If you have unwanted critters on your property, you need a humane, safe way to capture and remove them. A well designed trap can be the perfect solution.
If that’s what you’re looking for, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve reviewed the 10 best live animal traps out there. We’re going to take you through their pros and cons, and our buying guide will help you make the right choice for your needs.
So if you’re ready, step this way to find out more …
HumaneWay make their live animal traps in a range of sizes. The smallest is just 17 inches long, while the largest is a hefty 50 inches. We’re going to focus on the 32-inch version, which is also foldable for easy portability.
The full dimensions are 32 inches long, 12 inches high and 10 inches wide. That makes it a good size for groundhogs, raccoons or opossums. But the wire mesh is fine enough that it will secure smaller creatures too. The small holes will also prevent wily animals pinching the bait through the sides.
The wires are powder coated and galvanized. That means the trap can be left out in the elements without getting damaged.
The powder coating is black, making the trap virtually invisible in the dark. And the mesh door closes quickly when the trap is activated. The trigger rod sits outside the trap, so once inside the animal won’t be able to damage it.
The interior is free of rough edges and sharp corners, so there’s nothing to hurt whatever is inside.
When it’s time to move the animal, the trap is easy to lift and carry. There are handles on both sides, as well as one on top. The latter is surrounded by a metal plate, offering protection to your hands from any nipping teeth.
We’ve already mentioned that this trap is foldable. The whole thing is very easy to set up, going from flat to fully assembled in a matter of seconds. That means less space is required for storage too.
Note that there’s no release door with this design. To let the animal out, you’ll need to open the main trap door.
And note that this isn’t particularly strong. It will hold a raccoon or similar animal effectively, but it’s not designed for more robust critters.
Made of powder coated and galvanized wire to resist the elements
Easy to carry, with handles on both sides as well as one on top
This trap from Faicuk is another that’s 32 inches long. The other dimensions are slightly larger than the HumaneWay version, at 13 inches tall and 11 inches wide.
It’s a suitable size for raccoons, opossums and rabbits. At a push, it could also be used for a stray cat. And like the HumaneWay trap, it’s foldable, making it easy to store and carry to your desired location. When folded flat, it takes up just a quarter of the space required for it when assembled.
It’s made of galvanized steel, so it’s strong and won’t rust. That means you can leave it out in all weathers without worrying about it getting damaged.
But while it will work fine for most medium-sized animals, it’s not indestructible. A strong and persistent critter may be able to chew through the wires.
Inside, the edges have been smoothed and there are no sharp parts that might cause injury. It’s just as safe for you too. The handle on top is surrounded by a generous metal guard to keep you safe from bites and scratches.
Once tripped, the trap closes quickly to prevent escapes. But note that the wires here aren’t permanently connected to the door. That means they can come out when you’re trying to set the trap, which is a frustrating experience.
Persevere, though, and this is an effective trap at a reasonable price.
Made of galvanized steel, so it won’t rust
Smooth edges prevent injury to any trapped animals
A generous handle guard will keep you safe from bites and scratches
Can be damaged by stronger animals
The wires aren’t permanently connected to the door, which can lead to some frustrations when setting the trap.
This trap from OxGord is another that’s 32 inches long. In this case, it’s 12 inches high and 12 inches wide. It’s another good option if you’re looking to capture medium sized animals like opossums, raccoons or skunks.
You won’t need to do any assembly with this one. It comes ready to use, just folded flat. Setting it up is the work of moments. And the foldable design is handy if you have limited storage space.
The trigger is sensitive, and the door is spring loaded to close rapidly when an animal enters the trap. Once inside, there are no sharp edges for the creature to injure itself. And the coated steel can be left out in all weathers without rusting.
One thing to note with this one is that there’s a tendency for the release rod to slide around when the animal moves. And there’s no separate release door – you simply open the same door the animal entered through to let it out.
But once you’ve mastered how to use it, it’s very easy and effective. And it’s strong enough to cope with even feistier critters.
Made from galvanized steel that’s strong and rust-resistant
Sensitive trigger and spring loaded door
No sharp edges to cause injury to the trapped animal
The release rod can slide around when the animal moves
Havahart are leaders in the trap industry. The 1079 is one of a wide range of models, and measures 32 inches long, 12 inches high and 10 inches wide. That makes it the perfect size for groundhogs, raccoons or opossums.
The mesh sides are small enough to keep the trapped animal secure. And in this case, the door is a solid metal plate for extra strength. It’s spring loaded too, so it will close quickly when the trap is triggered.
