Star-nosed Mole RFI

Today two dead Star-nosed Moles were found in my yard in southern Michigan.  I’ve lived here for 30 years on and off, and have never seen one.  There are not usually a lot of mole hills in the yard, and the area they turned up is quite well drained.  Does anyone have any ideas for finding a live one?  I know pit fall traps work well, but I’m gone so much that I’m a little hesitant to use them, and they aren’t a good option in the exact area the moles were found.   I have some sherman traps, but I’m not sure how or where I would set them, as there aren’t normally mole hills.  Any suggestions would be welcome.  Thanks,





  • vladimir dinets

    There is no easy way. (If you find one, I’d really appreciate if you share the wisdom). There are special live traps for moles that can be set inside tunnels, but they have to be mail-ordered from UK and might be too small for SNM. However, long watches near forest ponds and slow streams might work. I only saw SNM once, in Ohio, and that was when I was camping near a small forest swamp and spent a few hours watching its shores from my tent.

  • Jon Hall

    Hi Curtis I caught them in Maine with the aid of an expert. We caught one on our first night trapping in a sherman trap. The method was to 1) find the mole tunnels under the lawn (using a spike) 2) cut out a section of turf to expose the tunnels. 3) Put a couple of sherman traps (unbaited) end to end and facing opposite directions in the tunnel and 4) cover the whole apparatus with a board so its dark and sheltered. In theory the mole will use the tunnel as usual and crawl straight into the trap. Well it did for us. Obviously though you need to check regularly and only set the traps when you are there.


  • curtisfrommichigan

    Thanks for the help. I guess I’ll try the sherman traps later this year when I have time. Jon, when I have traps out I check them a minimum of twice a day.

    Check out this link.

    He also gets quite a few other small mammals. I got two lifers and saw a few things I’d only seen once before the day I went out with him.

    The other method that I’ve heard of is laying boards out next to ponds, and flipping them every now and then. This takes a long time, and is not very productive, but I have heard of it working. My problem here is that there is no water around the property.


  • Coke Smith

    I have done the trapping technique that Jon mentioned with some luck as well. I used to have a yard full of Townsend’s moles in WA… A side question – I used to find dead moles all the time in my yard – sometimes nearly a dozen in one morning. Usually there was no sign of trauma. I have heard that dogs sometimes bite moles and find them distasteful….anyone know for sure?

    • John

      You couldn’t tell it by my brother’s Jack Russell Terriers. They would dig for hours trying to get to them and were forever bringing dead Eastern Moles in and leaving them on the kitchen floor or on his pillow.

      A guy recently reported a dead SNM on the road into the Great Dismal Swamp. He said it appeared fine except for being dead. But at least that was the right habitat. It’s a mystery what they were doing in Curtis’ yard with no water around. Maybe dispersal of young adults?

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