Influence of Scent and Season on Sherman Live Trap Captures of Peromyscus

  • Dustin A.S. Owen Ball State University
  • Timothy C. Carter Ball State University
  • Stephanie A. Rutan Ball State University
Keywords: disease mitigation, live traps, mouse, Peromyscus, sexual bias, temporal, trapping


Identifying the ideal method to capture small mammals, and the influence of seasonal
(monthly) variation on capture rates, is important for maximizing efficiency and time. This study tested the
prediction that Peromyscus leucopus scent collected in the lab and placed in cleaned (experimental) traps
would attract conspecifics with similar or higher frequency than regular clean traps or dirty traps containing
the residual scent of previously captured conspecifics. There was no significant difference in capture rates of
P. leucopus among clean, dirty, or experimental traps. However, dirty traps did have increased sexual bias,
with a greater frequency of male captures. Additionally, July had higher capture rates of female P. leucopus
than September and June, whereas males showed no significant seasonal variation. These findings document
the potential influences and results of trap type and season on small mammal capture rates, and provide
valuable considerations and recommendations for management practices and future studies using scented,
live-capture traps.