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Rodent Snap and Crush Traps
Prepared by Jon Sprague

Snap and Crush Traps.jpg

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Safety Concerns

  • Personal Protection Equipment

    • Nitrile gloves for trap checking.

    • Consider eye protection.

  • Safety

    • Always confirm trap is disarmed before manipulating catch or putting fingers inside hammer arc.

    • When setting, keep fingers outside of hammer arc.

    • Kamate’s often have plastic tabs to facilitate safe handling. Train with someone who has experience.

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Because it’s going to eat you.

Modification and Maintenance

  • Maintenance

    • Check hammer tension when resetting or doing maintenance; make sure it’s strong enough to kill target species.

    • Avoid lubricants with strong odors

    • Some traps that appear rusty may still work fine.

    • Consider treating traps with wood parts in linseed oil.

    • Catch can sometimes be modified to provide lighter or more consistent trigger weights.

  • Non-Target Exclusionary devices

    • Wooden boxes or wire mesh mini-boxes (others?)

    • Trap set height can help avoid non-target.

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Where to Set Up

  • Large-Scale Site Selection

    • 100meter X 50meter grid is NZ standard for large grids, but other spacing options may be appropriate depending on the situation.

    • Set traps in ways that facilitate efficient checking and resetting (trap lines that can be run in loops are often better than straight lines)

  • Within-site set Location

    • Install in appropriate boxes/non-target exclusionary devices where necessary to avoid non-target kills.

    • On trail or just off trail

    • Traps can be set on ground or in trees on angled trunks depending on your rodents and your habitat.

    • Make sure hammer arc can be free of obstruction (branches etc).

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How to Set

  • Trap Set.

    • Find a flat location or angled tree limb.

    • If on a tree limb, set on upslope side.

    • Use paracord or equivalent to tie to tree limb if applicable.

    • If using non-target exclusion device, ensure that entrance is unobscured.

    • Bait trap before arming (except for Kamate which is baited and armed simultaneously)

    • Arm trap while keeping fingers outside hammer arc. (If you can’t find someonein your group who has set these traps, find of the forum organizers, and we’ll send someone over.)

    • Place trap while holding at sides or back.

    • Ensure hammer arc is unobstructed.

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How to Check

  • Trap Checking Routine

    • Look for carcasses

    • Assess if trap is still armed

    • If armed, trigger trap with stick or other non-body part to make sure trap works and catch is light enough.

    • Assess exclusion device and any equipment retaining trap (e.g. cord holding to tree) if applicable and adjust as necessary.

    • Check trap for rodent remains, remove as necessary (wear latex gloves. Wire brush can be handy to remove remains.

    • Assess hammer tension; make sure it’s strong enough.

    • Reset using setting protocol.

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Click to See Full Sized Images


Click to See Full Sized Images

  • Misc

    • Catches on traps can be set both too light and to heavy, and some traps can be modified for optimum sensitivity.

  • Bait considerations

    • Kamate trap require a bait that is structurally sound enough to support catch, but will be consumed by target. Coating hard, inedible objects with a palatable bait may not work.

    • Slugs and ants can be hard on victor trap bait. Ideas?

How to Set
Where to Set Up
Modification and Maintenance
Safety Concerns
How to Check
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