DUFFUS MOLE TRAP ( BARREL ) Known to many as the DUFFUS trap.
It was invented in 1922 by Scottish shepherd and molecatcher, John Newton Duffus, who along with his sons, designed a mole trap that was to begin with no more than a wooden barrel with two small metal springs on the top which operated independently.
It developed into a half barrel trap which is still used today, and copied around the world.
In 1958 John Duffus sold the patent to another Scotsman, who still lives locally to Davidsons, David Jolly, who continued to make the traps by hand, Many believe they have an original Duffus trap because the Name J Duffus & Sons is stamped on the sides.
However David Jolly kept this logo on the traps.
Today, around the world, copies of this trap are made and sold.
This is a trap that will always have a place in the pages of mole trap history.
1 . HALF BARREL
2. KILLING LOOP
4. TORSION SPRING
5. RETAINING BAR
When setting the Duffus trap you need to be very careful not to give yourself a crack on the fingers.
Hold the trap by the sides, position it against your stomach, and make sure the retaining bar is hanging free.
Push down on the killing loop with both thumbs to compress the spring. Hold it there with one hand, making sure your fingers are not through the killing loop, and flick the retaining bar over.
Hold the retaining bar with your free hand and remove the first hand that was holding the killing loop. Use this hand to hook the trigger over the retaining bar. Maintain pressure on the trigger, holding it in place while you release pressure on the retaining bar.
Ensure fingers are clear beforereleasing the trigger. This is important to avoid injury as sometimes the trigger will not lock onto the retaining bar properly. Turn the trap around and set the other side in the same way. [images for each step coming soon] Once set, gently position in the line of the tunnel and push down to seat the killing loops into the base of the tunnel.
Seal and Cover Once set, build up any gaps around the trap using turf or earth, then sprinkle a relatively thick layer of earth over the top, sufficient that most of the springs and metal work is covered. Compress this down (careful of the trigger) and ensure that all the holes are plugged.
Make sure there are no stones on top, but otherwise the springs will be powerful enough to work through the earth.
Finally, cover as appropriate if required. Checking If you are checking traps that have not gone off, be careful not to knock the trigger and give yourself a sore finger.
Every time you check a trap, you will need to clear out any earth that falls into the tunnel and re-prepare as you did when you originally set it.
If you keep finding that the trap has been filled in, check the sensitivity of the trigger, and make sure that you are not setting the trap too deep or too shallow in relation to the tunnel. Ideally the only metal in the line of the tunnel should be the trigger, which should almost (but not quite) touch the floor of the tunnel.
Trap Maintenance Before setting, make sure to brush off any dried on dirt / mud. If the trap becomes rusty, don’t use an oil or lubricant; simply use a wire brush to remove the rust. If you find that the trap is not firing reliably (you can test be seeing how much force is needed on the trigger pin to set it off) you can bend the ‘hook’ on the pin out a little, so that is at 90 degrees to the main length. This is easily done with a pair of pliers and will help the retaining pin slip off more easily.
When not in use, do not store the trap in the set position. As well as gradually weakening the springs, this will present a hazard to anybody that happens across it. Get a Good One ( There are many cheap ones not up to the job ) Some traps of this design are notoriously bad.
Issues include: over-sized trigger loops, which the mole can stick its head through; over length retaining bars that are insensitive or may ‘catch’ the killing loop half way up; and weak springs that do not give a clean kill. If you go for one of these, make sure you get it from a quality supplier such as The Flat Pack.
Trigger loops can easily be squished and retaining bars shortened, but make sure you do a spring strength test: lower the spring gently onto a finger and try to pull it out. If you can, then don’t bother with that trap.