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Baiting a Squirrel Trap

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For the most part, baiting a squirrel trap for squirrels is pretty easy.  The materials I usually recommend are readily available, (bread and peanut butter) and it takes just a couple of minutes to properly bait and set a 1040 trap.  Since squirrels are basically nut and grain eaters, I use peanut butter because it's something they don't get too much of, and it smells pretty good to just about any squirrel.

For those that might ask, yes, you could use nuts or other bait for squirrels, too.  It's just that (for me) peanut butter is readily available at any 7-11, is easy to use, easy to store in a vehicle, (no refrigeration) and if you wind up in a ditch somewhere in the boonies, with no one around, it's a high energy food, and you'll thank me for recommending it.  

Anyway, the following is a short, simple picture course on just how you can bait a squirrel trap, specifically the Hava-Hart double door series traps, either the 1040 or the 1030.  I always recommend that you use the 1040 trap
The Hava-Hart Model 1040 2A Squirrel Trap
exclusively, especially if you're trapping grey squirrels.  If you can't purchase a 1040 locally, you can purchase the 1040 (or the 1030) from us, right here.

Coat one side of the sandwich....
Ok, this is what you do.... Take a slice of bread, smear a coating of peanut butter on one side of the piece of bread...

Many of your neighbors may not like to see you trapping, so you should properly hide your trapsets.  You may lose traps to people that steal them, either because they don't want you to trap, or they just want the trap.  Or both.  So make sure your trap is in a secure place.

Then, you just fold over the piece of bread onto itself.....
Fold over your sandwich....

Whatever you're using as bait for your trap, use the same thing to chum with, before you even put out your trapset. Nobody likes a free meal more than Mr. Squirrel, we're talking rodents and scavengers here.  Don't use a lot of chum, just a little bit is all that's needed.  Place chum anywhere you have seen the squirrels forage.  Once they take the chum, you can move that chum spot to an area where you can safely use your trap.  Squirrels like to be out in the early morning and in the afternoon.  If the weather's bad in the morning, they'll sleep in...

Move the bait spot next to where you expect to trap, they should find it within a hundred feet or more.  If not, you can chum closer, moving them to your area in steps.  When you finally get them to the trapping area, make sure the trap is there and properly baited.

As to whether you need to disable the trap and chum them inside the trap is another question to think about, fortunately you can find or get the answers here.

Now tear off a sizeable chunk....
Now tear off the top part of your "sandwich...."

"Knowing" your squirrels is so important.  Spend some time and study your subjects - remember, Mr. Squirrel is your personal terrorist and you want to do this right.  Always think before you do something silly or unprofessional, it could also be dangerous.  If it seems at all outlandish, bounce it off the Squirrel Message Board.  Follow the procedures listed here and you can get your squirrels, this isn't rocket science.

Don't try to poison grey squirrels, they tend to ‘squirrel away' the bait, rather than eating it right away.  Could cause you problems later on from cached poison bait.  And if it does work, there's a good chance they'll pick "dying at home," which might well mean your home.  And what if he dies in some out of the way inaccessible place that no one can get to?  I can attest to the fact that it can stink pretty bad for a month, maybe even two, depending on the temperature.

Once you do know the squirrels are taking your chum, you can introduce or enable your trap and begin to catch your squirrels.

Take the top part that you have torn off your "sandwich," then STICK it to the treadle of the trap.  The peanut butter you have used on the bread will help it stick to the treadle, so when your target attempts to remove the bait, he will spring the trap.  Remember to cycle the trap several times, make sure it is operating correctly.
Press the bait onto the treadle....

One thing I will stress right now, is to get familiar with your trap.  Know exactly how it works. Practice with it.  If you haven't tripped it, in practice, at least a hundred times, then you don't really know how it works.  Try different sensitivity settings, try a one door set, see if you can "trick" the mechanism into a false trip.  (If you were going to use a gun, would you practice beforehand?)

Use enough peanut butter to make it worthwhile....
Make sure you use enough peanut butter so it will easily "stick" to the treadle.  

I like that method better than just smearing peanut butter directly on the treadle.  It also makes it easier to detect if it has been disturbed.

Place some chum near the trap door....
Now, after your trap has been properly baited, set up and tested, place a bit of "chum" in front of the door(s) of the trap.  (That little white blob is just a piece of your peanut butter sandwich.)

Understand, this is only a suggestion of how you can bait the trap, I have had excellent success doing it this way.  You can develop your own baiting procedure, especially if the squirrels are already eating a specific food.  Also, if you have a trap-wise squirrel, or some special circumstance, you can ask a question on the Squirrel Message Board.

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