July 29, 2021 6 min read
Sometimes taking care of a mouse or rat problem is fairly straightforward. You set up a rat trap, and that's the beginning and the end of the story. But rodents can be surprisingly clever. What's more, their behavior is often influenced by additional variables you might never suspect. This is why many people incorporate cameras into their trap setup. Cameras can show you what rodents are up to when they're alone with the traps. It gives you the chance to see anything which might scare rats and mice away from an area before they even notice the trap. This can include anything from unsuspected predators in the area to alternate food supplies.
Setting up a trap camera is generally fairly similar to how you might use a trail camera. In fact, you'll actually want to use cameras that are intended for trail observation. In the end, a camera intended to keep an eye on animals works as well for rodents as it would for bears or deer, buy what are the best trail cameras to pair up with a trap? There are six options that serve as the best of the best. This can be further divided into three cost-effective options and three top-of-the-line models. We'll begin by looking at the three most feature complete — but also most expensive — options for wildlife cameras.
The SPYPOINT Link-S-V camera provides almost every feature you could possibly want in a camera. To begin, it's able to support a cellular signal for data streaming. You'll have to physically collect most cameras to get at the images and video within them, but the Link-S-V is the ultimate in "set it and forget it" technology. You can simply stream images and video from this camera to your favorite device.
The Link-S-V's solar charging system means that there's even fewer reasons why you'd have to physically check on the camera. What's more, the fact that it uses cellular connections means that you don't even have to worry about wifi connections. The camera's app even uses AI to provide you with automatic species identification.
The Link-S-V also provides you with night vision for extra help diagnosing issues with your trap's performance. It's much easier to discover the cause of a rat trap not working when light isn't making the rodents nervous. As you'd expect, a megapixel count of 12MP and video resolution of 720p ensures perfect visual quality as well. If price isn't an option, then this full-featured model is probably your best choice.
SpyPoint once again sits near the top of the running for best luxury trail camera. The Link-Dark-V is similar in many respects to the Link-S-V. Despite a lower overall price than the Link-S-V, the Link-Dark-V is often evenly matched on a feature by feature basis. For example, both offer a 0.07 second trigger speed. It also matches its big brother's 720p video resolution. However, it can also use a 480p resolution mode.
The Link-Dark-V does miss out on some of the most advanced features from the Link-S-V. For example, it doesn't offer AI based species recognition. But at the same time, the Link-Dark-V does offer some features which help it operate in low-light conditions. The camera's HIT system, Hybrid Illumination Technology, offers multiple flash settings and lighting options. All of this comes together into a total package that will help you improve your rat trap success.
The Spartan Ghost GoCam's higher price is largely thanks to its focus on long-term use. The camera has a 10W 15" diagonal solar panel power system that can keep it running for quite a while. This power supply helps augment a rechargeable 5300 mAh lithium battery. Combined with its steel lock box and mount, you can be sure it'll hold up against both animals and the environment during lengthy troubleshooting work. As with the other premium cameras, the Spartan Ghost GoCam also provides cellular network access to transmit data which is captured at a full 720p.
This camera also provides some impressive features for low-light conditions. A rat trap not working is much easier to troubleshoot when you can essentially see in the dark thanks to the camera's nighttime blackout infrared system.
The Primos AutoPilot 16MP Trail Camera's biggest claim to fame is the overall cost. The camera is priced at about 1/9th of the most expensive options. You might assume that this would make it a lower quality option. However, it packs a surprising amount of power.
The camera's resolution comes in at an impressive 1080p with 16 MP images. What's more, it's able to take photos at night or in low-light conditions. This low-light support is further aided by the low glow feature. Keep in mind that the camera's low-light performance is still poor when compared to the state-of-the-art options. But at the same time, improving rat trap success usually doesn't require perfectly clear images. If you can make out the rodents and any potential issues in the area, then the camera's done its job.
Unsurprisingly, this camera also lacks wireless or cellular support. Lack of networking options is the norm with lower cost wildlife cameras, but if you don't mind manually checking the camera on occasion, then going without internet connectivity is a great cost-cutting option.
The Browning Strike Force HD Pro X Trail Game Camera is the most expensive option in the collection of non-premium cameras. It also covers an important niche for people trying to troubleshoot a rat trap. The camera is one of the best options for anyone trying to get images of fast moving animals. This includes both rodents and predators which might be scaring them away from traps.
The camera provides an impressive 0.22 second shutter speed. It works with 720p resolution and 20 megapixels. Low-light and nighttime shots are made easier thanks to three separate options. These include a power-save mode, long range and fast motion. All of these options make it a great solution if you're having trouble with faster moving elements at night.
The Bushnell Trophy Trail Camera offers some great specs for a fairly low price. It provides 720p resolution and 20MP images. The 32 LED night vision flash provides an acceptable level of quality for night shots, and the camera's trigger speed is a respectable 0.7 seconds.
Of course, the lower cost does mean that it's going to miss some options when compared to the top-of-the-line models. The night shots are acceptable, but will typically lack many of the fine details seen with something like the Link-Dark-V. As you'd expect, it also lacks any support for wireless transfers or smartphone apps. With that said, there's a good chance you won't need crystal clear night shots to troubleshoot traps. If that's the case then you can easily save a lot of money with this fairly robust option.
In the end, you'll want to use your camera as a troubleshooting device. If you're using a higher quality trap, you expect it would be effective. If you're not seeing the results you expect, then you need to keep an eye on the area around your trap. You should be able to find out what's keeping rodents from investigating your setup.
The most common reasons come from environmental distractions. For example, if a predator is in the area, it might scare away rodents. If your camera proves that hypothesis, then you could simply move the trap to a nearby location. It's important to keep in mind that rodent populations can get out of hand fairly quickly. As such, you need to make sure you're always getting the maximum performance out of your traps. By combining a high-quality trap with a great camera you can ensure that a rodent problem doesn't get out of control.
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