Setting traps can be an effective way of dealing with rats running around your home. However, there is no guarantee that traps will immediately solve your problem and catch the rats that are driving you crazy. If you've set traps and they aren't catching any rats, ask yourself three key questions.
Are the Traps in the Right Locations?
Rats tend to stick to using the same areas, creating 'rat runs' to travel around. To place traps effectively, you need to put them in an area that the rats use, ideally on one of their runs. According to the Australian Pest Control Association, you should also set traps at right angles to runs. Ideal locations also include by walls, near entry or exit holes, on beams or behind furniture, depending on where your rats are running.
Tip: If you aren't sure how or where rats are travelling around your home, scatter some talcum powder around suspect areas. Wait overnight and then look at the powder. If you've correctly identified a run, you should see footprints.
Are You Using the Right Bait?
If you're using food rather than a chemical bait, you need to make sure that you're offering the rats something that they want to eat. According to RSPCA Australia, foods like peanut butter, bread and dried fruit usually work well for attracting rodents. If rats are eating food out of your kitchen, garage or outbuildings, it's a good idea to try and rat-proof these food sources. If you shut down access to a regular food source, the rats will need to look for another one and may be encouraged to come to the bait on your traps.
Tip: If rats show a preference for eating a particular type of food in your home, try using this food as bait on your traps.
When Did You Put Down the Traps?
Unlike mice, which are nosy little creatures, rats are neophobic. This means that they are cautious about things that are new. According to the Australian Pest Control Association, it can take a rat up to a week before it will go near a trap. So, if you've only had one out for a couple of days, you may need to wait longer for the rats to get used to it being there before they feel comfortable enough to take bait from it.
Tip: To overcome a rat's natural sense of caution, it may help to bait a trap but not set it for a few days. Once the rat takes the bait from an unset trap and trusts it as a food source, you can set the trap and hopefully catch the rat next time it goes for the bait.
For assistance, talk to a pest control company.
Hello, my name is Frieda, and I have a small phobia of bugs and mice. As a result, I have learned everything possible about keeping these critters out of my home. As I have had all of my old pets artfully positioned by taxidermists, I have also learned niche skills such as keeping pests out of the fur of taxidermy animals. In this blog, I am going to put together the best of everything I know along with some tips from the pros. I hope you find the info you need to live a happy, healthy life in a bug and pest-free home. --Frieda