Cage Traps Part 1

This week and next we will be talking about Cage Traps. In this week’s article and video, David, is going to discuss some of the terminology used when describing cage traps and the different style and construction of cage/box traps. In Part 2, he will go over tips and tricks for setting a cage trap and some of their accessories.

Watch the video or keep reading.

First, we will start with terminology. The main terms you need to know are the following:

Cage trap: Generally, a rectangular prism that has wire mesh construction to capture an animal.

Box Trap: Similar to a cage trap but uses plastic or other material besides wire mesh in its construction. The Tomahawk dura-poly plastic trap is an example.

Pan Trigger: A pan trigger is a type of mechanism that the animal will place pressure on, usually by stepping on, to activate the trap. A pan trigger is located at the bottom of the trap usually 3/5th to 4/5th towards the rear of the trap.

Swing Panel Trigger: A swing panel is exactly as described, instead of a pan trigger where an animal will step on it to trigger, there is a swing panel that has wire stretched across the trap which the animal pushes through and sets off the trap. A lot of the time the wire panel will be allowed to fall off the trigger mechanism once fired to save it from damage.

Flush Mount Door: Flush mount traps have at least one door that does not stick out beyond the cage trap itself. This allows for mounting a cage trap directly against an object without affecting the door closing. In most cases a two-door trap will only have one door which is flush unless stated differently.

Slide Release Door: A door that is secured to a trap in a slide that allows the user to open the rear of the trap to release or transfer a captured animal. Most slide releases will slide straight up once released from the trap allowing other accessories (IE: transfer cages) to butt into the cage trap for easy transfer.

Nose Cone: An extension of the trap that allows you to perform a positive set over an animal den hole.

Now that some of the main terms are out of the way, that alone should help you decipher what type of trap and features your cage/box trap has.

The next main thing to go over is construction. The biggest construction difference that a cage trap has is the wire mesh. Cage traps can come in wire mesh sizes from >1” x 1” to as small as ½” x ½” with different gauges used (how thick the wire is). Generally, your more durable, professional-level traps will have a small mesh size with a large gauge of wire. This is not always the case though as you move to large animal traps. Cage traps may increase in the size of the mesh pattern and start using steel rods welded together for increased strength. However, this does fall true for 90 percent of the traps up to a 12” x 12” size with one notable exception being Comstocks traps. Many Comstock traps have a larger mesh size but yet are very strong.

The other style is the box traps. Box traps are generally solid construction (usually plastic). These traps function the same way as traditional cage traps but offer protection from the weather or other animals as well. They also help keep the animal calm. Here at WCS, we recommend the Tomahawk Plastic traps to anyone who doesn’t have much experience with traps as they are a great trap for “beginners” and experts alike. They help protect the user from animals reaching out. You can also easily pick up and handle this trap with a skunk inside. There is very little chance of them spraying but there is always a potential so be prepared.

That should give you a good basic understanding of cage and box traps and their differences. Next week, I am going to go over some tips, tricks and accessories that may help you!

Stay tuned and have a good day.