In short, peanut butter and whole peanuts in the shell
are hard to beat. But wait! Bait alone is only a small factor. There are far more important things to know.
The location of the trap is just as important as the bait. For example, it's next to impossible to get a squirrel to enter a trap set inside an attic. But that same trap set outside, on the roof or bolted to a tree near the entry hole into the house,
that trap will yield great success! That said, the bait I use in cage traps for squirrels is peanut butter, smeared on the trap pan and a bit near the entry to the trap, and whole peanuts in the shell, glued on with the peanut butter, and set behind the trap pan.
So, you have a squirrel in your home and you want it out! You must remember that this is still a living creature, so you will need to treat it with a little bit of respect. Using a trap may seem like a difficult process but this is perhaps one of the most humane ways to deal with your problem, (if you buy a humane trap) and with a few tips and hints, you will soon be free from the little critter.
One of the first things that you are going to need to concern yourself with is whether or not your squirrel is a Mama Squirrel with babies hiding somewhere. The last thing you will want to do is trap the mother and leave the babies behind – they will surely starve to death, or worse, attract predators, that again you are not going to want in your home. Early spring and fall are the baby-making times of year for the squirrel, so be wary.
The trap itself can pose a problem for some people – too small and the squirrel won’t fit. This can lead to its escape, or it becoming wounded; neither of which are attractive options. Too big, however, and the trap may not be sensitive enough to the tiny squirrel. Make sure you read the instructions and guidelines on the packaging for the trap – it will say what animals it is suitable for, and it may even go by weight, in which case you will have to take a peek at the average size of squirrels.
Using the trap itself is simple enough – you lay the trap, place the bait and pretty much wait for something to happen. Peanut butter is bait that most squirrels will not be able to resist, but you could always play around with a few different foods to see which one gets the right results for you. You can always look online for more information.
One of the things that you are going to need to get right is the actual placement of your trap. If you get this bit wrong, you are either not going to catch anything at all, or you are going to end up catching a different animal altogether; neither of which will help you in the slightest. You are going to have to be a little bit of a pet detective at this point, which also means that you are going to need to set an alarm. Squirrels tend to leave their cozy little homes at around dawn to go on the hunt for food, so an early morning wakeup call may be in order!
To get best results, you are going to want to put the trap down without setting it, minus bait for a couple of days so that your little friends can become acquainted with it. You can’t just set the trap down and expect the squirrel to be stupid enough to jump right in; they have been living in the wild and have survived against predators after all! After a few days, once it looks like the trap is there to stay as part of the scenery; it’s time to set the trap and wait, hoping for the best!
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