Written by Terry Smith
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Best mole traps [UK]: Scissor and tunnel mole traps compared and reviewed
This article was last updated on July 31st, 2021 at 1:04 am
Moles are abundant throughout the UK and at some point in your life you will spot one, I’m certain of it. They’re right little buggers when it comes to the garden and they’re actually more common than you think, and you might not even be able to spot them at first either. Since I live near what you would call a forested area which is situated on a barrow, unfortunately I’m all too familiar with these pests. They burrow up and make a mess, but even worse, they get in the way of the gardening and can really damage crops. I will explain them a bit more below, but they key thing you will know about them is that they’re a right pain!
Anyway, my annoyance for these burrowing plant killers led me to writing a review on the best mole traps that I could find on the market, and I was happy with my products. That said, one thing I did notice is that there were so many options, and since they’re all similar, why would that make a difference?
Well turns out different products are better for different mole troubles, and with more traps appearing online, I figured it was only sensible to update this review. As well as that, I’m hoping to inform you a bit more about what you need to know about moles and how to get rid of them properly, in the hope that you can get your mole problem sorted (I’m assuming that’s why you’re here!).
Best mole traps in the UK:
- Pest-Stop Tunnel Mole Trap : (Best overall mole trap)
- Defenders STV152 Mole Tunnel Trap, Two-Way Trap for Mole Control : (Best for infestations)
- Beagle Garden Products EasySet Mole Trap : (Best for private gardens, small areas or allotments)
- 8 x Pack of Heavy Duty Mole Claw Scissor Traps Fast Humane Kill : (Most powerful option)
- SWISSINNO Mole Trap SuperCat Ultra-Effective : (Most reliable, long lasting and for beginners)
- PestExpel® Scissor Claw Mole Vole Trap : (Best for large areas or low visibility areas)
Before I baffle on about how irritating moles are, let’s jump straight into what you will need to know about moles and how to catch them.
What are moles, but more importantly, the problems without mole traps in your garden?
Well, moles are quite common and are pretty much all over the place, but you might not have seen one. The reason for this is because they are burrowers, or in other words, they live underground. Most of their life is spent there and they travel through tunnels, occasionally appearing in small mounds, which is the giveaway that there are moles nearby. They vary in size but are typically pretty small, and could easily be mistaken with a small rat or mouse. They primarily hunt invertebrates and are carnivorous, as well as being blind, and don’t appear above the ground much…they don’t exactly sound threatening, so why are they a problem?
The big thing is the mole hills. they throw up mounds of mud full of stones that’ll destroy your lawn mower. It’s also pretty unsightly on your lawn too:
The problem comes in their tunnelling, in which they pretty much destroy anything in their path. This will destroy your root systems of anything you plant and will affect the structural integrity of the ground, which can lead to further issues with drainage and plant growth. As well as this, moles will chew on roots and generally damage your plants whether they’re tunnelling or not, so they can be a pain.
They can be beneficial to gardens, but only in small quantities. They hunt beetle and worm larvae which damage plants, so they can actually keep pests away! Problem is though this benefit quickly becomes a problem with too many moles, so most the time it is easier to get rid of them. But how do you do that?
How do you get rid of moles humanely?
They might be a pain just like rats or mice, but they are animals in the end. If you’re going to get rid of them with traps, you should do it in a humane way. Don’t worry though, this is easy enough if you have the right traps.
Mole traps are typically small and semi-circular, as this is the ideal size for a mole to fit through, but they can also come in a way that looks like a large set of clippers. Either one will kill a mole in a humane way, but the tubular traps I would say are quicker and more humane than the clipper-looking ones.
Just like mice or rat traps, mole traps work in a similar way in that they wait for a physical trigger or switch that will work the trap. So, a mole will go in, activate the trigger, and then the mechanism will activate to kill the mole instantly.
It sounds a bit messy, but it is not too bad when it comes round to it. After this you just need to dispose of the mole and reset the trap, with most being designed to be safe for human use, but just be careful when activating it.
