-jawed traps are very efficient kill traps that should work in any type of soil. These employ very sharp jaws that come together in a violent movement once the trap is sprung. Though effective, they’re not the easiest to set up for the fact that they require considerable force to arm.

Harpoon traps use sharp spikes to eliminate the mole. These traps are most commonly used in shallow tunnel systems. The mechanism drives the spikes into the ground once the trap is sprung. But, smaller moles may be able to either evade the spikes or avoid triggering the trap entirely.

Safety Concerns

Whenever you’re trying to exterminate pests or deter rodents from messing up your edible and ornamental plants, a few things come to mind. How dangerous are these methods for your own pets, plant life, and your nosy kids?

Whether you’re using kill traps or live traps to take care of moles, both are suitable options and safer than the alternatives for your pets and kids. Most mole traps keep all their moving parts underground after they’re set up and armed.

This means that aboveground triggering won’t be possible. Or, at least it won’t result in any aboveground action. There are however some safety concerns regarding the ease of use of such traps. Most of them have very sharp mechanisms that could injure others if you’re not careful when arming the trap.

It’s probably best to find a trap that needs very little manual adjusting to set up. At least if you’re not known for your hand dexterity or trapping experience.

Desirable Materials

Most of today’s mole traps are designed for year-round use in any type of weather and any type of soil. If you’re opting for metal traps, galvanized steel or its variations would be your best bet. Those traps don’t rust and the mechanisms are rated for any earthly temperature or humidity.

On the other hand, acrylic live traps aren’t bad either. Acrylic won’t crack under snow pressure, heat, or extreme cold. It’s also immune to wind and rain since acrylic traps usually come with heavy bases that prevent them from tipping over easily.

Pick the Right Trap and No Mole Problems

At the end of the day, if you’re lucky enough, any contraption designed to deal with moles should do the trick. But when it comes down to high effectiveness and reusability, the products in this article can give you an edge.

Whether you desire a more humane approach or to tackle your mole with whatever it takes, it’s all up to you. Hopefully, you won’t need another one anytime soon after picking up a mole trap.

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