Of Mice and Moles

By Glen Wunderlich

From time to time, innovative products come to market that are game-changers.  If you are bothered by moles or mice, here are two inventions that have become my go-to tools to control these nuisance animals.

Recently, ground moles have become active in search of their food sources near the surface of the soil and are doing substantial damage to lawns and gardens.  Although poisons can be used to kill their food sources such as grubs, they can also wipe out beneficial earthworms.  Apart from the exorbitant cost of such products and their limited usefulness on larger tracts of land, who wants unnecessary poison to leach into the ground water that many of us rely upon for drinking?

The best American-made mole trap has been improved since last I wrote about it years ago:  the Wire Tek 1001 EasySet Mole Eliminator Trap.  Although the older model of this trap was effective, often times it was temperamental to set. The folks at Wire Tek solved this issue by upgrading the trap’s base to a flat steel design instead of the previously used round rod concept.  In addition, the trigger mechanism has been enhanced.


Once mole activity is discovered, the raised tunnels must be tamped down and marked in some visual manner.  (Those utility flags work great!)  When particular runways reappear, that’s where to set the traps.  However, there’s no need to purchase numerous traps – at least not initially – because one mole can damage up to 18 feet of lawn per hours.  When one varmint is caught, you’ve accomplished a lot.

Product features include safely setting the trap with foot motion only – no digging.  And, since the business end of the trap is underground, it is safe around pets and youngsters.

The cost is under $40 shipped from online sources such as Ebay and Amazon.  If you find them substantially cheaper, watch out!  They are most likely imitations from China with very similar names, or they are the older discontinued models that don’t perform as well.

When it comes to mice, most of us have had experience with antiquated wooden and wire traps that are difficult to set, or even some more modern models made of plastic.  Certainly, there are other methods to control mice, but nothing has impressed me more than a recent discovery:  the Tomcat Press ‘N Set Mouse Trap.  I’ve been using these traps for a number of weeks in my hunting shacks and each time one of these modern marvels is sprung, it contains one very dead mouse.  These traps have a trigger design that’s astonishingly light but at the same time easy to set.  Once set, slide them into a small box fashioned to force mice in from the front direction rather than just leaving them in the open.

A little peanut butter in the small cup and that’s it.  And, mice can be released without touching them and the trap can be reset. 

Sometimes “new and improved” is just that!