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Is there a better RAT trap?

 
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Help me brainstorm options for obliterating the rats that live on my farm.

We have chickens.  Chickens are messy.  Finding a way to clean up that mess at the end of the day will reduce the food for the rats.

Compost - we now have the spinning system that the rats cannot get in.  So no kitchen waste for the rats to eat.

These are day-time rats that are most active from about noon to two hours after sunset.

I've tried snapper traps, but they are hard for my arthritic hands to set.  The nice thing about these is the kill is instant.  

The black snapper traps are easy to set don't kill the rats right away.  The rat can escape.  I think the rat is too big and the teeth on the trap make too much area that the force of the snap isn't strong enough.  If I hear it, I have to finish off the rat with a stick and this is hurting my feelings very very much.  I don't want the rat to suffer, I just want it quickly dead.

Live trapping - they don't notice.  They don't go for the bait.  All the usual from peanut butter to eggs to fruit, to grain...even bacon.   none of these work.  What I have to do is to block all but one run, then get them used to that and then put the trap there.  I can catch one rat every 10 or so days.  The trap rate is less than the population increase.  

I need a better rat trap.

Help!  
 
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Look at Shawn Woods on YouTube, this is all he does. He has tested hundreds of different traps.
 
r ranson
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I will check it out.

I should mention that whatever I use cannot hurt the chickens.  
 
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r ranson wrote:I should mention that whatever I use cannot hurt the chickens.

In my chicken houses, I can hang the feeders above the perches and that has helped, but we don't have a day-time rat problem.

Hubby read that it is better to have a lot of traps - like 20 - and bait them all, but don't set them for multiple days, then one day, lock your chickens somewhere else and set all the traps, so the rats will have gotten sloppy and not taught everyone that traps are dangerous. Downside is that it's expensive.

We use this trap - the metal bar at the top still has to be pulled down, but at least your fingers aren't in the kill zone. I don't know if that's the type you were having trouble with.

Yeah - they're plastic and come packaged in plastic, but we've found them easy to use. I made some wooden boxes out of scrap lumber to put them in with a hole that was too small for a chicken to get in, but that's more work, so we only do that if we have to - it was also more awkward to set and empty the trap.
 
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I bought these recently and they work great.  I have them in my coop.  The chickens can't set them off.  Twice I have caught two rats at the same time, so apparently the rats that are very small will be in it eating and another comes along and sets it off.  I really like these.  They are strong enough to kill the rats immediately, none have escaped, and nothing else can get caught in them.

Rat trap on Amazon
 
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Maybe it is because of the rainy weather we are having, because all of a sudden our hunters have a mice problem.

I check about a month ago and found no sign of mice.  

The hunters came to spend the night and came back to say they were going home.  Why?

Because of mice.  So I went to check and I have never seen so much dropping.

We use the trap like Jay's picture, only for mice.  We bait with a small amount of peanut butter so they really have to get on the trap.  The first day we caught two. Today is the second day and we caught another one.

I know there are rats here because there were dead ones in the unfinished house though I have never seen any.
 
J Youngman
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Another option might be something like RatX, made of natural ingredients and no secondary kill effects (Not safe to put where chikens could eat it)

There is also a product called Conntraceptol Forte, this is birth control for rats. It is also natural and plant based. It will not kill them but it would reduce future population growth and could be a supplement to trapping/killing. I think it is pretty expensive.
 
r ranson
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Anything edible is out.  The chickens and wildlife can get everywhere.  
 
pollinator
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Rat X is not poisonous, it is made from corn gluten.  It just kills rats and mice specifically because of how their digestive system works.  Somehow the corn gluten swells in their stomachs and they stop eating and die by dehydration.  Apparently does not affect other animals in this way.
 
r ranson
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I understand.  It's just the non-edibles is a non-negotiable condition of the others on the farm.  

I need to focus on finding a trap that can work.
 
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We have had initial success with traps that electrocute the rats. You can get realy fancy and it will alert you by bluetooth when it goes off so you can quickly clear and reset the trap.

1)  They are very pricey, $50-$100

2)   Can not be used outdoors (where moisture is an issue).

3)   They seemed great at first (several killed each of the first few nights) but then seemed to stop working. Not sure if the battery charge got too low (claims it will fire almost 100 times per set of C cells), we did not clean them properly (they say to use hydrogen peroxide), or the rats simply "got wise". Although, apparently it worked great when I lent it to a friend...
 
pollinator
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It is expensive, and I have not personally used it, but I have heard really good things about the GoodNature A24 Rat and Mouse trap. It uses a small CO cartridge like from a pellet gun to fire a metal piece to kill the rat mouse. The rodent falls down, and the trap is automatically reset for another rodent to come in and be caught. If it is mounted outside, it allows cats, racoons, etc to come and pick up the free food. If its inside, you still have to clean up, but it should be pretty hard for a chicken to get hurt with it as is... and I think I have seen some boxes that could help as well. It should not be hard to set. And it will kill instantly.

