Trappers and wildlife control operators (WCOs) are fascinated baits, lures and other types of attractants for enticing wildlife to traps. Most of the effort tends toward bait or food-based attractants. But did you know that there are various types of attractants or perhaps categories of attractants? In fact there are at least 4 types of attractants. The attractant categories are taste, smell, sight and sound. Taste and smell are closely tied together, obviously. But trappers and WCOs ignore the other categories to their detriment.
Types of Attractants Explained
Attractants under the sight category take advantage of the animal’s sense of vision. For example, some animals rely on sight more than smell to find food. Felines (cats), for example, heavily rely on vision to find food. You as a trapper could consider hanging a fake feather in the cage to lure cats into the trap. CAUTION: BEFORE USING ANY BAIT OR ATTRACTANT BE SURE TO FOLLOW ALL STATE REGULATIONS. SOME STATES PROHIBIT CERTAIN TYPES OF ATTRACTANTS. Placement of carcasses is another way trappers use sight (and smell) to attract animals.
Sound attractants rely on the target animal’s ability to hear. Many predators have excellent hearing and with the development of strong batteries and micro-technology, we now have squeakers that can be added to traps. Squeakers can emit noises to capture the animal’s attention and draw them to the trap. A downside of squeakers is that the noise may bother neighbors.
Use Attractants in Combination
As important as each of these categories are individually to attract animals, they work better when used in combination. So don’t just rely on a good tasting/smelling bait to attract a target animal, think of ways to include sight and/or sound. For example, some trappers when trying to attract raccoons may add white marshmallows to the cage to add a visual element to the honey and molasses bait they used.
Additional information can be found in the Wildlife Removal Handbook, 3rd 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.