Frequently Asked Questions

How do I Set the Trap?

For best results, and to ensure a humane kill the traps must be set as instructed. See our Success Guides for details.

Can I shift the trap when it is live?
We’ve designed our traps to be simple to use. All you need to do is follow the instructions in the A18 Quick Start Guide precisely to set up the trap. Then resist the urge to change the setup or location or lure until at least a fortnight has passed (more info on lure replacement below). Grey squirrels, like all animals, have complex behavior patterns. Constantly moving the trap or changing the lure is just as likely to be the reason you don’t have success as the reason you do. Although you may feel like you’re having a slow start, the more time you invest in getting the trap set up correct initially and trusting that the trap and lure works, the more success you’ll have. Why not let the trap do all the hard work? The risk of injury to non-target animals and none humane interaction may increase if the trap is used in a manner that does not follow our best practice guide. See Protect Non-Target Animals (link) for more information.

No. You should not shift a live trap. You must de-gas and then de-pressurise the trap before shifting. See the Success Guides for more detail.

How Often Does The Formula Need Replacing?

To direct pest activity to your trap site refresh the lure in your traps regularly and prefeed them with a little of the rodent lure. This should be done at least once a month. Every week is even better! See our Success Guides for details.

How Long Does a Co2 Canister Last?

To ensure your traps remain charged, replace the CO2 every 6 months. A good way to remember this is to time it with the replacement of your smoke alarm batteries at daylight savings, every 6 months.

How do I know how much CO2 is left in the canister?

You can test-fire the trap to see if there is COremaining. To ensure your traps remain charged change the COcanister every 6 months. See the Success Guides for more detail.

Should I add to my trapping network?

The principle in the field is to ensure that every pest is put at risk by a trap, and that the risk is greater than the rate of reproduction and immigration. Rather than shifting your traps, add to your trapping network. Goodnature A24 traps for rats can be set 40m apart.

How many traps do I need?

In a conservation network best practise is to install:

2 x A24 traps per acre when targeting rats.

Around the farm, orchard or other food rich site a greater density of traps may be required.

When can I stop trapping?

To maintain the conservation gains you have achieved through initial trapping, your traps should be left in place for the long term to catch any re-invading pests. Remember to refresh the lure monthly, and replace the COand lure every 6 months.

Have There Been Any Trap Trials?

DOC have done the trialling for you! The New Zealand Department of Conservation stand behind Goodnature traps as a reliable and effective tool for controlling rats. The AIHT’s have done it, as have DEFRA, used correctly, you will have great success.

If the Rats are Scavenged, How do I Know How Many I've Killed?

Want to know how many pests your traps have killed? Install a Goodnature Digital Strike Counter. A great monitoring tool, this gadget registers a count every time your trap fires. It is particularly useful for collecting data where scavenging is a regular occurrence – at trap sites everywhere!

Can You Quote me For Large Projects?

If you require a quote for a funding application, or for a large project please contact us directly. We are happy to offer the services of Vance Paines, our technical guru for consultancy.

Is There Any Environmental Waste?

Goodnature CO2 canisters are not reusable however they can be recycled with your household recycling.

The lure bottle is HDPE and is recyclable as long as it has been cleaned first. The lure bottle cap is also recyclable.

The traps have been designed for longevity in the field, and in a manner that allows us to service them if required so they continue working. We can also receive and recycle any unused traps.

Why are there no dead pests underneath my Goodnature trap?

Scavenging is a frequent occurrence so it is unlikely you will see everything that is killed. Rats, stoats, 
cats, foxes, birds of preys and dogs scavenge dead pests from below Goodnature traps. You can monitor rat levels with Rodent Detector Kits or purchase a Digital Strike Counter to get a clearer picture of trap activity.

What is a Goodnature Digital Strike Counter?

Just in case you were wondering how many times the trap had been triggered, Goodnature has made a digital strike counter. Packed into a tiny enclosure, the strike counter slides onto the COcanister and spends most of its day asleep.

It is sparked into action only when the trap is set off. Because it sleeps so much, you should get five years between battery changes, even if you check it weekly.

What if I suspect my trap is faulty?

