Trap molestation is a strange phrase but one that you as a homeowner should be aware of. Trap molestation refers to activities that disturb the proper function of traps thereby preventing the trap from capturing an animal or releasing an animal that happens to be captured.
There are three categories of trap molestation, each based on the source of the trap disturbance. Weather molestation refers to how wind, rain, snow, etc. disrupt trap function. Animal molestation refers to how an animal can trigger traps prematurely, such as when a bear encounters a raccoon cage trap. People molestation refers to the actions of individuals have on traps, such as when a “do gooder” releases the “innocent” animal from the trap.
Why Trap Molestation is Dangerous
Trap molestation is dangerous because people disturbing traps can become injured by the animals they are attempting to free AND extend the time the damaging animals are present on the property. Consider the first problem. If a person gets injured in the process of molesting a trap, who do you think will be liable? I know what my answer is. How good is your homeowner’s insurance. You may think that the trap molester is violating the law. Yes, you would likely be right. But I have rarely seen instances where trap disturbance laws are enforced.
As for the second problem, the longer it takes for a wildlife control operator (WCO) to remove the offending animals from your property, the greater the chance that damage will become more extensive. This ultimately costs you more money.
How Do You Reduce the Risk of Trap Disturbance?
- Monitor your property. Be sure that everyone knows that the traps should be left alone.
- Ask the WCO to put the traps out of reach (e.g. on the roof) or hide them.
- Use trail cameras so that when traps are molested you can prosecute those responsible.
- For additional insights, obtain a copy of Being Kind to Animal Pests