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  • USA Wildlife Removal Education Guide - What Equipment do you need to trap a Squirrel?

What Equipment do you need to trap a Squirrel?

Squirrel-trapping equipment requirements reach beyond the obvious. Besides the selection of your trap, you may need a ladder, as well as some common tools like hammers and screwdrivers as well as hardware items like staples and screws to seal off openings and channel the critters to your trap.

But for now let’s focus on the traps, which generally fall into two camps: live traps and kill traps. In most instances their use is regulated at the state and/or local level.

Let’s get jaw traps out of the way first. They are not the not the most recommended solutions and for several reasons. For one, they are hard to use and can be dangerous to the user. For another, they are not necessarily humane. They consist of spring loaded jaws that snap shut around the animal when it presses a trigger plate. Usually the trap is triggered when the animal attempts to access some bait that has been placed on the plate. The trap snaps shut and kills the animal by choking or crushing. A related device is the paw trap, which is placed on an animal route or in an area of heavy activity. A jaw trap, it snaps shut on an animal’s leg when stepped on, restraining it until the trapper arrives to dispatch it.

The more preferred solution is the live cage trap. There are a numerous options available, all of which operate in a similar manner. As the name implies, cage traps are made from heavy-gauge steel wire, formed in a box-shaped rectangle. Some are also made of heavy-duty plastic. For squirrels, the recommended cages are five- to seven inches square and 17-18 inches long, with selection primarily based on the size of the squirrel to be trapped.

The traps are closed at one end, with the open end equipped with a spring-loaded door or gate that snaps shut when the animal steps on a trigger plate. Normally, they are placed at the squirrel’s only available entry/egress hole, but they can also be positioned in areas of the animal’s activity and baited with favorite squirrel foods.

A variation on the basic cage trap is the repeating live cage trap which incorporates a one-way door, allowing squirrels to enter but not to leave. This trap is useful in areas of serious infestation, since it can hold a number of squirrels before they’re transferred to a release destination.

As always, the humane choice is the best choice.

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