Trapline Products specializes in design and production of premium quality stainless steel traps for moles, gophers, and other burrowing pests. Our mission is to produce the most effective mole and gopher traps on the market, and to provide our customers with concise practical information on animal damage identification and trapping techniques to allow for efficient control of your mole, gopher, or vole problem.
Over 17 years of mole and gopher trapping experience has gone into the design of our traps. We continue to operate a mole and gopher control service business in the San Francisco Bay Area making extensive use of our own mole and gopher traps. In fact we initially went into mole and gopher trap design and production because we found that the existing traps available on the market gave inconsistent results, and thus did not meet the needs of our service business.
Our traps are designed with sufficient spring strength to kill moles and gophers consistently and humanely. Their stainless steel construction means that unlike most competing products, our traps will not lose power or trigger sensitivity due to rust.
Please read more below about the development of our mole and gopher traps, or follow the links at left to find extensive information on proper identification of moles, gophers, and voles, trapping techniques including video instruction, and our online store where our traps are available for purchase
Broad Footed Moles (Scapanus latimanus)in the Trapline Mole Trap
The Gophinator--Building a Better Gopher Trap
The Gophinator gopher trap was designed and tested between 2005 and 2007, and was awarded US patent No. 7,380,368 in June 2008. The design of the trap eliminates several critically important limitations that reduce the effectiveness of other gopher traps.
Many popular gopher traps such as the Victor Easy Set and the Macabee trap (pictured to the right) may catch juvenile and smaller adult gophers reasonably consistently, but lack the the power and proper mechanics to reliably hold and kill the larger adults. Gophers that survive being pinched in a trap quickly learn to avoid traps, and will repeatedly pack dirt against set traps, or avoid traps altogether. These "educated" gophers can become nearly impossible to trap, and yet they continue to breed and their offspring quickly repopulate tunnel systems, hampering gopher control efforts.
As traps rust from underground use, increased friction on the trigger mechanism and other sliding parts of the trap cause trap performance to decline from marginal to completely unacceptable.
The Gophinator gopher trap eliminates the problem of trap shyness in a number of ways. It employs a powerful torsional type of mechanism which draws the gopher into a pivot point at the front of the trap and applies more than enough power to hold and kill even the largest adults quickly and consistently. The theory here is that if the gopher is killed on its first encounter with a gopher trap, it never gets the opportunity to learn to avoid traps.
The design of the trap further reduces trap avoidance by providing the gopher with a clear path to the trigger--if the gopher walks mostly on dirt rather than wire on its approach to the trap trigger, it will be less likely to identify the trap as a potentially dangerous foreign object in its tunnel system, and thus will be more likely to enter the trap.
Finally, the trap is constructed entirely out of high temper stainless steel wire, so unlike other gopher traps, The Gophinator will not lose power or trigger sensitivity due to rust. And it will stay effective through many years of use.
The hair caught between the tines of this Macabee gopher trap indicate a gopher was pinched by this trap but escaped to live another day, and likely has become very trap shy as a result of the experience.
The Gophinator gopher trap employs a powerfull torsional mechanism and all stainless steel constructon, greatly reducing trap shyness and trap avoidance.
Dead gophers don't learn--none of these gophers ever got the chance to become trap shy. The Gophinator almost always gets them on the first set. (click picture to enlarge)
The Trapline Mole Trap--Finally a Sensible Trap for Moles
The picture to the right shows the relative small size of the Trapline mole trap compared to several other well known mole traps currently available on the market. The other traps shown are large powerful devices that are designed to close through the dirt onto the mole if and when a mole digs its way through an artificial soil blockage that the trapper constructs in the run when the trap is placed. This through-the-dirt mechanism requires very strong springs, which make these other traps difficult and potentially dangerous to set for inexperienced trappers, but also has the very serious disadvantage of putting a great deal of tension on the trigger mechanisms making the triggers too insensitive to fire consistently if moles do pass through the sets.
In contrast, the Trapline mole trap is a very small trap that slides into an intact mole run, and it is triggered directly by the mole as the mole passes through its tunnels. The jaws of the trap close directly onto the mole without having to close through a dirt blockage. This mechanism gives the Trapline mole trap a number of very important advantages over these other traps:
1. The Trapline trap is relatively easy to set and easy to place. Simply set the trap and slide it into an intact tunnel, and block off tunnel behind the trap. There's no need to construct a dirt blockage or "speed bumps".
2. Moles are more likely to enter the Trapline trap, as it's inside the tunnel placement does not require the mole to push its way through an artificial soil blockage. Moles enter the trap as they come through their intact tunnels, which is something they readily do anyway.
3. Because the traps are tripped directly by the mole bumping into a trigger pan, the animals are in a consistent, predictable position when the trap fires, and this produces more consistent and humane kills. Notice in picture at right that all eight moles are caught with perfect catches right on the chest area.
Smaller is better when it comes to mole traps. The Trapline mole trap slides directly into intact mole tunnels, and is triggered directly by the moles.
Trapline Mole Traps give a consistent catch on the chest area of the mole, making the trap both effective and relatively humane.
The Trapline mole trap in set position
Trapline Products owner Steve Albano and field tech Angel Carpio participate in a University of California study on gopher control.