Havahart Trap Problems (4 Ways to Fix Them)

Havahart traps are one of the best in business when it comes to capturing animal pests in a safe way. Though built tough and easy to bait, set, and release, many users find the trap a bit problematic in different situations. 

Here are some of the common Havahart trap problems:

  • Animals won’t go inside the Havahart trap due to the suspicious odor.
  • The trap won’t catch any animal due to not being the ideal size.
  • Havahart trap won’t lock.
  • The trigger mechanism of the Havahart trap isn’t working properly.
  • The bait is not working. 

Today, I am going to help you fix them one by one.  Let’s get started: 

Havahart Trap Problems: Quick Overview

Problem Reason Solution
Animals won’t go inside trap The trap is too obvious or it’s not odor-free Camouflage the trap to blend it with its surroundings. Remove any odor.
Havahart trap not trapping animals The trap size is not ideal for the animal Get a bigger trap for bigger animals.
Havahart trap won’t trigger The trigger is bent, not aligned properly, or damaged Properly align the trigger and inspect any possible damage or bend. Replace if necessary.
Bait not working Choosing the wrong bait and bait placement Pick the right bait for the right animal type and place the bait in the right location.

While you’re here trying to figure out solutions for your trap problems, you might also want to look up Dynatrap issues and their fixes if you have one!

Problem 1: Animals Won’t Go Inside the Trap

This one’s the most common problem that many new users experience with their Havahart trap. The trap seems to repel animals away from it.

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And it can happen due to a number of reasons:

  • The trap is suspiciously noticeable.
  • Bad/suspicious odor coming out of the trap.
  • The trap is placed someplace with less animal traffic.


If an animal is stubborn and won’t go into the trap, there are a few things you can try:

  • Make sure the trap is clean and free of any odors that might scare the animal away.
  • Use bait that the animal is attracted to, such as peanut butter or fruit.
  • Place the trap in an area where animal traffic is frequent.
  • Camouflage the trap by covering the top of it with leaves or twigs. This will make the trap blend with its surroundings, making the Havahart trap look less suspicious. 

You should learn how to properly set up your Havahart trap to effectively trap animals. 

Problem 2: Havahart Trap Not Trapping Animals

Oftentimes, the trap is not big enough to catch bigger animals like cats and deers. Larger animals can easily trip over the cage, damaging the trap in the process. 

This means you need to either come up with a bigger cage or try something else.


If the trap is not holding the animal, there are a few things you can try:

  • Get a large trap for a big animal. You need the right-sized trap depending on the size of the animal.
  • Add weight to the trap door by attacking a shim or other heavy objects to the locking weight.
  • Replace the trap if it’s damaged or worn out. 

You can repair slight damages in your Havahart trap by welding or hot glue. But it won’t be enough to hold stronger animals. So it’s best to get it replaced with a new one. 

Problem 3: Havahart Trap Won’t Trigger

A bent or damaged trigger can’t render your trigger mechanism ineffective, allowing animals to reign over your Havahart trap without getting caught. 

There are a few reasons why your Havahart trap is not locking

Your Havahart trap won’t lock if the trigger sensitivity is set too low. Havahart traps often have sensitivity settings that control how much pressure is required to lock the trap.

If the sensitivity is set too high, it will trigger too easily, potentially with no animal inside. Conversely, if it’s set too low,  it won’t trigger when an animal enters.

Check out this YouTube video showcasing some of the cool sensitivity adjustment features of the Havahart animal trap: 

Debris, dirt, or other objects can obstruct the trigger mechanism. Rust or corrosion on the trap’s components, including the trigger mechanism, can interfere with its proper operation.

The bait should be positioned in a way that an animal has to interact with the trigger mechanism to access it. If the bait is placed in a manner that allows an animal to reach it without triggering the trap, it won’t work as intended.

If the spring that powers the trap’s door is weak or damaged, it won’t have enough force to trigger the trap.

Over time, the trigger mechanism may become damaged or bent, making it less effective.


 If the trigger mechanism on the trap is not working, there are a few things you can try:

  • Check to make sure the trigger is aligned correctly and not bent.
  • Adjust the sensitivity of the trigger by bending the wire or adding weight to it.
  • Ensure that the area around the trigger and the trip plate is clean and free from obstructions.
  • Regular maintenance, cleaning, and lubrication can help prevent rust or corrosion of the trigger.
  • Replace the trigger mechanism if it is damaged.

Now, let’s find out how to adjust the trigger on a Havahart trap:

The trigger, with its L-shaped end, connects to the trap door, keeping it open during deployment. When an animal steps on the trip pan, the trigger moves away from the door, causing the spring-loaded door to quickly close and trap the animal inside. 

To modify the trap’s sensitivity, adjust the L-shaped portion of the trigger, which supports the trap door.

For a heavier setting, decrease the L’s bottom angle by gently bending it upward using pliers. Conversely, for a lighter setting, increase the angle by bending it downward.

adjust the trigger on a Havahart trap

Source: countrymax.com

Problem 4: Bait Not Working

Choosing the right bait is essential to trapping success. It’s highly likely that the animal you want to trap is not falling for the bait you’ve set.

Setting the right bait at the wrong place can also be blamed for your Havahart trap problem. It must be able to lure the animal inside before setting off the trap.

It’s also the same reason why most bucket mouse trap fails to work


Having trouble with the success rate of your bait? Try adopting the following practices:

  • Pick the right bait for the right animal. It usually varies for different animals. For cats, it’s tuna or sardines. For deers, it’s usually corn. 
  • Make sure that the bait is placed in the right spot to lure the animal inside the trap. 
  • The bait should be glued well to the spot, making it harder for the animal to grab and run. This will give the trap enough time to trigger and catch the animal inside. 


What is the warranty on a Havahart trap?

Every Havahart trap model is covered by a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty.

What is the best bait for a Havahart rat trap?

Peanut butter seems to work the best for trapping rats in your Havahart rat trap. Dried fruits are also great baits for roof rats and Norway rats. Other than that, you can use cheese, bread, and birdseed as rat bait for the trap. 

What is the best chipmunk bait for a Havahart trap?

Sunflower seeds and corn are the best bait for a chipmunk when using a Havahart trap. Prune pits, unroasted peanuts, and grains can also be ideal chipmunk bait for your trap. You can even bait them with popcorn if you want!


These are all the common Havahart trap problems users experience with their Havahart trap.

Make sure to periodically clean and inspect the trap for any damage to keep it in good shape. If you’re still facing any issues with your Havahart trap, contact Havahart support and ask for help.

It’s really that easy!