These might not sound that humane, I mean, you’re really just crushing a mole right? Maybe so, but because of the power and pressure that is exerted by the trap, the mole dies instantly and is not in pain. The key thing is that you get the right sort of trap for your mole problem and then you shouldn’t have to worry about doing it humanely, as most traps are designed to be humane.
To get you the right mole trap for you and your mole situation, I’ve given the products below a good test and reviewed them accordingly.
Simple and clear, this is a tunnel mole trap that does what it says on the tin. This is cheap, reliable and will get you the job done. I was really pleased with it and I definitely found myself gravitating more to this option, so I’d definitely suggest it more than others in this list as a go to trap. I would say this is in my top spot because it’s probably the most multipurpose (you’ll see below there are different traps suited better to different mole situations), and I reckon it would be useful anywhere, so it deserves the top spot.
Not just that, but one thing I did find is that it’s got the power and the pressure you need in a trap without being too expensive, and the most recent design for this trap is actually 30% stronger than previously. The main thing you need in a mole trap is the strength, particularly the strength of the pressure release when it snaps down, so this is welcomed. You can get options to buy them in sets of 2 or 3 but they’re a bit more expensive that way, so get the single ones at less than £4 and you’ll be fine. It’s dead easy to set up too, a bit easier than the others I will say.
It caught my eye because it looks exactly like all the other circular mole traps, but it’s Amazon’s choice for the product and one of the highest rated. So, as far as mole traps go, I was expecting to be impressed with this one and I was.
I ran a few checks with it and gave it a few practice tries (not with real moles, obviously!) and tested their strength against the others. It’s got exactly the right strength, not quite as strong as the heavy duty traps, but it’s still up there and it will get the job done humanely. Another thing I had to consider was whether it easily activates or is too sensitive, but because of its design, it didn’t activate by accident very easily. This is good news for this trap because whilst it has the strength, it’s versatile enough to not be sensitive to accidental triggering.
Anyway, this is the best option there is and it’s safe to say you can rely on it. There might be certain products below that are better or more suited for different situations, but I would say this is the safest bet there is in terms of mole traps. Since I much prefer the circular traps to the clipper-like traps, this is definitely one I would highly suggest to you. I do worry however about its durability in harsh terrain or weather, as it lasted pretty well outside in the rain, but I’m not sure how it performs after heavy rainfall. Reviews have stated that it does pretty well, but if you have really harsh terrain or if you need some for bad weather, I would suggest leaving this product and moving onto option 4.
Apart from that, I was more than happy with this particular mole trap and it definitely is my go to for future traps.
TIP: pest stop also does a 12 pack of these traps at £56, which is way more expensive than buying 12 individually at the price marked above, so if you have an infestation or you need plenty of traps, just buy them individually to save some cash.
2. Defenders STV152 Mole Tunnel Trap, Two-Way Trap for Mole Control
So this product definitely delivered in a similar way to option one, in that it gets the job done and has the right amount of power to snap down on a mole with force. Not quite as reliable as option one, but it does cost less and feels as sturdy. So, after some tests I realised the only thing that makes it any less impressive is the fact it triggers a bit easier, which is a bit of a pain but nothing too off putting in honesty.
This isn’t all bad though, and it will still get the job done, but only in large amounts I’d say. So, combined with its price and strength, I would say this is the trap you want for an infestation problem or a mole situation where you are going to need at least 10 or more traps. They’re dead cheap, arrive quickly and will humanely kill your moles fairly quickly. The slight sensitivity on the activation trigger might leave some of them triggering without catching a mole, but they’re so easy to reset that it really isn’t much of an issue. That’s why they’d be great in large numbers where you can go round and check them daily anyway.
I would say that’s the only downside too if anything, because these traps generally feel more robust than most others and that’s because of how they’re designed. It’s designed for heavy duty or use in areas in which terrain is problematic, not as much as option 4, but still enough so that it will last. So, if you have some problematic terrain (wet, uneven, forestry) these traps would be suitable. If you’re expecting really harsh conditions though, option 4 is better.