Test fire your trap as outlined in the Success Guides – your trap may need a new CO2 canister. If you have any concerns get in touch with us!

I caught a pest! What should I do with it?

In the field: You don’t need to do anything. The rodent will either be taken by a predator such as a badger, buzzard, cat, fox or owl; or slowly decay into the environment.

Around the home: A dead animal will get smelly after a few days of warm weather. To avoid any unpleasant odours bury the carcass under a few centimetres of soil or compost.

Goodnature A24 Trap Placement - Location

The key to having consistent, successful results is location & placement, before you even use the trap;  clear up competing food sources in your area. Pre-bait the site with the chocolate formula and use the detector cards. Rats communicate through their breath and whiskers, if a good head of rats in your area feel safe to feed on the chocolate gel, they will pass this on and actively seek out the food. Look to place the traps nearer where the rats are living, in a safe place out of sight of avian and ground predators. Don’t be tempted to put it where you saw one running down the side of a building, this is not a feeding spot. They will not have the confidence to stop and feed here.

Once they have taken all the free offerings, set the trap in an area that is away from disturbance; place in a box or under shelter at a 45′ angle as this will help hugely! The detector cards will tell you if they feel safe to feed there.

It will take a few days for the rats to overcome their initial fear of it, then you should start seeing results. Don’t be afraid to continue offering freebies of the chocolate formula, this will help vastly! Check out our easy lure pouches, they are perfect for the job. The big thing with our traps is finding where the rats will interact comfortably, you may feel like you’re having a slow start, trust us when we say that the more time you put in getting it right initially; the less time you will put in later.

Do I need to use rodent detector cards?

To get the best results from your A24 rat traps ensure you use Goodnature Rodent Detector Cards to find suitable sites for the traps. Not every trap site is equal, and the detector cards will quickly reveal the better sites.

Should I set traps near an existing food source?

Rather than setting your trap near an existing food source for pests, install the traps away from food competition for better results.

If your trap is already installed near a compost site or other excellent food source you may have to remove the food source or restrict the pests’ access to that site. If pests are in the habit of accessing a regular source of food you may have to break that pattern to get them interested in the lure within the trap.

Pre-feeding with the lure pouch will dramatically increase catch rates, give it a go!

If you need extra assistance give Goodnature a call!

I set my A24 by a compost bin or food source but I'm still seeing rats.

Food-rich areas are complex rat trapping sites and may require extra effort to achieve success. Locations where you see rats or signs of rats are not necessarily spots where they will trigger the trap. Use Rodent Detectors to determine the best place to set a trap. You may have to disrupt the rats’ routine by moving or reducing access to the food-rich source, if possible, forcing them to look elsewhere for food.

How many A24 rat traps should I get for my land area?

The general rule of thumb is two per acre (spaced 40m apart). If you have a large area for conservation or a complex site such as an orchard, then please call us.

How do I refresh the lure?

While our lures are long life, they will eventually tire and diminish in scent when exposed to air. At least once a month, remove the shroud cap and take the long life lure bottle out, tap it against the tree trunk so the tired lure is dabbed out as a pre-feed to attract pests. Wipe all excess lure away from the bite block, or mouth of the lure bottle, and return to the trap. See the Success Guides for more information.

Should I expect a strike on the first night?

We usually establish a landscape/grid operation where it is not critical that all animals are affected immediately, only that they are attracted to the trap by the formula; and it is ‘armed’ when they interact with it. This may happen on the first night, or after many nights; when they are in this area of their home range. Timing is not critical since control is achieved over a period of weeks, and then maintained over longer periods.

Is the A24 trap a danger to pet cats?

Goodnature’s long life rodent formula is not attractive to cats. The shroud entrance is also too narrow for a cat to fit its head into, and the trap is installed 12 inches off the ground to further prevent a cat interrogating the trap. It is extremely unlikely that a cat will trigger an A24 rat trap. Neighbourhood cats, however, are likely to remove dead rats and from below the trap. You may also purchase an extender tunnel to add a third layer of security.

Can I also trap Stoats?

Use target specific Goodnature stoat formula in the A24 Rat & Stoat Trap. Set the trap near the edge of a stream/waterway, on a ridge, track, or on a crop margin/hedge line. Ensure the trap is set away from houses and other food sources such as chicken coops that can act as a competing food source for the lure.