https://www.automatictrap.com/collections/shop/products/home-trapping-kit-a24-rat-mouse-trap

Someone mentioned Shawn woods reviewing traps, and here is a video of him reviewing this trap.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqlwUXP-ubI

Here is one of their promo videos, showing the trap being effective.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6s2PcbFu0nw
 
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I have had rats and mice on our dairy farm.  One of our cats moved into the chicken coop.  One day I reached into the nest to collect eggs and there was kittens in the nest.  Those kittens grew up with the chickens and never bothered them.  Now I have lots of cats in the chicken coop and no rats or mice.  If a chicken or duck hatches out babies I lock mom and babies in a separate pen till the babies grow somewhat.  I have plenty of spare cats that get along with chickens if anyone should need some!!!
 
r ranson
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I wish I had cats that would do that.

It appears my rats are on to me.  They hate peanutbutter.  So now I have to train them that it's yummy and safe.

The best way I've found so far is to put the traps on the runs and catch them as they speed by.
 
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I've watched most of Shawn Woods videos.  He is a heck of a skilled craftsman as well as an interesting youtuber.  

Here's the best trap I've seen him use for rats.  It's just a bunch of old school spring rat traps (which I read are hard for you to set, but there are modern traps that are easier to set and I'm sure could be used in place of these.).  This method prevents the rat from coming in from some weird angle and pretty much guarantees a snapped neck.


To keep the chickens from sticking their heads in, another box could be used and placed on top of it with a hole in it big enough for a rat, but too small for a chicken.

To hear Shawn say this is his best trapping system is pretty much a guarantee to be the best system.

Like Jay said, and like he mentions in the video, bait the traps for a while but don't set them.  Let the rats get used to the setup, and then load it up.

Or, if you want to go totally natural route (and I'm going to say this is about the most permie possible way to catch rats), call this guy!  He TRAINS! mink from fur farms to hunt side by side with his dogs to hunt rats and chase them out of holes.  It's quite entertaining.  I heard Shawn say sometime he might collaborate with  Joseph (the Mink Man) and do some kind of hunting episode together.  


Edit, I don't see why these easy to set traps couldn't be modified to work in the same system.  https://www.amazon.com/Professional-Infestation-Solutions-AntiRodent-Protection/dp/B01MZ19B3O/ref=sr_1_6?dchild=1&keywords=easy+set+rat+trap&qid=1626726447&sr=8-6

 
r ranson
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Where I'm stumbling is bait.  These rats don't eat anything I've tried.  They are strange creatures that don't like jam, peanut butter, anchovies, bacon...

They are grey-ish rats, not the black ones we would see downtown that like human food.  
 
Joshua Bertram
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Yeah, that's weird about them not liking that stuff.  I see Shawn sprinkle sunflower seeds all over the ground in front of his setups to get the rats in a comfortable eating mode, and then he does use the usual stuff like peanut butter on the actual trap.  He also sprinkles the sunflower seeds behind the traps so the rat has to climb over the trigger to get more.

Maybe whatever the chickens are eating for their food since the rats probably are used to eating some of that?
 
J Youngman
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You stated that the mess from the chickens is the food that is attracting the rats, would that not be the bait? Instead of removing it, using it?
 
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i have wood rats in the barn who would raid anything i have curing there (mostly garlic and nuts) but also won’t touch traditional bait foods like peanut butter. i’ve had to settle for just making sure there’s a set snap-trap on each of the approaches to the curing rack. doesn’t help much here, i know.
 
Matt McSpadden
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Also, when trying to bait the rats (or other rodents) that they will only eat where they are somewhat comfortable. Some people put traps right in the path of travel, but no where the rats are actually eating. Make sure its not placement of the traps rather than choice of bait.
 
r ranson
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I do put the traps where they feed.  I think the smell of peanut butter is putting them off.  

They don't mind the human smell.  one of them climbed up my leg yesterday.  There was yelling.  And tears.  Me no like rodents.  
 
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my rats also don`t go for peanut butter (not surprising, they probably never heard of peanut butter before). I had much more success with crackers and bread heels.
 
J Youngman
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I would try to keep the chickens area as clean as possible, take whatever you clean out to another area. Let the rats find that area and feel safe, then start trapping them there using the feed as bait.

I think traps can work for reducing the numbers but the traps probably won't be a long term, sustainable "solution".
As long as the chickens are there the rats will be too and you will have to continue to adjust your techniques because they are smart and will probably get smarter since we are basically selecting for intelligence.


 
Trace Oswald
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I've caught a lot of rats using cheese whiz as bait.  They seem to like it better than peanut butter or real cheese.
 
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I have never had a rat problem but I have to reduce the population of mice every October in our hunting camp.

