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MOLE KIT Probably
the only complete package (barring a spade) in the world that will take you from
beginner to competent mole catcher in a couple of hours. Includes 3 of the best
quality traps available, a mole run probe and a CD Rom which includes 5 short
videos. Money back if it does work for you!
MOLE TRAP REVIEW
Surely a mole trap is a mole
trap so why have a review?
|The brand new scissor
trap on the right, bought on Ebay, is virtually useless, except for holding
paper together on a windy day! See why below.
The same applies to one brand of
So read on...........
TYPES OF TRAP REVIEWED
The two main types of mole
trap available on the British Market are the Scissor Trap and the
(also known as the half tunnel or Duffus Trap, after it's inventor). This
page reviews these two , including, in the case of the Duffus trap,
which ones to buy and which ones to avoid. It also reviews the Talpex Trap. An
excellent trap but seldom seen. There are also some comments on Live
Catch traps and Sonic Mole Repellers. There are other traps about.
A number of variations on the
scissor trap, and various other designs. My advice is not to bother with
The Scissor Trap is the trap
most commonly seen in garden shops, hardware stores etc. and therefore the one most
commonly used by those just wanting the odd trap or two for a problem in their
garden/paddock. The Tunnel Trap is the choice of most professional mole catchers.
firmly of the opinion that there simply nothing to touch the Duffus or Tunnel
Trap. Forgive me therefore if I dismiss other types as inferior with
the exception of the Talpex. All I will say is that I used the scissor trap for many years
until someone showed me how to fine tune a tunnel trap. After that there
was simply no contest and I have now disposed of my scissor traps and with one
exception exclusively use tunnel traps. That one exception is the Talpex
Trap. I have a specific use for it, but details of that further down.
There are thousands of
scissor traps in use and it is the one most commonly found in garden shops etc
will look at that first.
TRAP REVIEW Scissor Trap
It has main three main advantages:
It is very easy to set the
trap. (By that I mean squeezing the handles and placing the trigger tongue in
You can see from a distance if it has sprung
Quite easy to tune the
trap to make it ultra sensitive
It is a
very simple but sturdy design.
That, I am afraid, is it. The rest is downhill.
The disadvantages are:
Although easy to set, it is tricky to install in a mole
run, particularly in deep ones. It has to be covered in such a way that nothing, e.g. stones or
bits of turf fouls the moving parts. Because of the sticking up handles, it is difficult to totally cover so as to
wholly exclude the
light from the mole run without impeding the action of the trap
A stone in the wrong place
will jam the jaws, a frequent occurrence in stony soils.
there is a frost, the soil round the handles freezes and prevents the trap from working
Heavy rain will wash the soil from over the trap into the run thus exposing
Not easy to install in a
very shallow run, and likewise a very deep run
In my view not a
particularly humane trap, as the spring is not very powerful, with one
exception, the Extra Power trap imported by www.pest-stop.co.uk
Cannot be used with
livestock present, owing to the sticking up handles.
Hitting the trap with a mower will probably destroy the trap and damage the
blade of the mower.
There are quite a
number of badly designed copies on the market
All these factors contribute to a much higher level of
misses, i.e. a mole that has passed through the trap and either triggered it
without getting caught, or dug under it, or even worse been partially trapped
and then escaped. You then more often than not have a trap shy mole. I
used to think I was doing well if 50% of traps where a mole had passed had a
dead one in it. With the Tunnel trap that figure is over 90%
Why then is this the most
common trap available? I think because of it's simplicity in setting and
the sturdy design. The only real alternative, the tunnel trap, is quite tricky to set
until you get used to it. There are many different brands on the market.
Few if any have makers names on them. Some of the foreign imports are
poorly made. As I am not a user of this type of trap I am unable to comment on
the different brands although further down you will find the bad points to look
out for in a scissor trap..
