Havahart Live Trap How-To

By DoMyOwnPestControl.com staff

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What are Havahart traps?

The Havahart brand name has long represented "caring control for pests and wildlife". Havahart provides animal-safe cage traps designed specifically for the humane capture of animal pests, including raccoons, squirrels, skunks, rabbits, chipmunks, and armadillos. Havahart's cage traps are easy to bait, set, and release, and feature smooth inside edges for the protection of the animal. A gravity-action door has sensitive triggers to ensure a quick, secure catch.


Before Using Havahart Traps:

Havahart recommends contacting the Humane Society or the local or state game commission before setting a trap, in order to determine the lawful method of releasing a captured wild or nuisance animal. Many species are protected by law in various states.


General Guidelines to humane trapping:

  • Read the instructions completely and contact the manufacturer or a pest control professional if you have any questions about its operation.
  • Test the trap. Spring it a few times by touching the trip plate to make sure that it works properly. If you feel the doors do not work fast enough, placing a small stone on top of the door will cause it to drop faster.
  • Bait the trap. See section on baiting below for individual animal preferences.
  • Camouflage the trap by placing twigs or leaves all over it to reduce the glare of the metal. You can also slather mud on the metal to give it a more conditioned look.
  • Place the baited trap, without setting it, where you intend to catch the animal and fasten the doors open with a stick or wire. Do not set the trap at this point.
  • Set the trap.  After several days, if the bait has been disturbed or taken, it is time to refresh the bait and set the trap.


Baiting Tips:

The following are good bait suggestions for these commonly targeted animal pests:

1)      Squirrels -Cereal, grains, nuts (especially peanuts), sunflower seeds, anise oil (a drop or two on bread), shelled corn, apples, mixed peanut butter and oatmeal or peanut butter and molasses, popcorn

2)      Skunks- Chicken entrails, cracknels, canned fish (sardines), crisp bacon, cat food, fresh insect larvae such as beetles, bread crust coated with peanut butter

3)      Raccoons- fresh or canned fish, honey or sugar covered vegetables, watermelon, sweet corn, cooked fatty meat, crisp bacon, marshmallow


Other humane trapping Tips:

  • Be aware of weather conditions. Trapped animals should not be left out in the elements as they can die from prolonged exposure to heat and cold.
  • Check traps FREQUENTLY. Wild animals stress easily and may seriously injure themselves as they attempt to escape.
  • Other animals besides the target animal may get caught in the trap. If this happens, advice on releasing it safely can be obtained from a licensed wildlife rehabilitator in your state.
  • Depending on the time of year, you may trap a nursing mother and if you relocate only her, her babies will not survive. To see if you've trapped a nursing female, stand the trap on one end to observe the belly.
  • Traps should be washed, disinfected with a bleach solution (1 part bleach to 9 parts of water and let it remain on for 20 minutes), and thoroughly rinsed after each capture to stop the spread of any potential disease. Animals frequently defecate and urinate when captured and it is unhealthy to put bait down unless trap is cleaned thoroughly.


Releasing the Animal

Once you have successfully trapped your animal pest, contact the Humane Society or the local or state game commission to either direct or assist you in releasing the animal, especially if you suspect it may be rabid. Some wild animals, including raccoons, can be very aggressive and an inexperienced homeowner is likely to be attacked or bitten if attempting to release a wild animal without explicit direction and/or assistance from a trained wildlife professional.


Havahart Cage Trap Models Available at DoMyOwnPestControl.Com:

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