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Old 03-16-2010, 02:22 PM   #61
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All have food and are not set
I have heard of this strategy, and professionals use it, but I don't really get it. If the trap is going to catch the rat the first time he tastes the food, you're better off setting it. You can find out which food is preferred by which traps catch rats.

Once they are used to the traps, the first time that one goes off but fails to catch the rat (or goes off while other rats are nearby), they will be fearful of them.

Do you feel your hunter instincts being awakened?
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Old 03-16-2010, 04:45 PM   #62
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When setting traps it can be useful to put two head to head or side to side. It helps get them even if there would otherwise be a miss or a trap that fails to spring but bait is taken.
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Old 03-16-2010, 07:42 PM   #63
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My rat experience comes from a two-week epic ratto a mano battle with a rat that our cat brought in through the cat door (the cat lost interest).
Two weeks? I am going to double check with my wife, but I think she would have checked into a motel for those 2 weeks and would not come home until I present the captured rat as evidence that it is no longer loose inside the house.

And ah, you have or had a cat! It is the first time I see you mention a pet.
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Old 03-16-2010, 07:52 PM   #64
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When setting traps it can be useful to put two head to head or side to side. It helps get them even if there would otherwise be a miss or a trap that fails to spring but bait is taken.
For mice, (and I'm assuming the same for rats), it's a good idea to set the traps perpendicular to the wall and a few feet apart. The rats/mice like to crawl around the edges of the walls, so traps there are a good way for the rats to meet their fate with the traps.

In otherwords, if you just set a trap in the middle of the room, they would be less likely encounter the trap.
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Old 03-16-2010, 07:56 PM   #65
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Two weeks? I am going to double check with my wife, but I think she would have checked into a motel for those 2 weeks and would not come home until I present the captured rat as evidence that it is no longer loose inside the house.

And ah, you have or had a cat! It is the first time I see you mention a pet.
It was a real ordeal. DW says she was close to going to a motel.
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Old 03-17-2010, 09:54 AM   #66
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I have heard of this strategy, and professionals use it, but I don't really get it. If the trap is going to catch the rat the first time he tastes the food, you're better off setting it. You can find out which food is preferred by which traps catch rats.

Once they are used to the traps, the first time that one goes off but fails to catch the rat (or goes off while other rats are nearby), they will be fearful of them.
T-Al, this is one source for recommendations on deploying traps.
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The kind of bait used for the trap is important. Nut meat, dried fruit, or bacon make excellent baits for rats. The bait should be fastened securely to the trigger of the trap with light string, thread, or fine wire so the rodent will spring the trap in attempting to remove the food. Even glue can be used to secure the bait to the trigger. Soft baits such as peanut butter and cheese can be used, but rats sometimes take soft baits without setting off the trap. Leaving traps baited but unset until the bait has been taken at least once improves trapping success by making the rodents more accustomed to the traps. Set traps so the trigger is sensitive and will spring easily. Rat Management Guidelines--UC IPM
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Do you feel your hunter instincts being awakened?
Yeah, right. MichaelB, great hunter of palm beach county ... . Really, my hunter/gatherer instincts were predominant and effective in youth, but have since been overtaken by the "life is too short and there's far too many wines, beers and good food not yet tasted to worry about this crap" instinct. I have overcome my instinct to just ponder this over a glass of fermented beverage over dinner to take action...

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For mice, (and I'm assuming the same for rats), it's a good idea to set the traps perpendicular to the wall and a few feet apart. The rats/mice like to crawl around the edges of the walls, so traps there are a good way for the rats to meet their fate with the traps.

In otherwords, if you just set a trap in the middle of the room, they would be less likely encounter the trap.
This is what the CDC says as well. Tough in our situation because the problem is in the attic and the walls are very hard to reach. Still, this may be part of phase two.
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Old 03-19-2010, 05:27 PM   #67
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Update

The traps were monitored and the bait was taken, so last night they were set. They functioned, but did not work as planned / expected / hoped for. Details are not forthcoming because they would upset the squeamish. Suffice to say it was a long night with little sleep for all involved.

This morning I called a pest control company. They came, dealt with the immediate problem, then inspected and made a proposal. We reviewed options. This is clearly a job that calls for aptitudes I lack and am not going to acquire, so I hired them – as W2R suggested on day one.

We are looking forward to a good night's sleep...
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Old 03-20-2010, 07:54 PM   #68
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Squealing rats?
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Old 03-20-2010, 08:35 PM   #69
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It was a real ordeal. DW says she was close to going to a motel.

Not only would I go to a hotel but there would be a for sale sign on the house !
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Old 03-20-2010, 09:35 PM   #70
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Long long ago in a more primitive time my gal reached into a bag of potatoes to make dinner and grabbed a still brown lump that turned out to be a deceased Ricky Rat. Now she's a pretty tough girl, no kind of sissy-pants, but that occasioned a fair amount of leaping up and down and ick-ick-icking. We also got pretty mean in rat-battlin'.

Earlier still, out in the country, it was common to see wee mousy paw prints across the flour in the flour bin - my Momma pointed out that those were clean country mice, not filthy city mice. Small black things found in pancakes or biscuits were picked out if found.... and not considered if not found. Country life.
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Old 03-21-2010, 11:51 AM   #71
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Squealing rats?
Uh .. no. Worse. How much detail do you want?
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Old 03-21-2010, 01:06 PM   #72
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Uh .. no. Worse. How much detail do you want?

Do I dare say it about the details, "Bring it on!"

