The Trapinator is a tree-mounted kill trap designed specifically to target possums.
It is contained within a white plastic box with a red lever that allows you to easily set the trap inside. The spring-set trap is triggered when a possum interacts with the bite bar.
Like all traps recommended by City Sanctuary, Trapinators meet the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (NAWAC guidelines). This means they have been tested and are proven to kill possums quickly and consistently.
Where to install your Trapinator
The Trapinator is designed to be tree mounted. However, you can also mount it on a post or a fence support (so long as it is upright).
When selecting a tree, look for possum sign such as scratches and horizontal bite marks. Find a tree roughly the same diameter as a dinner plate as this is a good size for possums to climb.
How to install your Trapinator
- Mount your trap to the tree you have selected. Place it about 1.2 metres from the ground or at about chest height.
- Remove the lid.
- Remove the bait bar by squeezing it together.
- Put three screws in the holes at the top of the trap. The middle screw should be flush against the tree. Avoid making the outer screws too tight as you may warp the plastic.
- Put one screw in the hole at the bottom of the trap.
- Ensure the trap is in firm position and doesn't move too much if you give it a gentle shake.
- Replace the bait bar.
- Bait the trap (see below for what to use for this).
- Put the lid back on.
- Set the trap by firmly pushing the red lever away from you.
- Register your trap with City Sanctuary!
What to use as lure
There are two main ways to bait a Trapinator.
- Put paste on the bite block. Options include peanut butter, jam, nutella or a specially made possum dough.
- Slide dried or fresh fruit onto the bite block bar. Options include dried apricots or prunes and fresh apples.
Possums forage using their sight and sense of smell, so you can also make a lure (called “blaze"). It is bright white and smelly to encourage them towards your trap.
Ingredients include 2 cups white flour, half a cup icing sugar and a few teaspoons of cinnamon or mild curry powder. Mix together in an old plastic bottle and sprinkle on the tree under possum traps to create a "possum runway". The flour is a visual attractant, the icing sugar helps the mixture stick to the tree and the spice powder lures them in.
Always check the trap is unset before you put your hand near the mechanism.
Always use gloves when handling a used trap or carcasses. This minimises the risk of catching animal-borne diseases such as leptospirosis. Avoid touching your face and wash your hands thoroughly afterwards.
Keeping pets safe around traps is important and something we consider at all times.
Trapinator possum traps should be installed at a height where they can’t be reached by pets. We recommend at least 1.2 metres above the ground with no branches below the trap.
Never bait your trap with meat or fish bait. Only use lures (like peanut butter or aniseed) that are less likely to attract pets.
Trap aversion training for pets can be helpful. This involves bringing a dog or cat near the trap, putting the lure on its nose, and setting off the trap so it gets a fright and associates both the lure and the trap with a negative experience.
If you are still concerned about pet safety, set the trap overnight and keep pets indoors.
- VIDEO: How to install a Trapinator, Otago Peninsula Biodiversity Group
- VIDEO: How to bait and set a Trapinator, Otago Peninsula Biodiversity Group
- VIDEO: How to keep your pets safe around Trapinators, Otago Peninsula Biodiversity Group
- VIDEO: How to remove a possum from a Trapinator, Otago Peninsula Biodiversity Group
- Setting instructions, CMI Springs
- Setting a Trapinator, Predator Free New Zealand