Why do some traps not get much traffic while it’s rush hour at others? We put the question to predator control specialist Cam Speedy to learn why trap placement is so important.
It turns out introduced predators prefer a nice trail walk to a rugged bush bash just like we do. Because we rarely see them, it’s easy to think rats, stoats, and possums like to scurry around out of sight in tangly bush and undergrowth. So, it can be tempting to pop your trap box or trapping tunnel tucked under a bush and down a bank, off the main walking tracks. But to get the most out of your trap, think “highways, not byways”.
Cam’s top tips for placing traps:
- Place the trap parallel to the track so the entrance is facing the “highway” – track, river, ridge, road, or hedgerow
- Ensure the trap is level and bed it down well – rats and stoats don’t like standing on wobbly things
- Scuff the ground leading up to the trap to make it interesting and appealing
- Blaze the trail leading in with a mix of flour, icing sugar, and cinnamon
Now that you’ve made it easy for predators to find and enter your trap, you’ll need to check it often to reset and rebait it.