How to Catch a Rabbit with a Live Trap

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How to Catch a Rabbit with a Live Trap

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Keith's Pro Tips

"Looney Tunes taught us that rabbits love carrots. But they also love other crunchy fruits and vegetables, like lettuce and apples. Try baiting with these if you do not have any carrots on hand."

How to Catch a Rabbit with a Live Trap

While they may look cute, a rabbit can ruin a garden. These animals may destroy your property in search for food. Rabbits are intelligent but are hard to capture with their speed. One method of removing a rabbit from your property is using a live trap to catch and release the animal. Live trapping is a safe and effective way to keep animals away from your home.

If you want to catch a rabbit with a live trap, read this guide for instructions and product recommendations.



Before using a live trap, you need to make sure that the wild animal you are dealing with is a rabbit. This will ensure that you are using the correct bait and strategies.

  • Rabbits are generally 14 to 19 inches long and weigh between 2 and 4 pounds. Their fur color may vary between black, brown, white, gray, and other colors.
  • They have large eyes and ears with a short bushy tail. Their hind legs are very strong, as well as their senses of sight, hearing, and smell.
  • Rabbits are most active when the sun rises and when the sun sets.

Use the image and description above to confirm that you are dealing with a rabbit on your property.


Once you've confirmed that your pest animal is a rabbit, it is helpful to recognize the areas where it is most active. This is where you will place your live trap.

Where to Inspect

You want to pick areas that have high activity from rabbits. These animals are most likely searching your property for food. Search areas that are high in vegetation and grass.

What to Look For

Because rabbits are most active at dusk and dawn, any damage will be done at these times. There are certain signs that signal rabbit activity, such as trash cans that are pushed over, damaged gardens, and rabbit tracks. These tracks will look like two long hind legs and two small dots for their front legs. If rabbits are trying to enter your home, you might see damaged roof shingles.


Now that you've identified your pest animal as a rabbit and taken note of areas where it is most active, you can use your live trap. Be sure to wear gloves when handling the trap to prevent leaving your scent. If a rabbit picks up a human scent on the trap, it will avoid the trap, which will make it ineffective.

Step 1 - Remove Food Sources

Remove competing food sources

You want the rabbit to enter the live trap with the help of bait. Because of this, competing food sources need to be removed. Keep your trash sealed in trash bags and stored in trash bins with a lid to keep it closed. Any pet food or bowls of water should be placed inside as soon as possible as well.

Step 2 - Place the Trap

Placing a rabbit trap

By now, you should have taken note of areas with high rabbit activity. These areas are where you will put your trap. Be sure to place your trap on an even surface. A rabbit might push or knock over the trap in order to reach the bait inside. Place a brick or weight on top of the trap to avoid this.

Step 3 - Bait and Set the Trap

Live Trap in Wild

Using the proper bait will increase your chances of catching a rabbit. These animals prefer fruits. The bait should be palced near the back of the trap. This ensures that the rabbit will need to step on the trigger plate in order to reach the food.

You will then set your trap by pushing on the door lock and lifting the door plate. Keep the door plate lifted while pulling the trigger arm forward to set it. You will know it is set when the trigger arm's hook catches the door.

Step 4 - Monitor the Trap


You will need to check the traps twice a day, preferably once in the morning and once in the evening. This is when you will refill bait if needed. Checking the trap frequently may dissuade rabbits from approaching the trap. Do not keep an animal trapped in the cage for longer than 24 hours.

Step 5 - Relocate the Rabbit

Any non-target animals should be released immediately. Once you have captured a rabbit in your live trap, check your local authorities to make sure you are correctly relocating the animal. Approach the trap slowly and use a gentle voice. Place a towel over the cage to avoid frightening the rabbit. Once you have relocated far enough, carefully open the trap and release the animal. You can read more about releasing an animal from a live trap here.


After using your live trap, you want to make sure that wild animals do not invade your property again. You can take some preventative measures to keep your area rabbit-free.


Cleaning Products

An unkempt yard is an open invitation for a rabbit. Be sure to place all waste in a trash can, preferably with a lid so it can be kept closed. Remove all clutter and debris from your property, since rabbits may be drawn to nest and burrow in these areas. Clean up and remove debris. as well as pulling weeds. Mow grass to an acceptable length to remove materials that could be used by rabbits for shelter.

Key Takeaways

What are Rabbits? 

  • Rabbits are mammals that are most active during dusk and dawn. Their fur color varies, but they have large eyes, large ears, and a bushy tail with strong hind legs. 

How to Catch a Rabbit Using a Trap

  • Bait the live trap with fruit, making sure it is placed behind the trigger plate of the trap.
  • Check the trap once in the morning and once in the evening. Once a rabbit is caught, check with your local authorities to make sure you safely and correctly release it. 

Preventing Rabbits From Reinvading

  • Prevent rabbits from entering your property again by removing any potential food sources and debris, as well as pulling any weeds and mowing grass to an acceptable length.
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