Course Description

Cage and box traps play an important role in the management of vertebrate pests in urban and suburban environments. These devices capture animals by imprisoning them in a wire cage or box with solid walls. Their simple construction and perceived humaneness lead many to mistakenly believe that these devices require little training to master. This course will review the differences amongst cage and box traps and how to use those differences to achieve control goals. Likewise, students will learn the three main trapping sets, effective baits, safe and humane use of the traps, and how to reduce non-target captures. After this class, you will never see cage/box trapping in the same way again.

After completing this course, participants will be able to:

•  Identify the parts of cage and box traps.

•  Explain the advantages and disadvantages of different features in cage/box traps and how retail traps
    differ from commercial traps.

•  Know foundational ways to use cage/box traps to improve capture efficacy and improve humaneness.

•  Understand the importance of disease safety for both the wildlife control operator and the client.


Lesson 1

Definitions: live trap, cage trap and box trap
Key parts of the cage trap
Varieties of cage traps
Retail versus professional traps
How and why cage traps should be modified

Lesson 2

Concerns about the use of box traps
Legal issues involved with cage/box traps
Trapping principles: placement, location, safety, and timing

Lesson 3

Trap maintenance
Wildlife damage
Types of sets
Baited sets
Activity tests

Lesson 4

Baiting principles
Baiting for raccoons, skunks and squirrels
Trail bait or bait behind treadle
Audible lures

Lesson 5

Trap maintenance
Disease prevention

Lesson 6

Disease prevention and safety

Lesson 7

Practical application

Final Assessment


Created in Partnership with