Readers of my blog know that cage trapping (frequently mischaracterized as “live trapping”) is not as humane as is often claimed or believed. Animals caught in cage traps can suffer in a variety of ways. In this blog, I want to discuss cage trapping in hot weather.
Why Cage Trapping in Hot Weather is Cruel
When cage trapping in hot weather, trappers need to remember a few things. First, furred animals exposed to direct sunlight can bake. To
help understand what an animal is going through, put on a winter coat and go out side and sit in the sun on a summer day. I doubt you would want to keep the coat on for very long. Animals, however, don’t have a choice. Second, some of the animals being caught will be nocturnal. Skunks, for example, are not typically moving around during the day. So nocturnal animals can suffer in two ways, being exposed to daylight (means their vulnerable) along with the heat exposure. Daytime animals, like squirrels, also feel vulnerable when caught in a cage trap because they can’t run an hide. They are trapped in full view of the variety of predators that may be lurking about.
How to Manage Cage Trapping in Hot Weather
Fortunately, there are a few simple steps you can employ to make cage trapping in hot weather more humane. First, consider trap location.
Will this spot be exposed to the sun all day? Could you move it to a location where it gets shade? Don’t discount shade. It means a lot. Second, cover half of the length of your cage trap with a cloth or stiff cardboard. This boxed area gives the animal a place to hide and obtain shade if needed. The animal will be able to move to the shaded area if it wishes or out into the exposed portion of the cage; thereby self-regulating. Third, in extremely hot areas, such as roof tops, or the south, trappers may wish to provide animals a source of moisture. Water bottles can work but so do slices of apple or other water rich foods. Last, but not least, check the traps at appropriate times. Nocturnal animal traps ideally should be checked in the morning. Diurnal animals before dark. It’s never wrong to check more than once a day. But that is for another blog.
To learn other tips for humane cage trapping, purchase, Being Kind to Animal Pests 2nd ed.Stephen M. Vantassel, CWCP, ACE, is the owner of Wildlife Control Consultant, LLC. He helps people restore their balance with nature through publishing, training, consulting, and the internet. He has published numerous articles in trade and academic publications (http://kingsdivinity.academia.edu/StephenMVantassel) along with several books (https://wildlifecontrolconsultant.com/store-2/). Listen to his podcast at PestGeek Podcast (https://pestgeekpodcast.com/). He is a sought after speaker and trainer. If you would like to have Stephen speak at your event or use his consultation services, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Copyright All postings are the property of Stephen M. Vantassel and Wildlife Control Consultant, LLC. Text (not images) may be reprinted in non-profit publications provided that the author and website URL is included. If images wish to be used, explicit and written permission must be obtained from Wildlife Control Consultant, LLC.