April 2009 Archives

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I was looking at you roof rat trap selection and I’m trying to figure out which would be best for my situation. I’ve got several up in my attick and I don’t know if I should live trap or kill trap them. What do you suggest?

As our online roof rat article explains, using a kill trap is generally only effective when you’ve got 1-2 animals to trap. This is because rats will become trap shy when they see other rats dead in any kill trap. If you suspect there are more than two rats in the attic, use one of the rat trap live cages to insure trapped rats don’t become suspect of what you’re using. Our live traps will catch rat after rat as long as you fill the trap with seed when making the set. Trapped roof rats should be relocated or destroyed to insure they don’t come back. Once the active population is removed, you can consider sealing off the attic to further rat invasions.

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I see what I think are rat burrows in my crawl space. There are holes I’m seeing in the soil, about 3 inches wide, and trails which seem to be mostly against the foundation wall leading around two sides in the space. It looks like whatever is coming out of the holes is walking around down there and then coming up into the house!! I haven’t seen anything inside but they must be somewhere. What can I do?

What you’re describing does indeed sound like a rat. Norway rats are most likely to burrow or dig tunnels like you’re describing and they typically will forage up into the living area of the home if given the chance. I suggest you leave everything as is and trap them out.

To start trapping, it would be best if you were able to find or discover where they might be feeding. Typically rats will take advantage of bird seed or pet food. If you have either in the home, do a good inspection where you’re keeping it. Chances are your little unwanted friend is visiting this area and that’s where you will want to place out the rat trap. Look for droppings or other signs.

If you are unable to find any such location, I suggest you place some bird seed or pet food down in the crawl space, as close to the burrows as you can, to first make sure they are active. If you find this placement gets taken, set up one of our rat live traps with the same food in it as bait. In theory, you should be able to trap out all that are living in this area within a few days. Once removed, you can then close up all the tunnels by using dirt and a shovel or something to collapse them where visible. After that, inspect them weekly for a month to make sure they don’t reappear. If you don’t see any in a month, inspect the crawl space quarterly for a year to insure new rats don’t arrive. Since some found their way into the home it’s likely others will unless you set up some rat repellent around the outside of the building but don’t do this till you are sure the ones currently active have all been removed. As explained in our rat control article, the scent left by active rats will tend to attract new ones for a long time.

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Hello,

In my rodent control experience, mice are easy to trap but rats don’t go into boxes.  Do you have success with rats going inside these plastic cages that electrocute them?

Second, how long does it take to electrocute them – is it a slow process?  Thank you so much.

First, we have had great success getting both rats and mice to enter the electrocution devices. One trick that can be used is to set some pet food or bird seed at the entry way without having the device activated. Leave it out this way till the target animals remove your offering. Place some more out but this time place it just inside the device. After they remove this next portion with the trap not activated, set out some more food with it still turned off but this time place the food all the way to the back of the box. We have found they will always enter. Once the food is taken this deep in the box, you can then set some more of the food out but this time do so with the electrocution device armed and ready for action.

Second, you can see our “simulated kill” video which shows in real time the entire process from start to finish.

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Can Ropel be sprayed on fan belts in cars?  Am having problems with rodents in car engine.

Ropel is a bad tasting agent that can be sprayed on many surfaces with the hopes that target animals will find the taste unpleasant enough to stop their chewing. It’s good to use on fan belts to stop rodents that are gnawing and doing damage. If this doesn’t stop them, try one of the Ultra Sound devices we have featured in our roof rat control article. We’ve had good results using them for this exact application.

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I think I have a rat in my attic. I can hear sounds at night and it seems like they might be gnawing at something. I’m afraid to go up there but I can’t afford any service company to come out. I don’t want to use any poison anyway and that’s all they want to so I guess I have to do something myself. What can I do?

First, review the online Rat Control article we have posted. We have a whole section on using live traps which are actually quite effective for rats. You will have to get up in the attic to set them up unless you know of some place in the living area they are visiting. If you have such a place, you can set out a trap there. Otherwise, the only way you’ll get control of this problem is to get some traps set up in the areas where they are most active and for now, that sounds like the attic.

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I’ve got a dead rat in a drainage pipe that comes down from my rain gutters. I want to take the pipe down and remove the rat but I need something to spray for the dead body odor. What can I use?

The best product for this application would be the NNZ. It works great on dead body odor. Once the pipe is taken down and the rat removed, just pour 1 gallon of the mixed NNZ through the pipe. The odor will be gone pretty much instantly.