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What is the best bait to catch a wild animal
The best bait to catch a wild animal will depend on the animal in question. When it comes to nuisance wildlife, many of these creatures are scavengers, and therefore aren’t too picky about what they put into their mouths. Also, bait doesn’t need to be edible in nature; if you come across the litter of babies belonging to the animal, you can use them to lure the adult into a cage trap. The most important thing to remember; however, is that traps set up in the ideal locations, in the proper manner generally don’t need bait at all.
The bait used for some of the most common animals
Trapping animals, aside from that done for sport, usually stems from an on-going nuisance issue around the home. While any animal can be problematic if it invades human space, there are a handful of common nuisance animals people see around their property.
Squirrels: Squirrels are not only the most common nuisance animal that invades attics, they are also the bane of people who enjoy bird watching or having bird feeders around their homes. Squirrels are smart, agile, and can climb almost anything, sometimes even smooth surfaces. It is important to understand that keeping squirrels out of your yard is almost impossible. If this is your intent, your best option is to eliminate food sources–which means no bird feeders. Squirrels inside the home can be trapped using live cage traps. To bait these, you can use bird seed, peanut butter, or other whole nuts.
Raccoons: Raccoons can live inside the house or around the property, but these mischievous animals make messes wherever they go. Raccoons are scavengers; they often pick through garbage cans. While you can use any variety of bait to catch them, something aromatic will work best. As a general rule, food bait works best if the animal can smell it from a distance away. Tuna fish and cat food are very useful in this situation, but you have to be aware that you may accidently catch the neighbor’s cat in the process. For raccoons and other scavengers, marshmallows are a useful alternative that won’t put pets or other animals in danger of being caught.
Opossums: The opossum is another scavenger that will gladly eat whatever it comes across. These interesting animals are another species occasionally found in attics. The best bait to catch this wild animal is the same as for a raccoon–something very aromatic and meat-based. Like raccoons, however, opossums will also eat marshmallows, and these are safe alternatives for use as food bait.
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Important considerations for baiting wild animals
In the world of trapping larger nuisance wildlife, there is no real need to use food bait. A properly set-up trap in a location the animal uses is often enough to do the job. Using food bait opens you up to the chance you’ll catch something other than the animal you’re after–and then what? And leaving food out around the property in traps is a sure way to entice other animals to come see what the smell is all about.
There are many wild animals that will scavenge. You may set your trap for a raccoon only to find a coyote has stuck it’s head in and stolen the bait and mangled the trap in the process.
There are some instances where food baiting is appropriate. Mice and rat infestations, for example, are handled using lethal snap traps. While you don’t always have to place peanut butter on these traps for them to work, the goal is to encourage the rodent to stay long enough for the trap to clamp shut.
Mice and rats are not picky about what they eat, but you will want to use something that sticks to the trigger plate of the trap. Cheese might make a good bait, but it is easily stolen by a quick mouse. Peanut butter or spray cheese are among the best options for baiting rodent snap traps.
Another instance where you may want to use bait in a cage trap is when dealing with feral dogs and cats. The life of a once domesticated animal is one of opportunity, and wild dogs and cats are almost always on the lookout for food. Without the instincts of a wild animal to make them overly cautious, it is relatively easy to lure a feral dog or cat into a live cage trap by using pet food.
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