Mole Trap Maintenance: Tips to Keep Your Traps in Good Working Condition

Mole traps have long been a popular solution for dealing with lawn and garden mole infestations. These compact and efficient tools are designed to trap and kill moles, ultimately sparing valuable gardens, lawns, and flowerbeds from destruction. However, like all tools, mole traps require proper maintenance to ensure they remain in good working condition. This begs the question, how do you maintain your mole traps? In this article, we will provide a step-by-step guide to mole trap maintenance, highlighting the importance of regular upkeep and the tools needed to maintain your traps.

Why Maintaining Mole Traps is Important

Why Maintaining Mole Traps Is Important
Maintaining your mole traps is a crucial aspect of successful mole control. Neglecting to care for your traps can result in various issues that render them ineffective. There are several reasons why mole trap maintenance is important, such as preventing rust and corrosion, ensuring traps are set properly, and keeping pesky moles under control. The proper use of tools and techniques can extend the life of your traps and increase their efficiency, allowing you to maintain a mole-free yard or garden. To learn more about effective mole trap maintenance, keep reading or check our previous articles on choosing the right mole trap for your yard, the best bait for mole traps, and tips on setting up mole traps.

Prevent Rust and Corrosion

One of the main reasons why maintaining mole traps is important is to prevent rust and corrosion. Rust and corrosion can weaken the trap, making it less effective at catching moles. Additionally, rusty traps are unsanitary and unsightly. It’s important to take measures to prevent rust and corrosion from developing on your traps.

Here are some tips to prevent rust and corrosion on your mole traps:

Tips Explanation
Clean traps after use After catching a mole, clean the trap with warm, soapy water and a scrub brush. Dry the trap thoroughly to prevent rust formation.
Apply a rust inhibitor After cleaning, apply a rust inhibitor to the trap. This will prevent moisture from penetrating the trap and causing rust.
Store traps in a dry place When not in use, store the traps in a dry place to prevent rust formation. Humidity and moisture can accelerate the formation of rust.
Replace old traps If a trap is severely rusted or corroded, it’s best to replace it rather than try to repair it. A weakened trap can fail to catch moles, or worse, cause injury to pets or humans.

While preventing rust and corrosion may seem like a small aspect of mole trap maintenance, it can have a big impact on the effectiveness and safety of your traps. By following these tips, you can keep your traps in good condition for a longer period of time.

If you need help choosing the right mole trap for your yard or want to learn more about mole trap setup tips, click on the relevant links for more information.

Ensure Traps Are Set Properly

One of the most important aspects of maintaining mole traps is to ensure that they are set properly. If the trap is not set correctly, the mole may escape or may not trigger the trap at all. This can be frustrating for homeowners who are trying to control the mole population in their yard.

To ensure that your traps are set properly, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific trap. There are many different types of mole traps on the market, each with their own unique setup instructions. For example, some traps require a certain amount of tension to be set, while others need to be placed in a specific location in order to be effective.

Take the time to read through the instructions carefully before setting your trap, and make sure you understand exactly how to do it. If you’re unsure about any aspect of the setup, consult the manufacturer’s website or contact their customer service department for assistance. There are also many helpful resources online that offer tips and advice on setting mole traps correctly.

Once your trap is set, it’s important to monitor it regularly to ensure that it remains in the proper position. If the trap shifts or moves, it may no longer be effective in catching moles. Be sure to check the trap frequently for signs of activity. If you haven’t caught a mole in several days, it may be time to move the trap to a new location or try a different type of bait. For more information on the best bait for mole traps, check out our article on the subject.

By taking the time to set your traps correctly and monitoring them regularly, you can increase your chances of success in catching moles in your yard. And if you do catch a mole, be sure to relocate it safely and dispose of the trap properly to ensure that you’re using humane methods for mole control.

Moles Are Persistent Creatures

Moles have impressive digging capabilities. They create intricate systems of tunnels and chambers underground that are used for shelter and finding food. As territorial creatures, they can even drive out other animals, leaving unsightly mounds on your lawn or garden.

This persistent behavior makes it difficult to keep them out of your yard, and trapping them is often seen as the most effective solution. But trapping takes skill and patience, and maintaining your traps is just as important as setting them right.

If you choose the right mole trap for your yard, you still need to be knowledgeable and experienced about its use, maintenance, and proper disposal. It’s also recommended to use a trap that fits the needs of your specific mole infestation, which may vary depending on factors such as soil type, weather, and the type of mole species you’re dealing with.

Even with the most effective mole traps, you might find yourself contending with a persistent mole that has managed to avoid your traps. If this happens, it’s important to remain patient and persistent as well. Keep the traps well-maintained and continue to bait and set them until the mole is caught.

And remember to follow the dos and don’ts of mole control. Avoid using poisons or chemicals that could harm non-target wildlife, and make sure to dispose of any dead moles safely and responsibly, as detailed in our article about safely disposing of your mole trap. Keeping your yard free of moles can be a long and challenging process, but it is certainly possible.

