Humane Use Of Live Animal Traps

Trapping Is Not A Quick Fix

Most homeowners immediately want the animal removed and relocated, which they feel is a quick solution for them and they believe it is a humane alternative for the animal. Animals are attracted to your property for one of many possible reasons; these might include food, shelter, water, and safe nesting sites. Convenient access to any of those elements will mean that other wildlife will eventually come looking for the same. Trapping wildlife does not guarantee that your problem is solved; it only resolves the problem once but it will continue to happen again.

There are 4 important elements that should be considered before trapping and relocation is attempted:

  • Many localities require that any wildlife traps be checked at least every 24 hours, and have imposed fines on violators.
  • More than 50% of relocated wildlife do not survive. In an unfamiliar environment, they do not have an established shelter site, food source or territory.
  • If you trap an adult female, there is a high probability that she is caring for young who will starve without her.
  • Most jurisdictions do not allow the relocation of wildlife and require that pest control operators destroy trapped wildlife. This is usually accomplished by shooting, drowning, suffocation or injection with commercial solvents such as acetone.
  • Unless the situation that initially attracted the animal is corrected, then the problem will only be repeated as other wildlife are drawn to the property.

Before Considering Trapping

In addressing a nuisance situation, the trapping of wildlife is only recommended when it is necessary to remove an animal in order to address the situation that originally attracted it. For a listing of alternatives that we recommend you try before attempting to trap Click Here. Rather than trap an animal, why not just evict it using an excluder.

Wildlife Excluders

Wildlife excluders really make things so much easier and humane than trapping. Instead of having to set up and bait a trap, then check it every few hours for wildlife, and then having to release the wildlife, excluders do all the hard work for you.

There are several different types of excluders (a few products are shown below) to fit most needs. Excluders can be mounted over holes in your soffit or fascia, they can be positioned over crawlspace and air vent openings, holes in fences, etc. There is even a corner-mounted model. Most have one way doors that allow wildlife to leave but not return. The tube types are made of plastic and angled downward.

Fix The Cause

You must also take steps to prevent the same situation from happening again. For instance, trapping squirrels in your attic is ineffective if you fail to fix the big gaping hole that they originally used for entry and any other sections of wood that are deteriorating. Other wildlife will see that big gaping hole as a welcome sign posted on your home and quickly will move in. Address common things that attract wildlife.

  • Repair any damaged, deteriorating or rotten sections of wood on structures.
  • Don't feed pets outdoors.
  • Empty any containers that may contain or have collected water.
  • Keep bushes and grasses trimmed; eliminate any brush.

If You Trapped A Mom

Trapping is not recommended when babies are present. If absolutely necessary (homeowner moving, heavy construction, etc), trap mom using only a humane live trap. Taking every reasonable precaution for personal safety, gather up the babies and place them in a shallow open box that they can not crawl out of. While wearing thick protective gloves, carry mom (still in trap that is partially covered with a towel) and babies to an area of your yard that has some cover (plant growth, bushes) and is furthest from the house. Sit box with babies next to mom's cage (and partially remove the towel) so that she can identify them as her own and see that they are safe. Observe from a distance. After about 20 minutes, release mom. She will immediately run away. Allow her 4-6 hours to return to collect her babies and relocate them to a new nesting site. You must keep all activity (children, pets, etc) away from the area, otherwise mom will be too nervous to return.

Proper use and baiting of live traps

Live Squirrel Traps

Live Rat Traps

Live Mouse Traps

Here are some humane mouse traps. We've personally used both the Mouse Cube as well as the Catch Master (similar to the Hux Eye). They were both sucessful in catching the mice. The Mouse Cube worked nicely in small areas, including kitchen drawers. The Catch Master worked well in feed areas. We always checked the traps 2 times per day and released the mice into brush pile further back on the property.

Live Medium-Sized Mammal Traps

These humane live animal traps are sized to accommodate medium-sized mammals such as raccoons, opossums, skunks, and smaller groundhogs.

Live Large-Sized Mammal Traps

These humane live animal traps are sized to accommodate large-sized mammals such as bigger raccoons and foxes.

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