Do you clean your cage traps? Have you ever considered cleaning your cage traps? It may sound like a silly idea. After all, isn’t cleaning your cage traps like cleaning the tires of your vehicle or the bottom of your shoes? A useless endeavor that will simply add more time to your already busy schedule? Those are certainly some important points, but I want you to give you a few reasons to support the idea that cleaning cage traps is a good idea at least in some situations.
Let’s begin by considering the problem. Animals are dirty. Raccoons, for example, regularly defecate inside cage traps they are captured in. It’s almost like they are doing this as an act of defiance. They aren’t the only animals that can poo inside the cage. Animals also urinate as well. Both urine and scat carry infectious organisms that can adhere to the cage wire, potentially waiting for you to touch. You may counter, but I always wear protective gloves! Great. I am glad to hear that because many wildlife control operators (WCOs) don’t.
I’m not talking about cleaning cage traps for your safety, though that is a reasonable reason. I am referring to cleaning cage traps for two other reasons, namely customer safety and trapping efficiency.
I suggest that cage traps should be cleaned if you rent out traps. The last thing you want to have happen is a renter using a trap that gets an infection from mishandling your equipment. So you clean your traps between renters.
The second reason you should clean your trap is when you are having trouble catching an animal. Sometimes animals avoid smells of other animals, such as a squirrel avoiding the odor of a raccoon, or a female raccoon avoiding the odor of a male raccoon. If your trap isn’t catching the way it used to, perhaps it’s because the odors on the trap are scaring the new animals away.
How do you clean your cage traps? I suggest using a weed burner. Find a safe area like concrete slabs, particularly those in well-ventilated areas. Just wave the flame over the mesh several times. Don’t need to make the mesh glow. Just enough heat/flame to kill the little nasties. Those of you in drought areas, need to be careful that grass and leaves in the trap don’t cause a fire elsewhere when carried by the wind.
If you haven’t cleaned your cage traps before, perhaps give it a try. You may find that you like the results. Keep in mind, that flaming will reduce the lifespan of your cage traps. But if you are careful, the life reduction won’t be noticeable.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 along with several books (http://kingsdivinity.academia.edu/StephenMVantassel). He is a sought after speaker and trainer. 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.