Trapping in your backyard has loads of benefits. It can help get rid of rats from your compost bin, save your roses and fruit trees from possums, but most importantly it can make your garden a safe place for our native wildlife. Here’s some tips from Predator Free NZ about how to get rid of pests from your backyard:

Step 1: Identify your target

Find out what predators you’re targeting to ensure you use the right bait and trap. It’s highly likely your main focus will be rats, but it’s best to check!

  1. Look for any signs of predator activity eg poo or teeth marks on fruit. The Pest Detective is a great website for identifying pest poo if you aren’t too sure!

  2. Use chew cards to help identify exactly which predators are visiting. They also tell you the best place to put a trap. We can supply you with chew cards – just get in touch.

  3. Tracking tunnels are another great way to identify predators. The predator walks through ink on a pad, leaving clear footprints you can use for identification.

Step 2: Get the right trap

Check out this best practice guide to help you choose the right trap. Then get in touch with us – we might have some subsidised traps available. Check out our Trap Library. Make sure you read the user instructions before getting started.

The best spot to put your trap is in a place where predators are stopping and feeding (not just passing through). The chew cards can help you find the right spot. Make sure you trap is flat and stable, and that both ends are clear.

Step 3: Prepare your backyard

Create an environment that makes your trap desirable for predators.

  • Make your trap the best spot to snack by removing other water and other food sources

  • If you provide water for birds, use a birdbath rather than a dish on the ground

  • Never put meat scraps in your compost. If other food scraps are encouraging rats and mice, consider composting food using a bokashi bin or worm farm and keeping your compost heap for garden waste

  • Pick up fallen fruit and pick fruit off your trees as soon as it ripens

  • Predator proof your hen house

  • Consider your pets and their impact – your dog needs to stay on a lead in bio-diverse areas, and your roaming cat might be doing a lot of damage, particularly at dawn and dusk when our native species are likely to be on the ground.


Step 4:  Record your success!

If you want to continually improve your trapping then you may want to keep a record of the following things:

  • What method and equipment you are using e.g. trapping versus toxins or a mixture of both

  • Where you’ve placed your equipment

  • How often you check, clear and reset/re-bait your equipment

  • What lures/baits you are using

  • How many catches you have, and when.

It can be as simple as having a notebook and jotting down a few basic sentences that describe what you’re doing. You can then refer back to this to see what works and what doesn’t, and we’d love to hear how you’re getting on!

Step 5: Become part of Predator Free Taupo

You are now part of an awesome community of people working hard to make our country safer for native species. We have a number of local groups who are trapping across the Taupo district.

Get in touch to find out more.