In my opinion mice and rats are smarter than people give them credit for. They are not smart enough to know what a trap is but they can learn very quickly.  If A rodent sees another get caught in a trap, or dead in a trap,  they will avoid it no matter what type of bait you put in it.

What I have found that works is to gang set ( multiple traps) with 1 type of trap. They have to be the same one whether its the wooden type or the new plastic ones with teeth. But only use 1 type. Its what the rat/mouse sees, not how it works, is what I'm trying to say.  leave those traps out till the catch rate drops.  
Once the catch rate goes down, remove those traps and replace them with another type (look). Keep swapping the traps every time the catch rate goes down. Then replace those traps. It's best if you can find a third type of trap but if you don't have that then just rotate the first trap you used back in.  When you switch traps you catch the rats that have wisened up to and avoid the first traps.

In my opinion using peanut butter or cheese whiz is not a good option. That stuff is messy and gets all over the traps and into little nooks that are hard to clean and it can go rancid or moldy. Stick with seeds, nuts, corn kernels etc .  And change up these baits  frequently also.

 Gang plank or Adirondack mouse trap styles can work well also, are inexpensive and have the ability to catch multiple animals and will not harm your chickens. A quick search on YouTube will show you how to make one. A 5 gallon bucket works well for mice but you will need something a little deeper for rats. A little caution with these types. If you decide to use these without liquid you will either have to kill them yourself after a catch or you will take them away from your place and let them go. The first way can be difficult for some people and the second way will probably transfer your problem to another human on another homestead. And that's not being humane to other humans.

Finally,  mice and rats are dirty filthy animals that will poop on everything, spread disease, make you and your animals miserable at best and make you very sick at worst. This is a war that I/you need and should intend to win. I catch most of them the first few days in camp and can live relatively peacefully for the rest of the month.  I get it that some do not feel this way and are more concerned with doing it humanely. Not me. I want them dead and I don't care how I have to do it. They don't play humanely so neither will I. If they would stop getting in my food and pooping in my dishes then I would do it differently. Until then , I'll catch them any way I can whether it kills them instantly or in 1 minute.


 
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Lorinne Anderson wrote:We have had initial success with traps that electrocute the rats. You can get realy fancy and it will alert you by bluetooth when it goes off so you can quickly clear and reset the trap.

1)  They are very pricey, $50-$100

2)   Can not be used outdoors (where moisture is an issue).

3)   They seemed great at first (several killed each of the first few nights) but then seemed to stop working. Not sure if the battery charge got too low (claims it will fire almost 100 times per set of C cells), we did not clean them properly (they say to use hydrogen peroxide), or the rats simply "got wise". Although, apparently it worked great when I lent it to a friend...



This was my experience with the electric traps.  Huge initial success and then it fell off rapidly.  Removing it, switching ot the plastic ones in chicken free areas, and then bringing them back a few months later I had some success as well but less so.

I've seen those ones where you have the rats fall into a bucket of water and they drown, but havent actually used one of those before.  It also takes a little while for them to drown, which is part of the reason i've been hesitant.
 
r ranson
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The snapper traps aren't doing great.  Maybe one rat per 10 traps per night.
I have some baited and some not.  The not ones I put in the runs and they have better luck catching the rats.

But yesterday I saw a rat figuring out how to run through the trap.  They put their feet just so and go super-duper fast.  That way they don't trigger the snapping.  sigh.

Need to find a bucket trap system next.  How?  
 
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I use a 5 gallon bucket drill a hole on both sides of the bucket drill a hole thru both ends of a water bottle. install a rod thru the holes thru the bottle make sure the bottle spins freely. put water in the bucket and peanut butter on the bottle. when the rat goes for the peanut butter the bottle spins and rat falls in the water and drowns. I have several set up around the property and catch 4-5 rats per bucket every night sometimes more
 
Jj Johnson
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I also found this trap  online haven't tried it yet but it looks interesting
IMG_0142.JPG
[Thumbnail for IMG_0142.JPG]
 
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   The best rat control ever...
   We had rats all around the hen house. i set traps daily but it was a losing battle. The clincher came when I went out to the coop one day, saw 4 rats running across the yard, and another dozen scattered when I opened the hen house door. So I tried something else. I had heard that rats can't burp. Based on that I came up with this formula. The very next day there were no rats to be seen.
   It'll cost you just 2 dollars. Buy a box of chocolate cake mix, and a box of baking soda.
Mix the dry ingredients and mix them well. You have to disperse the lumps in the soda. If a rat bites down on a lump of soda he will stop eating.
Put a cupful in a can or small box, and set it in its side where the rats can find it.
The rats will chow down, and when the soda hits their stomach acid they swell up and die. It doesn't seem to bother any other animals if they get into it.
  Rats are nomadic. After a few rat-free weeks some other rats found us and moved in. Another round of the mix and they vanished too. Now I put fresh mix out every few weeks to keep the varmints gone.
 
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