What are some tips? I used used it with some success but I think red squirrels are getting out. I also think when the water gets dark I have a lot less luck - which happens in a couple days or less. I use a 5 gallon paint bucket and fill it 2/3 with water and float a few sunflower seeds on the water and on the ramp up to edge of bucket.
Squirrels get out if their legs can touch the ground.
I have some buckets with 1/2 inch dowels drilled through the top of the bucket and then an aluminum can with the top and bottom cut off that the dowel goes through and allows the can to spin. I don't use bait to get them to fall in the water (CA F&W, please don't raid my home with guns drawn), they just cross the stick and fall in because of the can. Put the bucket next to things they can climb on that are even with the top of the bucket and lined up with the dowel so they have a natural path to walk.
I cover the complete surface with sunflower seeds. I am targeting chipmunks but find mice have dived in also. I place 2 30” x 3” board ramps leaning on the rim angled to ground . Put a couple screws or nails thru the board near the edge of board that is resting on-rim of the bucket, keeps the board from falling off the bucket. I don't fill the bucket more than half full off water. I use the small black oil sunflower seeds that is commonly sold for bird feeders. Dont know if the larger stripped sunflower seeds work any better or worse.
Don't have red squirrels Plenty of grays but have never fond one in the bucket. I think if they did plop in they are big enough to get out.
I find after few days the seeds start sinking to bottom. So i refresh with more seeds always having a carpet of seeds and no open water showing.
Generally i don't need bucket in trap mode for very long as I am targeting chipmunks and after a week it pretty much eliminates the locals. Have found it to be the quickest method for keeping chippy numbers in check.
I would string a wire tight across the bucket opening with the wire through a can/plastic bottle placed in the middle of the bucket. Then smear peanut butter all over the can/plastic bottle with a ramp and something stable to get out to the bottle. Works pretty good.
Check out “Dunk the Rat” diving board type traps. They are a bigger version of the diving board type of mouse traps. I’ve used the diving board ones on mice, and they work awesome. The old tried and true Victor snap rat traps are death on chipmunks as well.
Rat traps have not been working as good. I use both. Trouble is girlfriends dogs are tiny. It could break their jaw. I like having sex to much to let that happen so I DRASTICALLY limit where I put snap traps.
The problem with Victor rat snap traps is that a) they often discharge from temp changes outside or from a mouse with no catch and so have to be checked and reset constantly. If you have a non-stop rodent problem like I do, that's a PIA. And b), Victor rat traps catch blue jays and curious cats and small dogs. That's why I stopped using them unless it was under the house or inside walls. Lastly, c) the bucket catches mice, rats, and chipmunks.
"I would string a wire tight across the bucket opening with the wire through a can/plastic bottle placed in the middle of the bucket. Then smear peanut butter all over the can/plastic bottle with a ramp and something stable to get out to the bottle."
My British Columbia moose guide called that a "steel cat," and it worked well to clean up the mice in our cabin. However: the local game warden cited us as follows: 1. Baiting. 2. Killing before legal hunting hours. 3. No tags. 4. Illegal weaponry. 5. Killing inside an enclosure. 6. Didn’t salvage the meat. :)
I've had great success trapping chipmunks with a Victor rat trap and a weasel box. Bait with sunflower seeds. A few seeds outside the box to get them interested. A small handful inside. Just be sure to use the rat traps with the big plastic pan. Set the trap so the pan is right under the round hole driled in the side of the weasel box. I use 1/4" hardware cloth to cover the back of the box. I think they enter the box more readily if they can see thru to the other side. I catch a dozen or more every summer this way. I set it close to where my bird feeder food is stored.
Tomcat - funny, it took me a minute! I have used victor rat traps with not as much success. Ones I have are plastic and cock so spring is only 1/2 way (upright) so it travels 1/2 the distance. Seemed great - shorter travel time. Trouble is 75% of the time they are to hard to set off and bait gets taken.
If this is indoors in a garage or shed or barn, you might sticky traps. My experience is only with mice, but I catch at least 10x more mice with sticky traps than with bucket traps or any other kind of bait trap. And I'm not talking about the little 8" square sticky traps, or small boxes, I mean the big black strips that are about 8" wide and 4 feet long. I buy them in bulk on ebay.
Put the rat trap in a box with a hole in the side. The chipmunk will be forced to hit the pan head-on and get caught behind the ears. Set box where you can see it from a window so you can check often. My best was 3 in one morning.
