How to Build a Live Animal Trap

A raccoon in the woods.
What You'll Need
5 2x2-foot pieces of plywood
6 2-foot pieces of 1x2-inch wood strips
6 to 8 inch piece of 1 1/2 -inch PVC pipe or similar round object
6-inch piece of wire
1 1/2 to 2-inch nails or screws
Wood glue
Hammer or drill
Bait that entices the animal you are trapping

A live animal trap can be used to trap injured animals, control rodent populations, or to catch the runaway family pet. Whatever the reason, you can easily build an effective live animal trap yourself. These instructions will help you build a box trap that will catch almost any kind of live animal you want, depending on the size of the box you choose to make.

Step 1 - Begin Making the Box

Attach two of the 1x2 inch pieces of wood on the edge of one of the 2x2 foot pieces of plywood. Attach with wood glue first, then secure with the nails or screws. Attach another 1x2 directly across from it on the other side of the 2x2. Do this to three pieces of the plywood.

Step 2 - Reinforce the Box

Start to form a box shape with four pieces of plywood. Two pieces with the reinforced edges should be opposite of each other as well as two un-reinforced ones opposite each other. Use the wood glue and screws or nails to form a box with an open top and bottom. Screw or nail the last piece of reinforced plywood to the top. Do not forget to use the glue first. You can use additional pieces of 1x2 wood to reinforce the box if it is weak in any areas. Some places that might need reinforcement are the inside corners of the box.

Step 3 - Set Your Bait and Trap

Now that you have a heavy duty box it is time to set the bait and trap. Place the box in the area where you are most likely to catch what you are after. You will use the piece of PVC to prop one end of the box up for your animal to enter. Attach the bait you choose to one end of the wire. The wire is going to act as the bait and the trigger. Place about two inches of the wire into the box directly between the PVC and the box. The bait side should be inside the box.

Step 4 - Wait for Your Animal

When the animal enters the box it will start to tug at the bait. The trigger will respond by wiggling loose from the PVC and shutting the box with the animal inside. Check your trap daily to make sure that if you do catch something that you are able to transfer it as soon as possible. You also want to make sure that nothing gets trapped unintentionally.

You can also use pre-made boxes that can hold the animal that you are trying to catch. One thing that you might also want to do is drill some air holes into the box, we all like fresh air. Whatever your reason for needing to catch a live animal these few steps will have you well on your way.