I think nobody would like to see rats in the home. Rat infestation is really a headache. Unfortunately, it is so difficult to find them until these rodents cause a series of big problems, like contaminating food, damaging furniture, damaging electric wires, polluting water source and carry diseases. Therefore, it is essential to get rid of them. Fortunately, 2 effective ways are available to kill these disgusting rats, including traps (open traps & enclosed traps) and baits.
How to Find the Rats
The first thing you need to do is find where the rats are in your home. However, rats are nocturnal animals that are most active at night. Therefore, it is difficult to see them during the day. Well, how to find them? Actually, if you see the following signs, rats have invaded into your home.
Signs of rat presence include:
- Dead or live rats are found
- Droppings are found around pet or human food. Or droppings are found around trash areas. Rats will eat 10% weight food of its weight every day.
- Noises are found in the dark, like scratching sounds from your attic.
- Nests are found in hidden areas, or piled nesting materials are found.
- Structural wood or gnawing of wires are found.
- Burrows are found under your home, around your yard or under outbuildings.
- Gnawed fruits are found in trees.
- Smudge marks are found along the walls.
- Rodent Hairs are found along paths, near food, or in nests.
If these evidences above are true, you really need to do something, or some big problem will happen soon or later.
Traps are very cheap and easy to use. If you have found signs of rat presence, the first method you can try is to use a rat trap. If they are not baited, they can be left in place for a long time. However, no matter they are unbaited or baited, regular checking is needed. This is because if a trap has caught a rat, a dying or dead rat has to be disposed as soon as possible. The dead mice and the food bait may attract other insects, causing an infestation. You can set rat traps in hidden areas, in attics, in out-of-the-way, in basements, or near foods sources, once rat sings are obvious. Due to their dangerous features, you should keep your pets or children from them, because this can avoid potentially triggering. On the market, there are several types of rat traps:
The most inexpensive way to capture and kill rats is to use a snap trap that is a plastic or rat-sized wooden trap. Generally, rats are larger than mice. Therefore, when choosing rat traps, making sure the ones you should be especially designed for rat control. If you buy a mouse trap, it may be so small that cannot hold and kill a rat. The suitable size is very important.
Rats are prone to investigate and wiggle into holes. Live traps take advantage of this natural tendency to make rats get in. When they get in, they cannot find a way to get out. They are trapped. A wind-up mechanism is used. When a rat entered the hole and triggers the wind-up mechanism, the mechanism snaps it to other side of the rat trap where it is captured. A regular inspection for these traps is also needed. If there are rats in a trap, kill it humanely or empty the trap. If you would not like to kill a rat, just release it where it is safe to others.
Well, glueboards are not a very effective way to capture rats, because large rats sometimes may escape from the glueboard. Or only a foot or two are trapped, the rat may pull its feet loose from the glue, or just drag the board around.
Many foods can be used as baits for rats, because they are not picky. These foods include dry pet food, can nuts, dried meats (like bacon), dried fruits, etc. They can be attached to gludboards, snap traps, live traps, wire, or any trap with thread. Generally, soft baits are not always effective for rats, because rats may pull off the bait but not trigger the trap. These soft baits include cheese, peanut butter, and other soft foods.
Rodenticides are used to kill mice or rats, because they are poison pesticides. Some are available at home stores. However, most of them are limited by a new EPA regulation to specific baits. This means they are limited to be used only in disposable, ready-to-use bait stations. This can prevent pets and children from contacting with or easting these baits. If there are plenty of rats that needs to be captured and killed, the best way is to contact a professional who has a pest control license, because they have enough knowledge and abilities to deal with bulk rodenticides. Therefore, it is not recommended to use rodenticides by homeowners. In these situations, traps are a good and relatively way to eliminate rats.
If any rodenticide or pesticide is used, reading the directions on its label carefully and precisely.
Bait stations work together with rodenticide baits. Rodenticide baits are placed in bait stations. The station itself cannot trap rats. If it is used properly and locked in place, the bait attracts rats to enter the station to eat, while such a station can prevent your pets, children and other non-target animals from contacting with the bait which is poison.
Bait and Trap Placement
For getting rid of rats, the most important thing is to place the bait or the trap properly. The places you choose are very important. In the use, the Norway rat and the roof rat are 2 types of the most common rats. However, their characteristics are different, so traps should be placed differently accordingly.
Roof rats – Roof rats mostly live in higher places in your home. Therefore, you’d better place traps off the ground in your rafters of your garage, in your attic, on ledges and shelves.
Norway rats – They doesn’t like climbing, so traps can be placed along walls, in hidden areas, in dark corners, etc.
One importing thing you need always to pay attention is that all the traps should be placed safely. Your children, pets, and other non-target animals should not access to these traps, which can ensure the safety of them.