That’s why it’s second place to me. It’s dead cheap, easy to set up and reset and it’s got the power. Because of these I wouldn’t have it as my go to if I only wanted a few, but for an infestation it definitely would be my first choice. It’s another one of Amazon’s choice for mole traps too so it’s clearly gone down well with customers, with many saying they work damn well (some even catching 3 in a day!) for infestations. Only thing is they mention how you need to know how to use them correctly, which I feel is a reflection of their easy trigger time…have a good read through before you set them out to make sure your infestation is sorted effectively.
3. Beagle Garden Products EasySet Mole Trap
Now this is a bit of a change from the metal circular traps, but it’s another one of my favourites, it’s just in third spot because it’s more expensive. There’s a reason for this though and that’s because it’s more specialised and designed in a different way, as well as being robust enough to be reusable for a long time.
This particular trap is designed more for small scale areas or even single use, so I wouldn’t have these for an infestation. This would be my go to for getting rid of moles in my garden or in a sort of allotment/gardening setting, because that’s really what it’s designed for, but also it’s not suitable for really large areas in my opinion. I did love it though (without sounding too morbid) because it’s so easy to set up and get active and you can barely notice it in the garden because it blends in so well. Another key thing I thought about this one is that if you have kids or pets running about, it’s dead easy to tell when a mole has been caught because of the catching mechanism shown above and so you can remove it without them seeing. Many other traps give a general indication, but this one is clear as day.
As for the tests I ran on it, it’s not too sensitive and it sticks in the ground perfectly well. It’s got the right amount of power too and from seeing pictures in the reviews section, it definitely kills moles humanely too. So, I’d say if you have moles in your garden or if they’re getting to your plants then this is for you, but it’ll be too expensive to use multiple for a larger area or for a widespread infestation.
I remember reviewing this last time and I liked it back then too, but I didn’t actually catch on to the fact it would be better for a smaller garden or planting area mole problem. Its definitely more designed to be like that and that’s why I’m favouring more toward that for garden moles.
4. 8 x Pack of Heavy Duty Mole Claw Scissor Traps Fast Humane Kill
Whilst other mole traps in this list have the right amount of power to get the job done, and humanely for that matter, these are definitely the traps you want if the one thing you’re looking for is power. They only cost £22 for 8, which is actually really cheap and considering they’re heavy duty/more powerful, that’s quite surprising.
The only reason they’re not much higher is because I wouldn’t say they’re as humane as other traps. It does say it in the title and it will still kill a mole quickly, but because they’re quite wide and since traps like this should typically crush a mole at both ends, it seems to me that it would be more than possible to only catch a mole on one side and for it to not be killed instantly. I cannot confirm this for sure, but considering the average size of a mole varies up to about 15-20cm and this product has a length of 28cm, I can’t see how it wont be a slightly slower death.
Anyway, that said it is the most powerful, so I’m also inclined to assume that even one end of the handle will snap down with enough force to kill a mole quickly. That is the only downside, because apart from that and the power these things have, they’re perfect for harsh terrain or for harsh environments. This might be useful for a farming field or for dealing with a mole infestation where the weather is extremely poor, but whatever it is, if you feel like your mole problem is going to be a pain in the neck to set traps for, these are for you and it won’t be too expensive for you either.
5. SWISSINNO Mole Trap SuperCat Ultra-Effective
The very first thing that came to mind when I saw this trap was one of those tripod aliens from War of the worlds, and it seemed a bit too fancy to look like a mole trap to say the least. I didn’t review this one last time either and so I’m assuming it’s new to the market, so I figured I’d give it a try and see how it performs.
Safe to say that whilst it might look alien, there’s no doubt it will kill moles for you. It’s definitely the easiest to install out of all the products in this list and the handy guide means you can set it up in no time. Preliminary tests show that they don’t react to accidental triggers too much but are still sensitive enough for moles, and I can imagine removal (and reinstallation after you’ve rid of the mole) being a breeze. I’m actually a massive fan of this one and if it was on the market last time, I don’t know how I missed it.
It’s stainless steel but also very expensive, so whilst this may be a downside, I would say if you have an ongoing mole presence in your area that you will need to tend to, it’s worth investing in a few of these. It’s easily visible when a mole is caught, so easy to install and will definitely kill them humanely-the power is pretty immense to say the least!
