Animal Trapping for Dummies

There are two main ways to get rid of those unwanted critters that are terrorizing your garden. You can either use a number of methods to repel them, or you can trap them. There are plenty of humane traps out there that will do the job nicely without harming the animal. These traps are a good solution if you have one or two animals that have been bothering you. Before you get started, check out this short guide to animal trapping. Everything will go much more smoothly once you understand the basics.

Some Basic Rules to Follow

When it comes to trapping live animals, there are some basic rules that you need to follow. Putting these in place will prevent injuries, both to you and the animal. Are you ready? Here they are:

  • Always call the experts once you’ve trapped a wild animal. Your local wildlife official or someone at a pest removal company will know the best way to deal with it.
  • Make sure that you hide any signs to humans. This means handling the traps as little as you possibly can to the point of wearing gloves when you carry it. If the trap smells like human, animals won’t go near it.
  • Ensure that the trap is the right size and shape for the animal that you’re attempting to capture.
  • Anchor the trap to the ground. Otherwise, the animal might be able to roll the entire thing over and pop the door open.
  • When baiting the trap, arrange a trail of tasty treats leading up to it. Place the last of these treats inside of the trap.
  • After you use the trap, clean it well with bleach. Wear gloves while doing this. Animal saliva can contain rabies, so even if you aren’t bitten, you still might get infected.
  • Check your traps every single day. The less time an animal suffers within one, the better off everything will be.
  • If you’re using live traps, put a piece of plywood under it. Otherwise, the animal might try to claw their way free, tearing up your grass in the process.

Baiting the Trap

Now that you know how to set up your trap, it’s time to learn the best types of bait to use. These depend on the animal that you’re trying to catch. Here’s a comprehensive break down:

If you’re trying to catch squirrels and chipmunks, then go with something that they love: nuts and seeds. You can use whole nuts, rolled oats, piles of birdseed, and even spoonfuls of peanut butter. Also, only use metal traps when trying to catch these critters. They’ll chew right through wooden ones.

Raccoons and opossums like cat food.  They’ll also eat marshmallows, corn, and sardines. Those tasty treats will draw them in. You really need to anchor your traps well when you’re trying to catch them since they’ll roll them over and try to escape.

Speaking of sardines, skunks like them quite a bit. They like anything fishy, really, so use seafood flavored pet foods, bits of fish scraps, and even canned tuna as bait. You’ll need to cover the trap with a tarp, as skunks like dark places.

Another common pest animal is the woodchuck. These creatures love things commonly found in gardens: apples, lettuce, beans, and carrots are some of their favorites. If you can find the entrance to their burrows, place the trap right near it. Otherwise, putting the trap near your garden will work well. You should only trap woodchucks in the summertime. They reproduce in the spring and hibernate in the fall.

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