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Product Review: Harpoon Trap for Moles


Moles are shitheads. My home is surrounded by wooded areas, city owned land and neighbors I don’t care for. Yet they decide to turn my front yard into a re-creation of your face in high school.

Signs of the Molepocalypse

Fortunately I am a master-amateur mole terminator.  May my life lessons benefit the next generation of mole victims. There is only one reliable way to get rid of these cute, fuzzy assholes; a spring loaded spike through the back of the head courtesy of the harpoon mole trap.

Here’s a quick rundown of the other methods and why they suck.

Pest Control. If you saturate your property with grub/insect killer, then the food source dies and the moles leave. This is probably the most effective non-effective method. Problems being that it’s very temporary, expensive, and you can’t spray for earthworms which are their primary food source. I have an acquaintance who swears by this method. He says that with only six treatments a year a portion of the moles relocated to his neighbor’s yard.

Poison. These come in many forms, and none of them remotely resemble anything that moles actually eat. As mentioned above, mole diet consists of worms, grubs and insects. They only go after live squishy things. Using mole poison is like fishing with a bowling ball. Maybe you’ll get incredibly lucky and beat one over the head with it. Regardless of the outcome, congratulations, your yard is now filled with fucking poison.

Sonic Spike. This is a vibrator that you bury in your yard. The buzzing scares away moles. Does this sound effective to you? Are you currently wearing any magnetic therapeutic jewelry?

Gas. I saw something both amusing and terrifying at the hardware store. It’s a mole poisoning death tube. You attach one end to your car’s exhaust pipe, and shove the other end into the mole’s tunnel network. Does this sound effective to you? Have you ever said, “Hey! Watch this!” to a group of shirtless drunken rednecks before receiving an ambulance ride?

Juicy Fruit. Yes, as in the gum. No, it’s not a joke. This is the widely accepted “wut paw-paw used to do” method of mole removal. Does this sound effective to you? Have you ever danced in an effort to create rain?

The only worthwhile method of removal is trapping. If you want to dig holes, you can use a scissor trap. If you want to dig holes and are a pussy, you can use a live cage trap. If you want quick, easy and deadly, then you can spend $13 on the harpoon trap. Let’s do it.

Get Your Trap

This is easy. They’re available in every hardware store I’ve ever been to, and one bakery. If you ask for a “mole trap” you will probably be taken right to the harpoons, as they are the most common kind. Any brand will do. My particular model is The Answer. It features a very effective piece of marketing on the front of the box; a happy cartoon mole. Unlike the ChickenFest logo, this animal is not pleased to sacrifice itself in the name of your contentedness. This is a Fuck You mole. “I’m in your yard”, says the Fuck You mole. “And I’m happy here with my little hat and shovel. What are you going to do about it?” They put the smiling, confident object of your hatred right on the front of a product which promises to kill it. They get your blood boiling and then provide… The Answer. Booya! Sold! Buy two to double your chances!

Know Your Trap

It’s nothing more than spring loaded spikes with a base to secure it over the tunnel. There are two metal shafts that are pushed into the ground on either side of the tunnel. The trigger mechanism rests on the surface. When the trigger is bumped from below, the spring is released and we have mole-kabobs.

Trap Placement

This is where people screw up a simple task. Do not stomp down any tunnels if you plan on harpooning. The internet told me to stomp them all down, then put the traps on the ones that pop back up, but that’s an unnecessary extra step. Choose a likely tunnel, and jump right in. You want to trap on the longest, shallowest tunnels you can find. The short ones that finger out like a river delta are not so nice. They’re temporary feeding tunnels that may never be used again. Go up the river a bit until the branches join together. The more branches a tunnel serves, the more likely it’s still active. Also, if you have a nice long straight tunnel running alongside a sidewalk, that’s a jackpot.

Once your location is selected, press down on the top of the tunnel with your foot until the top of the tunnel is even with normal level ground. This is where the trigger plate will sit. Set the trap so that the trigger touches the ground. I find it easiest to push the trap into the ground, then set the spring, then gently push the trap in that last inch or two. Let it set 12-24 hours before relocating. If it sits for over a day with no luck, find a new spot.

Trap Extraction

If you look closely, you can see the murdered little asshole just above the trap.

Your trap has been triggered! Hooray! Maybe. This is anything but a guaranteed kill. False alarms happen. There’s only one way to find out. Get a shovel. Push the blade into the ground on either side of the trap, severing the tunnel on each side. This will also crunch the mole a bit and all but eliminate the chance of post-trap escape. Now dig in from a 3rd side of the trap and pry the whole contraption and surrounding dirt out of the ground. See anything fuzzy? Maybe a bit bloody? Hit it with the shovel! Only 20% of my trapped moles have been DOA. They usually need a good finishing stroke. Plus it’ll make you feel like you accomplished something.

Who's smiling now, punk?

Is it any question that I give The Answer an enthusiastic thumbs up? Victory, revenge and the satisfaction of a little primal bloodlust all in one $13 package.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Alyssa permalink
    2012/08/07 10:42 pm

    Thank you so much for this article. Funny and informative. I can’t WAIT to kill that fucking motherfucker.

  2. 2013/05/20 7:32 am

    Great article!

    I’m a little reluctant to use traps if I can possible help it, although your recommendation here is quite clear! I’ve found this list of mole poisons: which looks interesting. Some of the poisons come in the shape of worms or grubs. I definitely don’t want to fill my yard with poison, but am thinking that a couple of well paced poison worms could do the trick. What do you think?

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