Tools Needed for Mole Trap Maintenance

Tools Needed For Mole Trap Maintenance
To properly maintain your mole traps, you’ll need a few tools to make the process go smoothly. First and foremost, you’ll need a pair of protective gloves. These will keep your hands clean when handling the traps and prevent any harm that could come from sharp edges or springs. You may also want to have a hand brush or a set of pipe cleaners on hand to clear dirt and debris from the traps.

To lubricate the moving parts of your trap, you’ll need some WD-40 or another type of lubricant. This will help the trap function smoothly and prevent rust from building up on the metal parts over time. You may also want to have some sandpaper or a wire brush to remove any rust that has already formed on the traps.

When inspecting the traps for damage, a flashlight can come in handy to get a closer look at specific parts of the trap. This will help you identify any issues that may be present and determine whether or not the trap is still safe to use.

Lastly, you’ll want to have a safe and dry place to store your traps when not in use. This can be a garage or tool shed, but it should be a location that is not exposed to the elements. Proper storage will help prevent rust, corrosion, and other damage that can be caused by moisture and outdoor conditions.

If you’re interested in learning more about different types of mole traps and which ones may work best for your needs, you can check out our article on DIY Mole Traps: Are They Worth It? or our guide to the Benefits and Drawbacks of Traps for Mole Control.

How to Maintain Your Mole Traps

How To Maintain Your Mole Traps
Maintaining your mole traps is crucial for their optimal performance and longevity. By taking proper care of your mole traps, you can ensure that they are set properly and effectively exterminating moles in your garden or yard. It might seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools and a bit of know-how, it can be done with ease. In this section, we will guide you through the step-by-step process of maintaining your mole traps to keep them in good working condition. So, let’s dive into it!

Step 1: Clean Your Traps

When it comes to maintaining your mole traps, the first step is to thoroughly clean them. This is important to ensure that there is no buildup of dirt, debris, or pests that may interfere with the proper functioning of the trap. Here’s how to clean your traps:

  • Remove any debris: Before cleaning, remove any dirt, grass, or other debris from the trap using a cloth or brush.
  • Soak traps: Soak the traps in a solution of warm water and soap for at least 20 minutes to loosen any leftover debris.
  • Scrub: Scrub the traps with a brush or abrasive sponge to remove any remaining dirt and grime.
  • Rinse: Rinse the traps thoroughly with clean water to remove any soap residue.
  • Dry: Dry the traps completely with a clean towel or let them air dry.

By regularly cleaning your mole traps, you can help ensure that they will work properly and be more effective at catching moles.

Step 2: Lubricate Moving Parts

After cleaning your mole traps, the next step is to lubricate any moving parts. This will ensure that your traps are set and tripped smoothly, without any jerking or sticking.


  • Multipurpose lubricant (e.g. WD-40)
  • Clean cloth or paper towel

To lubricate the mole traps, follow these steps:

  • Using a clean cloth or paper towel, wipe down any exposed metal parts of the trap.
  • Apply a small amount of lubricant to hinges, springs, and other moving parts. Be careful not to over-apply, as excess lubricant can attract dirt and debris, which can compromise the trap’s function.
  • Move the trap’s trigger and springs back and forth a few times to distribute the lubricant evenly.
  • Check for any excess lubricant and wipe away with the cloth or paper towel.
  • Remember to always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for lubricating your specific trap. Some traps may require special lubricants or maintenance procedures. By properly lubricating your mole traps, you will help keep them in good working condition and increase their lifespan.

    Step 3: Check Springs and Triggers

    When maintaining your mole traps, it’s crucial to check the springs and triggers to ensure they are working correctly. Here’s how to do it:

    Step Action
    Step 3 Check Springs and Triggers
    1 Inspect the springs to ensure they are not rusted or damaged. Rust can affect the effectiveness of the trap, and damaged springs can prevent the trap from closing properly.
    2 Test the trigger to ensure it is sensitive enough. The trigger should be easy to set off with a small amount of pressure. If it’s too difficult to set off, the mole may not trigger it, rendering the trap useless.
    3 Adjust the trigger if necessary. If the trigger is too sensitive, it may be triggered by other animals or even the wind. If it’s not sensitive enough, adjust it to make it easier to set off.
    4 Replace any damaged or worn springs. It’s important to use the right type and size of spring, so check the manufacturer’s instructions before replacing them.

    Checking the springs and triggers is an essential part of maintaining your mole traps. Without it, your traps may not be effective in catching moles, and you may have to replace them more often. By following these steps, you can ensure that your traps are in good working condition and ready to catch any pesky moles that come your way.

    Step 4: Inspect for Damage

    Inspecting your mole traps for damage is a critical step in the maintenance process. The last thing you want is to set a trap that is defective and unable to catch moles. To properly inspect your mole traps, follow these steps:

    Step Action
    1 Inspect the metal frame for any cracks or bends that could weaken the trap.
    2 Check the trigger mechanism for any damage or corrosion. A malfunctioning trigger could cause the trap to be ineffective or dangerous to the user.
    3 Look for any damage to the spring that could cause it to lose tension or break. A weak or broken spring will not be able to close the trap effectively.
    4 Inspect the jaws of the trap for any damage or deformation. This could prevent the trap from closing properly, allowing the mole to escape.
    5 Check the metal cable or chain that attaches the trap to the stake. Make sure it is securely fastened and not damaged in any way.

