Trapping is central to the control activities carried out on Guam, yet it is only one component of an integrated control program that simultaneously uses multiple methods, and employs a sequential, strategic approach for snake removal over large areas. NWRC scientists work closely with other Wildlife Services biologists to design trap placement strategies and to develop snake-trap attractants.
Trapping takes place around forested plots, as well as along fences, buildings and other sites. Trapping is especially important around airports, cargo areas and roadways. Brown treesnakes are captured using a basic funnel-trap design, similar to that of commercial minnow or crayfish traps. A mouse cage, containing a live mouse as bait, is integrated into the wall of the trap so that snakes do not have access to the mouse and care for the mouse can be done without opening the trap body. Presently, NWRC scientists are investigating use of mouse odors, rather than live mice, as a means to lure snakes to traps.
Several trap placement strategies (factoring in optimal trap spacing, plot dimensions etc.) have been applied to forested plots. Perimeter trapping, interior trapping, and boundary trapping regimens are all employed. Once snake populations have been reduced in an area, maintaining some strategically placed traps around the plot helps deter population recovery.