Can't catch rats in a rat trap

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1 year 2 months ago #554923 by Anakei
I keep chickens and live semi rurally, so I am sure there are plenty of rats about.
If I put poison rat baits out they are always taken, but I can't catch anything in the classic snap trap in a box.
I've tried peanut butter, liquorice and extra smelly "no fail" bait and to date have caught 2 rats in 1 year. The bait is often taken (presumably by mice) without setting the trap off. What can I do to increase the toll? I have kept it in the same place alongside the back of the chicken house, but should I move it around?
Any ideas would be gratefully received!

Urban mini farmer and guerilla gardener

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1 year 2 months ago #554924 by Stikkibeek
I have had best success with a Times-up live trap which I set with a bit of chook food which is what they come for. I use Fisken's 50/50 which is a blend of kibbled barley, maize and molasses. i have been having some problems with pesky pukeko which have discovered they can up-end the trap and clean out any feed not touched, so I put them out of sight under some debris. To date I have caught over 110 in a bit more than 12months. To dispose of them I pop them off with an air pellet. i have also tried Conavation's Dtrap, but with limited success. have caught a few young ones, but a lot of mice with them. I also use the times up traps with two plastic alligator mouse traps set inside, door shut so they can't run off with the traps in the event they get caught by a foot or tail. I use peanut butter for mice. Sometimes you will get rats that have a preference for fruit rather than something protein, so try changing the bait to a bit of apple, or carrot, or even a little wedge of orange with peel still on. Good luck

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S

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1 year 2 months ago - 1 year 2 months ago #554925 by Nora
Replied by Nora on topic Can't catch rats in a rat trap
Most animals walk past traps as shown by infrared camera data. See the cacophony project. I have a trail camera which isn’t as sensitive but also shows rats moving around traps but not going in.

Our place is overrun with rats. Go out at night and they are everywhere.
I bought a times up live rat trap on the basis of success written about here and have caught one rat only (and two small hedgehogs) -it screamed when it saw me and that was unpleasant.

I bought some victor traps in boxes from predator-free nz website and had minimal success with peanut butter and sunflower seeds. Slugs eat the peanut butter so it needs frequent reapplication.

The most successful trap I have is a doc200 in a box baited with peanut butter on an obvious rat path. That brown chocolate paste from the gas trap people is also good for bait.

Moving traps is a good idea but they take a few days to go in. You can try baiting them but not setting them for a week and then set them.
Last edit: 1 year 2 months ago by Nora. Reason: Added a few things

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1 year 2 months ago #554928 by Jaybee
I had 3 dead rats this morning under one of my Goodnature traps! I've got a couple installed in my sheds, one has 58 on the counter the other 28 (some are mouse kills). The bait they supply with the traps doesn't work, I put calf pellets wrapped in a bit of gauze in the top to bait them and sprinkle a few pellets around the base to attract them.

Rat poison is by far the most effective method though - if it wasn't for the risk to my pets that's what I'd use.

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1 year 2 months ago #554932 by tonybaker
I think the only way is to remove or contain all food sources. Then you have to do the same as they do with 1080, put out heaps of bait so that you can reduce the numbers to a manageable level. Just mucking about with one or two traps is hopeless. Keep your pets locked up for a couple of weeks if you have to. Once you get the levels down, keep up a regular baiting regime, it's worked for me.

5 acres, Ferguson 35X and implements, Hanmay pto shredder, BMW Z3, Countax ride on mower, chooks, Dorper and Wiltshire sheep. Bosky wood burning central heating stove and radiators. Retro caravan. Growing our own food and preserving it. Small vineyard, crap wine. :)

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1 year 2 months ago #554955 by Anakei
Thanks for the replies. I"ve now moved it nest to the chook feeder ( treadle type so the rats are unlikely to get in it) and sprinkled a few pellets inside. I also re-baited with liquorice as that is what I caught the last one on. Now it's fingers crossed. I did check it this morning and............... nothing.

Urban mini farmer and guerilla gardener

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1 year 2 months ago - 1 year 2 months ago #554956 by max2
Replied by max2 on topic Can't catch rats in a rat trap
When I didn’t use rat cafe type stations amd what encouraged me to buy the stations, was the previous season we found a huge amount of bait being stored in a mini nest in our daughter’s old riding helmet.... eek. Winter feeding.

