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  • Jacksonville Educational Article of the Month - Mole Trapping: How To Trap a Mole

Mole Trapping: How To Trap a Mole

Moles are burrowing animals that dig a whole highway of tunnels underground that allow them to easily move from one place to another. These tunnels are built with very strong paws that are specially constructed to allow the mole to dig and make its way through hard earth, soil, dirt and even rock. The problem with these creatures is that they can be an absolute nightmare on your Jacksonville property. These tunnels could create dangerous spots for pets, livestock, or even yourself to step in, as well as destroy the soil where your Florida crops or garden is growing. They are hell bent on getting around and they don’t care what they have to do to your land to accomplish their goals.

Many try chemical compounds hoping to poison or at least scare away the moles. This may have come benefit, but truthfully all you are really doing is poisoning your soil. That isn’t doing you any good. Some have gone to the extreme of using dynamite, aka the pathway that Bill Murray’s character took to kill a gopher in Caddy shack, but there is no need to explain the dangers of this idea. Dynamite to kill a mole? Ya, it does sound as bad as it is.

Knowing that there is clear limitation in deterrent, a person must go to traps as their only lifeline to saving the day. A trap allows you to either capture and kill or capture and move the mole to rid yourself of this problem. The question then becomes how to trap one of these beasts.

The first place to begin is by finding where the mole’s entryways are. What many people don’t realize is that a Florida mole begins by digging a series of centralized tunnels to begin with, that have two or three entrances. They then start to build other tunnels off of that original centralized system, but still use the two or three entryways as their means to get out. If all of them are blocked then they look at other options, but until then they will do most of their coming and going from these spots.

Once you have found these spots block off all but one of them. Most people choose to push dirt in the hole thinking that enough dirt will stop the mole from exiting that spot. Keep in mind that the mole entered through that hole which did not exist at one point. This is not a solution. You must use a lot of dirt, plus other materials, such as large rocks, concrete pieces, tar, and other hard debris. Add some mint mixed into this and you should be able to keep the mole away from there. Now, at the one or two spots that you left an opening, place your trap there. This way you know that the mole will be coming and going in these places and you can quickly capture or kill it.

There are a few different traps that can be used in Jacksonville. The scissor trap is one of the most commonly used. This is a trap that is shaped much like a claw. You place this in a pile of dirt, and as the mole passes by it the trap is released and the mole is captured. A bar comes down which punctures the mole and causes it to die.

One of the more humane choices is a hollow tube like mechanism that you can buy at the store. You simply dig out a portion of the tunnel and place the hollowed out tube in the tunnel, then rebury it. The trap is built so that when the mole enters it the animal will get caught inside and be unable to get out. Once you have the mole trapped you simply dig out the tube and take the mole somewhere and let it go. The only issue is knowing when the mole is trapped, which requires you unbury the tube at times to check the status. Be aware that if you wait too long you may cause the mole to die of lack of water or starvation.

The harpoon trap is one of the more deadly options in Jacksonville. This trap is simply pushed into the ground where tunnels are known to exist or are likely to be built. The legs of the trap are pushed into the ground with a trigger mechanism above the ground. When the gopher passes by the trap it sets off the mechanism which causes the harpoon piece to shoot into the Florida mole. It is a quick way to dispose of the mole, and is one of the most effective options used.

No matter which option you decide to go with, be careful with the disposal process. You should never touch the mole by hand, always wearing gloves, and if you have caught one to release somewhere else, ask Jacksonville animal control for help.

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