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Tips for First-Time Trappers

Havahart® recommends that you contact the Humane Society, or the local or state game commission before setting a trap to determine the lawful method of releasing a captured wild or nuisance animal. Keep in mind that many species are protected by law in various states.

If you’ve never trapped an animal in a live trap before, the prospect could seem intimidating. However by following the tips below, you can be trapping like a pro in no time.

For a full step-by-step trapping guide, visit the How to Trap section at

Tip 1: Ease into a Brand New Trap

The effectiveness of Havahart® traps improves as they age. Do not be discouraged if you do not catch animals within the first few days when using a brand new trap.

So instead of setting the trap to catch the first animal to come along, bait the trap, or simply place it where you intend to set it and fasten the doors open by means of a stick or wire.

After a couple of days, when you notice the bait has been disturbed or taken, it is time to set the trap.

Tip 2: Camouflage your Trap

A great way to entice an animal into your trap is by camouflaging it.

Cover your trap with leaves and twigs – this will make it look like a safe place to take shelter, and will also eliminate the glare that a steel trap could deflect. You might even spray it with water and cover it in dirt for the same kind of effect.

Tip 3: Test Your Trap

To make sure your trap works properly in the setting in which you’ve placed it, test it with a pen, twig, or other similar object (but please, not your finger). Try to spring the door(s) closed by touching the trip plate from either end.

If you feel the doors do not spring fast enough, place small stones or other weights on top of the door. This will cause doors to drop faster.

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