The rest of the trap is made of 12-gauge wire mesh that’s strong and corrosion resistant. And the inside is free from sharp edges that could harm the animal.
There’s also a good sized handle guard to keep your hand safe from teeth and claws. But note that there’s only one carry handle here. That’s really all you need, however.
If you’re short on space, you might prefer another model. This one isn’t foldable.
There are very different reports out there about the performance of this trap. It appears that somewhere along the line there’s been a redesign, and the new version is sadly inferior. We’ve heard reports of mangled traps and injured animals.
If you can get hold of a pre-2020 version of this trap, it’s a safe bet. But more recent incarnations unfortunately seem to be of variable quality.
Solid metal door for extra strength
Good sized handle guard to protect you during transportation
Spring loaded door closes quickly when the trap is triggered
Variable quality, particularly in more recently manufactured models
HomGarden’s trap is 32 inches long, 12.5 inches tall and 12 inches wide. That means it’s another good option if you’re looking to capture critters such as opossums, raccoons or armadillos. And the fine mesh sides will also hold smaller animals like rats securely.
It’s made of tough wire mesh reinforced with steel, and there are no chemicals involved in the manufacture. Inside, the surface is smooth, with no sharp edges that could cause injuries. There’s a solid metal door for extra strength and to prevent the animal getting out.
A handle on top makes it easy to carry when its time to relocate whatever you’ve caught. And a handle guard helps avoid any contact between you and the animal as you carry the trap.
There are sensitive triggers and a spring loaded door. And the trigger rod sits outside the cage. That means that once an animal is inside, it won’t dislodge the rod as it moves around.
This is another model that’s foldable for easy storage. And it’s designed to be quick to set, without requiring any tools.
The downside is that it isn’t the most sturdy of traps. A determined animal can make its escape by bending the rather flimsy bar at the back of the cage. We’ve also heard from a number of people who’ve found assembly tricky.
A good size for opossums, raccoons and armadillos
No chemicals used in manufacture, and no sharp edges inside
The 0745 is the second trap from Havahart to make our list. This one is designed for smaller animals like chipmunks, squirrels and rats. It measures 16 inches long, 6.25 inches high and 6 inches wide.
Like larger traps from this manufacturer, it’s constructed from steel mesh. This has been galvanized, so you can leave the trap out in the rain without worrying about rust. The interior has smooth edges to prevent the animal being injured as it moves around.
The hand guard here is particularly good. A solid metal plate extends around the handle on the lid of the cage, covering the whole surface area. That will be reassuring when it comes time to move the critter to its new home.
The door has a simple gravity action, making the trap easy to set. And there’s a highly sensitive trip plate to trigger its closure.
One thing to watch out for is that at 16 inches long, animals with long tails may evade capture. A squirrel is quite likely to get its tail caught in the door, preventing it from closing fully.
There’s a similar issue if you use it on grass, where the blades can prevent the door closing tight. Positioning the trap on a piece of timber will give you better results.
Easy to set
Generous hand guard covers the whole of the cage roof
Made from galvanized steel mesh, so it won’t rust
Long tails can get caught in the door, preventing it from fully closing
Blades of grass can impede the door too – use it on a flat surface if possible.
SafeTrap’s extra large trap is designed for capturing raccoons, opossums and similar sized animals. It’s 32 inches long, 12 inches tall and 10 inches wide.
It’s constructed with smooth edges inside, so there’s nothing to harm the animal. And you’ll be kept safe too, with a decent guard around the handle, preventing you coming into contact with the critter.
It’s made from 12-gauge wire mesh, designed to be strong enough to contain medium-sized animals. But it won’t prevent a determined escapee. Stronger animals like groundhogs may be too much for it.
On the plus side, the wire is treated to resist corrosion, so you can use it come rain or shine. There’s a door at the front, with a hair-release trigger. And there’s one at the back too, to release the animal after relocation.
This trap also comes with a set of leather gloves. They’ll avoid you getting your scent on the bait and cage, which can deter animals from approaching.
Note that you’ll need to assemble the trap, and there aren’t any instructions to help with the task. Fortunately, it’s still pretty easy to do.
Two doors for easier release
Resistant to corrosion
Comes with a free set of gloves to avoid getting your scent onto the trap and bait
Not strong enough for more robust animals like groundhogs
Some assembly is required and there are no instructions – it’s easy to do, though.
This trap from Kat Sense stands out from the crowd with its green powder coated mesh walls. The color is a nice touch, enabling it to blend in with outdoor foliage.
