Trouble catching a pesky possum

What is the best bait to get a possum to go into my cage trap - lots of apples on my trees. I have tried cinnamon and orange oil - just can’t get the possum to go into the cage trap - Help please!

try a scent trail with a mix Flour, vanilla sugar, cinnamon, baby powder. Possums can not smell pretty well but are attracted by the white color of the trail so it needs to be a proper line.

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Thanks I do have all those things at hand - I keep getting hedgehogs in the cage trap and can’t bring myself to kill them - jolly nuisance! Might have to relocate the hedgehogs - I find them hard to trap and kill humanely.

Do you have any DOC200/DOC250s traps you can use for your hedgehogs? I catch a lot in those kill traps.

As for possums, it can be a bit tricky if there is a lot of free food hanging off trees. They are curious creatures with a good sense of smell, especially for the scents of other possums. Is there anyone that can shoot them? What size area are these possums on? Have you tried peanut butter? Maybe the four blaze will help.

Something that has worked very well as a lure for me is feijoas, which the possums here love (and the sheep!). If you can get any, give it a feed at the entrance to the cage on Night 1, another feed inside the entrance (about a foot in) on Night 2, and in the lure area on Night 3.

I’ve trapped numerous possums using feijoas in Timms traps, and some rabbits and hares, to my surprise.

Another thing that possums love is black licorice.

They’re cute, but hedgehogs are a highly under-rated pest. They eat the eggs and chicks of ground-nesting birds, insects, invertebrates (like endangered snails), and skinks and geckos. Killing hedgehogs in NZ is the equivalent of killing Norway/brown rats, which mainly feed on the ground.

Follow camelthelegend’s advice and get at least 1 DOC trap inside a timber tunnel. You’ll need to increase the size of the baffles (wire meshes) in a timber tunnel to allow large HH to gain access (10cmx10cm), and this usually eliminates the problem of their spikes getting stuck.
Place the tunnel beside the cage, and you should reduce their numbers quickly.

Good luck!

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Thanks everyone I will have to invest in a DOC200/DOC250 trap as you suggest to catch hedgehogs - Our property backs onto DOC land and the size of the area is endless - We are between the Kahurangi National Park and Denniston Plateau. We don’t get a lot of possums but keen to get rid of them if they come into the garden which is 1/2 acre in size. I will keep trying - My neighbour disposed of 2 hedgehogs this morning - hopefully there are not too many more hedgehogs around and I get the possum at last.

On the subject of attracting possums: my possums love the metallic-backed plastic bags I put out. I have videos of them playing with them. I wonder whether putting any sort of light reflector, or mirror, attached to the cage would attract the possums inside.

I agree with the comments on hedgehogs, they are very destructive. If you have a Timms trap, baited with apple/cinnamon or meat, this will work as well as a DOC trap. I have caught many hedgehogs with Timms traps.

If the metallic bags do the trick I will see what I can find that would be similar - I have lot of tinfoil plates to recycle - I will investigate the Timms trap too - thanks for the helpful ideas - Cheers

There are probably a lot more hedgehogs than you think there are, unfortunately. Once you join your neighbour trapping, you two could kill quite a few.

Quick Note!
If you kill a possum, leave its body by the trap. If there’s another possum in the area, they’ll follow the scent of the first one to the trap. Despite the fact that there’s a dead mate by the trap, there’s a very good chance that the second possum will also use the trap. Depending on the heat, don’t leave a dead possum out for very long!
This technique is especially effective during mating season.

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Thanks for the advice - I have not invested in a trap that can kill them outright - The hedgehogs were getting into my rat boxes so I had to make the entrances smaller - not good to catch hedgehogs this way as they had just their noses caught - I have to buy a trap that will kill them instantly. I have spent quite a lot of money on traps so far over the last 3 years - and the larger traps are not cheap. I have tried for funding for my group but no luck as yet. It to me is an investment - Like you say probably more hedgehogs around than I think - I know that is the case fro rats!!! Cheers J

Couple of ideas. Put some possum dung from a different area in your cage. It may well then go in to investigate who this new possum is.
Killing hedgehogs is tough. 3 ways I have used are put them in bucket then hose pipe from car exhaust, then seal in; put them in front of front wheel of car and run them over, use of a Doc 250 trap (the most effective I think but need to put trap in tunnel and then open it to the cage trap door)

I am not into killing anything other than in a humane way thanks - I will buy a trap 250 mechanism and make my own box. We have to watch out for weka here and need to have a longer trap box so they don’t get caught.

Got it at last thanks - I used the flour sugar and baby powder trick plus cinnamon on peeled apples

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Regarding the entrances to your rat boxes, be sure to file down the mesh so that predators don’t get poked when they’re exploring the tunnel.

I’ve made 50mm diameter holes in plywood as the entrance(s) to some of my traps, and they’ve proven to be very effective. They resemble the entrances to burrows, so they look and feel more natural, and the edges of the plywood collect traces of rat fur and the oils on it. Sometimes, rats will chew on the plywood, which is actually a good thing, because rat saliva is a very potent lure for other rats.

The holes also make it harder for larger predators to interfere with the traps inside. Most hedgehogs wouldn’t be able to squeeze through holes that size, and the small ones that do, are more likely to be killed cleanly by a snap-trap.

Unfortunately, it is very rare for predators to be killed “instantly”. Traps are designed to kill animals as quickly as possible, in order to limit their pain/discomfort, because it isn’t realistic to expect instant kills.
For hedgehogs, DOC 150/200/250 were the only traps to pass NAWAC’s tests.

The only way to guarantee that hedgehogs are killed instantly, would be to shoot them with a shotgun, because getting a head-shot with a rifle would be nearly impossible.

Bigger traps aren’t cheap, but they can last for a long time if they’re looked after properly. Consider the annual cost of a trap over its lifetime, not just the up-front cost. My stainless steel DOC traps last about 5 years before the springs weaken to the point that I have to retire them. That’s about $15 per year for a very effective, humane trap, that is likely to kill 100 predators over its lifetime.

Good luck with the hedgehog campaign.

Well done!
Cinnamon-coated apples are very effective, so I’m not surprised that they were part of the recipe.

Thanks very much I appreciate this advice. When we make more boxes we will follow the size you suggest. Next mission is to get a trap for hedgehogs - Seems funny to be enthusiastic about killing something -

Bit of a sideways answer, but I’ve got problems with incredibly trap-shy possums that carefully avoid several traps no matter what they’re baited with. OTOH they’re quite happy to sit there staring at a spotlight, which makes them very easy to get with a cheapie crossbow. It’s also a relatively quick kill if you’re worried about humane killing.

Predator free archery - sounds like a plan

Dried apricot and peanut butter.
Rats don’t tend to take the apricots like they will with other bait & possums love peanut butter.
We do a lot of trapping on our farm (Timms, Trapinators, SA Cat traps, DOC200 & DOC250 traps) and this is all we use for possums now.
We have our Timms, Trapinators and SA Cat traps mounted on boards and the boards screwed to trees or posts at 45 degree angles so we don’t accidentally catch kiwi.
We go through stages of getting hedgehogs in the DOC200’s which are baited with salted rabbit for stoats. Have also caught hedgehogs in the Timms & SA Cat traps - they will walk up the boards.
We rarely catch anything in the one cage trap we have.