Or we can imagine....I do know that rat traps are pretty wicked with really sharp claws.
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Old 03-21-2010, 01:50 PM   #73
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All night they heard little voices saying "Help me.. Help me..."
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Old 03-21-2010, 02:56 PM   #74
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All night they heard little voices saying "Help me.. Help me..."


I loved the scene and the movie ... we're talking the 1958 version, right?
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Old 03-21-2010, 03:12 PM   #75
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We set multiple traps, using a variety of devices, around the access area to the attic. Above the ceiling in a WIC adjacent to the bedroom/bath. Pure drywall and wood platform above us – excellent sound transmission.

A few minutes after lights out there was lots of noise – a trap went off, followed by another. Then the clear sound of a struggling trapped animal. Traps banging against drywall and plywood. Kind of like someone banging on a wood floor. It was so loud we thought we might have something other than a rat – and if a rat, it was really pissed. So, cornered rat or squirrel, trapped but mobile and desperate, after midnight – we decided to wait ‘till morning. Well, the struggle continued, with occasional short interruptions to rest, throughout the night. Not much rest for any of us.

Pest control arrived at noon. Went up, caught the rat, put it out of its misery and disposed of it. One trap in the nose, the other on the tail.

Enough for me. We hired the pest people to deal with the rest of this.
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Old 03-21-2010, 04:58 PM   #76
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We set multiple traps, using a variety of devices, around the access area to the attic. Above the ceiling in a WIC adjacent to the bedroom/bath. Pure drywall and wood platform above us – excellent sound transmission.

A few minutes after lights out there was lots of noise – a trap went off, followed by another. Then the clear sound of a struggling trapped animal. Traps banging against drywall and plywood. Kind of like someone banging on a wood floor. It was so loud we thought we might have something other than a rat – and if a rat, it was really pissed. So, cornered rat or squirrel, trapped but mobile and desperate, after midnight – we decided to wait ‘till morning. Well, the struggle continued, with occasional short interruptions to rest, throughout the night. Not much rest for any of us.

Pest control arrived at noon. Went up, caught the rat, put it out of its misery and disposed of it. One trap in the nose, the other on the tail.

Enough for me. We hired the pest people to deal with the rest of this.
Well golly..... That would keep ya entertained through the evening!

Was the trapped but living rat large ref the trap? If you were using spring loaded snap traps, were they the ones with a base approximately 3" x 6" or the smaller ones meant for tiny mice with a base maybe 1.5" x 3"?

All facts considered, sounds like calling in the pros was a wise decision!
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Old 03-21-2010, 08:14 PM   #77
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We set multiple traps, using a variety of devices, around the access area to the attic. Above the ceiling in a WIC adjacent to the bedroom/bath. Pure drywall and wood platform above us – excellent sound transmission.

A few minutes after lights out there was lots of noise – a trap went off, followed by another. Then the clear sound of a struggling trapped animal. Traps banging against drywall and plywood. Kind of like someone banging on a wood floor. It was so loud we thought we might have something other than a rat – and if a rat, it was really pissed. So, cornered rat or squirrel, trapped but mobile and desperate, after midnight – we decided to wait ‘till morning. Well, the struggle continued, with occasional short interruptions to rest, throughout the night. Not much rest for any of us.

Pest control arrived at noon. Went up, caught the rat, put it out of its misery and disposed of it. One trap in the nose, the other on the tail.

Enough for me. We hired the pest people to deal with the rest of this.
Rats are amazingly tough critters. We once had a pack rat at my workplace that kept getting into garbage cans and generally making mischief. One day, I heard one of our snap traps go off in a back room and found the rat with the snap planted firmly on top of his head, causing his eyes to bulge out grotesquely. I figured it was dead and went searching for a pair of gloves so that I could remove his carcass without touching it. I suddenly heard another snap and a bunch of commotion. The rat came running out of the back room in a funny sideways gait (must have had a little brain damage) and crawled down a hole in the floor where electrical conduits ran underneath the room. Never did find the rat.
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Old 03-21-2010, 08:32 PM   #78
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I loved the scene and the movie ... we're talking the 1958 version, right?
Actually, yes, I was thinking of that scene from the movie.
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Old 03-21-2010, 08:34 PM   #79
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One trap in the nose, the other on the tail.
I guess I'm insensitive, but I can't help but picture a slapstick scene: "Oh, %#$$@!" ... stagger stagger snap, "Oh *&^%$!"
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Old 03-21-2010, 11:24 PM   #80
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We set multiple traps, using a variety of devices, around the access area to the attic. Above the ceiling in a WIC adjacent to the bedroom/bath. Pure drywall and wood platform above us – excellent sound transmission.

A few minutes after lights out there was lots of noise – a trap went off, followed by another. Then the clear sound of a struggling trapped animal. Traps banging against drywall and plywood. Kind of like someone banging on a wood floor. It was so loud we thought we might have something other than a rat – and if a rat, it was really pissed. So, cornered rat or squirrel, trapped but mobile and desperate, after midnight – we decided to wait ‘till morning. Well, the struggle continued, with occasional short interruptions to rest, throughout the night. Not much rest for any of us.

Pest control arrived at noon. Went up, caught the rat, put it out of its misery and disposed of it. One trap in the nose, the other on the tail.

Enough for me. We hired the pest people to deal with the rest of this.
Good thing cats weren't an option. Otherwise we could be saying "poor cats" at this time. I remember reading about rats in a National Geographic magazine (many years ago) saying that rats team up to fight. Now, if you had like four cats, that might be a different story
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