After finding, what turned out to be squirrel scat in my attic, I set a live a trap to catch the animal in question. I didn't know if they were caused by rats or squirrels, but my suspension was squirrels (I do research on rodents for a living). I will note that there wasn't a lot of scat, and I couldn't find a nest to speak of.

I have no problem setting killing traps, and I will set some out, but I'm wondering if any one has had any experience using the same live rodent trap in the same area with presumably the same population of animals? I'm wondering if the other squirrel stuck in the cage and therefore avoid it.

The reason I used a live cage this time was to have a fresher specimen to sac and preform a necropsy on (to check for pathogens I should care about for my family). I've already appropriately cleaned the scat where I found it with bleach. My reason for setting it a second time would most be to have one more trap up there (though I might do another necropsy). I would also vote up any experience with rats or mice.

  • 3
    There are a lot of questions in there. But to answer one of them, screening your vents is perfectly acceptable. You want airflow, not a rodent highway.
    – BMitch
    Commented Sep 3, 2013 at 18:38
  • @BMitch If I should split them up, I have no problem with that. Seemed like 2 questions to me, that were closely linked so I put it up as one. I can edit to split into two if that would be better here
    – Atl LED
    Commented Sep 3, 2013 at 18:40
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    I'd say split it. Venting your roof and catching rodents are two different skill sets.
    – BMitch
    Commented Sep 3, 2013 at 19:01
  • @BMitch Done. Here is the other question. diy.stackexchange.com/questions/31394/… I have been looking at sources on screening against rodents, and I have a found some conflicting information. I haven't been able to find any information on the reuse of live traps on the same population.
    – Atl LED
    Commented Sep 3, 2013 at 19:38
  • I once set out a live trap for a mouse, baited with a peanut butter granola bar. Caught the mouse, took it outside a couple of hundred yards from the house, and released it. Two days later it was back. Set out the same trap, same bait; caught it and took it two miles away. It hasn't been back since. Commented Sep 4, 2013 at 14:06

1 Answer 1


Most commercial live traps are made of metal or plastic materials. If you have concern about the scent of previous animals keeping others from entering the trap you always have the option to wash down the unit with a bleach/water solution. This could be applied with a spray bottle and then washed off with the garden hose.

My past personal experience with a home brew box trap that I made out of plywood and wire mesh, used to catch racoons, was that the human scent needed to dissipate and not the animal scent. That took a day or so before food in the trap would lure in additional animals.

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