Trapping with the KANIA2000 Trap - tips to increase your catch rate (part 1)
Spring traps were once referred to as ‘engines’ ( later abbreviated to ‘gins’ ) because they are essentially mechanical devices. Some traps are easier to set than others, purely in a mechanical sense that is, and the KANIA2000 TRAP is particularly easy and safe to set. Setting it is easy, using it successfully can be more difficult. They are not the cheapest squirrel traps to purchase but their efficiency in use can make them more economic in the long term.
This article relates to using the KANIA2000 as a grey squirrel trap or a mink trap, target species which they have proved particularly efficient at controlling in the UK.
Before setting any trap, particularly spring traps like the KANIA2000 Trap which are designed to kill, always conduct a ‘risk assessment’ on the intended use location. ‘Risk assessment’ means have a really thorough think about where you’re going to put the trap, look at the site and make sure it’s totally safe. Consider how you are to protect the trap from ‘non-targets’ (the technical term meaning ‘not the animal you’re after’ and including kids, pets and protected species). Mounting the KANIA2000 trap on a tree when trapping grey squirrels removes many such problems experienced at ground level. Professional pest controllers often record their findings in case of a future problem occurring and in time ‘keepers’ may consider it good practice too. That way if you do catch a ‘non-target’ and there is an investigation you can easily demonstrate you took reasonable precautions against such an eventuality. In certain parts of the country a risk assessment would, for example, immediately highlight the presence of red squirrels and mean the use of a killing trap was not appropriate.
Also, consider the time of year you are to conduct a cull and aim for a time of food shortage. In times of plenty it becomes more difficult to tempt animals into traps. In the case of grey squirrels for example, you will often observe that some trees are more used than others and these are the ones to set on, if it’s in use already it can reduce the pre-baiting time.
The metalwork of a new KANIA2000 is plated, bright, shiny and smells of oil. Give it a good scrub off using degreasant or hot water with a bit of washing-up liquid in it, then rinse off, dry and give a coat of car touch-up spray paint which leaves no odour. Household paints leave a smell which can deter squirrels for weeks. I use Triumph russet brown which camouflages it somewhat on a tree. Properly, plated metal should have a specialist primer on first to stop paint flaking off, but I don’t bother and just give another spray from time to time.
Foreign smells alarm most wild animals, making them suspicious and by foreign I don’t mean like curry, though that may have a similar effect. What I am saying is don’t go setting and baiting traps just after bleeding the trucks diesel system, or perhaps splashing on the Old Spice or whatever the current flavour is. It can put them off. And don’t use perfumed soap to wash your hands either.