Expert Tips for First-Time Animal Trappers

Expert Tips for First-Time Animal Trappers

Whether you’ve come home to your trash thrown everywhere or only noticed a small hint that a pest has moved into your home, it has undoubtedly caused some stress. Most people have little to no experience when it comes to trapping your first animal, and that can be intimidating. Take a look at our tips below to make your trapping experience less stressful and more effective while ridding your home of nuisance animals.

Ease Into A New Trap

Trapping may not work the first time, and we know how frustrating that can be. Large metal traps are so out of the ordinary that animals are usually scared of them unless they slowly get used to them being a part of their environment. Most wild animals will not see a trap as a safe space where they can hide or burrow since they are not found naturally in the wild. To get animals acquainted with the trap, try placing the trap without setting it. Add bait and allow animals to take it. This will help them realize that the trap is not only a safe space but a food source. Once you notice the bait is being eaten, it’s time to set your trap.

Camouflage Your Trap

Havahart animal cage trap, one door

A great way to entice an animal into your trap is to camouflage it. Leaves, sticks, and grass are readily available tools we use to trick animals into thinking a trap is somewhere they would like to spend time. It may also help reduce the stress an animal may feel after it has been trapped. Most pests live in grassy areas, burrows/dens, or trees. Keeping a trap as similar to their natural habitat as possible will help persuade them to go into your trap sooner.

Test Your Trap

Efficiency and proficiency come with practice. Some traps may be more difficult to set up or open, especially if it is your first time doing so. For help setting up your trap visit Havahart’s YouTube channel for great, easy to follow videos.

A common problem a lot of us have in trapping for the first time is not properly testing a trap. Once you’ve set up your animal trap, use a pen or stick (no fingers, please) to test the sensitivity of the trip plate. If you’re trying to catch a very light animal and you have to put a lot of pressure on the plate to set it off, you need to make some adjustments.

Try adding some pebbles or small rocks to help weigh the trip plate down if it is not sensitive enough, especially when trying to catch a lightweight animal. If the door is taking longer to drop than you want, try adding rocks or weights to the door to speed up the drop process.

Check Your Trap Often

Raccoon in a cage trap

The longer an animal remains in a cage, the more anxious, afraid, and hungry it will become. Make sure to check your trap at least once a day to guarantee the most humane treatment of the animal and to make sure your bait is still there.

When you have finally caught an animal, approach it quietly and handle the trap gently. Release your animal several miles from your home in a suitable and safe location. Once the animal is released, clean and disinfect your trap to make sure it is ready for the next round of trapping!

Share Your Experiences and Stories

Which tips did you find the most useful? Do you have a story you want to share? Visit our Facebook page to share your best trapping stories and pictures. Our e-newsletter  is a great way to stay up to date on more great advice and be among the first to receive exclusive updates on new humane animal removal products.



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