Rodent Trapping

jessie at jessie at
Sat Apr 23 15:10:24 EST 1994

In article <1994Apr23.123905.1 at topaz> fergusma at writes:
>Greetings field workers.
>I am seeking information from anyone who has had experience with trapping small
>rodents, prefferably murids.
>I have attempted several nights of trapping using 30x10x10 Elliot traps, with
>a rolled oats, peanut butter, honey and vanilla essence mix as bait, with traps
>on an index line 7m apart.
>So far I have had no success.  I know that rats are scarce in this area
>(Central Queensland) and I am interested to hear from anyone with similar
>Meryl F.
>Bachelor Applied Biology (Honours)
>University Central Queensland

Some species are a lot more trap shy than others.  You don't say what you're 
trapping, but it may be such a species.  I also don't know what an elliot trap 
is, but can the animal see through it (open doors at both ends).  Some species
are more likely to enter such a trap.

Bait wise, try a sliver of apple.  I never use peanut butter as it is expensive,
gums up the trap, and is generally a real pain to use.  Crimped or whole oats 
works well in many cases.

I suspect, however, that you set the traps immediately.  Try baiting them and 
locking them open for a period of 1-2 weeks.  Let the animals acclimate to the 
traps presence.

Finally, there are good and bad ways to position a trap.  Again, it is often
species specific, but all the murids that I'm familiar with are essestially 
thigmotactic  (that is they like to be next to structure).  Thus, put the trap 
against a log, rock, grass clump, whatever.  Try to position the door away from 
any open area and if it can be overhung with grass, shrub limbs, etc. so much
the better.
Brent Danielson
jessie at

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