Following the instructions contained in the box, you may want to test the trap and spring it a few times to make sure that it works properly.
For example, spring it by touching the trip plate from each end, do this also after the trap has been set and camouflaged to make sure it works freely. If you feel the doors do not work fast enough, place small stones or other weights on top of the door. This will cause doors to drop faster.
When you receive the trap it will be bright and new. Therefore do not be discouraged in case you do not catch what you anticipated the first night or day.
The effectiveness of Havahart® traps usually improve with age. Some animals do not mind a new trap while others do. So instead of setting the trap to catch the first animal to come along, bait the trap, or simply place it where you intend to set it and fasten the doors open by means of a stick or wire to let them build confidence.
After a couple of days, when you notice the bait has been disturbed or taken, it is time to set the trap. Camouflaging the trap is an effective means to entice the animal. Place twigs and leaves all over the trap to remove a lot of the glare from the trap. You can even spray it with water and throw dirt on it to give it a conditioned look.
Animals will not be discouraged from entering the trap by the smell of your handling the trap or from supposed machine/oil odors in the manufacturing process.
When catching rats in a building place the trap along the wall, by the side of a feed box, or at the entrance where animals enter the building. Rats like to keep out of sight so place the trap along the wall and lean a board or other large object against the wall over the trap to form a covered passageway. This has proven good practice. In spite of all that is done to render poultry houses full-proof against rats, weasels, foxes, cats, dogs, etc. they sometimes find a way to enter.
Often a trap set with a cup of fresh water balanced on the trip plate will result in many catches if reset each day. Holes in the floor or side walls may be discovered, tracks or droppings may be found, especially in rooms or buildings that are not entered daily by people. In large buildings, sheds, warehouses, etc., where fruit, vegetables, feed, etc., are sorted and there are many entrances, traps may be placed in relatively secluded places along walls, under stairs, along passageways. In these places both ends can be set and traps kept baited.
Where foxes are so bad that they will go into buildings or enclosures, all the entrances can be closed except those at which a Havahart® trap is placed. The same sets may be used at entrances to poultry houses from yards or open range. It is advisable to use the traps with a one-end set for such conditions. Trying to control such pests as rats or squirrels merely by closing up holes generally results in more holes. Squirrels or rats sometimes get into buildings where they have passageways from basement to attic and cause much damage not only to stored things but also trouble by crawling through passageways at all hours of day or night. To try to shut them out, or in, may be almost hopeless. Close as many of the outside entrances as possible and, at convenient places, both attic and basement, place baited Havahart® traps.
Around poultry houses or yards, underneath or along side range shelters there is practically no end to the wide and varied type of domestic animals which cause trouble. Therefore it is always good to have several Havahart® traps handy. This is especially true in rural areas or in sparsely settled communities when it is necessary to protect your property yourself.
Squirrels or rabbits may be a bother, nibbling fruit or vegetables in gardens. If you have a fenced garden, or any fences or walls where animals are found, then set the trap with both ends open along the fence, with or without bait. Most wild animals will follow along the fences and through the trap to get caught. If you can locate regular runaways by putting up a short fence in a V-shape with an opening to set a trap in, you can direct the animal through the trap.