TRAP REVIEW Tunnel, or
To me, logic dictates that this is the perfect design of trap. It has a powerful
action, incorporates a
half tunnel, so is dead easy to cover, and the working parts are not prone to being jammed by stones turf
etc. Be warned though that one of the most popular brands on the market, usually
sold in a box under the brand name BIG CHEESE, has a design fault and
although it will catch moles, the catching percentage is lower than other
brands. Further details below.
Advantages of the Tunnel
Easy to install in a
mole run as the half tunnel means you can just brush a bit of loose
soil over the top and all light is excluded from the run.
Fast powerful killing
action, unlike some of its competitors
"tune" the trap so that it is very sensitive to being triggered.
virtually never jammed by stones or turf
If covered by a piece
of turf or a small board, will not be affected by frost, or heavy rain
Can be set in a
paddock/field containing livestock if covered by a small board.
Will not damage a
mower as no part of the trap is above ground (except in v shallow runs).
If trapping on a lawn, much neater
than a scissor trap. Cut out a piece of turf above the run with a border
spade which is the same width as the trap. Turf can then be replaced when
mole has been dealt with, molehills removed and lawn will be
Can be used equally
successfully in deep or surface runs
Can, and occasionally
does, catch two moles at a time
Easy to conceal when
set in places where the public have access, therefore less likely to get
Disadvantages of the
Tricky to set unless you
are shown the technique. Get the setting wrong and you can get a painful rap
on the fingers!
As sold not suitable for
installation in a run. The trap needs to be "tuned" so that it triggers quite easily. Simple to do once you have been
shown or seen how to do it on my CD ROM
Cannot see from a
distance if they have been sprung
As nothing shows above
ground, easy to lose trap if child/dog/etc removes marker stick.
If for some reason you
prefer to use a scissor type trap rather than a tunnel, than I highly
recommend this one. Very effective. Much used on mainland Europe. Even the
cheap imports of this seem to work OK. The original Talpex comes with the
word Talpex on the trigger plate
The trigger mechanism on
this trap works in a different way to the above two traps. Instead of the
mole having to push with flipper or nose, it is the action of pushing soil
to restore the tunnel that triggers the trap. It is therefore very useful if
you get a trap shy mole that consistently plugs a tunnel trap. It does
A very powerful trap, which can
make it a little tricky to set until you get used to it.
Needs no adjustment before use
Relatively easy to install in
the run, but takes a bit of time especially if working in stony ground
The main disadvantage of this
trap is that like the scissor trap you can end up with stones in the
jaws. In stone free soil it is quite excellent.
Unless you know how to install,
then you may get a high percentage of moles passing through. without
triggering. I am not giving away all my secrets, so to learn that particular
skill you will need to buy my CD Rom!
Live catch trap.
This is basically a black
tube with a one way swinging door at each end. I only have one of these which I
bought to try and catch a trap shy mole. Not only was it unsuccessful but
in the other half dozen times that I have tried it the mole has dug round it
each time, and I have yet to catch anything in it.
I would be interested to
hear from anyone who has CONSISTENTLY caught moles in this type of trap
I am not going to review it
as my opinion of this trap is that it is a complete waste of time and
money. That is a pity because I have people asking me to live catch moles
and remove them, but have no means of doing so.
Do they work? Answer
seems to be yes & no. Three months after they bought these gadgets I
asked twenty people their opinion. 55% said they did not work. 20 %
said they worked well although most of them said that the makers claims of the
area covered were very optimistic. 25% said they worked but not very well
and some claimed that the moles seemed to get used to them.
|SCISSOR TRAP BRANDS:
As far as I can make
out to numerous to mention. I can only point out the things to avoid.
The newer of the two traps, shown, on the left, is quite useless for two reasons.
Firstly the trigger is far too high from the bottom of the trap, as
shown by the yellow line. A
mole can readily pass without touching the trigger. Secondly the hinge
bar, shown by the red arrow, is too long. The net result, as shown
by the red & blue lines, is that the jaws of the trap are too close together, with barely enough
room for a mole to squeeze through. It also leaves the handles at
the top too far apart, making it look as if the trap has been triggered.