Are Hedgehogs safe from the A24?

Be aware of hedgehogs, these are a protected species in decline. A well-placed A24 set at 12-15 inches above the ground will make it difficult for entry. Hedgehogs may scale log piles but they are not built to climb vertically. If your detector cards show hedgehog activity in your area, it is important to do tunnel to protect hedgehogs from trapeverything you can to stop interaction with the trap. This can be achieved with our UK specific formula for rats, building up around the entrance of the tunnel to restrict access, or used in conjunction with the excluder tunnel we sell you can help protect this species.

If you have any more concerns over hedgehogs in your area, please get in touch. We would be happy to offer support on how to carry out a safe trapping regime that will help to protect hedgehogs in your area. Check your garden doesn’t hold these hazards that threaten our prickly friends.

A responsible, well thought out trapping regime will actually benefit hedgehogs by stopping food competition and predation of their young.

Have a look here on how to create a safer more enriched sanctuary for them in your garden.

What are the best practice tips to achieve success with the A18 trap?

We’ve designed our traps to be simple to use.  All you need to do is follow the instructions in the A18 Quick Start Guide precisely to set up the trap. Then resist the urge to change the setup or location or lure until at least a fortnight has passed.  Grey squirrels, like all animals, have complex behavior patterns. Constantly moving the trap or changing the lure is just as likely to be the reason you don’t have success as the reason you do.  Although you may feel like you’re having a slow start, the more time you invest in getting the trap set up correct initially and trusting that the trap and lure works, the more success you’ll have.  Why not let the trap do all the hard work?

The risk of injury to non-target animals and none humane interaction may  increase if the trap is used in a manner that does not follow our best practice guide.  See Non-Target Species for more information.

Where should I locate my A18 trap?

The trap should always be set as close to vertical as possible, to ensure humane interaction. In a Woodland area, the A18 should be sited in areas where there is known Grey Squirrel activity.  It is ideal if the A18 can be fixed to a tree that produces a food source for Grey Squirrels. This means they will travel to the tree often and look to feed. In a garden situation, the A18 can be fixed to a tree or a fence post.

What height should I set the A18?

Always set the A18 at 1.5 meters or above, either on a tree or fence, and as close to vertical as possible.  Setting the A18 lower than 1.5 meters may potentially enable other species to interact with it.

How many squirrels should I expect to catch and how quickly?

Every location will be different.  Grey squirrel movements, populations and behavior vary throughout the year.  Provided the trap is properly maintained and located, it will always be ready and waiting as a constant control measure.  There is no set time limit on attracting a grey squirrel into the trap. Sometimes you might see grey squirrels go near, but not into the A18. However, if there is heavy squirrel activity in the area and no grey squirrels are caught in the first 4 weeks, you might consider changing the lure.  

Should I change the lure if I haven’t caught anything in the first 4 weeks?

Grey Squirrels can be very fussy eaters and their diet will change throughout the year.  However, the Goodnature lures have been scientifically formulated to appeal to grey squirrels and independent tests have proven they work.  Most customers achieve success with our lures.

In the event you have not caught a squirrel in the first 4 weeks and there has been heavy squirrel activity in the area, we have provided a lure basket so you have the option of trying different lures that may better attract your local squirrel population (e.g. peanut butter, hazelnut butter, crushed walnuts).  Please refer to the non-target tab for tips on how to minimise risk of attracting non-target species.

How often should I change the lure?

While our lures are long life, they will eventually crust over or diminish in their scent when exposed to air.  Once a month, remove and discard the spent lure from the basket and refresh with new lure from the lure pouch. Always remember any quality humane pest control device is only as effective as the quality of the lure used to attract the pest.  It is the lure that motivates the target pest to enter and activate the trap. The fresher the lure the better the smell and better chance of success.

The Digital Strike Counter is registering, so why haven’t I seen any dispatched squirrels?

Scavenging is a frequent occurrence so it is unlikely you will see everything that is dispatched.  The beauty of the A18 is that it resets. Once a squirrel has been dispatched, it will fall out of the trap and onto the ground. Here it is likely to be scavenged by other animals such as foxes, birds of prey or corvids.

