Mole Trap Setting Stick





Introduction: Mole Trap Setting Stick

A simple tool you can build will make setting spring-type mole traps easier and safer and will enable the traps to be more effective. Note: LOTS of animals were harmed during the development of this Instructable. Those who are squeamish or are mole-huggers probably should not read further. Other designs of mole traps (all of which are also lethal) and other ways to control moles, such as gas bombs, poisons, poisoned baits, wooden windmills, etc., are not relevant to this Instructable. This one is about setting spring traps. To see my related Instructables, click on "unclesam" just below the title above or in the INFO box to the right. On the new page that appears, repeatedly click "NEXT" to see all of them.

Step 1: Components and Tools

The setting stick has a short stove bolt threaded into one side of it, and the dimensions are not critical. I chose a piece of wood that is 3/4" thick and 1-1/2" wide, cut to 28" long, edges sanded smooth. I drilled a 13/64" (0.234) diameter hole through the stick 9-1/2" from one end and tapped it using a 5/16"-18 metal-cutting tap. The 5/16" dia stove bolt was bought having a threaded portion that ran all the way to its square cross section portion. The bolt should be bought or cut so that its threaded section will not quite reach all the way through the stick. The rounded crown of the bolt's head should be filed or ground away to make a flat on it about the size of a nickel.

Step 2: Setting Stick and Trap

Assembled setting stick next to a mole spring trap. The protruding head of the stove bolt will be used to grip the top of the curved metal strap that runs between the top of the two legs of the trap. The curved strap appears directly above the bolt head in this photo. The crown of the stove bolt is ground flat so that it will not interfere with the movement of the trap's compression spring.

Step 3: Trap Setting Hints

First tamp a section of the raised mole trail flat, then depress a few inches of the trail into a shallow groove, aligned with the course of the trail. The trap's trigger will sit in this groove, so the mole is less likely to be able to crawl underneath the trap without setting it off. Trapping will be made more seccessful by tamping flat other sections of the raised mole trail and checking next day to determine where within the maze the mole has been working most recently. Sections previously flattened there will have been raised again, and traps should be moved to those sections. If you are going to trap moles, you need to learn to think like a mole.

Step 4: Pre-form Holes for the Spikes

Without first setting the trap, push the legs of the trap into the ground such that the legs straddle the tamped groove. Next, hold the setting stick as shown, with the protruding portion of the stove bolt pressing down against the curved metal crosspiece of the trap. Repeatedly raise and lower the spikes, without latching the trigger, to pre-form holes in the ground. This step makes the trap much more effective. Without it, even if a mole triggers the trap, the spikes may not penetrate the ground. Once the holes are pre-formed in the ground, raise the spikes up until the trigger latches. Carefully use the setting stick to push the trap's legs farther into the ground, until the trigger is just above the bottom of the tamped groove you made in the ground.

Step 5: Trap Set

Trap properly set just waiting for a visit from Mr. Mole. The trigger should be just above the earth at the bottom of the tamped groove, so that heaving of the ground with temperature changes will not trigger the trap. The legs of the trap should straddle the mole trail, because if the mole hits a leg, it may just turn around or dig outside the leg, avoiding the trap. If you find a trap that is triggered, do not pull it out of the ground right away. If the mole has just been snagged, it can get away when you pull out the trap. First, push down with your feet on top of the metal plate that holds the spikes. Mole might then come out of the ground with the trap, or you might have to do a little digging to find him.
My instructions are different from the instructions supplied by the mole trap manufacturer. I have proven over many years of use that mine are more effective and, I believe, safer for the trapper.



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    Milky spore. Milky spore means no grubs. No grubs means no moles. And finally, with not enough to eat they moved out and my flower roots have recovered. If all that's not enough, spread it 10 years ago and still no moles.

    The brand of worm I use is "TALPIRID", kills moles, and granular bait from Home Depot called 'SURE STOP' Mole & Gopher BAIT, comes in 1 lb can, HD sells a dispenser for the granular bait so the bait is dispensed deep down inside the tunnel or nest. Seems like they like the bait and worms, make more mounds, but time will tell, soon it seems the digging should be less, not more. Hopeful.

    my dad tried this kind of trap, to no avail. after reading on the internet, he came to the conclusion that you can use peanut buttered mouse traps right outside of the mole holes to trap them. a few years with a traditional mole trap? nothing. two weeks with mouse traps? eight moles and a mouse.

    I was hoping for a good solution for eradicating my beautiful (new) perinneal flower garden of these horrid critters. I'm not up to waiting around hoping to try to "spear" one, nor does it do my tummy well, eeyuck. I've seen the traps and so far don't have what it takes to use it. I did catch one last year with a rat trap and peanut butter; place it by an active hole (not in the area of rabbits and squirrels). I was lucky enough to have someone take him off the trap. Since I wouldn't want to endanger rabbits or squirrels, I can't put the traps in the flower garden. Guess I'll try the musical trick, where would I find a mint stalk? They are tearing up my yard along with the rabbits..and now birds tearing apart my tennis shoe shoestrings for nests! go figure. I enjoyed reading your comments, guess I'll go check out the tunnels this morning. sigh Any more ideas, friends? Enjoy the day!

    2 replies

    desertskyblue, in England, people call on a person whose occupation is "ratcatcher" for this and similar jobs. They drop live earthworms, dipped in strychnine, into the mole tunnels, less yuck factor for the homeowner, license required for this work. You can try similar strategy by purchasing product made specifically for killing moles, search for it on Internet, garden supply stores. Kind of costly, worms that look like "Gummy worms," but body material incorporates suitable lure and poison, generally safe when used with accompanying instructions. I have not tried the worms, but you may find user reports on Internet as well. You may need to take precautions to prevent domestic pets from digging up a poisoned mole. U.S.

