Live cage traps.



Catch-alive trapping.

This form of trapping has got to be my favourite. The advantage of this kind of trap means you just get the target species and any mistakes can be released un harmed. Traps are single and multi catch and both have there place in pest and vermin control. There are loads on the market and I tend to use the ones that haven’t got loads of springs and catches as they are hard to set on winter days when fingers are frozen.


A selection of cage traps.

From small mice and rat traps to squirrel, rat mink, pigeon, magpie, corvid, rabbit, feral cat etc and properly the largest in this country the fox trap. If there is a pest out there you will be able to find a catch-alive trap for it. When setting these traps sighting them is important and again studying your prey is essential. Some people believe that these traps need prebaiting but I rarely do. If they are going into eat then lets catch them, you never know they may get spooked next time and you have missed your catch.

Mice traps are small boxes with lift up doors and are best set with peanut butter or chocolate spread.

Rat traps work well with peanut butter, corn mixed with old cooking oil also works and anything pungent.

Squirrels love acorns and these are plenty full this year and are free but whole maize works well too, peanuts. And peanut butter at a push.

Mink if you have to deal with them will take cat food and rabbit paunch as well as most fish or dead chicks if available. Using catch-alive traps on mink means if you get it wrong and catch an otter it can be released unharmed.

Pigeon traps are simple and I use mixed corn in both single and multi catch traps with very good results.

Rabbit traps if used properly work very well especially when there is not much food about i.e. hard frosts, snow and very dry summers when grass is in short supply. I bait my traps with carrots. Cut them into pieces about the same size as your little finger and then split them again length ways into small baton shapes. I find these traps work best with a minimum of two units.

Feral cats will gobble up tinned cat or dog food and these do catch better if the area is pre baited but expect to catch hedgehogs, rats and even small dogs. And make sure you have somewhere to take the cats or a vet to destroy them. These are viscous so treat with care and respect.

Magpie Larsen and Crow traps are properly the most common kind of catch-alive traps and come in single catch to multi traps that can catch 4 or five birds. A decoy will be used in most of these traps and catching you first bird is always a challenge. Eggs a split rabbit or road kill will help with this.

Fox traps are very underestimated and again if used correctly are very useful in my work. I usually hang my bait behind the treadle and try to make sure that there are feathers hanging about and it swings in the wind to catch their eye. Make sure you have the proper tools to dispatch or a way of destroying them correctly.

Please remember that it is against the law to release vermin and anything caught should be despatched humanly. Happy hunting.