They should look like the one on the right.
I have recently bought an Extra
Power Scissor Trap. Previously known as the "Little
Nipper", it does have a stronger spring than normal scissors and I
have successfully caught moles with it. If you like Scissor Traps
then try this one. It's main disadvantage is that the tongue is
held captive by a pathetic little chain. This is easily broken
with the attendant risk of losing the tongue.
Can be obtained from www.pest-stop.co.uk
My final word on Scissor Traps is
forget them and get Tunnel Traps! At the time of writing I have
just been speaking to a local gamekeeper to whom I lent two Tunnel
Traps. He asked to borrow them after failing to catch more than
the odd mole in his garden with five scissor traps. He caught nine
in ten days with the two Tunnel Traps.
DUFFUS TRAP BRANDS
To date I have come across
five different manufactures/importers. There are probably more. The first
four are all good working traps. Some of them sell direct to the public, others
not. Some of the traps have slight advantages over others. For more detail on individual brands you need to purchase my CD-ROM
on MOLE TRAPPING WITH THE TUNNEL TRAP. ALL
OF THEM REQUIRE SOME DEGREE OF PREPARATION BEFORE BEING USED.
The Flat Pack
on a farm in Yorkshire www.theflatpack.co.uk Excellent
trap. Very good value. Sells direct to public and on
Ebay username moletrapman. Incorporates a small modification to the top bar which improves the trap.
Has a slightly stronger spring and thicker wire than the Bethel Rhodes trap (see
below). This means that it is slightly trickier to "tune", but
once set up re-tuning is less likely.
Based in Yorkshire, they took over the manufacture from Duffus, the
inventor of the modern tunnel trap (in the late 1800s). www.bethelrhodes.co.uk Only
sells direct in large numbers. Supplies MOD, Defra etc. A well made trap.
Stop. Brand name
Extra Power. True of their Scissor trap but their Tunnel Trap is no more
powerful than the ones above. A Chinese import, but a good one. www.pest-stop.co.uk
Some advice on website on how to trap. One aspect of that is particularly
inaccurate and will hugely reduce your chance of catching a mole! Buy my
CD ROM to find out why!
AND THE ONE TO AVOID,
but unfortunately one of the most commonly
|The Big Cheese brand comes
in an individual red and yellow box. A poor copy of the Tunnel Trap trap, manufactured, I am told in the Czech Republic.
catching loop is slightly too long. The result is that the spring cannot
pull the catching loop hard up against the tunnel, and thus dispatch the mole
quickly. I bought 20 of these traps and suddenly found I had a much higher
percentage of sprung empty traps. The only way of identifying this particular
brand of trap is by the shape of the trigger loop, which is different from all
the others. It is much more rounded.
February 2007. Have just seen
what appear to be 2nd generation Big Cheese Tunnel Traps. These
ones were not in a box but had a small label on a bit of string with Big
Cheese written on it. A slightly better trap than their previous
one but still with a spring that is not strong enough..
Finally, my favourite subject, OLD
WIVE'S TALES. If you know of any not shown here, then please let me
know. The main thing is not to believe ANY of them, least of all the first
||One method of testing
the effectiveness of a Tunnel Trap is by lowering the catching loop onto your finger. If you can
easily pull your finger out then don't bother with that brand.
Bury new traps for months on end to
take the shine/smell off them. I use mine straight from the
factory with no discernable variation in moles caught.
Avoid handling the trap with bare
hands or gloves with strange smells on them. Once again total
nonsense. My gloves often have traces of diesel on them when I go
trapping, and in summer I often use bare hands
Moles are solitary for most of the
year. Well if they are then why do I get multiple catches the whole
A piece of Mars Bar with an Aspirin in
will poison the mole. Ha Ha!
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Last updated: 04/05/2012