I’ve had a squirrel getting my peanuts and escaping. His method seemed to be to creep in as little as possible, stretch way out, grab the bait and get out just as the gate came down. Setting the trap off didn’t seem to spook him- he’d climb a tree, eat the snack, and come right back trying to figure out how to get back into the trap.
Today when that happened I went out and reset the trap, with a twist. And it worked.
These traps are set when two steel rods of about 1/8" diameter are lined up on each other. If either budges the tiniest bit the trap is sprung. So this time I wrapped a wire twist tie around the peanut and twisted it snug, and twisted the other end around the lower of the two steel rods. Apparently it slowed him down just enough.
Maybe someone will find it useful, and it’s not hard at all.
An even better fix is put an old license plate on the trap door, which
keeps the varmint from being able to stretch over the spring mechanism
without standing on the license plate. When he stands on the plate, the trap
springs shut, and he’s yours.
These are both great tips, thanks for sharing!
Good tips and the securing the bait in a can for other vermin (like coons, possums and such) often increases your success rate.
Mark, I know this is an old thread, but believe it or not, I used to drill holes in pecans and screw them with a long self tapping screw into the trip plate, to avoid any episodes of stealing bait.
That was when I had more energy. Now I just throw some acorns or pecans in the trap and let it go. I have a really good trap, better than the Havaharts, which I originally bought about 4 of. The Tomahawk single door trap I’ve bought (I think about 30" long) is by far the best live trap I’ve tried for squirrels. My wife ran over it this year with the mower and now it’s not working as good.
I’ve done the same with a larger trap. You’d think anyone but an idiot would run over a trap, but it’s actually easier to do than it sounds.
PECANS?! I can see the acorns, since they’re free, but my squirrels seem to be perfectly happy with in the shell peanuts. I hope we never get such snooty tastes on this side of the divide.
I also recommend a smear of peanut butter on the trip plate, as they have to stay there to eat it and, I’m convinced, are willing to enter the trap because it smells so good.
But really, all the suggestions on this thread are good. Now if we could only convince people that feeding the dern things is not a good idea it might help there, too.