    If you notice any damage during the inspection process, it is important to address it immediately. Replace any damaged parts or discard the trap entirely if it is beyond repair. Using a damaged trap could be dangerous for both you and the animal. Inspecting your traps for damage is a crucial step to ensure that your traps remain in good working condition.

    Step 5: Store Properly

    After cleaning, lubricating, checking and inspecting your mole traps, it is important to store them properly to keep them in tip-top shape for future use.

    Here are some tips for storing your mole traps properly:

    • Remove any bait: Before storing, make sure to remove any bait from your traps. Otherwise, the leftover bait could attract other animals or pests, which could damage your traps.
    • Keep traps dry: Moisture can cause rust and corrosion. Make sure to store your traps in a dry location to prevent damage.
    • Store vertically: Mole traps should always be stored vertically, with the trigger end up. This prevents the trigger from becoming damaged or misaligned.
    • Use a storage container: Consider using a storage container or bag to keep your traps organized and protected.
    • Label the container: To prevent confusion or loss, label the storage container with the contents inside.
    • Store away from children and pets: Mole traps can be dangerous if mishandled. Make sure to store them in a secure location, away from children and pets.

    By following these storage tips, you can ensure that your mole traps will be in good condition and ready to use whenever you need to use them again.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Mole Trap Maintenance

    Many people have questions about maintaining mole traps, and we’ve compiled a list of FAQs to help answer some of these questions.

    What is the best way to clean my mole traps?
    To clean your mole traps, you should first remove any dirt or debris that may have accumulated on the traps. A wire brush or toothbrush can be useful for this task. Then, mix a solution of soapy water and use a cloth to gently clean the traps. Be sure to dry the traps thoroughly before storing them.

    What kind of lubricant should I use?
    It’s best to use a silicone-based lubricant or a light machine oil such as WD-40 to lubricate moving parts of your traps. Avoid using heavy greases, as they can attract dirt and debris which can interfere with the traps’ mechanisms.

    How often should I check my traps for damage?
    It’s important to check your mole traps for damage regularly. A good rule of thumb is to inspect your traps at least once a month during trapping season. Look for signs of rust or corrosion, and check the springs and triggers to ensure they are functioning properly.

    Can I use the same traps for different pests?
    While many traps are advertised as being multi-purpose, it’s important to use the right type of trap for the specific pest you are targeting. Using the wrong trap can be less effective or even harmful. For example, a mole trap may not be effective at catching gophers or other burrowing pests.

    What is the best way to store my traps?
    Proper storage of your traps is important to maintain their effectiveness and prolong their lifespan. Store your traps in a dry location, away from moisture and direct sunlight. It’s also important to store them in a location where they won’t be disturbed by pets or children.

    When is the best time of year to trap moles?
    In general, the best time to trap moles is in the spring and fall. This is when the ground is moist and moles are most active. However, you can also trap moles during other seasons, but it may be less effective.


    After following the steps outlined in this article, your mole traps should now be in good working condition and ready to catch any pesky moles that may be wreaking havoc on your lawn or garden. Remember, proper maintenance is key to ensuring that your traps are effective and efficient. Neglecting even small details can lead to rust, damage, and a decrease in performance. Regular cleaning, lubrication of moving parts, checking springs and triggers, and storing them properly will extend the life of your traps and increase their effectiveness. By taking care of your traps, you’ll be able to enjoy a beautifully manicured lawn or fruitful garden without the nuisance of moles. Don’t wait until it’s too late; start maintaining your mole traps today!

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How often should I maintain my mole traps?

    You should aim to maintain your mole traps at least once a month, or more frequently if you use them more often or in harsher conditions.

    Can I clean my mole traps with soap and water?

    Absolutely! Soap and water are great for cleaning mole traps, just make sure to dry them thoroughly afterwards to prevent rust.

    What kind of lubricant should I use on my mole traps?

    It’s best to use a light lubricant such as WD-40 or 3-in-1 oil on the moving parts of your mole traps.

    How do I know if my mole traps are set properly?

    You can test if your mole traps are set properly by pressing gently on the trigger plate; if it springs back correctly, it’s set and ready to use.

    Can I use my mole traps without maintenance?

    You can, but it’s not recommended. Traps that are not maintained can fail to catch moles, potentially harm the moles, or become damaged and unusable.

    What damage can moles do to my property?

    Moles can leave unsightly mounds on lawns, golf courses, and sports fields, and their burrowing can damage tree roots and underground utilities.

    Do I need to wear gloves when maintaining my mole traps?

    It’s recommended to wear gloves when handling your mole traps, as the oils and debris on your hands can damage the metal and interfere with the trap’s effectiveness.

    How should I store my mole traps between uses?

    Mole traps should be stored in a dry place, such as a shed or garage, and kept away from children and pets.

    What is the best time of year to trap moles?

    Moles are active throughout the year, so traps can be used whenever moles are causing damage to property or landscaping.

    Can I reuse traps that have already caught a mole?

    Yes, after cleaning and maintaining your traps, they can be reused to catch more moles.