Trapping Tips

Where should I put my box trap?

  • Rats prefer overhead cover so placing the trap under bushes should help them feel safer and therefore improve chances will enter trap.
  • Stoats are bold and overhead cover is less important.
  • Benefit to placing trap along a fenceline, wall or border as animals tend to follow edges. This is known as hazing. A simple solution is to place a punga log leading up to the trap entrance.
  • Scuff up the ground at entrance to trap every time you service it. Predators like stoats will naturally investigate fresh earth in case it's been disturbed by prey.
  • If your box has been in the same location for a few months and not caught anything then try moving it to another location.
  • Give your box a clean every so often by hosing or shaking it out.
  • If your box has never caught anything, try putting a freshly caught rat or mouse in it; this often helps to activate a new trapbox.

What bait should I use?

  • Rats have a sweet tooth and love chocolate, nuts and sugary and salty food, but as omnivores they are also attracted to eggs and meat.
  • Stoats are carnivores and go for meat, fish and eggs.
  • Keep the bait fresh - no animal is interested in eating old or mouldy food. Rats have no vomit reflex so are actually very cautious about what they eat.
  • Put a scent of lure around the box entrance. This doesn't have to be the same as the lure inside - vary it a bit.

Bait options

  • terracotta lures soaked in salmon oil - change and resoak lure every 2 to 4 weeks
  • peanut butter - but does quickly go mouldy on the West Coast
  • chocolate spread (cheap nutella)
  • eggs - good visual attractant and animals are able to smell the egg protein
  • If you don't have eggs, use a white egg shaped stone from beach or ping pong or golf ball - anything that looks like an egg
  • mayonnaise - animals are attracted to the egg content
  • a freshly killed rat or mouse; put it up at the bait end of the trapbox
  • cooked chicken or meat bones - cooked bones will stay fresher for a bit longer compared with uncooked
  • fresh meat/chicken scraps
  • fish oil e.g. oil from can of sardines, smear it on the inside of the trap
  • fresh roadkill - if you're up for scraping it off the road, fresh meat is very enticing
  • If you use A24 Goodnature traps, scrap out the excess lure in the spent ALP (often loads still in there) and use in box traps.
  • Licorice allsort!

What if mice are taking the bait?

  • We don't know of any bait that rats like, and mice don't, so please let us know if you do.
  • The salmon lure and ceramic cylinder help because mice can't steal this.
  • Put a mouse trap inside the box, at the end where the nails are. However, this might be tricky for the Host-a-trap boxes, because the boxes are just long enough. So take lots of care, always unset the main trap mechanism if you are going to put and service a mouse trap inside the box.
  • Use a tin can with holes punched in it or wire mesh, put bait inside and place at the nail end. The holes let the scent out, but the holes should be 5 mm or less so the mouse can't get the bait out.  A soft plastic or bottle does not do the job because they chew through it. So anything lying around, metal, ceramic, or hard plastic with holes in it and the bait inside works....

Tips for A24 automatic traps

  • Regularly wiping lure up the tree to the A24 helps its efficiency.
  • Check there is no semi-dried plug of lure in the ALP.
  • Set off the unit with a stick every month when check counter to make sure firing ok. Gas has 24 hits so fine to do this monthly. 
  • When change the ALP, give the part around the trigger a clean e.g. with old toothbrush to remove any crusty/mouldly lure.
  • Change ALP every 4 months & gas every 8 months - get in touch when need more. And remember to remove the 10 cent coin when put in new ALP otherwise won't be activated.
  • Cut open spent ALP & scrap out remaining lure for using in box traps or wiping on tree leading to A24.
  • Remember there'll be one more residual hit left in the A24 when you change the gas bottle, so never put finger up inside unit even if gas bottle removed.
  • Recycle the gas bottles in steel recycling and cut out the ALP battery & drop off in letterbox of 2706 Coast Rd.