Once you've selected a squirrel trap, you must choose a bait that will lure squirrels inside. Learn about recommended baits and expert tips below, then explore other useful information about squirrels, including general facts and step-by-step control instructions.
How to Bait a Squirrel Trap
It's important to note that the purpose of bait is not only to lure a squirrel into the trap, but also to encourage it to activate the trigger mechanism while inside. In order to achieve a successful catch, you must position your bait accordingly.
The best bait placement will:
Coax the squirrel to fully enter the trap (body and tail).
Influence the squirrel to put its weight on the metal plate.
Be unreachable from outside the trap.
Take into consideration the trap type (1-door vs. 2-door):
Position your bait at the end of the trap, directly behind the trigger plate. Keep the bait as far from the trap walls as possible to avoid the bait from being stolen.
Position your bait in the center of the trap, either on the plate, buried in the ground directly underneath the plate or hung from the top of your trap.
TIP: A squirrel may be more likely to put pressure on the trigger plate if it has to work to get the bait. Smear peanut butter or molasses directly onto the trigger plate, then stick some dry bait to it. The squirrel will have to dig the bait out of the sticky substance, which should generate enough pressure to trigger the doors closed.
If a squirrel is stealing your birdseed, use some of that same type of seed as bait inside your trap.
Always wear gloves when baiting your trap to avoid transferring your scent onto it. Squirrels have an excellent sense of smell and may be deterred by any trace of humans.
Baiting is just one step in the trapping process. Proper placement and handling are also very important. To learn more tips, read How to Trap a Squirrel »
Learn more baiting tips by reading How to Bait a Trap »
Professional Advice on Baiting an Animal Trap
Our friend and Havahart® supporter, Billy the Exterminator, talks baiting traps.