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Author Topic: Finally- a rat trap bait that works!  (Read 170 times)

chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Finally- a rat trap bait that works!
« on: November 22, 2020, 10:44:47 am »
They did some work at the farm behind us a few months ago and the rats arrived shortly afterwards. First spotted in the outbuildings we used snap traps baited with peanut butter and then Nutella (chocolate spread), which always works on mice- neither worked. We caught three by their legs because they walked over the trap, but the bait wasn't touched. Then we caught a whipsnake, which fortunately was so big it was unharmed, so we stopped with the snap traps. Out came the cages which were first baited with mice, because our humane trap had been attacked, but although the mice were eaten the trap wasn't sprung so now suspect lizards. Then we tried chicken scraps, but still no luck. Chicken feed would get them into the traps but they were not sprung. Tried shooting them at a chicken feeder but they were too fast. Put snap traps with chicken feed on which weren't touched until our dog stepped on one, so they went. Then tried wild bird fat balls which they just carried off. Finally a ball was left in its plastic net and tied to the bait hook on one trap. Result, 2 rats yesterday, one at night and one in the afternoon and another one this morning. The bait doesn't go off so we're leaving a trap in the garage baited permanently. Neither the dog nor the chickens can get to it and it should be well away from the snake. (We won't ever use poison.)




Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Finally- a rat trap bait that works!
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2020, 11:33:23 am »
Chris, I read somewhere that rats smell their friends' breath to see what they've been eating, then it's a case of "hey, this fat ball smells like what Bert was eating last Tuesday, and he's still ok, so....".


So it may be a case of not only having found something they like, but also having found something they trust..... because having carried a load of it away and eaten it safely, they are now not suspicious of it when they see it in a trap. What do you reckon?
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Finally- a rat trap bait that works!
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2020, 11:52:27 am »
That makes sense to me Womble. The traps were down a few weeks, so they were used to them with chicken feed in and then they broke up and carried off a few unwrapped fat balls from them before the netted one was fitted in one. We melted a fat ball and put it onto a snap trap arm, but it hasn't been touched. So I think it's trap and bait familiarity combined perhaps? I suspect they've seen snap traps at the farm?


I hope the big one this morning was the one from the loft space. Made a lot of noise and has done some damage to pipe insulation and hot air ducting (all now repaired).


Of course if all the rats have gone the mice will be back! While the rats were around we didn't catch any mice at all, so I think they were scared off, which was something I was told about years ago. "If you have mice you haven't got rats" is what he said.

Steph Hen

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Angus Scotland.
Re: Finally- a rat trap bait that works!
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2020, 07:47:51 am »
Thanks for this info. Maybe we could keep it going with own experiences?
I had rats eating dry dog food and did eventually get them in a lobster pot style cage trap baited with the same. But took a long time. I lived in a student house full of rats and though we tried many baits I found the best was to set traps in runs.  My little cat is turning into a specialist ratter. She’s well earning her keep.

chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Finally- a rat trap bait that works!
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2020, 10:38:52 am »
In England we used Fenn 4's (handle with extreme care) in the runs. Covered the mechanism with a small piece of weed control fleece and then covered it with soil. Worked a treat until we caught a hedgehog then they all came out- we were leaving for France anyway. They have been in a box for 8 years and will stay there after snapping our dog (uninjured fortunately). The snake was caught in a plastic rat snap trap, as were the first rats. Need to be very careful where they are located and they are not humane if the rat only gets caught by a leg. The best traps (and the only ones we will use for rats now) have to be cages, where the target species is clearly identified and despatched humanely with an air pistol.
 
Anyway, the mice wasted no time returning. One in the back storeroom this morning and the bird balls have been eaten in the garage, so the mouse plastic snap traps will be put out and very carefully placed, because last time we set them a big toad got one on its head (uninjured fortunately) and we have chickens wandering around in the garage.

 

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