Mole Trapping at Walcote Farm



The Best Places To Set A Mole Trap.

The normal place that you read about is to set a mole trap between two new molehills. That is the easy option, because people cannot go into a lot of detail when explaining where to set a trap. I will only set a trap between the latest molehills if there are no other options. In other words, this is the worst place to choose.

The best place is in a fence line.

At any time of year, when you go into a field or garden to catch moles, the first thing you should think of is, where is the nearest place for water from where the moles are working. Traps set in a main run or runs going towards a water source, will catch all the moles from a large area, which could extend for many 100's of yards away. Main runs would normally be found in a fence line.

Most people would never consider this to be the best place to set a trap because you hardly see any large scale mole activity. This is because the mole run has been there a very long time. The most you often see, is a little bit of ground disturbance. You will find this is a well-used run, used by a lot of moles if they are going back for water or shelter. (Every situation is not always the same because moles could find a new source of water in the field, especially in the winter months.) These runs will be larger than most runs because moles are not all the same size. The run will be as large as the largest mole. They are the motorways of mole runs.

For 200-300 yards along this wire fence were numerous mole runs going out into the field and therefore there is a main mole run along the fence line. The ideal place to set a trap in this instance, is next to a fencing post and is near to the start of the main run where there is water nearby. Moles always come back for water.


Q. Where were the moles before they moved out into the field or garden? A. They have come from the boundary of the field or garden. The moles will always keep going back to the boundary of the field or garden in order to travel to water or shelter. The moles will have known where there is water, before they started digging up the field or garden. You do not have to dig up the lawn to set a trap, if you can find a mole run near the boundary line. Moles go and return from their feeding areas, probably about four times a day.


I had an email because there was a problem with moles on the lawn. Below is what he did after my advice.

I did as you suggested and looked for signs of an existing main mole run, and could just make out the traces of an old line of molehills coming into the garden from our adjacent field, close against one of the stone gateposts. I prodded until I found the run and set a trap. When I checked a few hours later I had caught a mole. Since then there has been no evidence of mole activity in the garden. Thanks ever so much for your good advice.


The next best place is a run which will be used to get to their feeding area.

The trap in the picture, is actually set a few yards from a hedge where there is a single and only mole run going out into this part of the field where you can see many more molehills branching out in all directions. I always like to set traps, in an area of old molehills and not by fresh ones, providing there is a single run going towards the new molehills. The reasons are that the moles have worked their way out into the field, finding new feeding places every day and then returning to where they last found water, unless they have found a new water source, underground, out in the middle of the field. The mole run where the trap is set will be well used and also the run will be a lot firmer than near fresh molehills. Only one trap was needed to catch the two moles in this area, in two days.

There is often a situation where you do not see clearly where the moles are going out into the middle of the field from the boundary fence to the latest molehills. This happens when the moles have been in the field a long time and the molehills near the boundary have disappeared. Look for length of an indentation in the ground, the width of a mole run. The ground above a mole run will often sink a bit and you can see this when the grass is short.

Remember, a mole run is not active if you see grass roots hanging down in the run with a white fur on them.


Another place to set a trap.

There are large groups of molehills going in all directions, which cannot be seen in the picture, to the left and right of where a trap has been set. The trap is set in an ideal place where there is a single run joining the two areas together.


There are many different places, where traps are set.

This mole was caught after the second attempt. It does happen, very occasionally. The first attempt failed after a huge thunder storm left the paddock and trap under water. The soil here is full of gravel but as it was so wet, the stones do not show up in the picture. The trap was set at a lower level and with the compaction with the T-handle, the stones were not a problem and the mole was caught.


Mole caught in a garden.

I was asked by a neighbour if I would catch a mole in the garden. I found large molehills against the back of the house. I could not find any mole runs that came from the boundary of the garden. After setting 2 traps and no moles caught by the next day, I then looked for signs of mole activity, at the front of the house. All I found was the soil looked slightly raised in places against the edge of a path.

One trap was set.

The trap can be seen by the red handles.

The ground was covered in ivy. The soil was very loose, so I lowered the run to find firmer ground and within a few hours, a mole was caught.

This will give you some idea that moles can be caught in all sorts of places. Having a probe, long enough that you do not have to bend down is essential if you are going to find mole runs in many places where you do not see molehills. Prodding by a boundary fence post or long an edge of a path, drive, etc. is often an ideal place to set a trap.


Best place to set a trap in this situation.

The molehills that you see on the lawn are the mole feeding areas and the run that you don't see is the main run in the fence line. It is this main run that you need to probe for and find, as the best place to set a trap. The ideal place to set a trap in this situation would be by the boundary post on the right of the picture or by other boundary posts or in the fence line which are not near this area. Moles can travel a long way using the same run every day for water and shelter.

Two ideal places to look for mole runs.
There were no visible molehills, anywhere near this fence post, when I found a mole run.
Finding mole runs next to solid objects in a garden.

A scissor mole trap which has the right shape as shown on this website is ideal for all mole catching situations. It is very easy to set, compared with other types of traps.

Webpage designed and produced by
John Finnemore, Walcote Farm, Warwickshire.