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Bait for red squirrels

evetss's picture

Have some red squirrels running between the floors in one of my 4-plexes.  Need to know what bait to use in a cage trap. 

(post #70058, reply #1 of 20)

12 gauge

. 2+3=7

(post #70058, reply #2 of 20)

An option if I didn't have any tenets in there...

(post #70058, reply #9 of 20)

.22 with rat shot...



(post #70058, reply #3 of 20)

Most supermarkets and variety stores around here sell bags of squirrel food. They also sell dried ears of corn. I think most of the squirrel food is a mixture of various nuts and seeds. They seem rather adept at spotting bird seed in outdoor feeders, so maybe that would do. I would probably just toss in a few almonds, walnuts, peanuts, cashews, Brazil nuts, or whatever is my least favorite nut in the package of mixed nuts...

(post #70058, reply #4 of 20)

Poison peanuts for gophers probably would work. Might stink up the place tho.

Havahart traps don't work well with squirrels and rats, but they sometimes catch one. Only leave one end open with squirrels, they will trip it and still get out if both ends are open.

Edited 1/23/2006 12:31 am ET by MarkH

(post #70058, reply #5 of 20)

Unlike MarkH, I've had great success with Hava-Heart traps, but it took some practice.  Over time, I've caught virtually hundreds of chipmunks, red squirrels, fox squirrels and a few rats.  (And released them several miles away, across a lake in the boondocks)

On the trip plate, I added a piece of 1/4" plywood about 6" square.  I bait it with peanut butter sprinkled with sunflower and/or safflower seeds.  Fine tuned and polished the trigger.

Seldom get a misfire.

(post #70058, reply #6 of 20)

I have had luck with a modified Hav-A-Hart. I wire shut the rear door and place the bait (peanut butter) on a piece of cardboard taped right at the rear door.  I place a piece of one-by under the leading edge of the trip plate so it only operates when the little buggers step on the trailing end. That way they can't beat the door from closing. This works for larger animals such as 'coons and opposums too.   If you let them go, be sure to do it at least a mile from home or they will find their way back.  Good luck! 

(post #70058, reply #7 of 20)

if you are catching rodents, do everyone a favor and exterminate them. otherwise, you are just passing your problem on to some else.

i have been rounding up chipmunks on my property with live traps. once they are caught they stay in the trap and go right into the goldfish pond. quick, easy, and no longer a problem to ANYONE.

i have caught several squirels but always release them.

(post #70058, reply #16 of 20)

I'm scratching my head trying to figure out why chipmunks would be considered such a dire problem. I'm not squeamish, but I won't waste any life unnecessarily. Maybe 'cause they leave acorn shells in any space that they can crawl into?


Edited 1/23/2006 11:18 pm ET by PeteBradley

(post #70058, reply #17 of 20)

My kid feeds them. And when the population grows, the owls thin em' out.

(post #70058, reply #18 of 20)


I can respect your feelings but I am guessing you have never seen the damage they can cause. Their burrows can destabilize foundations, retaining walls, sidewalks, etc. I am not taking chances when I find their burrows running near my house.

They are also very capable of finding their way home once dropped off. I also don't believe in passing my problems off onto someone else.


(post #70058, reply #19 of 20)

<<They are also very capable of finding their way home once dropped off. I also don't believe in passing my problems off onto someone else.>>

Drop some off for BrownBagg, he needs a secret ingredient for his chili recipe.

(post #70058, reply #8 of 20)

If it is not too big an area I use Cotton cloth or similar soaked in Mennen After Shave. Squirrels in my area hate the smell and promptly leave for the neigbours.

(post #70058, reply #10 of 20)

Quickly and Safely Eliminate Squirrels, Rodents , and Unwanted Fowl.

A Pragmatic Classical Liberal, aka Libertarian.

I'm always right!
Except when I'm not.

(post #70058, reply #11 of 20)

I've caught quite a few with peanut butter in a Have-a-Heart trap.

(post #70058, reply #12 of 20)

Thanks for the great tips...I'll give them a try later this week...

(post #70058, reply #13 of 20)

peice of bread with peanut butter and bird seed on top in a havaheart trap

(post #70058, reply #14 of 20)

It is darned hard to figure out how to stop those critters :-)

Upper Michigan

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(post #70058, reply #15 of 20)

   Great pictures! You sure wouldn't want to poke that fellow with a short stick!

(post #70058, reply #20 of 20)

What ever you do , do it quick.

They are tunneling through your insulation , eating romex connectors and coating off romex as we speak. They may be having babies up there by now . I wish I had taken pics of the damage Ive worked on including my home .

I trapped and shot 17 at my house . It was all out war . Im a trapper so it wasnt a big deal but it took a while .

The best places are trail sets. A 1 1/2 jump trap is the best for the light footed scavanagers. You will notice runs in the insulation where they have made trails through the middle of it . Those sets will catch several a day.

Out side it depends on what they are eating . Ive had a corn cord feeder put up loaded for two weeks and they havent touched it . They are eating walnuts and acorns right now as the first is the last to bear here. You may see a den tree close buy and you can inspect the hole to see if it is active. Ive taken over 10 from dens.

The problem with live traps is its a mixed catch . Get ready for several kitties if not possums and coons. Birds set them off too. Trail sets eliminate the extra fun of mad critters you are not looking for and they dont seem to enjoy it either.