FWIW....I was also using the small mouse traps with peanut butter. I like the traps that have the plastic cheese looking trigger. It has holes in it and is easier to smear the peanut butter into the tiny holes. Great set up but the problem with the smaller traps was they disappeared. I'd find them in the neighbors yard. It seems they are too small for the bigger chipmunks and they would drag off the trap once it sprung on them. I drilled a hole in the corner of the trap and tied a piece of string thru it and tied the other end onto something. That kept the chippys from dragging the trap off if they tripped it.
A bucket of water has the advantage of catching multiple mice. I once caught 27 mice in one night with a bucket of water. I think the next night was around a dozen and the third night just 2 or 3. Things were quiet around camp after that!
I bought pvc pipe a cap at each end drill a hole in the end cap and 2 holes in the bucket I run a coat hanger thru . Like the bottle one above . I use RV antifreeze . Instead of water . It works all winter in my garages. And peanut butter on the roller
Ahh I was wondering why antifreeze! Winter! I do shoot them but just hit my window frame while trying to be sneaky. I was guessing they might stand up in water and try to jump out, I think I am overfilling.
Our local ag chemical guy sells these. Said he had to become a dealer after he tried them in his grain storage buildings. I’m not sure if it will work on chipmunks but I could have paid for one with what I’ve spent in sticky traps lately.
LINK......I’ve checked into those same type of traps, for squirrels. (We have hell with the squirrels where I live and my parent’s place, as well.) I’m not talking a few. I probably shoot 50-60 of the vermin off my bird feeder every year. Baiting is legal here (at least at my place!) They are constantly chewing on our deck, siding, garage doors, etc., not to mention the damage they’ve caused to my pickup. Chewed the fuel injection sensor cables off, fuel line, etc. Cost me, all told, over $2,200! I thought that trap would the perfect solution to the rotten bastards. The problem is, you can get the smaller trap (for mice, rats) here in the states, but, when I last looked, the bigger ones can’t be bought here! WTF!!
If your ag guy can get the bigger ones, please let me know!
Ike.....it has an attractant canister up inside the hood. There is a trigger mechanism that the rodent activates when they stick their heads up inside to check out the attractant. It fires a retractable bolt, that is powered by a CO2 canister, that kills similarly to the bolt guns used in packing houses ( or by the guy the the movie “No Country for Old Men)!
I use box traps and relocate them. Getting soft in my old age. I don’t eat them and they are basically earning a living. I moved about 50 reds this winter. The chipmunks are coming out of hibernation now.
I only put about a half gallon of regular anti freeze in the bucket. Besides not freezing it preserves the mice so they don't stink. That's important in my camper up north that I might not return to for a few months. Also, I believe the slipperiness of the anti freeze makes it difficult for them to jump or climb out.
I like the slippery part, I think I am missing some criters who get out - like larger red squirrels. I suspect they do not make that mistake again so I do not want advanced rodents roaming around. It is only a matter of time before the arm themselves.
My dad used to catch mice by the dozen by putting a gallon of oil in a five gallon bucket. The oil came from changing the oil in the tractor. He used a twelve inch ruler that he ran a wire through. Part of the ruler stuck out of the bucket. He put peanut butter on the end of the ruler that was over the bucket. A mouse would go out on the ruler to get the peanut butter and the weight of the mouse would tip the ruler down. the mouse would fall into the oil. then the ruler would go back up ready for the next mouse. He had to do a lot of fooling with the placement of the ruler to get it to work but when he got it right it worked great.
A tip for bait: I use a mixture of peanut butter and bacon grease. The bacon grease keeps the peanut butter from drying out, and to get the bacon grease I just have to cook more bacon! A win/win!
2 summers ago I started trapping the little "illegitimate children of female dogs" in my barn with 2 bucket traps I made, and in about a month and a half's time, I had caught 45 of them! The first couple of nights I had as many as 5 in one bucket! That first summer must have put a dent in them, because I haven't caught near as many and we aren't seeing as much of the burrowing and other destruction they do.
Liv2Hunt, I move them a mile away across the Androscoggin River. I do the same with skunks and woodchucks, only they are moved further. I figure that when this country crashes, we will be eating a lot of squirrels as big game disappears. I did see my first gray squirrel up here ever. There is some meat there. I hope they proliferate.
in our camp we just prop a 5 gallon bucket with water at a little more that 45 degree angle. We put a gob of peanut butter 4 to 6 inches inside. The rodents climb of the stick to get the peanut butter. Works great!
First time I tried the bucket trap, first mouse I found inside, was standing with one toe holding him up off the bottom with just his nose above the waterline. God only knows how long he was standing that way, till I kicked the bucket and added more water.
its always been my thinking if I was going to kill something I wanted to kill it right away, no prolonging the process, makes no difference to me if its a mouse or a bull moose. nothing deserves to suffer.