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How to Disguise your Squirrel Trap

Ok, so he doesn't like the sight of your trap, eh?  Or maybe that's what you think, you're not really sure....  He's not going in your trap, but he may (or may not) be taking your chum.  Whatever.  Basically, you're not catching the squirrels, (or not catching them anymore) and you suspect they may be getting "smarter."

They're not.  You're getting "dumber."  (Every once in awhile Mother Nature throws a curve, of sorts.)  The actual problem is that your target squirrels are not reacting normally to the trap placements.  There can be many reasons for this, and this is where the experience part comes in.

Start with disguising your trap, maybe enclosing it with cinder blocks, (or something) leaving only both ends open, where he enters the now enclosed trap.  When we have to do this, we may use any number of ways.  We have several open-ended "boxes" constructed of  standard "1x" lumber.  So it looks like a tunnel.  We enclose the trap with the box and weight the top so the box can't be toppled.  

We use several other methods to disguise, you can too.  For your disguises, you can also use tree limbs, cardboard or wooden boxes, even a jumble of fencing, patio furniture or even aluminum lawn chairs.  Squirrels are very curious animals and will investigate everything "new" in their territory.  I have caught squirrels many times with unbaited Hava-Harts - they are curious enough to check everything - also another reason you don't want them around your house!

If you can, set up a couple of your disguised trapsets, sort of like an "animal shell game."  (This is one reason why I usually advise people to buy two traps, whether you buy them from me or not.)  Just remember to use your noggin - all you people are smarter than those squirrels.

Sometimes you'll have to open up and disable the trap(s) and just leave them out, baited or unbaited, so that they'll become "part of the landscape."  

Chum the areas where you see the squirrels, you can "move" them when they start taking the chum.  Sometimes this all takes awhile.  They'll find the chum, just put it in a good place for you to do your trapping.  Don't sweat it if the birds see it and start taking it, the squirrels will eventually see the avian commotion, come and investigate and then chase the birds away!  My suggestion is to leave the traps there, disabled but baited, to get them used to the traps.  When you're ready to trap squirrels, cover the traps with your box "tunnel," so the birds won't want to go in.

At this point you're ready to resume (or start) your trapping campaign, you have gained control of the situation and the squirrels.  This can take time - especially if you (or others) have been careless with previous trapping campaigns by releasing squirrels. (Another good argument against releasing rogue squirrels.)

Squirrels are creatures of habit, just like you and me.  Most are easy to trap since they are curious and do investigate those new things in their territories.  They will enter small, closed places that other animals may not.  They are rodents, scavengers and omnivores, which makes your job easier - you can use virtually any kind of food for bait.  If you like it, they'll like it.  And they check their "territory" every day.  Often more than that.  Use their curiosity to your advantage.

Be creative, patient and remember (again) you're smarter....

Trapping experience is gleaned over years.  That's many years and careful observations before you run across most of the anomalies of squirrel control.  Luckily, you're smarter than those squirrels, so you have one leg up already.  

It is important to take your time doing all this, get panicky or in a hurry and you'll definitely make more mistakes and take much longer trapping your squirrels.  Learn which are "your" squirrels and you can do a much better job.  To be really good at trapping squirrels, you need to do this almost as a vocation.  The man I learned from had been doing it for over 50 years - I have another 40 under my belt, and they still surprise me.

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