Victor Trap mods

We have used Professional Victor Traps since 2010. Being made of a mild steel the wire corrodes out in the bush.
We made a jig and bent up stainless steel (welding rod) to replace the long bar that locates into the Yellow treadle plate. We then regularly wire brush the “killing” bar to remove rust, then “lubricate” the bar with some wax crayon. This appears to help in the response speed of the trap releasing.
We also clean and wax the pivot for the yellow treadle so that it moves more freely.
Pity they do not make the traps in stainless steel, but not good for business!

do you treat the wooden base of the Victor ?

I’ve treated a lot of the wooden bases with boiled linseed oil, and this works very well. It basically means that the wood fibres are ‘occupied’, meaning that far less water can get in, so the soak/ dry cycles under field use won’t age the wood as badly. Effectively the wood remains in a swollen state, so the pins holding it together won’t loosen.

The smell of the oil doesn’t repel the rats, and may even be attractive. It’s certainly not food grade, but linseed itself is something they apparently love.

I use an old 4L olive oil can, and can get in 6 traps at a time. I made up a hanger jig & soak them overnight, but it would be easy enough to just weigh them down.

You need to remove the treadles first, and then after soaking, let them drip for maybe 15 minutes & wipe off excess oil with a rag. Excess oil will gum up - fine on the springs & wood, but you definitely don’t want that on the treadle pivot, or trigger tip. After a few days of drying (on a bit of knotted rope), I rub the hinge with a candle stub (crayon is a great alternative, less brittle!) and pop the treadle on & work it until it’s running pretty good. Adjust the trigger bar so that you can set the treadle low & it will still fire off reliably & it should be good to go.

Soaking overnight will get about as much oil in there as possible. It works out to about 50c worth, or ~30 traps for 1L of oil. I was doing heaps, so buying it by the 4L container. It does take about 2L to submerge them, but if you’re doing fewer they should wick the oil up from the ends - maybe stand them in one way overnight, then flip any over if the oil hasn’t wicked all the way up to the top. Wood grain can be directional, and not always easy to read. I didn’t find any probs with submerging the traps, and did notice that the oil would usually wick through if they weren’t fully under the oil.

If you’re going for a full soak, make sure you don’t put too much oil in - you don’t want it to overflow. maybe half full the can, then top up once the traps are in. I use kebab skewers to keep the traps apart, and to help wedge them down…

Lastly, and very importantly, you need to be very careful with the rags - hang them flat to dry off, as enough heat is generated that they can spontaneously combust if left scrunched up without good airflow. Have never seen this happen, but youtube can show you examples… A rare occurrence, and easily avoided, so don’t let it put you off.

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