The trap measures 16.2 inches long, 5.2 inches tall and 5.1 inches wide. That means it’s best suited to trapping smaller animals like mice and rats.
The powder coating is designed to resist corrosion. And the surfaces are smooth, so there’s nothing to harm the animals inside. A single door is operated by a trigger plate to close quickly when anything enters the cage.
There are, though, a couple of things to be aware of with this one. The first is that there’s no guard around the handle. That means that when you’re carrying the trap with an animal inside, your hand will be vulnerable to scratches and bites.
And there are fairly large gaps between the wires too. That makes it an easy job for wily critters to simply reach inside and take the bait without triggering the trap. Positioning the bait carefully can help, but it’s not without problems.
Well coated wire mesh resists corrosion and blends in with foliage
Smooth surfaces ensure there’s nothing to harm trapped animals
Trigger plate closes the door promptly when an animal steps inside
There’s no hand guard to protect you when you move the trap
The large gaps between the wires mean animals can reach inside for the bait without triggering the trap.
If you’re looking for a sturdy trap to capture a larger animal, this one from Tomahawk could be perfect. It’s designed specifically for bobcats, but it will work just as well for other larger, strong critters.
It measures 36 inches long, 20 inches high and 11 inches wide. The door is designed to slam shut when the trap is triggered. And the construction is very sturdy.
The metal mesh is powder coated in black, so it’s difficult for the animals to see at night. And the 12-gauge wires are tough enough to keep most animals contained securely.
Note that this does require some assembly. And if you’re not experienced with this kind of build, it can take a little time. There’s no way to fold it up either, so it does require a reasonable amount of storage space.
But these are minor niggles with what is a very well built and sturdy piece of equipment.
Very strong and sturdy, constructed of 12-gauge wire mesh
Powder coated to resist corrosion
The black coating makes it difficult for animals to spot the trap at night
This is big and you can’t fold it up, so make sure you have the space to store it
If you’ve looked through the reviews but still aren’t sure which is the model for you, don’t worry! We’re going to take you through a few simple questions to help you match your requirements to the right product.
1. Is a live trap the right choice?
Trapping an animal means you have a responsibility for its welfare. You’ll need to be on hand to monitor the traps regularly – at the very least, once a day. And you’ll need to take action promptly when they are triggered. A trapped animal will quickly become stressed.
It’s also important to think about where you’ll locate the trap. Make sure there is shade so that animal doesn’t become too hot before it’s relocated.
2. What size trap do you need?
The right sized trap is essential to an effective capture. If it’s too small, the animal is likely to be able to break out easily. And if it’s too short, a long tail can prevent the door from closing properly. That’s another easy way for the animal to escape.
It’s good to err on the side of caution. A larger trap will work just as well for a smaller animal, as long as the holes between the wires aren’t too big.
It’s also important to consider where you’ll store the trap when it’s not in use. If you have limited spaces, foldable designs can be extremely convenient. These fold flat, but can usually be set up again in a matter of moments.
3. Consider strength and resilience
Whatever trap you choose, you’ll want it to be strong enough to prevent the animal escaping. Check what material the trap is constructed from. Galvanized steel mesh is a good choice, but check the gauge to ensure it’s thick enough.
And look for traps that specifically state they are designed to avoid injuring the animal. Some steel mesh traps can become lethal when a trapped animal bites the wire in an attempt to escape. A strong, sturdy trap is just as important for the animal’s welfare as it is to a successful capture.
4. Make sure you’ll be protected too
The point of a live trap is to capture and relocate an animal. That means that at some point you’re going to need to transport the trap to wherever you’re going to release it.
Look for traps that have conveniently located handles, so they’re easy to carry. And check that there’s a guard around the handle. In most cases, this will take the form of a solid metal plate, designed to prevent your hand coming into contact with the animal.
Handle guards can, however, vary significantly in size. Check that it’s large enough to provide decent protection. A stressed animal may feel it’s fighting for its life – and that means the potential for serious bites and scratches.
A good way to calm the situation is to cover the cage in a blanket when it’s time to move it. Cut a hole for the handle and it will still be easy to carry. And you’ll avoid freaking out whatever critter you’re about to move to a new home.
Ready to choose?
We hope you’ve found our reviews of the 10 best live animal traps helpful. A good trap can be worth its weight in gold in dealing with nuisance critters in a humane way.
Our favorite is Oxgord’s 32-inch trap. It’s strong and resilient, and there are no sharp edges to harm the animal when it’s inside.
Whichever trap you choose, make sure you use it only when you can check it at least once a day. Then take your unwanted guest to a new home, and you’ll both be happy!