Urban Trapping Tips for Rodents

Rats and mice behave differently in a city or suburban environment than in the wild.  They become used to human scent and unnatural looking objects. Here they tend to rely more on low hiding places for their security and travels, alongside or under whiteware, sofas, bookshelves, stacked timber, firewood etc. Rodents tend to hug these easy escapes and under cover places on route to finding food. In this indoors environment set your trap along these routes near to or at ground level.

In woodsheds and outbuildings, a simple, effective and easy set-up is to mount your trap onto the middle of a fence baton or similar piece of wood. You can lean this up against the wall or wood pile or straddle it across roof rafters in the shed. See our D-Rat gallery for setting examples.

This is also a particularly useful set up for your compost area. Simply set and lean the baton against the compost keeping it as vertical as possible, where you believe the rodent is most likely to approach from. Remember the rodent is on a mission to get to the food source as quickly and safely as it can. Your trap placement is important as they often do not deviate from their known safe course and you are also competing against whatever goodies are in your compost! Put a little extra bait at the ground end of the baton to stop them in their tracks and get them really exited!

Use a waxy, thick and high nut content peanut butter. Rodents love it and the bait gets waxier over time which makes removing the old bait and rebaiting a breeze. The Terra-Don Multitool’s beak is designed to do this job. See our videos and separate D-Rat and Rat Hatch Baiting instructions sheets for more information

To visualize the rodent’s behaviour, imagine that Lions have escaped from the zoo and you have to leave the safety of your home to get food – on foot. What path would you take…? Look out the doorway check the coast is clear and quickly go to some form of cover down the street noting the parked bus that you could scramble underneath and out of reach if necessary. Stay away from open areas where you would be outrun and note small trees that you could climb if needed. This is how they have to live – no dawdling down the street with headphones in!

The safest place for urban rodents is in our roof spaces. This lovely, warm and cosy environment is the perfect real estate – easy to guard against competing intruders and hide from predators plus close to food source – the pantry and water in the gutter. The No. 1 hangout and best place to raise a family!

The Rat Hatch quickly and simply removes the rodents from this area without the use of toxins and controls any new intruders before they get a chance to settle in. By doing so it will remove the rodent population from your entire home and surrounds, as usually the rodents end up coming in through the ceiling or gravitate up there quickly.

We recommend new and young users start using our rodent traps in standard rat mode to get familiar with their operation. After setting the trap in Rat mode we usually move the fine setter into mouse mode to cover both pests. Once the resident rat population has been removed mice will try and move in and start taking the bait. If you are setting in rat mode you will need to set your traps in mouse mode from then on.

After the trap has caught ensure that you remove any traces of animal fur from the trap surface and kill bar as the presence of fur or physical remains puts off the same species.

Depending a little on weather patterns July and August need to be trapped differently. This time of year has the least food availability with no insect life and little fruit or seeds left, plus it is typically cold and wet.

Most of our predators and pests go into some level of hibernation. Rats get into their stored food supply that they have been collecting over the previous months and are content to stay put, warm and dry, munching on nuts and seeds – acorns are a favourite if there is a tree nearby.

Rats do still leave the nest – mainly males to check their domain, but are not as active feeding. There are always exceptions, particularly in high number areas.

Extra care must be taken as Blackbirds can be very hungry during this time. Without the ability to store any food they can be very active particularly around the one continual food source – our compost. Take care or do not trap at this time of the season. If you have just started trapping and still have active rats due to high numbers, use the D-Rat Supervisor shroud and add blue food colouring to your peanut butter bait.

If we are to protect and control the NZ environment by removing these pests, we will need to address the rats living and breeding in the urban environment – as a priority. Nowhere is it easier for the rodents to live and reproduce as rapidly as in our residential areas. Most re-infestation pressure on our cleared, trapped areas comes from the urban areas rather than deeper in the bush. We need to get our own environment under control to ensure the larger scale trapping operations are successful.

Our Traps have been designed and engineered in New Zealand to suit our unique conditions. They are all 100% made in NZ using the highest quality polymers and metal components. This ensures your traps are maintenance free and always performing at their full potential.

We hope you get as much enjoyment and satisfaction as we do using our traps.

You can find more information on our website or contact us at info@envirotools.co.nz