Improving a HavaHart Trap





Introduction: Improving a HavaHart Trap

Havahart traps are familiar to anyone with a critter problem where a bullet won't do. They're simple and cheap but not particularly sensitive. This is how I made mine a better critter-catcher with an empty shell casing, some hot glue and some peanut butter.

Step 1: Step 1

Hot-glue the shell casing (or whatever you have handy) to the trigger bar on the side opposite the hinge. Smear some peanut butter down the inside of the case.

That's it. You're done.

I figure having the tasty-smelling peanut butter so close yet unobtainable irritates the squirrels and causes them to lose their natural caution in an effort to get at the goodies.

You could substitute a piece of copper or steel tubing, it just has to be small enough so the squirrel can't get at the peanut butter without working pretty hard.

First day I tried it I got a squirrel in about an hour whereas the previous five days I'd had the peanut butter cleanly licked off the trigger bar and no squirrel to show for it. Got another squirrel the following day and my wife's tomatoes have been unmolested since.



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    I just smear a saltine with peanut butter and put it peanut butter side down onto the trigger plate and tie it down with twine

    am i the only one who finds it ironic that you say "Havahart traps are familiar to anyone with a critter problem where a bullet won't do." but yet you modify it with a .38 special bullet? i dont mean to call you out but it was funny to me. i own several of these and use them where leg-hold traps wouldnt work.

    5 replies

    It appears so. By the way, I didn't modify a .38 Special bullet. I used a .38 Special shell casing. Perhaps the misunderstanding is the source of the irony.

    the source used to be a bullet, that is where he got it from, and that you used a component of a bullet to modify ur trap is ironic,

    mce128 got there ahead of me but he's right, the bullet's the thing that comes out of the end of the barrel although a lot of people call the round of ammunition - "round" for short - a bullet. But that's incorrect terminology. The brass thingy that's left is the case or shell casing and that's what I used to improve the effectiveness of my trap.

    And of course a bullet will work but in some situations it's inappropriate. If, for instance, you live in the suburbs dispatching the raccoon that's been tearing up the garden you spilled plenty of sweat over, using a .38, isn't really an option.

    How so? A bullet is what goes into the end of the shell casing. The casing is not part of a bullet. It is part of a fully assembled round consisting of the shell casing containing the primer, the firing charge and the bullet stuffed into the end of it.

    oh lol so a bullet does work. i just wire my bait to the top or back of the cage. Works every time although marshmallows are beginning to fade in popularity among the raccoon family.

    The narrow container is a great idea, I've smeared peanut butter on the trigger plate but the chickadees fly in and eat it, they love peanuts and peanut butter!

    first of all you would probably want a momentary toggle for that, why not use a simple LIM Valve and hook it up directly to a battery, then you would not need a relay, but regardless your still going to need a flyback to provide sparks, you can get one from a plasma ball that u buy as a novelty. There is no such thing as a power-providing relay, or a boiler ignition transformer. although it is a good concept.

    i find its quite useful to have a live rodent in some cases. lots of random things you can use them for.

    1 reply

    you can use them to power ur flashlight with a carefully modified exercise wheel.

    I used a pill bottle which also worked great. So far I have sent 12 of the bushy tail critters into the witness protection program at the local forest preserve.

    2 replies

    I have read allot about squirrels and have learned that if you take them less than 25 miles from home, they will find their way back. If you take them farther than 25 miles away, the other territorial squirrels will kill them.

    Thats because a squirrel family domain usually consists of 25 square miles. its den is likely in the middle so at about 12.5 miles from capture point should do it.

    I modded mine to for the same reason - My mod uses an old bicycle spoke attached to the "trigger bar". A pair of nuts and bolts holds the spoke wire in place. A bend halfway up provides a resting place for the peanut. I prepare a supply of peanuts by drilling a hole in each peanut. Then I coat one peanut with peanut butter -- irresistible to Mr. Squirrel -- and then put it on the spoke. For good measure I even use the spoke 'nut' to thwart a smart squirrel from carefully slipping the peanut off. OK that last step may be overkill, but it works rather well. Except for the occasional chipmunk that sets off the trap and then sneaks out through the rather large cage grating.


    That all sounds like fun although I don't know where I'd get an automatic flamethrower. I know they don't have them at the neighborhood Ace, I asked. I just pop the little rats into the trunk of my car and we part company, the very best of friends, at a park a couple of miles away.

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    If they're still stuck to the sticky trap you could take them to the beach and go surfing with them too.

    I think it was johns hopkins that had this as one of their application essay questions: "make something out of an egg carton, wire, a bumper sticker, and two things from a hardware store." I came up with a rodent trap that would use two car batteries (hardware store) to fry them once they stepped into a box (cut up milk carton) and closed a switch (body pushes bumper sticker flap door with wire on it onto another wire). I didn't get accepted, assholes.

    design a trap with an automatic flamethrower that could be feasible be built.


    but thats unhumain