Live Trap Garden Pests

The rabbits and squirrels are causing quite a bit of damage on my property. I live in central PA and decided to call the PA game commission office to see what could be done. Since I live in a city, discharging any kind of firearm is out of the question. I was told by the game commission that YES as the property owner I do have the right to protect my property from damage these critters are causing. I'll relocate them about 15 miles from my house on state game land. Since I never done any trapping, I could use any and all advice I can get, especially as to what types of baits to use during the cold winter months here in PA. I'll be using a 24"x7"x7" LIVE trap!
Thanks in advance :) Rich
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So you're a coward... hope someone pellets your eye out.
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On 12/16/2010 1:13 PM, EVP MAN wrote:

I have a Hav-a-hart I use for groundhogs and often catch squirrels as I bait with peanut butter. Bet a mix of peanut butter and carrots would catch both bunnies and squirrels.
Your trap sounds a little small. Wish I had bought their largest trap as I'm often bothered by raccoons and only the smaller ones can be caught in my trap as doors will not close on larger ones.
http://home.comcast.net/~frank.logullo/thief.pdf
Other problem I have is occasionally catching skunks and someone pointed out that to avoid this, close trap at night, since skunks are nocturnal.
Trapping rules vary and what game commission told you may vary with local rules. Here in Delaware, we are allowed to trap and kill these pests but not relocate them. I once released a squirrel in the park right in front of a County cop and he said nothing to me. I told him I had come to the park to release a prisoner ;)
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The PA game commission says that we can't relocate certain animals I guess like skunks, foxes, coons and other animals that are known to carry rabies quite often. My trap is also a Have-A-Hart unit. What is the best method of releasing a skunk if I should catch one? My trap is the two door model. I will surely give your bait recommendations a try and see what happens. Most of the rabbits around here also seem to be out at night so I sure hope I don't have any skunks to try and release from the trap. I wonder if there's any one single bait that would lure both rabbits and squirrels?
Rich
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On 12/16/2010 3:53 PM, EVP MAN wrote:

I've caught skunks twice and opened the trap remotely without getting sprayed or any spray being released. I'm told that skunks will not spray if confined and you could cover the trap and take them away to release them. Personally I would only do this in an open pickup and not my Subaru. Skunks will dig up grubs in your lawn but are not a big problem for me.
I wish I had videotaped the second skunk as it was a momma and her 4 babies would not leave and were jumping all over the trap. The trap was beneath my deck and I used a pole pruner to unlatch it at a distance of 10 feet.
Like I wrote, I've never caught a rabbit and they are generally not a problem with cats and foxes in the area. Peanut butter seems universal but including something a rabbit might eat like carrots might get both rabbits and squirrels.
Frank
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On Thu, 16 Dec 2010 13:13:46 -0500, White_Noise snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (EVP MAN) wrote:

What kind of damage are you talking? Rabbits will eat certain plants is all, so don't plant those kind. And squirrels are there for the same reason, because there is a food supply... remove the food supply and squirrels will stop frequenting your restaurant and dine elsewhere ... in fact trapping will do not a whit of good, so long as there is a food supply new squirrels will arrive... didn't you stay home and sponge off your parents because they kept filling the fridge. And if squirrels are entering and nesting in your house, because it's warmer than outdoors, then get up off your fat lazy ass and block their access... probably what your momma did to get rid of you. Dealing with wildlife ain't rocket science... do bunny rabbits and squirrels have a higher IQ than yours.
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I don't think I'll be digging up expensive landscaping plants for the sake of the small intruders that try their best to destroy them! Not when I can eliminate the problem which is my intention.
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On 12/16/2010 11:51 AM, Brooklyn1 wrote:

