Believe it or not there is a technique to properly use wooden snap traps in order to catch rodents successfully. Certain baits work better than others depending on whether you are after rats or mice. The frequency and position of the placements are other factors involved. Catch those vermin by reading on to learn how to use wooden snap traps.
New traps will have a metal safety clip or staple over the catch rod on the trap. Remove this clip with a small pliers or similar object.
Get familiar with the way the trap is set before baiting it. Hold the trap in your left hand and with your right hand pull the snap bar all the way back until you can get the left hand corner under your thumb on your left hand.
Take the catch rod that slips under the metal catch to hold the snap bar down and slip the curved end of the rod under the catch while still holding down the pressure of the snap rod section under your left thumb.
Slowly move back your left thumb that is holding the snap rod down and allow the catch rod to take over now holding the snap section back. The trap should now be set.
Keeping your fingers out of the way and holding the trap from the opposite side the snap rod will come down on, gently place the trap on the floor without snapping the trap. You have to be gentle without jerky movements when doing this step.
Test that the trap will snap by taking a pen or similar object and jiggle the little plate with the teeth in it where the bait will be attached. It should not take much effort for the trap to snap. If it doesn't snap right away then either the catch rod is not under the catch properly or it is sticking. To get a smoother release action you may need a touch of vegetable oil or butter on the end of the rod to sort of oil it.
Decide where you will be placing the traps. Typically three to four traps in a room or area is sufficient. Always be sure that when placing a trap that there is enough overhead clearance for the snap section to flip forward and is not obstructed. Traps should be placed on a bit of an angle running along a wall rather than right up to the baseboard, and placing a trap in the middle of a room will usually not catch anything since rodents like to be nearby a wall or escape route while eating. Naturally place the traps near where you have seen them running or found their droppings.
Bait the traps. The object is to just put enough bait so that they will have to tug a bit to get it off, being sure the bait is pressed up into the metal teeth. Approximately 1/8 to 1/4 tsp. of peanut butter or a very small slice of hot dog pressed into the teeth on the feeding tray will usually do the trick. Rats have a preference for fish, so placing some tuna from a can with some of the oil poured over it is a great bait for them.
After the traps are baited you can carefully set them up all ready to snap and gently place them along the walls or perhaps under the sink, taking note of the exact placements so you can easily find and remove them the next morning.
When removing a rodent from a trap, first be certain it is dead, then pull back the snap down rod from the furthest point you can away from the head of the rodent with the trap held in a position so that the rodent will drop down from the trap directly into a plastic garbage bag or container. Always wear rubber gloves and be sure the rodents go directly into an outside trash container, or you may choose to dig a hole in an out of the way area and bury them.
Once a rodent has been trapped you can still reuse the same trap, but it's suggested that you wash it down with soap and water first, especially if there is blood on the trap so they will feel comfortable with it. Always wear rubber gloves when handling a used trap and either dispose of the gloves afterwards or store in a safe place where they won't be used for other chores.