So they are out there, and storing whatever you put out as bait. Just might not be eating it immediately.
Last edit: 1 year 2 months ago by max2.

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1 year 2 months ago #554957 by tonybaker
yes, this can happen so what you do is get a piece of timber and hammer a few 4 inch nails into it and push the bait blocks over them.

5 acres, Ferguson 35X and implements, Hanmay pto shredder, BMW Z3, Countax ride on mower, chooks, Dorper and Wiltshire sheep. Bosky wood burning central heating stove and radiators. Retro caravan. Growing our own food and preserving it. Small vineyard, crap wine. :)

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1 year 2 months ago #554961 by Anakei
I learnt the hard way to use the proper rait bait stations. I made one with some draipipe and bait on a nail but my dog got into it and ate the bait, Luckily got him to the vet in time and he was treated but it was an expensive lesson. The bait stations aren't expensive and give you peace of mind. I think someone on this forum advised to restock the baits at 2 weekly intervals to give the bait time to work, otherwise the rats keep eating it even though they are "dead men walking"

Urban mini farmer and guerilla gardener

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1 year 2 months ago #554965 by Jaybee
Yes you need to pulse the bait to avoid wasting it. If I use bait I usually replace it each weekend until they stop eating it, and it has to be fixed so they don't stockpile.

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7 months 3 weeks ago - 7 months 3 weeks ago #556517 by Stikkibeek
Rats seem to have had a very good spring, numbers wise and i have caught more than 20 babies over the last 6 weeks. two days ago i caught a heavily pregnant, large female so promptly dispatched her. She was too heavy for our local garbage control harrier hawk to lift off the ground, so he was forced to consume most of it in the paddock. On a recent calm night when i went out to lock in the chooks, there were 10 mediums to large rats running through the chook yards. I need a decent type of bright light scope so I can knock them off as they sometimes become wary of the traps. I bought two more times-up traps recently. One has a real hair trigger though so I need to look at how to calm it a bit, as I can set and before I walk away, it goes off.

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S
Last edit: 7 months 3 weeks ago by Stikkibeek.

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7 months 3 weeks ago #556520 by tonybaker
you really do have to adopt a determined approach to rats and mice or they will get out of control. Unfortunately a proper poison regime is needed using bait blocks and eliminating any nesting sites like old sheds, piles of pallets or anything they can nest under near the house.
If you have pets it's a little more difficult I guess but I find the best way is to have several pieces of timber with nails driven in and bait blocks pushed over the nails. You can readily tell if rats are around by the amount of bait they eat. Buy a four litre bucket of bait and keep at it, eventually you will succeed. Traps are a bit useless as they need constant attention and rats soon learn to avoid them.

5 acres, Ferguson 35X and implements, Hanmay pto shredder, BMW Z3, Countax ride on mower, chooks, Dorper and Wiltshire sheep. Bosky wood burning central heating stove and radiators. Retro caravan. Growing our own food and preserving it. Small vineyard, crap wine. :)

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7 months 3 weeks ago #556521 by Anakei
Well since last posting I have caught one more rat. I am going back to poison bait even though I don't like using it. It seems the bait is the only thing they will take.

Urban mini farmer and guerilla gardener

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7 months 2 weeks ago #556555 by smudge
As was said above rats definitely learn about traps but the young ones are pretty easy to catch. Bacon fat and cheese works well for me. It's important to make sure your traps are set beside a wall or fenceline as they like to use them as shelter when they are moving around. no matter how many you trap there's another waiting to take its place. One of the most effective ways of killing them is an air rifle and a headlamp. Lure them out with some bait to where you can get a good clear shot. Loads of fun too

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6 months 3 weeks ago #556751 by Stikkibeek
Rats are out of control here. In the last week I lost another of my barnevelder replacements and then tonight, two more. Well grown chicks about 14 weeks old and now dead and half eaten. i'm heartily sick of rats. Tomorrow the poison comes out too and going to have to lift the A frame they are getting killed in and level the concrete floor somehow. There were three juvenile rats in there tonight, 3 in another small coop, four running along the fence-line, and one disappearing under the biggest coop. I have set the old fashioned snap trap as well tonight and its wired to the netting on the coop so nothing escapes if caught and not killed. Don't like using it at all, as it may catch something other than a rat. if they are after protein, I will have to change the bait from grain to fat or similar.

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S

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