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In a nutshell, I have found that the best bait is whole peanuts, in the shell. Peanut butter is great too, so I use a combination. I spread some peanut butter on the trap pan, and then stick some peanuts on top. If squirrels are stuck inside a building, they want moisture more than food, so I use oranges, which give off a strong aroma and contain water. But in truth, bait matters very little. Other factors, such as type of trap, where it is set, and how it is set, are much more important. Furthermore, in most cases, I don't use any bait at all. I just mount repeater traps or one way doors (click link for more info) directly on the entry and exit hole, no bait needed.
Types Of Bait To Use To Trap Squirrels If you have a squirrel in your home or property you want to get them back outside as soon as possible. You may have already gotten the traps but traps are only as effective as the bait that you put in them. You cannot expect a squirrel to go into a trap if there isn’t anything inside; they may be curious animals, but they are not that curious. There are many things that you can try but at this time we will be discussing the most effective types of bait to get the squirrel in the trap. It is also useful to know where to place the trap, because that bait will not work unless the squirrel gets to see it or smell it. Follow these directions and you will get that squirrel out of your house in no time at all.
Do Not Use Poisons A lot of people will use poisons and that can be a huge mistake. There is a chance that the squirrel will get the bait but not be trapped if for example they knock down the trap. That can spell problems for you if you have small household animals. If the bait falls and the squirrel does not find it, then there is a chance that you dog or your cat will. But that is not the only problem; suppose that the squirrel does find the bait; what happens then is that a squirrel can go into its hiding place and die in there. If that spot is in the wall then you will have two choices: live with the smell of a dead squirrel for a couple of weeks or make a hole in your wall to get to the dead squirrel. Both of those options could be avoided if you use a live trap with non-lethal bait.
Peanut Butter If you want one of the easiest types of bait that you can get and also one of the most effective all you have to do is go into your pantry. Peanut butter seems to be some of the most effective baits that you can get and you do not have to look in a specialized store in order to get it. There is a very good chance that you already have peanut butter in your house. Use it as bait in a place where the squirrel has been seen and you could have trapped your first squirrel within minutes. There are other types of bait that you can use but by far the easiest to get your hands on. You will be amazed at how well it works and how easy trapping a squirrel is when you use peanut butter.
Nuts And Other Seeds If you have seen a squirrel on a cartoon and they were pictured eating nuts, there is a reason for that; they love nuts. That is why peanut butter works so beautifully. If the squirrel you are trying to trap does not deem interested in peanut butter then give peanuts and sunflower seeds a try. Do not take them out of the shell; in fact keep them in it. Make sure that they are unsalted and you have the second best kind of bait that you can put in a trap. As a suggestion do not give up on the peanut butter, but rather give two incentives. Put the nuts inside the trap and spread some peanut butter on the trigger mechanism. If you ask most wildlife experts they will tell you that they used one system or the other and if they do so it is because it works. If you are still having issues trapping your squirrel give wildlife management company a call.
Here are my other squirrel guides:
how to get squirrels out of the attic - for advanced tips and advice
squirrel removal page home page with basic information
squirrel trapping tips page, bait, trap types
squirrel repellent analysis of whether it works or not
how to kill squirrels should you use poison?
how to catch squirrels methods to catch them safely
how to keep away squirrels prevention techniques
what to feed baby squirrels guide to feeding baby squirrels
how to handle cage-shy squirrels information on catching squirrels
about squirrels chewing on wood consequences of squirrels chewing on property.
lights and high-pitch sounds for squirrels do lights and sounds work as deterrents?
squirrel mating habits information on squirrel mating habits
how long does it take to get rid of squirrel nests information on squirrel nesting habits.
do all squirrels have rabies? a guide to handling squirrels safely
symptoms of sick squirrels tips on identifying sick squirrels
When you're up against wild critters such as squirrels, the thing you need to remember is that they are often eating out of garbage bags in your back yard, so what you use as bait in a trap isn't always the most important factor. The wrong bait could attract the wrong kind of animal, and that's something that you'll definitely need to bear in mind, but when animals are literally rooting through your back garden and trash bags to get to the tasty treats (or out-of-date leftovers) inside, there's a good chance any kind of food that you put down is going to be a winner.
There are a few bait ideas we would not recommend. These include anything fresh, such as cheese, meat, other dairy produce, etc. These foods will go bad quickly and will require constant removal or replacing.
Peanut butter on bread is a good idea — the bread will last for a little while before it goes stale, and squirrels are well known for going after the nuts and seeds in bird feeders. IF you don't have peanut butter (but the squirrels have been after your bird feeder), why not consider just throwing the nuts and seeds in the trap? If they've worked to attract the squirrel into your yard, there's a good chance the nuts and seeds will work to lure the squirrel into a trap. Go back to the Squirrel Removal page, or learn tips to do it yourself with my How to Get Rid of Squirrels guide.