The most common reason for animal trapping is that the animal is being a nuisance or is causing property damage. However, it is important to consider the reasons why the animal is doing this. Animals can be opportunistic, especially when an easy meal or shelter are involved.
In addition, the unfortunate loss of habitat due to development is increasing the instances of wildlife and human conflict. Areas where animals used to find shelter or searched for food have been replaced with commercial and residential buildings. The problem animal may only temporarily be in your area just as it is passing through or a source of food or shelter may have attracted it. If you live in an area with a substantial intact habitat, you will never be without the occasional visits from our wild neighbors.
Exclusion, if feasible, is usually the best method of coping with nuisance wildlife. Examples of exclusion, including removing food sources, securing trash containers, and removing outdoor pet food at night, are just a few of the many ways to deal with a nuisance animal situation and are the only permanent resolution in many cases.
WRONG ANSWER: Trap the opossum and relocate it. This will only provide a short term answer. Where there is one opossum there are more and another hungry one will end up doing the same thing.
RIGHT ANSWER: Keep a secure lid on your trash cans at all times. This removes the source of the problem, easy access to food.
If you chose to trap an animal, adhere to the following guidelines.
Due to the fact that most nuisance animals that are trapped are mammals, there is always a concern for the spread of zoonotic disease (diseases that can be transmitted between animals and humans ), particularly the rabies virus.
While in theory any “warm blooded” animal can carry the rabies virus, certain animals are considered low risk or high risk for rabies transmission. It is important to keep in mind that the most commonly trapped local wildlife species, the raccoon, is also the highest risk rabies carrier.
Always use caution when dealing with any trapped wildlife or domestic animals. Trapping can be very emotionally stressful on the animal and they can become aggressive or defensive if they feel threatened. Any incidents of a bite or a scratch must be reported to our department to ensure that there is no transfer of the rabies virus.
Traps can be purchased at many garden supply centers, feed and seed stores, and hardware stores. Successful trapping is a result of using a trap of appropriate size and using bait that is attractive to your target animal. Use a trap that is large enough for the animal to enter and turn around. If the trap is too small the animal will have to back it’s way out and will be reluctant to go inside.
Place the trap in an out of the way place where the animal feels secure, such as under a deck or along a fence. Trap location is especially important when considering nocturnal animals. For instance, if a trap is in the middle of a yard with no shade or cover, a nocturnal animal trapped during the night will be in direct sunlight the next day.
Use bait that is attractive to your target animal but not so attractive to non-target animals. Bait placement is important for some animals. For animals reluctant to enter the trap, trail baiting, leaving a small trail of food or scent for them to follow, can help guide them into a trap. Make sure the animal cannot reach through the sides of the trap.
After trapping an animal, consult the FWC's list of Nuisance Wildlife Trappers that Operate in Your Count
y. Most trappers will charge a fee for their services. Domestic animals, such as cats, are taken to the nearest animal shelter. In some instances the animal may be released on scene where it is trapped. An example of this would be a cat from a registered feral colony.
It is your responsibility to ensure that the animal is trapped and maintained in a humane manner until it can be transported.
Trapping is extremely stressful for the animal and additional external stimuli, such as other animals, people harassing the animal, or excessive heat, cold, or rain can cause injury or possible death to the animal.
If an animal becomes injured or dies as a result of negligence in trapping, the trapper may be held liable civilly or criminally. The intent of trapping is to safely contain an animal so that it can be safely transported elsewhere. Trapping should be used as a last resort and not in any way to make the animal suffer.