Trapping and Exclusion Methods

Methods and Tools for Trapping Nuisance Wild Animals
Successful wildlife removal depends on many different factors, from the type of nuisance wildlife you're dealing with, to the type of building or territory the animals inhabits, to where exactly in the home, in the commercial/industrial building, or respective surrounding areas the animal is located, to how many individuals you have to handle, to what federal laws, state laws, or local laws have to say regarding the particular nuisance wildlife that is under discussion et cetera. On this page, for the sake of efficiency, I will discuss the most common methods of trapping invasive nuisance wildlife in general, but I do have other pages that discuss the matter at length, and you can find there absolutely everything you need to know regarding the subject in great detail.

When it comes to trapping nuisance wildlife that have invaded your property, basically, you have three options: live trapping and relocation, live exclusion, or lethal trapping and disposal. And while I've always been an advocate for humane removal, with some species such as rats or mice, the only humane method is the lethal one. Please read about Why Humane Wildlife Removal is Important.

Live cage trapping
Such methods include single-door or double-door live trapping cages. The osingle-door live capture cage is the most common method employed by wildlife removal experts when it comes to removing raccoons, opossums, skunks, armadillos, groundhogs, beavers, foxes, coyotes, geese, ducks, and so on. Keep in mind that the live havahart cage trap is not a one-model or one-size-fits-all type of thing. And while you can use the same trap you would use to remove a raccoon for removing an armadillo, you can't use that same trap when you need to remove a beaver or a flock of geese. Each animal will require a specific type of bait in order to lure it in, but even here you can find exceptions. If you're dealing with raccoons, for example, bait is practically irrelevant. At the same time, if you unknowingly choose a type of bait that tends to lure in a different type of animal, you might have an unpleasant surprise when you check the cage.

One-way exclusion funnels
These are especially effective with squirrels, and I prefer and recommend one-way door or repeater traps for this particular animal. One-way exclusion funnels or netting are also mandatory for bat removal. One-way exclusion doors can be used for raccoons, skunks, or other large animals in certain situations.

Snare poles
These are used sometimes, but I personally haven't handled one in years – didn't need to. You can use a snare pole to directly catch the problem animal with it (not recommended if you don't have any experience in doing so), or you can use it to guide or shoo the animal into the live exclusion cage.

Glue trap boxes
These are sometimes used for trapping snakes or small rodents. I do not recommend them for rodents, as this is not a good tactic at all to deal with them. I wouldn't use it on a snake either, but if you absolutely need to trap a snake, and can't call for a professional to help, I guess this would be your go-to method as long as you oil the snake afterwards in order to free it, and relocate it somewhere safe. Of course, you can also kills the snake once it's trapped, but I really don't see a valid reason why you would do this. Pest rodents such as rats and mice need to be exterminated, so they shouldn't be trapped alive and tortured.

Glue boards
You can find all kinds of glue traps and glue boards for trapping rats and mice. I find that they are horrible devices, equal to poison in terms of futility and level of cruelty.

Lethal trapping
There are many types of lethal traps available on the market directed to almost all nuisance wildlife. I am not a fan of them, but I am realistic and a professional, so I will use the ones I trust for those animals for which this is the best method of removal.

Wooden Victor traps
I use these reliable classic traps for dealing with rats and mice. A rat or mouse invasion can be permanently dealt with in a matter of hours (!) with the use of these traps, if you know what you're doing. I use about a dozen of them when I'm dealing with an attic infestation, and they have never failed me.

Spear traps, scissor traps, paper clip traps
I will use these for trapping nuisance moles. I do like moles, just in case you were wondering, but unfortunately, there's no way to live trap these subterranean mammals. Each type of trap has its specifics, and you really need a trained eye and a trained hand to properly install them so that you achieve an instant kill.

There are many things that go into wildlife control management, and good wildlife controllers get to be good as the result of years of practice, constant search and intake of information, and of course, through trial and error – lots of trials and lots of errors for the first year of activity. But it's the only way to become an expert. And it's a good thing, because once you do become an expert, there's no more possibility of error. I'm saying all of this for those homeowners that think they can read a how-to guide about getting rid of raccoons from your attic or something among those lines, and then handle the problem themselves easy-peasy. That's almost never the case. I'm not trying to discourage you from educating yourself on the subject – I'm writing this blog so that any and all who want to educate themselves have the possibility to do so – but I'm just giving you a fair, friendly warning that it won't be easy handling the problem yourself if you're a novice in animal control.