Method 5: Mole and vole traps – Do they work? And if so, how?


mole and vole trapsUsing mole and vole traps to control the rodent population will require some technique, effort and stamina. On the plus side, this method is quite cheap … and you can be virtually rodent-free after a few weeks. Even though the animals are killed … many would say this method of rodent control is one of the more friendly ones.


How do mole and vole traps work?

There are different types of mole and vole traps on the market … ranging from traditional mouse traps to more specialized harpoon or Macabee devices.

Depending on the type of trap used, the devices are placed next to or above the vole or mole holes … or even into the rodents’ burrow system. Some vole traps use baits.

When the vole or mole touches the trigger of the trap, a spring-loaded bar or harpoon snaps to catch and kill the rodent. The dead animal is then removed (wear protective gloves!) … and the mole and vole trap can be re-set.


How well do mole and vole traps work?

This is not the easiest method to get rid of voles and moles. Whilst mole and vole traps can be effective at controlling the rodent population … the following points are important for this to work:

  1. Correct set-up of the mole and vole traps: This is not difficult in principle  … if you follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Unfortunately, many people take short-cuts and are then surprised their vole or mole problem doesn’t go away.
  2. Number of traps: Due to their high reproductive rate … populations will quickly recover if you only catch a few rodents here or there. You need to trap as many voles or moles as possible in a short period of time.
  3. Time of application: For the same reason it is important not to stop putting traps too early: You should continue until you don’t catch any more rodents for 3 weeks.

If you pay careful attention to above three points you should be able to control your rodent population within a few weeks.

Unfortunately, this method doesn’t last forever and the animals are likely to return at some stage in the future. If this happens it is key to restart the trapping effort quickly. (Alternatively, you can consider some of the long-term protection methods described in our article: “Getting rid of moles and voles for good: 6 long-term methods“.)


Is this method expensive?

Compared to other rodent control methods, mole and vole traps are relatively cheap … and they can be reused. The final cost will of course depend on the number and type of traps you use. As mentioned above … for this method to work you need to ensure you have enough traps … or else you are unlikely to get rid of the mole or vole problem.


How much effort does this method involve?

Unless you only have a small area with a few moles or voles to get rid off … this is one of the more effort-intensive methods. At first you will need to find out how to use and place the traps … which can take a bit of time. And then you will need to reset the traps at least every other day for a few weeks.


Environmental, animal and safety matters

Even though the rodents are killed in the end … at least this is done relatively quickly. Moreover, this method rarely kills other animals if the traps are set-up as per instructions. There is no poison that pollutes the environment or accumulates in other animals such as owls or eagles.

Safety for kids and pets needs to be considered carefully as the traps can hurt them. Again, if instructions are followed carefully … then mole and vole traps should be relatively safe to use.

If you would like to use traps, but not kill the rodents … take a look at our review on live-traps here: “Method 4: How to trap voles and moles without killing them


Summary of pro’s and con’s


  • Can get rid of voles and moles in a few weeks (if set up correctly)
  • Low cost


  • Some skill and effort required.
  • Does not permanently eliminate the problem.
  • Kills the rodents. Some risk to kids and pets if not set up correctly.




For a complete overview over all 18 vole and mole control methods … see our page: “18 methods for getting rid of voles and moles




3 responses to “Method 5: Mole and vole traps – Do they work? And if so, how?

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