    Thanks for the info. I just happened across the "gummy worms" at the hardware/garden store the other day. Has anyone on here tried them out yet? I'm curious before I put out $20. Thanks a ton...I don't have any pets..just the critter that's been chewing the laces of my gardening tennis shoes I leave on the deck. Would love to catch it in action. ha ha

    Can you post a picture or video of this thing in action actually trapping a mole?

    1 reply

    Mint plant stalks, a bottle blowing against a stick, electronic noise/vibrators, windmills and poisons do not work. Moles eat earth worms and grubs, not any current poison baits on the market. The trap shown above will yea and verily kill the mole if it is placed over the tunnel, not the hole. Press a section of the tunnel down & then press the traps trigger were it bottoms on the indentation. Make sure the spikes will penetrate the dirt by "Exercising the trap a couple of times" You don't always get the mole just because the trap has sprung. They are extremely difficult to get rid of.

    an 8 inch length of mint plant stalk dose the trick, they carnt stand the smell

    How to rid moles from the lawn: take one bamboo cane push into mole hill, place plastic juice bottle on cane.. that it! Rattle away... or... when you next receive a musical greetings card, remove the musical chip and battery place in a plactic bottle, dig up a mole hill and insert the bottle into the mole hole with the chip playing music, Moles have excellent hearing, Happy Birthday Mr Mole... bye bye...

    I'm not goung to ask whether you can eat these varmints, but what do you do with the dead ones? Any use for the fur? L

    3 replies

    Eat them, use the fur? Lawd chile, I reckon! In the hollers around here we dont waste nuthin, expecially free critter vittles (the title of my Instructables recipe "Road Kill Stew" aint no yewfamism). The good book teaches that man cannot live by white lightnin and gubamint cheese alone, and I should know, cause I've tried it. Problem aint the unbalanced nutrition, its remembering to never, absolutely NEVER, back up to an open flame (see my Instructable "Biofuel Bicycle Booster Rocket"). By askin that question, you must be one a them folks who eats settin on a chair, with food on a table and in dishes, your la-dee-dah fancy two-course dinners of Perrier and pork rinds, lookin down on folks who take most of their meals from the end of a whittled stick. Recyclin is lernt early herebouts, where kids dont have storebought toys, we make do with whatever we find. On summer days we would hike out to the main road with a shovel and scrape up a rabbit that had been hit by a car and then rund over again and again for days on the hot blacktop. We would toss it around like you rich folk do a Frisbee, only we call ours a Sailrabbit [tm Whammo Appalachian Limited Partnership], see my Instructable of the same name. Mole pelts are a vital local cash crop, because of the demand for "moleskin" in medical products. This trap settin stick posted by that handsome young feller will provide a tremendous boost to our local economy. You taxpayers must be so gratified to finally see us ordinary folk benefit from all those zillions you have donated to the space program. Mole pelts can also be sewn together to make warm winter shirts (see final scenes of the picture show "The Silence of the Lambs"). You may have seen some older shirts on PBS's Antiques Roadshow, where the apparaiser fellers can guess the family that sewed them by the distinctive geometric patterns formed by the paws, tails and faces. The Chinese gubamint is against its citizens using the Internet, but was so impressed by Instructables that it created its own how-to site, called Inscrutables, which includes many mole-based recipes. Chinese find a way to eat most everything, and eatin moles are raised there range-fed. In one restaurant recipe, a waiter places a heavy hot pan containing sizzling butter on a metal stand in the center of the dining table. And, as we do by tossing live lobster into boiling water, he then lets several moles leap from a basket into the pan. Children really love to watch them skitter around, like little biddy bumping cars. A dash of cognac lit by a long match, and all becomes quiet by the time the blue flame dies out. The flambe burns off the fur and leaves the skin brown and crispy, creating the dish famous as Peking Mole. Home cooks in these parts know that the secret to cooking with moles in how to clean them efficiently. They first start water running in the kitchen sink and turn on the garbage disposal. Next they grab a mole and put their mouth over its snout and mouth, the way you do when you are trying to revive a pet mole that has nearly been drownded, and give a sharp, forceful puff aimed at the sink drain. All the unpleasant stuff is blown out the other end, and if the cook is quick, when all the moles are cleaned there will still be time to wipe off whatever has splattered onto the walls before it gets the chance to run down behind the stove. Regardless of what you may have heard, folks here are just as partiklar about which kind of blood and guts they let run down behind their stoves are are city folk. Next step is to reverse each mole and blow in the other end so the meat leaps out in one piece, leaving the empty pelt in your hand. One exotic recipe can be easily prepared by the home cook. It calls for enough cleaned moles to fit tightly together in a large deep pot, all packed standing vertically. Cooking causes their lips to draw back from their teeth, like the grimaces of ghouls in the early "Tales from the Crypt" comic books. Because of what appears when you remove the lid at the dinner table, the name of the dish translates to "Heavenly Porridge of the Thousand Smiling Faces." Ah hopes Ah has assuaged yore worries on these matters on behalf of that handsome young settin stick feller. Six

    When my dad used to spear them with sharp sticks, he just scraped them off into the sewer. As for with these traps, they'd leave way to many holes to use the fur for anything/

    How do you spear a mole? That could be worth an Instructable in itself(?) L

    No. Having read the Instructable I can tell you that it is showing you how to make a simple tool called a 'Setting Stick', which allows mole-traps to be set easily and more important, safely.