In some cases, making your property unattractive for an animal will be enough to get it to leave. This may involve removing the food or shelter source, but it is not always enough. At other times, it will be necessary to trap the wild animal in question to relocate it. When this happens, you will need to select a humane, live trap and bait it with something that is appetizing to the animal in question. If you are looking for a single best bait to catch a wild animal, then you will be disappointed as the ideal bait varies by species. There is some overlap between species, however, so depending on the combination of wildlife you are looking to trap, your job may be easier or more challenging.
Bait Based On Species
While many small species of wildlife are similar, there will be some variations in the best bait for them as well.
Placing The Bait
- 1. Armadillos prefer insects, but using these as bait may attract other animals. Instead, the best options are spoiled meat, overripe fruit, maggots, or meal worms as few other creatures like these things.
- 2. Beavers are fairly simple to find bait for; look for branches covered in poplar oil (or poplar branches themselves) or a castor scent from beavers.
- 3. When catching chipmunks, your trap will probably be small, so the best bait tempts the chipmunks and is lightweight. Good choices include prune pits, raisins, cereal grains, sunflower seeds, unroasted peanuts, peanut butter, corn, and pumpkin seeds.
- 4. It is easiest to catch foxes if you use a bait of sugar-coated vegetables, eggs, meat, fish, or cat food that smells like fish.
- 5. Groundhogs like vegetables rich in nutrients, like fresh string beans, sweet corn, cantaloupe, peaches, lettuce, and peas.
- 6. Mice usually eat grains and seeds, but when looking for bait, you should pick a food with high sugar, protein, and/or fat content. Try peanut butter, oatmeal with peanut butter, beef jerky, small nuts, gumdrops, marshmallows, or cherry pits.
- 7. Muskrats will eat animal protein, but they prefer plants, such as strong-smelling oils, apples, and root vegetables. The best bait for catching these wild animals will be carrots, apples, parsnips, or oil of anise.
- 8. Opossums will eat almost anything, but the best bait for them will be strong-smelling oils and meats or fruit. Try aniseed oil with some bread, canned pet food, fish, or apples.
- 9. Because rabbits are herbivores, the ideal bait for them would be carrots, apples, brussel sprouts, or lettuce.
- 10. Raccoons will eat a range of foods, but prefer items with high sugar or fat. Sugar is ideal for baiting raccoons as it doesn't attract other animals. Consider fish, wet cat food, crisp bacon, sweet corn, watermelon, marshmallows, vegetables with sugar or honey, or cooked fatty meat.
- 11. There are two types of rats in North America. Either species will be attracted to dried fruit and peanut butter. Try bacon or gumdrops with Norway rats and nuts or berries with roof rats.
- 12. Shrews aren't generally very picky about what they eat, but some of their favorites include hot dog slices, bacon, peanut butter, and earthworms.
- 13. Skunks will eat whatever they find, but you will do better by using crisp bacon, cat food, canned sardines, peanut butter on bread crust, marshmallows, fresh insect larvae, chicken entrails, or canned tuna as bait.
- 14. Squirrels tend to prefer tender fruit, herbs, seeds, nuts, and grains. Try catching them by baiting a trap with sunflower seeds, nuts, peanut butter, popcorn, a few drops of anise oil or almond extract on bread, apples, or cereal grains.
- 15. Voles are most tempted by traps with bread and butter, sunflower seeds, small nuts, cherry pits, gumdrops, or oatmeal with peanut butter.
- 16. Weasels love meat so as long as your bait is fresh meat, you should be fine. You can make a trail with grain or oats leading to the trap, which you bait with chicken, fish, or liver. The oats and grains will attract mice that the weasels will prey on.
No matter what bait you choose to use or the animal you plan on catching, you want to make sure that you place the bait correctly. Be sure that you place the bait so the animal has to completely enter the trap, stepping on its trigger plate to reach the bait. Also do your best to pick a bait that only your targeted animal likes. Otherwise, a larger animal may steal it from the trap or you may attract more unwanted wildlife.
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