Trappers, please try this lure

A lure that I highly-recommend experimenting with is tallow, which is pure, saturated beef fat that comes in blocks. Most large grocery stores will stock it. Here’s why tallow deserves a go:

  1. Tallow is dense and wax-like, so it can be sliced into pieces or shavings. The warmer it gets, the greasier it gets, so I cut it up when it’s cold. After a while, your hands can get greasy, so using gloves is a good idea.

  2. Tallow smells like roast beef or lamb drippings, so its odour is very attractive to fat-seeking predators. Its smell is temperature-related, but even when it’s cold, the predators where I trap have been quick to find it. When luring rats, the fattier the lure, the better, so tallow should be the ultimate edible lure.

  3. Its greasy surface makes it waterproof, so tallow can withstand the elements better than most lures.

  4. Being waterproof, and containing no water, tallow is mold-resistant, making it an excellent lure to use during wet and humid weather, and by bodies of water. Tallow can go moldy if it’s contaminated by a moldy lure, so try to place it on/in clean traps. Depending on predator populations, leaving traps and/or tunnels unarmed for a little while will allow predators and insects to do most of the cleaning for you.

  5. Unlike flesh lures, blowflies can’t lay eggs on tallow. This is a huge advantage is spring and summer, when maggots can destroy lures in no time. I haven’t tried this, but it’s possible that coating a flesh lure with tallow might keep blowflies away, because they’re seeking lean flesh.

  6. Because tallow is pure, saturated fat, I’ve found that the amount that predators consume per visit is relatively small, so my pre-feeds last much longer than with standard lures. As evidenced by the large toothmarks often left in it, and the amount of tallow that’s gone, the amount of tallow that a large rat will consume per visit is equivalent to a large pea. In a full snap-trap bait cup, a large rat should require 3 visits to eat all of the tallow.

  7. Like larger predators, the amount of tallow that mice consume per visit is also much smaller, compared to standard lures. This increases the odds that rats, mustelids, and hedgehogs predators will find traps containing lures. Because mice and small rats have to visit the tallow several times to eat the tallow, they create more scent-trails and leave more physical evidence, which lures other predators to the trap(s).

  8. I haven’t seen any evidence that invertebrates consume tallow. Some insects will, but tallow’s dense, fatty texture makes it harder for them to eat or harvest. The appeal of tallow appears to vary between species, and some insects may not be able to eat or harvest it. For example, cockroaches and weta devour PB, but I’ve only seen ants eating tallow.

  9. Tallow has the potential to increase the chances of bird by-kill, but I haven’t trapped a bird using it, yet. All of my traps are inside tunnels, however.

  10. It’s cheap to buy, and a block can last for a long time. Kept in the fridge, tallow can stay good for up to a year.

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So what are you trapping? stoats and HH?