Why use this app?

I’m a committed rat killer. I keep a record of my kills, including useful information about each kill (age, sex, location, other) in a book. I can’t see the benefit of using an app. Please explain it to me.

Hi David,

Well done on keeping the records and getting rid of your rats.

The simple answer to your question is to share data and coordinate with others so we can get rid of every last one of them.

My neighbour keeps a book too, he averaged around 50 rats a year up until three years ago but for two years now he’s not had to make a single entry. That’s when we as a community got organised and trapped and baited on mass. We now have bait stations and traps every 50 metres through residential areas and bush blocks, they are mapped out on trap.nz using the app, and we enter records on the app as we service them in the field (takes 8 - 20 seconds for me.) When I bring new neighbours on board I show them the installations on the app’s map, its easy to get them onboard when they can see the coverage we have.

We also do our 5 minute bird counts on the app, that shows us the relationship between pest control and biodiversity outcomes (i.e. tripling the tui and fantail numbers in three years.) We also record monitoring information, chew card data for example.

The data is used for many purposes, for seeking funding, for understanding where hotspots are and for educating the country. Take a look at the public data on the following maps, and do hover over the hex’s and click on the bird icons to get bird count trends. These maps represent many trappers working on many projects in isolation but sharing their data:


The data in your book is really useful if you want to map out your traps on the system, you can log those records against them.

Hope that’s helpful, there are help videos for the app here:

The homepage video also shows some of the ways the data is used: https://youtu.be/0RKzGxxp46k


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Thanks for that. The videos were interesting, but they didn’t cover producing reports from the entered data. I will have a look for this.

Yes, you asked a specific app question: “I can’t see the benefit of using an app. Please explain it to me.”

If you want to see the reports, log into the website and look for the report button at the top right, you’ll see over 30 reports available. Best to work your way through these and work out which is useful in your context. If you can’t see the reports button check you have the correct user permissions with your project coordinator, if you created the project it should be there.

All the features and reports available have been built based on user feedback and demand. Keep in mind that Trap.nz services projects from the single urban dwelling to projects the size of Miramar / Taranaki (many thousands of traps, bait stations and monitoring sites, many trappers, contractors, home owners.) Some reports and features may seem pointless to a solo trapper, but to a contractor walking a line or a project manager trying to manage trappers or find predator hotspots these features are absolutely necessary.

Yes, it seems most suitable for management of large groups.

Thanks David & Andy for that interesting discussion … I’m a coordinator for Pest Free Upper Hutt and manage two of their project areas. I find the reports invaluable for seeing who is catching what and where, who has gone quiet, and whereabouts there are gaps in our network of trappers. Being rural its not good enough to have say, one in five households trapping. I would like to have at least one in two and aiming for full participation.


Hi David,

It’s useful for single properties as well. I’m part of a community project but have my home traps assigned to a line as well so they can be easily filtered.


Maps can help focus on activity hot spots and target effort.

Charts and reports automatically tally catches and can show your trends and changes on your property over time.


Andy (GT Staff)

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Wow, that looks like a lot of traps in a suburban section. I have 20 trap boxes over two sites that I check every day. I keep paper records, but I don’t even need to look at the records to know where I’m trapping rats. I set up a trapsnz project for my newer site and started entering traps, but it was just too laborious and did not seem worth the time. Also, I am moving boxes around frequently so I don’t want to have to bother with updating sites on the app as well. I can see the value of this app for the bigger multi site view, but it doesn’t seem to add any value for me.

Regarding reports. Because I have the raw data in my book I can create any graphs or reports that I like. I don’t need to submit a feature request to display my data in my own way.

Hi David. I think you have hit the nail on the head with this statement. The value of using Trap NZ is that it is hopefully a way of showing everyone else how things are going. Obviously this is not for everyone. Some people are private and showing trap locations for everyone often is not a good idea. The counter to this however is that if we (royal) want to seek funding or other kinds of help then showing the scale of commitment that is already out there really really helps.

So. To go back to your original question, for you personally there is probably little value in the app as you are already using a methodical system. Your experience however is very valuable to us all so to us we would like to see you on board and guiding the development and the use of the app and your experience on how to go about eradicating pests - even if you don’t actually use the app.

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