How To Catch A Rat
The Best Tips For Rat Trapping Success
Traps are not always the right choice for rodent control, so let’s explore why, when and how to use traps effectively.
Rats are neophobic, meaning they have a fear of anything different and new in their environment. To counter this, you need to be able to think like a rat would think. The tips set out below will give you an immediate head start.
Rats can enter a property in many ways, but the most common are via underfloor voids. They get into the voids via damaged drains, adjoining properties, utility points, building faults etc, etc.
These rapid repair, but rats may still be present, even nesting in the building.
The Rats Route
Rats will often have a clear route from a food source to an entry point or source. This route is the ideal place to intercept them.
Sometimes smear marks and hairs will be present, or it might be more obvious, e.g. you have seen them following the route.
Siting The Rat Trap
At some point along the way, you need to decide the best place to install your traps. The best areas include: Where natural narrowing occurs. Between a washing machine and the wall, between the bed and the wall, or between the cooker and the kitchen units etc.
Dark Corners. These are natural, safe havens where the rats can hide, unseen if disturbed. Under Kitchen units. Removing the plinths of the kitchen units will often reveal piles of food collected and stored by the rats, and show entry points.
Once the location of the trap is selected, you need to secure the trap, so once caught the rat can’t try and escape with the trap still attached. It can take a few minutes or more for a large rat to succumb to the trap, so it might easily drag the trap away. Baiting The Rat Trap
Rat traps come in a variety of different designs. The main thing is to use the right bait in the correct way.
Bait needs to be fixed to the traps to prevent cheeky rats cherry picking it. Baits of every variety can be set in place with super glue to make sure they don’t disappear without a positive activation of the trap.
Simply put – The better the bait is fixed to the trap, the more the Rat will need to agitate it, and the better your chances of success.
What’s The Best Rat Bait?
The best rat bait is might include what they’ve been eating in your home. They will trust it. The best bait we have ever tried is Dark Chocolate. The higher the cocoa content, the better the results, it would seem.
When using dark chocolate, it is worth noting a few important points.
If conditions are hot, it will melt – especially commercial kitchens and loft spaces in summer.
It needs to have one edge melted with a match or lighter etc (whatever you feel is safest), and then placed into or onto the trap. It should re-set in place very quickly and be resistant to being cherry picked.
Sometimes mice or very young rats will be present, and they can strip the bait off the pressure plate without activating the trap. So new mouse traps could be needed.
In these cases, consideration must be given to the merits of poison because it can eliminate a large number of mice faster that traps alone.
When To Trap Rats
Trapping is not always right in all situations. Traps should be considered a component of rat control, but will not prove effective in situations where large rat populations exist. In heavily infested premises, traps should installed alongside other measures such as proofing, exclusion and poisons, etc.
Rats prefer to be left alone, so always try to schedule trapping activities at times when the property is empty, or people are in bed. Also, ensure that traps are deactivated at times when children or pets might be present. Rat traps can, and do cause injury.
Are Rat Traps Humane?
Any control measure that leads to the death of an animal cannot be considered truly humane. We operate on the premise that exclusion is better than poisons and traps, but the realities are that most exclusion can be expensive because it usually involves construction activity.
Exclusion is always as an investment and the most humane method of control.
Another perspective is that these rodents carry and spread diseases etc. that kill people every year.
We are always going to have these rodents in our environment, and although not entirely humane, we must accept that sometimes control isn’t simply a choice, it is a necessity for safety.