Trapping 101

In this section, Havahart® provides general live animal trapping information. You’ll find an overview of how to trap animals, different trap types, and answers to your most common animal trapping questions!

How to Trap
How to Bait
Trap Types

General FAQs

Q: What are the advantages of Havahart® Live Animal Cage Traps versus other cage traps?

A: Havahart® has been the leader in live animal traps for over 70 years. Havahart® traps are  constructed of durable wire mesh which is galvanized for maximum resistance to rust and corrosion, giving you many years of use. Havahart® is the only brand that offers a wide variety of different sizes and configurations, including patented Easy Set® traps, which allow you to set and release your trap with one hand.

Q: What is the warranty on a Havahart® Live Animal Trap?

A: All Havahart® Live Animal Traps are covered by a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty. In the rare case of a manufacturing defect or damage during shipping, Havahart® will replace your trap free of charge, for up to one year from the date of purchase.

Please contact our Customer Care division at 1-800-800-1819, or email us ».

Q: Do you offer anything specifically for stray or feral cats?

A: Yes, we offer a Feral Cat Rescue Kit, which is specially designed for the capture and short-term care of stray and feral cats. Find it here ».

Q: How do I care for my animal trap after it’s been used?

A: Traps should be disinfected with a bleach solution (1 part bleach to 9 parts of water and let it remain on for 20 minutes) and thoroughly rinsed after each capture to stop the spread of any potential disease. Animals frequently defecate and urinate when captured, so it is unhealthy to put new bait down unless trap is cleaned thoroughly.


Bait Tips

Q: What kind of bait should I use in my trap?

A: The type of bait we suggest will depend on the type of animal you are trapping. Go to a specific Animal How-To page for the best bait options.

Q: Where should I place the bait in my trap?

A: The bait should be placed somewhere that requires the animal to fully enter the trap and step on the trigger plate in order to reach it. Check out more tips on baiting your trap here ».

Q: The bait is gone, but the trap is empty. What happened?

A: The behavior of wild animals is not always predictable, so trapping them can take some patience. There are two common reasons why you might find an empty trap:

1. If the door is still open, then an animal was able to get to the bait without stepping on the trigger plate. It is very important to place the bait in an area where the animal is forced to engage the trigger in order to recover the bait. For bait-placement tips, click here ».

2. If the door is closed, then a larger animal likely took the bait. If the animal taking the bait is too large for the trap, the door will fall on the animal’s back, allowing the animal to back out and exit the trap before the doors fully close. The best way to increase your chances of trapping your target animal is to use baits that specifically attract that particular animal. Visit your animal's How-To page for the best bait options.


Trap Type

Q: What are the advantages of using a 2-door trap versus a 1-door trap?

A: If used as directed, 1-door traps and 2-door traps are equally effective. Whether you purchase a 1 or 2-door trap is a matter of preference. Some trappers prefer to use 2-door traps, as an animal might be more confident in entering the cage if it can see through to the other side. Others prefer to use 1-door traps, because they are easier to bait; since the back end is closed, you can place the bait beyond the trigger plate ensuring that the animal walks further into the trap before reaching it.

Regardless of your preference, Havahart® offers both one-door and two-door traps to satisfy all consumers.

Q: What size trap should I use to catch my target animal?

A: Use our convenient Trap Guide to choose the right trap size and configuration for your specific needs.


Catching an Animal

Q: If I catch a mouse, how far away should I release it so that it doesn’t return?

A: If you are planning to relocate a mouse, you should release it 3-5 miles away from your home, to reduce the possibility of a return visit.*

*Before you proceed, Havahart® recommends that you call your local authority to determine the laws regarding trapping, releasing, and relocating animals in your area.

Q: How far away should I take a live-trapped squirrel so that it doesn't return to my home?

A: If you plan to relocate a squirrel, it is recommended that you take it at least 3 miles away, preferably on the other side of a body of water or a major highway.*

*Before you proceed, Havahart® recommends that you call your local authority to determine the laws regarding trapping, releasing, and relocating animals in your area.

Q: I've safely caught the animal - now what do I do?

A: We recommend that you contact the Humane Society, or the local or state game commission to determine the lawful method of releasing a captured wild or nuisance animal before setting the trap. Many species are protected by law in various states, so it is important to know the proper regulations for your area.

Q: What do I do if I’ve caught the wrong animal in my trap?

A: Each region of the country is different in its rules and regulations regarding trapping, releasing, and relocating wild animals. Please contact your local or state game commission, or call the Humane Society for their recommendation.

Q: What can I do to assure I catch my target animal?

A: Visit our How To Trap section for professional tips on how to maximize the results of your live animal cage trap.

Q: How can I avoid catching my neighbor's dog or cat?

A: There is no guarantee that you will not catch your neighbor’s pet, but there are ways to avoid doing so. One way is to bait your trap with something sweet like oil of anise, sweet corn or grape jelly. While these are attractants for wild animals, the majority of domestic animals are not attracted to sweet foods.

Q: What should I do if I catch a nursing mother?

A: Depending on the time of year, you may trap a nursing mother and if you relocate only her, her babies will not survive. To see if you've trapped a nursing female, stand the trap on one end to observe the belly of the trapped animal.


Trap Setup

Q: How do I set my trap?

A: Setting your trap is easy – Havahart® provides detailed written instructions as well as step-by-step “How-to-Set” videos for your convenience. You can find these instructions and videos on our product pages or on our YouTube page.

Q: Where should I place my trap?

A: It is best to place your trap in the area most frequented by your nuisance animal. If you are able, camouflage your trap by covering it with nearby leaves and sticks. If the animal commonly travels alongside the wall of a house or shed, it would be best to use a 2-door trap and place it against the wall with both doors open.

For more trapping tips, visit our How-To section » .

Q: How can I test my trap to make sure that it works properly?

A: Start by setting your trap. Using a pen or another object (not your finger), carefully touch the trip plate, applying just a bit of pressure. The door(s) should quickly snap closed.

Q: How often should I check my trap?

A: Havahart® recommends checking your trap every 30 minutes. The longer an animal is in a trap without food and water, the longer it goes hungry and grows anxious. A hungry, anxious animal can harm itself in an attempt to escape.

Q: Will animals still approach my trap if it carries a human’s scent?

A: We recommend that you always handle the cage with gloves, or minimize your contact with the cage, to limit any human scent. Please see our trapping tips for more information.


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