Let’s face it: Wild animals can be a nuisance. Whether they’re digging up your garden or making a home in your attic, it’s tempting to take drastic measures. But wait! Before you reach for that lethal trap, consider a more humane approach. Trapping animals alive and relocating them is not only ethical but also effective. In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps to trap small animals like mice, voles, and squirrels without causing them harm.
Why should you care? Well, every creature plays a role in the ecosystem. By trapping them humanely, you’re respecting that balance. Plus, it’s often illegal to kill certain species. So let’s dive in and learn how to coexist with our furry neighbors.
The Right Tools for the Job: Choosing Your Trap
When it comes to humane trapping, the type of trap you use is crucial. Forget about snap traps or glue boards; those are a no-go. Instead, opt for live traps. These are designed to capture animals without injuring them. You’ll find two main types: cage traps and box traps. Cage traps are made of wire mesh, while box traps are usually wooden or metal. Both have a door that closes behind the animal once it enters.
So, which one should you choose? Box traps are more discreet than cage traps but can be trickier to set up. Either way, make sure the trap is the right size for the animal you’re targeting. Too big, and the creature might escape; too small, and it could get injured.
What Works and What Doesn’t
You’ve got your trap. Now what? It’s time to lure in your unwanted guest. The bait you use depends on the animal you’re trying to catch. For mice and voles, peanut butter works wonders. Squirrels are suckers for nuts and seeds. And don’t forget about fruit; it’s a hit with many small animals.
But here’s the kicker: Placement is key. The bait should be positioned so that the animal has to fully enter the trap to get it. This ensures the door will close behind them. Also, use gloves when handling the bait to prevent your scent from deterring the animal.
Where and When to Place Your Trap
Location, location, location. That’s your mantra when setting up a trap. Observe where the target animal frequents and place the trap there. For burrowing animals like voles, set the trap near the entrance of their burrow. For tree-dwellers like squirrels, place it along their route.
Timing is also crucial. Most small animals are active during dawn and dusk, so set your traps during these times. Check the traps frequently; you don’t want a nuisance animal to suffer from stress or dehydration.
The Relocation Process
So you’ve successfully trapped your little intruder. The next step is crucial: relocating the animal safely and humanely. This is not just about driving to a random spot and letting the creature out. There’s a method to it, and it’s important to get it right.
Why? Because improper relocation can lead to stress, disorientation, and even death for the trapped animal. Let’s break down the process step by step to ensure a smooth transition for your furry friend.
Preparing for the Journey: Safety First
Before you even touch the trap, gear up. Wear gloves to protect yourself from potential bites and to minimize transferring human scent to the animal, which can cause stress. Next, gently drape a cloth or towel over the trap.
This serves two purposes: it calms the animal by blocking out stimuli, and it protects your car’s interior during transport. Make sure your vehicle is ready too. The back of an SUV or the bed of a pickup truck is ideal. Secure the trap so it won’t slide around during the drive.
Choosing the Right Relocation Spot: Habitat Matters
You can’t just release the animal anywhere; you need to find a suitable habitat. Research the natural environment of the species you’ve captured. For example, squirrels thrive in wooded areas, while voles prefer grasslands.
The new location should be at least five miles away from your home to prevent the animal from returning. Also, check for signs of other larger animals in the area. You don’t want to drop your critter into a territory where it will immediately face competition or predators.
Before you hit the road, make sure you’re aware of local and state regulations regarding the relocation of wild captured animals. Some areas have strict rules about where certain species can be released. Ignorance is not an excuse, and you could face fines or legal action for improper relocation. A quick call to your local animal control or nuisance wildlife agency can provide you with the information you need.
The Release: A Gentle Goodbye
Once you’ve arrived at the chosen location, it’s time to release animals. Park your vehicle and turn off the engine to minimize noise and vibration.
Carefully remove the cloth covering the trap and position the trap door facing away from you and towards the habitat. Open the door slowly and step back. Allow the animal to exit the animal trap at its own pace; don’t rush it. It may take a few moments for the creature to realize it’s free to go.
Post-Release Monitoring: A Responsible Follow-Up
If possible, observe before you catch animals from a distance to ensure it can acclimate to its new environment. Some experts recommend leaving a small pile of food near the releasing animals site to give the wild animal a head start. However, this is a subject of debate, as it could encourage dependency on human-provided food. Use your best judgment.
By following these steps, you’re doing more than just removing a nuisance; you’re giving an animal a chance at a new life in a suitable habitat. It’s a fulfilling experience that underscores the importance of coexisting with the wildlife around us.
Conclusion: The Lasting Impact of Humane Trapping and the Importance of Expertise
Choosing the humane route for trapping and relocating trapped animals isn’t just a fleeting act of kindness; it’s a long-term investment in the well-being of our ecosystem and a testament to our coexistence with nature. By taking the time to trap and relocate animals responsibly, you’re not only solving your immediate problem but also contributing to a larger ethos of respect and care for wildlife.
However, it’s important to acknowledge that not everyone is equipped to handle this process on their own. Trapping and relocating trap animals involves a nuanced understanding of animal behavior, local laws, and safe handling procedures. Mistakes can lead to stress or harm for the animal and potential legal repercussions for you.
When in Doubt, Hire a Professional
If you’re unsure about any step in the trapping and relocation process, or if you’re dealing with a particularly tricky situation, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. Experts in humane animal trapping and relocation are trained to handle a wide range of scenarios and species and often use Sherman Traps. They can ensure that the animal is not only removed from your property but also given the best chance at a new life in a suitable habitat.
So the next time you find yourself in a standoff with a pesky critter, remember: You can use a live capture Sherman Trap or Reach out to professionals who can help you resolve the issue in the most ethical and effective way possible.
Your peace of mind and the animal’s well-being are worth it.