Moles can very quickly ruin a garden, whether
several acres or just a few square feet.
Moles can dig tens of feet in a day, mainly looking around for grubs and worms that they eat.
Often there will be a main run (or "mole motorway") which may have been in use for a long time. If you can find it, this is the best place to put a trap.
A single mole will "own" up to 1 acre of land. The motorway will often run from a nest, which may well be under a shrub or tree.
Apart from the trap, you will need a trowel, a thin probe
(here we are using a long screwdriver) and ideally something to ram the floor of the tunnel, in this
instance the handle of a garden tool is ideal.
Try to work out the likely path of connecting tunnels
between the mole hills (a bit like joining the dots!)
Mole hills are usually connected to main runs via side tunnels, which branch off the main run. These branch tunnels will usually be no more than 6 inches long.
The side tunnels are unlikely to get return visits from the moles, so avoid putting a trap in one of these.
The mole may also not come back to recently dug hills, because these were only foraging trips. Stand back, and look for what might be older runs - that might be the motorway.
Select what seem to be the most recent hills and using the probe, gently push into the ground where you think the tunnel is likely to be.
The tunnels are about the size of a golf ball and you will need luck to find it first time so keep trying a few inches apart until you feel a small area of no resistance (this is why you only use very gentle pressure or you may not notice you've passed right through the tunnel).
Use the trowel to excavate the ground away above the tunnel, but try to make the hole not much bigger than the trap itself.
Clear away any loose soil on the bottom of the run and also as far back each way along the tunnel as possible, then firm the floor of the run to avoid the mole going underneath the trap.
Set the trap and place in the hole so that the trigger ring is across the run and 3/4" above the floor of the tunnel. This bit is very important and you may need to add or remove soil from the floor to get this measurement correct. If so, remember to firm the tunnel floor soil again.The trigger is very sensitive so care is advised! Now test that the trap works unimpeded by triggering it using the probe and if necessary make slight adjustments to the opening until it works correctly.
Replace the turf over the hole, making sure that it will not
stop the trap handles from opening fully once triggered.
Cover the remaining gaps with some grass - if needed you can add some soil on top as the idea is to exclude all the light. Be careful if you do as you don't want any soil falling through into the tunnel.
Once triggered, the handles will be seen to spring apart and so should be checked daily. False alarms will indicate that the mole has probably found its way under the trap so it will be worth checking that the ring is the correct height above the floor and re-firming the soil. If no success after a few days then move to another location, although ideally you will have more than one trap to avoid having to do this.