Willing buyers snap up traps

By Carmen Hall

Neale Blaymires with one of his magpie traps
Neale Blaymires with one of his magpie traps

An accidental invention has become big business for Te Puke pest control expert Neale Blaymires.

His run-ins with magpies and their gun-shy tactics have helped him forge a living from traps designed to capture them.

"I first started shooting magpies because I have a patch of bush where I live and the magpies started moving in.

"The big, loud noise blasted them and scared the others away but they came back so I switched to a .22.

"I killed maybe 24 but then they got shy and as soon as they caught a whiff of me they'd be off.

"Then I read a farming publication, where they were using a traditional cage with a Larsen trap and you could send away for the plans, so I did.

"I caught the occasional bird but thought I can make a better trap than that."

Fast forward 19 years and Mr Smith has made about 6000 traps for his business Trap Worx, that he has sold all over New Zealand and he is a regular exhibitor at the National Fieldays.

The prototypes have changed with the times and so have the animals farmers want to catch, he says.

"The first trap I made after the magpie was a cat trap and that is designed to catch a wide range of animals from rats to ferrets and stoats.

"It has a very sensitive trigger so it goes off with even the smallest animals.

"The mesh is small and means there is no way they can escape."

A trap originally created for ducks had also taken off but was more likely to be used for pukekos.

"Farmers started asking me about pukekos because they can cause a lot of crop damage but you do have to get permission from DoC first under the Wildlife Act to control them. You can dispose of pukekos but you can't transfer them to other locations because they are very good fliers.

"If you lived in Te Puke and took them to Auckland they might beat you home."

A rat trip trap that was first developed for the Otanewainuku Kiwi Trust is still in production.

"I helped set up the trust in 2001 and we were trapping ferrets and stoats.

"I developed the tunnel systems for those kill traps and I developed a snap trap for that."

However, peacock traps were the latest to hit the market.

"I've had people asking for them. You get big flocks of peacocks and their numbers really build up quickly.

"They make a lot of noise at night howling away and if you've got peacocks on your property, you'll probably be really irritated by them.

"I've been developing it over three months and am on the mark three version."

- Bay of Plenty Times

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