Cleaning traps?

Discussion in 'Michigan Trapping and Varmint Hunting' started by Mr. 16 gauge, Jul 16, 2001.

  1. I have some traps in the attic that have been there for a quite a few years. They have been dyed and waxed, and only used one season. However, being above the garage, I am concerned that they have picked up the odors of gasoline, exhaust fumes, gardening chemicals, ect. What is the best way to clean these traps, and how can I keep them odor free until season? Thanks in advance.

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  2. boehr

    boehr Banned

    I know very little about trapping, my experience is from talking with and checking trappers and not actually trapping but my guess would be boil the traps and re-wax them. Take my suggestion with a grain of salt though.

  3. Boehr is correct. My traps have received all the same odors hanging in the garage that you have mentioned. Just give your traps a good boiling and waxing and hang outside until needed. I also boiled and waxed the top half of my stakes as well when trapping fox.
  4. Depends on what type of trapping you are going to do. If you are land trapping its best to boil them with or without trap dye, and wax them, as close as possible to the time you are going to use them. If you store them in a sealed container for long periods of time even waxed traps will rust. If they have lots of wax on them now, a good way to get it off is to bring the water to just under boiling and put the traps in, let them simmer for about an hour or two. Then turn the heat off and let them sit in the water till it cools. Most of the wax will float to the top and harden. Wax will hold scent quite well and if you have globs of old smelly wax on your traps when you dip them into you new wax, you can have a contamination problem.

    If you are water trapping its best to redye the traps, so the critters cant see them. I haven't found scent on traps underwater to be a problem at all. When I dye my water traps I just throw 5#'s of wax in with the dye water, when you pull you traps out of the barrel do so slowly and your traps will get waxed at the same time. Its not as nice as when you dip them into straight melted wax but it seems to work well and saves lots of time. Make sure that if the traps are new you get a good coat of light rust all over the trap they don't take dye well if they are not rusty.

    You can also speed dip the traps as well, I tried it last year on some rat traps and was not that impressed.

    One other piece of advice, do not wax body grippers, if you do most of them wont stay set and go off while you are setting them or you cant get them to set at all. I've heard that if you put a piece of tape where they latch and pull it off after waxing them that will work but I've never tried it.

  5. I too have had terrible luck with speed dips, especially for canines, they seem to dig them up. So I dont use those dips. Just a thought for the day.
  6. Jeff

    I'm with you, I would never even consider useing speed dip for K9's. The rat traps I speed dipped smelled like gasoline for a couple months after I dipped them, and if I can smell it for a couple months yotes can smell it for much longer than that. People have told me that you should use Colman fuel instead of gas but I won't try it again.

  7. To clean traps of old wax & dye, you need to boil them in non-chlorinated water, with lye in it. If you can't find plain lye, you can use "Sani-flush toilet bowl cleaner". WARNING= Always add lye to cold/cool water. Otherwise it will explode in your face. Then re-dye & wax them. If you're considering a "Dip" type approach, I suggest "Formula-One" by Newt Sterling. It is a water based dip. I used it last year. You can dip your trap one day & set it the next, and by keeping the dip in a bucket with a lid, you can re-dip as needed during the season. You will still need to clean your traps as above. E-mail me if I can help in ant way. Ditchum

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