Tips for using baits and lures

Below are some tried and tested baits and lures for predator control. Have you got more for us to add to the list? Get in touch. 


Lures and baits

Kawakawa leaf up close
A kawakawa leaf. Cinnamon is a good lure for possums because it smells like kawakawa. Image credit: Krzysztof Golik.
  • Raw mutton fat is a great lure for traps. Mutton fat can be hard to find (asking your local butcher is your best bet) so raw beef fat is another option, but not pork fat. Freeze raw fat to prolong its lifespan. Rub the raw mutton fat on the mesh of your trap tunnels and add some inside your trap. You can also lead a ‘Hansel and Gretel’ trail of fat leading to your trap.
  • Don’t use cooked or rendered fat like dripping. Raw fat doesn’t go manky in warm weather and wasps aren’t attracted to it, so in areas where there are lots of wasps this type of bait lasts longer.
  • Egg-based mayonnaise attracts possums, rats and stoats, and feral cats too.
  • Cinnamon is a good lure for possums because it smells like kawakawa. Cinnamon-scented flour works well.
  • Use oils that duplicate the lures in other devices e.g. if there is cinnamon-based toxic bait, or you are using ‘smooth blue’ lure on your kill traps, use cinnamon oil in your flour.
  • Stoat and ferret odour or bedding can be quite attractive to other mustelids, but it is hard to come by.
  • A lone mouse on Maungatautari was captured using the litter from the mouse cage at the local pet shop as an attractant.
  • The Otanewainuku Kiwi Trust has a recipe for salted rabbit (PDF, 191 KB). 

A recipe for dehydrated rabbit

Dave of Whangamatā shared his recipe for dehydrated rabbit. This dehydrated rabbit is easy to carry around, lasts for ages and doesn’t go as manky as other baits. 

  1. Take a gutted, skinned and headless rabbit. Cleaver it into bite size pieces, bones and all.
  2. Make a salt brine (40 grams of salt per litre of water). Soak rabbit pieces in salt brine for three days in the fridge.
  3. Drain and squeeze out the moisture from the pieces.
  4. Place the rabbit pieces in a dehydrator and leave at 60 degrees until dried (it will take about 12 hours). The pieces could also be dried in an oven at 60 degrees.