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1 January 2011 Trapping Mammals in a Cautious World: The Effect of Disinfectants on Trap Success
J.A. Wilson, K.E. Mabry
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Disinfecting traps that have captured small mammals is one recommendation for preventing occurrence of hantavirus infection; however, the potential effects of disinfection on small mammal trappability have not been investigated thoroughly. We conducted an experiment to compare the effects of 2 disinfectants (Lysol® and household bleach) on the trappability of 4 small mammal species (Peromyscus maniculatus, Neotamias spp., and Spermophilus lateralis). We established triplicate trap grids in 2 forest types (red fir and mixed conifer), each consisting of a 6 × 6 array of Sherman live-traps placed at 10-m intervals. Traps were given 1 of 3 treatments: control (water), Lysol, or bleach; the treated traps were placed in an alternating pattern. Traps were open for 4 consecutive nights with daily treatment application. We found a difference in the trappability of Peromyscus between years; however, we did not detect a statistically significant difference in trappability resulting from disinfection for any of the 3 study species. Disinfectant effects on capture probability within Peromyscus were not supported by model selection in Program MARK. Collectively, these results indicate that although populations may fluctuate temporally and spatially, trap disinfection does not have a significant effect on small mammal trappability.

© 2010
J.A. Wilson and K.E. Mabry "Trapping Mammals in a Cautious World: The Effect of Disinfectants on Trap Success," Western North American Naturalist 70(4), 467-473, (1 January 2011).
Received: 20 November 2009; Accepted: 1 August 2010; Published: 1 January 2011
capture success
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