So, the reason it’s so low down is because of the price and since the options above are way cheaper and also just as humane, I wouldn’t rank it higher. Despite that, if you don’t need to worry about the cost and you’re happy to spend the money, or if you need traps that will last you both for a long time and in constant harsh weather, this product is the right choice for you.
6. PestExpel® Scissor Claw Mole Vole Trap
So in last place is another set of scissor/clipper traps, and these ones I’m including because they have just the right amount of power and reliability as others in this list, but they’re definitely the easiest to notice when they actually catch a mole. They’re quite tall and so they’re easily visible, and so that’s why I suggest this set over the others in this list for fairly large spread areas or areas where visibility could be a problem (terrain, fog, farm fields, etc). This means you’ll be able to simply go out and collect the moles with ease, so you don’t have to inspect the traps that much to find out.
On top of this, I would say they are one of the easiest to remove and reset. Combined with their easy visibility, this set is the best for areas such as a field in which you can keep an eye on the traps and easily reset them, perhaps if you’re on a farm or a less-urban area where moles can become an abundant problem. They’re just a really handy set of traps and that’s the first thing I noticed about them, so that’s why I’d recommend them for those situations or conditions.
Running some tests with it was pretty promising too as they really do snap back with power, but not quite as much as the rest. It will still kill moles humanely and that’s fine, but you could get more power with other options above. It’ll still do the job and that’s why I’m happy with it for low visibility/larger areas.
FAQ about mole traps
When it comes to mole traps, the only real thing you want to look for is power and reliability. In that, I mean it needs enough power to snap back and kill the mole humanely but also needs to be made to withstand the outdoors and to last you at least a few uses. However, a buyers guide isn’t really what you need for these traps as most traps are designed to be powerful (or have enough power at least) to kill moles humanely and to last a while. Some will last longer than others, and this is generally reflective of price.
Putting that aside though, there are some common questions regarding mole traps and I think it’s more useful to clear those up for you instead. So, below we have an FAQ regarding mole traps with some answers which should help you out. If you have more questions please do get in touch!
How do I set up mole traps to actually catch moles?
Most mole traps you buy will have a handy guide which will provide you with a setup, but don’t worry if not, because they’re pretty straightforward…you just need to be careful with your hands. Just like other traps, mole traps respond to pressure and sensitivity through a trigger, which in turn activates the trap and causes it to snap back with enough strength to kill the mole.
So, all you need to do is find the trigger and make sure it’s pulled back ready for action. With most traps, this will mean the trap looks wide open and the actual catching mechanism looks open too. Once the trap is set, the easy way to test it is to stick something large enough and relatively heavy (I used a wooden spoon but that’s just what I had handy) and place it in the trap. If it snaps back and changes position with speed, you’ve set the trap correctly and you’ll just need to reset it.
What do I do with moles I catch?
It’s sad that you have to kill them, but it does need to be done, and it means you need to dispose of them correctly. Now there are a couple of things you can do, depending on your area.
For a mole you’ve caught in the garden or in an area where there’s people, put on some gloves and place it in a sealable plastic bag. Then all you need to do is place it in the garbage. Before you do though, it may be an idea to bleach it to aid the biological breakdown.
For larger areas without people, for example natural environments or farm fields, I would strongly suggest taking the mole out the trap with rubber gloves and then placing it somewhere it wont come into contact with animals. You don’t have to dispose of it via garbage and can just leave it in or on top of the ground, perhaps by some bushes or somewhere similar. This will allow you to break down naturally which is actually hugely beneficial for the environment. Just make sure it’s not near any animals though as I can’t stress that enough, as disease could become an issue that way.
How do I prevent moles from returning?
For a start you could carry on leaving traps in hotspot areas. By hot spot areas I mean certain mounds or areas in your mole-infested local area that you seem to catch a lot with the traps. So, if you don’t want to call in a specialist, you can keep leaving them in those hotspots to reduce numbers.
Secondly, you can buy mole repellent that will help with keeping them away. There’s all sorts of products you can purchase online to help with this. These will deter moles from your area and reduce the chances of tunnels and colonies forming or returning.