If you’ve spotted some rat droppings or you’ve been hearing tell-tale scratching at night, it might be time to bust out the big guns: Rat traps. Trapping is a very effective element of the rodent control process, especially when you’ve already tried other rodent prevention methods.
However, learning how to set a rat trap to effectively deal with all rats is a little more complicated than you’d think. In this post, we’ll cover the most common mistakes folks make when trying to use traps, and give some tips on how to correct them in order to banish those pesky creatures from your home.
Not Using the Best Rat Trap
What’s the best rat trap then, you ask? We’ve got some great news – it’s not necessarily the most expensive or complex one.
Snap traps designed specifically for rats are great. They’re affordable, easy to set up, and kill immediately. Electronic traps are more expensive but they also work well, while live traps are a humane option that puts the responsibility on you to relocate the rat.
As a rule, we suggest you avoid sticky traps. They’re shockingly inhumane. It’s impossible to remove the rats from the glue without injuring them severely, and death in the trap from dehydration is slow and cruel.
Additionally, make sure not to accidentally purchase traps designed for mice, since they’re too small to effectively capture larger rodents.
Choosing the Wrong Bait
If rats aren’t keen to eat your bait, it only follows that they won’t fall for your trap. In general, high-calorie baits with stronger smells like peanut butter, cheese, processed meat, and even chocolate can work… Rats basically have the palate of a small child!
Another bonus is that those baits are pasty and sticky, so the rats can’t just snatch them up and scuttle away.
It’s worth noting that, much like humans, individual rats can have their preferences. You may have to try a few different baits before finding the one that appeals to the rats colonizing your home. If the rats already infiltrated your pantry, you can check which foods in there appealed to them the most, and use those as bait.
Setting the Trap Too Soon
Rats are surprisingly smart, especially compared to mice and other tiny rodents. If they see something new like a trap, they’re highly likely to avoid it even if it’s filled with delicious treats.
To put them at ease, don’t set the trap right away.
Instead, place the food on the unset trip. Let them feast for a couple of days. This will create a false sense of security, so once you set the trap, they’ll get caught immediately.
Placing it in the Wrong Spot
Setting your trap in the middle of your living room isn’t going to work. Rats tend to travel along the same paths every night, which you might be able to identify through their dropping patterns.
That’s where you want to set the trap – ideally near the wall.
And we’re not just talking about one trap. Rats reproduce fast. If you’ve spotted one or two scurrying around, there could easily be dozens more hiding out in the nooks and crannies of your home. Place traps all along the areas where you think the rats are traveling, to ensure you capture as many of them as you can right from the start.
Setting Up Your Trap Incorrectly
All that said, are you actually making sure to set up the trap correctly? Nothing is more disappointing than setting up your trap, only to realize it failed because of user error.
To learn how to set a rat trap correctly, make sure to read the user manual or watch videos that show how it’s done. Take your time to practice setting and resetting to ensure success.
Each trap is a little different, so while most of them operate on the same basis of placing the bait and then pulling back the snap mechanism, small elements can differ from product to product.
We highly recommend wearing thick gloves while setting the trap, especially if you’re using a snap trap. The gloves will protect your hands if you accidentally deploy the trap and they’ll also prevent your smell from getting on the trap and acting as a deterrent to the rats.
You’re Not Prioritizing Prevention
Yes, trapping will certainly help get rid of them, but at the same time, it’s just as important to focus on making your home and property inhospitable to them. This way, you can prevent future infestations and maybe even drive some of those rats away without having to trap them.
Rodent control is a major part of our method when it comes to eliminating rat infestation. It involves tidying up, eliminating food and water sources, and sealing up rat entry points and hideaways. Sometimes, this process can be easy and other times, it may require some serious home repair.
Our team at Green Rodent Restoration is happy to help you with any type of rat infestation. We can take care of the trapping for you (not to mention the unpleasant work of cleaning up the remains), make sure that your property is completely rat-proof, and also help restore any damage that the rats caused to your walls, basement, or attic. Get in touch with us for your free quote!