Plastic or Wood?

Just enquiring for someone who is deciding on the materials for a new trapline for their DOC 200 boxes .
How does plastic compare with wood ?
pros and cons please

Plastic - will not rot. May become brittle over time, depending on the type of plastic (Must be UV stable). Does not hold scent as well as wood. May hold water as a pool inside, depending on the trap type and the site conditions. Generates harmful microplastics when abraded.

Wood - will eventually rot, although treated timber will last for 10+years. Holds water like blotting paper, so metal parts of the trap that touch the wood will eventually rust from being in contact with wet wood, unless they are stainless. Holds scent better, as it is porous. Does not generate microplastics when abraded.

Thanks brcg ,
I’ve never set a mechanism in a plastic box and generally need to kneel on the box to manually set a Doc 200.
Are the Plastic boxes rigid and strong enough to set easily ?

I have never used a plastic box, so I really can’t answer that question, sorry.

We use a mix of both wood and the plastic shroud from CMI plastics (Trapinator crowd). The plastic units are significantly easier to service as the lid hinges and gives you total access to the mechanics. That was a key reason why we tried them initially. That along with the fact that they nest so if you are carrying traps a long way into the bush, the plastic are way less bulky!

We have around 60 on our project and 40 odd wood. No definable difference in catch rates and have caught mustelid in the plastic units. I agree with brcg’s comments regarding not holding scent but you get around this by using scented ceramic corks or a small bottle lid with scent added.

We are now adding double DOC’s to our project which means we have to use wood. The one advantage I have noted during this process is that you can put nails into the side of the wooden traps to hang lures/attractants. That is a touch tricker with the plastic shrounds!

Hi Tim ,
Thanks , that’s great information .I too wondered about the limitations of being able to hang lures .
Just on the double traps , what has prompted you to install these ?
Most organisations are using singles as standard as the " one trap sets the other off " scenario seems to be impossible to remedy in the doubles .

As a ex English gamekeeper , like to keep everything as natural as I can , I weather my traps , and only use anything natural material construction for predators, time consuming but better catch rates,
I try to avoid any human smell,
Rats however don’t give a dam !

We use Double 150’s or single 250’s. Catch HH as well as stoats and occasionally small feral cats in 150’s. Often have double catches, particularly hogs.

One advantage of timber is weight. I’ve had animals, most likely cats, try to open the lid of tunnels to access kills, but the tunnels were too strong and heavy for them. If there are pigs where you trap, timber tunnels will be harder for non-target animals to interfere with.

the biggest downside with the plastic option is that the dont have double options. Double set options are better for targeting stoats. Pig interference as mentioned above would make wood a better option.

Hey there, there are numerous articles that provide data indicating double DOC’s not only lift overall catch rates beyond twice the rate with single DOC’s, but they also can signficantly lift stoat catch rates. Yes the double set-off can be an issue but again there is a wealth of information on-line regarding ways to minimise this (can’t see to completely stop it across all units). We are only at the start of our roll-out but double catches are common with rats which would likely indicate one follows another in. If there are two stoat travelling past one of our tunnels I want to give us every chance of getting both!