Mole Trapping at Walcote Farm

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Quick Instructions for

Setting a Scissor
Mole Trap at

Walcote Farm.

A guaranteed way of catching moles with these types of scissor mole traps.

The John Finnemore method of setting a scissor mole trap at any depth.

1. Find a mole run with a probe, between two molehills. The best place is not where there are new molehills but where the moles return on their way back for water or shelter. Do not set a trap in a molehill.

2. Push a trowel into the ground by the probe, Lift up the turf, just enough to squeeze your hand into the slot, to find the centre and angle of the mole run. If you find another run branching off, find another place to set the trap, otherwise remove the soil directly above the run.

3. If you find the soil very loose, then widen the hole with your trowel or hands by pushing the soil sideways without removing soil, to expose the mole run. The hole needs to be narrower than the trap if the ground is soft. Insert the trap into the hole, so it makes grooves down the sides. Then remove the trap for the next stage of preparing the hole.

4. If the mole run is wet and sticky, or the soil is very loose, lower the mole run with a trowel to find firmer and drier ground. This method will make it easy to compact the mole run. Remove any loose soil in the hole. Never compact loose soil. Place the T-handle into the hole to compact the soil in the run. I will hold the T-handle at different angles so that all the area in the bottom of the run is compacted when the end of the T-handle is hit hard with the hammer. The idea of the T-handle is that it can be pushed up the mole run on either side of the hole so that the approach to the trap can also be compacted. Compacting the soil also compacts any stones in the ground and stops them getting caught in the trap. If the trap is going to be set at a lower level, compact the slope of the mole run on either side of the trap with a slope. Compacting the soil allows the trap to close quicker and also makes the mole run smooth, which is essential for catching moles. Remove more soil from the run if you are not getting the compaction.

5. Set the trap in the mole run with the trigger ring of an inch from the base of the run. You might have to push the trap into soil at the side of the run, to get the right height. Keep the mole run smooth with no loose soil on it.

6. Testing the trap. Before you start covering the hole up, to keep out the light, check to see if the trap is going to close fast when a mole triggers the trap. This saves a lot of wasted time in mole catching. Pinch together the trap handles, just enough for the setting ring to drop down and then release the trap handles. The trap could close slowly. Keep putting the trap back in the mole run and keep repeating the procedure, removing any loose soil, until the trap closes fast.

7. Carefully lay soft matted grass inside the hole, (not long seeded grass stems), on top of the jaws, all around the trap and between the handles. Make sure that the matted grass does not extend wider than the hole. This method allows the trap to be set at any depth. Matted grass can be found where the grass is thicker and is pulled up by clawing at it, near its roots.

8. Add loose soil, to cover up the matted grass, after you are sure that the soil will not fall into the mole run, in order to keep out the light.

50 years of mole catching by John Finnemore, Walcote Farm, Warwickshire.      www.walcotefarm.co.uk.

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