One year after planting numerous small trees of various types we had a severe drought. The rabbits would stand on their hind legs and strip off bark and leaves. The rabbits sure seemed smart, when I peeked out the curtains, even a small movement of the curtains would cause them to run away. They were to fast and smart to get close enough to shoot them and I didn't have a trap then. Over the years we have gotten to many coyotes to worry about rabbits now. The only squirrels are tiny ground squirrels that don't bother anyone. Fox and skunk are what I try to catch but never have been able to. I get the occasional cat. Just the other night I caught a really nice male cat and released him. In all my life around here I have only seen one raccoon and that was about fifteen years ago. It was at an intersection in the country when it crossed the road. The headlights light it up so there was no doubt. It was as big as a medium sized dog. We had a problem with some sort of large burrowing animal until it bit through a buried electrical cable. It either died or moved away. I can just imagine that animal chewing on the cable thinking that sure is one tough root, then getting shocked. aaaaaahhh!!!
Around last July, what I think must have been a rabbit got into a short wide tree here and chewed bark off many limbs. The limbs were low to the ground. I don't know what else it could have been. When it comes to survival an animal can be smart.
A few months ago a skunk dug a hole under the house and made a big effort o keep living there. The live trap never caught it but it finally got tired of re-digging it's hole and gave up.
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Consult first any local experts, e.g. Agricultural Extension agents or college biologists. Your basic problem is that populations of rabbits and squirrels (1) vary in numbers, usually according to food and habitat supply, (2) spread out to fill any vacant space that suits them. If you remove rabbits and squirrels this month, quite probably you will get just as many a month or two hence, depending on current conditions (numbers, food, and opportunity.) (It is a waste of gasoline transporting these animals elsewhere: since classified as vermin within towns, you might as well drown them. You will probably host just as many next year.)
--
Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
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We have more rabbits and squirrels in town than we have in the woods it seems. I realize as I trap and relocate them that others will move into the same territory. Thus my trapping efforts will need to be an ongoing project. The rabbits are cutting off shrubbery and the pesky squirrels are getting into the attic and chewing on electrical wires. I have checked my house all around the outside and just can't seem to find where or how they are getting in. My problem may also be compounded as I live in what is known as an attached ranch. It's a brick house that is attached to another. Looks like one big house but I only own my side. The other owner spends six months in Florida so perhaps they are getting in from his side and then getting over to mine. I can't go over on his property checking his house as I don't own that side. I will discuss the problem with him when he comes back in the Spring and then go from there.
Rich
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If pets are an option you could always use a couple of Hounds to make the environment of your garden slightly less appealing to rabbits. I know my beagles keep most ground-based rodents as far away as they can manage, a good cat or coon-hound might keep the squirrels visits to a minimum.
--
Troy Most of the time,
Capheind some of the time,
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On 12/16/10 10:13 AM, EVP MAN wrote:

I have no rabbits in my back yard. I've seen a few in front, but I do not worry about damage to my front landscape.
Squirrels are quite another problem. They got all my pineapple guavas and half my loquats this year. Early in July, my wife and I visited our daughter in Canada for two weeks. When we left, my peaches were just starting to color; they were still quite hard. When we returned, there was not one peach on our tree or on the ground.
I use a medium-size Hav-a-Hart trap. I bait it with a mix of peanut butter, raisins, and chopped pecans. (Someone with a pecan tree less than a half mile away said that the squirrels stripped his tree bare of nuts.) When I catch a squirrel, I take the trap to a national park about 5 miles away, across 10 lanes of freeway. There are hungry coyotes, owls, and hawks in the park.
The problem is that something -- perhaps overly smart squirrels -- often steals the bait. I tried wrapping 1/4-inch wire mesh around the outside, but something tore or chewed through it. I've had some success with lining the inside of the trap with the wire mesh. Just the same, I had to re-bait the trap today. Hav-a-Hart says they now make their traps with the grid of wires having smaller spaces.
For rabbits, the medium-size trap might be too small; but for squirrels, the large-size trap might be too big. See <http://www.havahart.com/ for the different trap sizes, suggestions for baits, and other ways to control varmints.
--
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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On Dec 16, 1:13pm, White snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (EVP MAN) wrote:

When the show about the exterminator caught a skunk, he covered the trap with a cloth, moved very slowly and quietly to put it in the back of his pick up. When at his destination to release, he again moved the trap slowly and reached down and opened the trap. He then removed the cloth and jumped away. Skunk finally ambled away, and he and his trap went home. No spraying. Good Luck. My DH just shoots the squirrels, and so does the neighbor. We back up to woods and I thought the 2 of them were just entertaining themselves, but we seem to have made some kind of dent. Haven't seen any in a couple of months, and the birdseed isn't disappearing. Too bad you are in a neighborhood. Again Good Luck.
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