Actually, all manufactured mole traps on the market are effective in catching moles. The best mole trap is the one that you feel most comfortable using. Another part of the decision-making process is your location and the species of mole you are trying to trap. Some traps are better suited for certain locations than others. If people determine that a trap isn’t effective in capturing moles, the cause is usually operator failure.
It is strongly recommended that you pretest your trap for problem-free operation before you walk away. This will ensure that all working parts will not encounter any obstruction. Nothing is more frustrating than checking the trap and finding a rock or root lodged in the jaws. Another problem often encountered is the heaviness of soil. Some traps, notably the Victor Out O’Sight trap, are best set with jaws firmly in the soil. Heavy soils can prevent full function of the trap.
There are many mole trap designs. The Nash Choker works best in areas that have few rocks and tree roots that can interfere with the jaw action. The NoMol trap is often best used in situations where you don’t want the public to see traps above ground.
The Mole Pro trap is a relatively new scissors-jaw design that in head-to-head comparison is favored above the Victor Out O’Sight trap and many other designs as well. The Mole Pro does not require setters as does the Out O’Sight, nor does it require much hand strength to set.
Harpoon traps are often used by new mole trappers due to their ease of use. These are also often effective for use on feeder tunnels where moles are close to the surface. Be advised that this trap is well exposed above the surface. For children, pets, and passersby, the potential hazard must be considered.
Other designs include the Duffus Tunnel Trap (an English design), the Black Hole (actually, a pocket gopher trap) that is also known as the Tube Style trap, and the Pincher Style trap, as well as many others. All traps will catch moles if properly set. The difficulty lies somewhere between our frustration with the destruction moles wreak on our landscapes and the learning curve. Sometimes it’s easier to hire a professional if you can find a reputable one.
Before you start trapping, however, be sure to check your state laws as the citizens of Washington State and Massachusetts have banned, through ballot initiatives, mole traps.