I don't blame them for wanting to be in my garage, it is pretty awesome in there, but it is a problem; they chew on electrical wires, poop, and there is also no food sources in the garage. So they had to go.
I can borrow a commercial metal animal trap, but the issue is that I encountered right away was that the pressure plate in one of those requires a bit more force then a small squirrel. So I was quickly able to catch mommy squirrel, but none of her children. This is bad, now I have a bunch of baby squirrels in my garage, no food, and no way for them to get out.
I needed an animal trap that could be triggered by the minuscule weight of a baby squirrel, and hold them securely until I can release them.
Step 1: 1. Bill of materials
4x 2x2 cut to 1.2m
4x 2x2 cut to 35cm
2x board cut to 1.2m long, 35cm wide
2x Screen mesh 1.2m long 40cm wide
screening (cut to fit when complete.
1x board cut to 55x40cm
2x 2x2 cut to 30cm
2x 2x2 cut to 35cm
4x 1x2 cut to at least 20cm
small bungee cord
1x 2x2 cut to 1.2m long
2x 2x2 cut to 35cm
Nail gun/staple gun
2in brad nails
Step 2: 2. Assemble base frame
Step 3: 3. Form the box
Step 4: 4. Attach mesh screens
I used the roofing nails, as they slightly overlap the edges and hold everything well in place. You could use staples if you have them long enough, or put another 1x2 on top and screw that down (again be sure to pre-drill)
Step 5: 5. Put the back on
Step 6: 6. Begin construction of the front door
Step 7: 7. Build front door
This is where the lock will engage when the door drops
Step 8: 8. Build the locking mechanism
Step 9: 9. Build the teeter system
Take a single 1x2 and notch it.
Cut a larger then 1x2 hole in the top of the trap.
Build up 2 2x2s vertically from the trap, and place the .5in metal rod through them and the teeter bar.
Tie both ends of the teeter bar to the trigger and the door respectively.
Step 10: 10. Optional improvements
The trigger meachanisim as provided is very gentle, so the animal only needs to brush it in order to set it off, but it only covers part of the cage, tiny critters may go around it, so enclosing it in a screen while depressed will increase the surface area of contact that the animal may brush it from.
Alternatively placing a 'flap' pressure plate way at the front of the cage leaning up against the trigger mechanism should assure that sufficient force to dislodge it is created by even the smallest lightest critter by the time they get to the bait.
Finally you could build a 'reverse teeter' hooked up directly to the bait, basically, assure that if the weight of the bait changes negatively, the trap triggers. The downside to this is that the animal may be on its way out when the trap finally triggers, and getting the balance exact may be difficult, but it assures that if the animals has gone for the food it will trigger.
Carry handles would be nice as well, or you could reinforce the teeter mech so that you can carry it by that.
A 3d printed trigger notch, and rim- would really improve the sensitivity by assuring that you need far less lip to catch the mechanism then the rather coarse wood will allow for. Milled trigger mechanism would be similarly effective.
Similarly 3d printed, or bearing sliders on the door would make for a more smooth closure.