The following tips should be used when preparing to live catch your nuisance animal.
Havahart® recommends that you contact the Humane Society, or the local or state game commission before setting a trap to determine the lawful method of releasing a captured wild or nuisance animal. Many species are protected by law in various states.
Following the instructions contained in the carton, you may want to test the trap and spring it a few times to make sure that it works properly. For example, spring it by touching the trip plate from each end, This should be done also after the trap has been set and camouflaged to make sure it works freely. If you feel the doors do not work fast enough, place small stones or other weights on top of the door. This will cause doors to drop faster.
When you receive the trap it will be bright and new. Therefore do not be discouraged in case you do not catch what you anticipated the first night or day. The effectiveness of Havahart® traps usually improve with age. Some animals do not mind a new trap while others do. So instead of setting the trap to catch the first animal to come along, bait the trap, or simply place it where you intend to set it and fasten the doors open by means of a stick or wire.
After a couple of days, when you notice the bait has been disturbed or taken, it is time to set the trap. Camouflaging the trap is an effective means to entice the animal. Place twigs and leaves all over the trap to remove a lot of the glare from the trap. You can even spray it with water and throw dirt on it to give it a conditioned look. Animals will not be discouraged from entering the trap by the smell of your handling the trap or from supposed machine/oil odors in the manufacturing process
Top Trapping Tips
Check traps often and be aware of the weather. Trapped animals should not be left out in the elements as they can die from prolonged exposure to heat and cold.
Check traps FREQUENTLY. Wild animals stress easily and may seriously injure themselves as they attempt to escape.
If you trap a no target animal you should contact a licensed wildlife rehabilitator in your state for releasing advice.
Depending on the time of year, check to see if you have trapped a nursing mother, tip the trap over to see her belly. Babies will not survive without mother.
Traps should be washed, disinfected with a bleach solution (1 part bleach to 9 parts of water and let it remain on for 20 minutes), and thoroughly rinsed after each capture to stop the spread of any potential disease.