What is the best season to catch grey squirrels?

It is often deemed that March through to September offers the best time to control grey squirrels. One of the great things about the A18 is it is ready all year round with minimal maintenance, so it is possible to catch them all year round.

How should I dispose of a dispatched grey squirrel?

As the A18 is a non-toxic trap the squirrel can be left to be scavenged and feed other wildlife. However, if you wish to move them, they can be placed elsewhere in the woodland. Please dispose of dispatched animals responsibly.

Will a dispatched squirrel under the trap deter others?

Wild animals are used to coming across deceased animals in nature, seeing another squirrel under the trap doesn’t put them off.

How many strikes does each Co2 cylinder hold?

Each Co2 cylinder holds enough Co2 for 18 strikes.

Protecting Non-Target Species

The best way to minimise the risk of injuring non-target animals is to follow the Goodnature best practice tips. The Goodnature formulas is specially designed to appeal to grey squirrels and not other animals. If different lures are used, the risk of attracting other animals is potentially increased. Do not use seeds in the A18GS.

Red Squirrels & Pine Marten

The A18, along with all other lethal traps, should not be used in areas where there is a known population of red squirrels or martens.

One of the most simple and maintenance free ideas is to create an insect hotel. This can be a pile of leaves, twigs or rotting logs that simply get left to do their thing. This will create food and shelter for insects such as beetles and spiders that will go on to benefit the rest of your garden’s ecosystem.

Hedgehogs

A18:  If the A18 trap is set at 1.5m or above as recommended, we are not aware of any risk to hedgehogs

Songbirds

We do not recommend placing the A18 within 5 metres of a bird feeder. Creating high levels of bird activity around any trap should not be encouraged. Ground feeding of larger size food items to encourage grey squirrels; such as whole maize is advised.

Garden Biodiversity Tips

Our gardens are on the front line in the battle to protect native species. It’s estimated that there are 16 million gardens in the UK, all have the chance to do their bit. No matter how big or small, every garden can offer refuge for wildlife. Whether your garden is gravel, grass or decking; these simple measures can make all the difference. It is our responsibility to look after Britain’s native flora, fauna & wildlife. 

Insect Hotel

One of the most simple and maintenance free ideas is to create an insect hotel. This can be a pile of leaves, twigs or rotting logs that simply get left to do their thing. This will create food and shelter for insects such as beetles and spiders that will go on to benefit the rest of your garden’s ecosystem

Let It Grow!

Leaving some, or all of your lawn to grow naturally has enormous benefits to many insect and plant species. Leaving your grass to become tall will allow flowers to blossom benefiting butterflies and bees, whilst offering food and shelter for invertebrates

Bird Boxes

Prime nesting spots can be hard to come by for Britain’s many bird species, so why not help them out? Putting up a bird box can be quick and easy and bring new life to your garden. Bird boxes can be bought or made in your shed. The birds will be thankful for their new home. 

Water

Water is essential for all life and providing a source can see many new species enter your garden. Your pond doesn’t have to be huge and can be as simple as a bucket dug into the ground. However big or small, make sure there is a way for wildlife to get in and out of your pond. Water will always attract insects which will later encourage frogs, birds, and bats.

Compost

Creating a compost heap benefits everyone! You’re provided with rich nutrients for your garden whilst providing a habitat for wildlife. As your garden waste breaks down, it will create heat. This provides the ideal habitat for worms, woodlice, frogs, and even slow worms

Fences

Whilst most of our wildlife can fly or climb, some species can’t. solid fences stop them from entering your garden, but leaving gaps at the bottom of your fence allows hedgehogs and frogs to pass from garden to garden, and creates a much larger habitat for your local wildlife

Wild Flowers

Planting flowers brings beautiful colours and wonderful smells to your garden. It also provides essential food for insects and bees. With proper research, you can plant varieties of flowers that will bloom from spring through to autumn and keep your wildlife happy

Climbing Plants

If you don’t have space on the ground why not plant a species that climbs? Ivy is a create plant that offers food and pollen to the bees, whilst offering berries and shelter to the birds. A climbing plant not only provides a haven for wildlife but can also brighten up your home