The problem with rats, is how smart they are. They can figure out traps pretty quickly. But I think
that's where persistence and trialing different trapping methods pays off.
I'm not a poisoner. I have foxes, crows, ravens, cats, owls, and the like about and I'm not about to have them get killed because I can't step up to the challenge of taking out the rodents in other ways.
An excellent Youtube channel to check out is Shawn Woods MouseTrap Mondays
. If you want to see about every trap in existence being put to the test this is the place to research. Shawn also makes sure to give tips and trips for making the trap work better, such as with the pail log rolling and walk the plank methods, so you catch and keep, rather than lose to escape, more rodents.
I'm currently working with Victor Mouse Traps in a box, Youtube Frederick Dunn's method
. I have found the Victor mice traps can be a challenge, super sensitive when set and hard to get into the box. I've found just tapping the set bar staple
slightly forward with a hammer (towards the middle of the trap) but not so far the kill bar doesn't clear, allows for a more stable set, allowing for a lower bait plate too. No need for a 40 to 50 degree angled bait plate. This trap method has a lot of promise. And I like that cats, dogs, smarty pants self sufficient crows helping themselves to the kill, and so on can't just make off with the rodent and trap. Or get snapped in the traps themselves. Especially the rat traps. These pack a punch.
We've just set up a couple of GoodNature A-24 Traps. These are totally not cheap. However they're a repeater trap that have the potential to do a great job
while taking little care. I'm all about that. We've got apple trees
, which mice love. So no fooling around. And having my Haskaps that I just planted last summer getting chewed to bits by mice under the cover of snow all winter has made me really motivated to reduce the mice population. Really really motivated.
I know a simple pop can covered with peanut butter on a wire in a pail can catch lots of mice. I've seen it work spectacularly. But I wanted to try the commercially available "log roll" and have one set up with the apple
trees and in my home garden
. It's still a bit cold here, though, so the water in the bottom keeps freezing. I've also got some purchased walk the planks. But haven't set them up yet. I'm using Shawn Woods method of using a lid and drilling an entrance to increase the effectiveness of both of these trap types.
As a one-off trap, I also find the plastic toothed mice traps placed in prime mouse, vole spots in my garden works great. But I make sure to tie these to something so the crows and racoons don't make off with trap and rodent. When it gets cold in the fall I stop using the bigger rat trap types of these because they tend to get brittle and break at this time of year.
I can have trouble with voles
, too. So I'm working on my home version of the vole trap method as shown on Shawn Wood
's channel. Find an active vole hole. On each side of the hole, in a line, nail a predrilled Victor mouse trap into the ground and set. Over top goes a tunnel. You can use a plastic or old metal rectangular style eavestrough with the bottom cut off. Drill holes for pins, place the tunnel over the top of the vole hole and traps, and pin down. When the vole(s) come up out of the hole it has to go over a trap to get out of the tunnel. I think the pinning down of the traps and tunnel make the difference in the effectiveness.
My absolute fave rodent control method is the same as Jamie Hatfields: Weasels. They are darned good at at rodent control. We've lucked out by having a farm and a camp weasel. So cute those little guys. For some reason they leave the chickens
alone. But our chickens
can be nasty and bloodthirsty, so that may be part of why. I like foxes as a mouse control method too, but I don't want to have them hanging around too closely because of the chickens
who wouldn't stand a chance against a fox.
When it comes to weasels and rats, I thinks some rats can be too much to handle even for a weasel. That's why I love watching The Mink Man's Videos
. He hunts with dogs and with mink (much bigger than weasels) that he hand rears. Kind of very cool. But a giant investment in time and commitment to do it yourself. So, if I had a farm near Joseph Carter, I'd for sure be hiring him and team just for the sheer interest in watching the dogs, mink, and Mink Man at work.
Sorry for all the edits. I can never get the urls to work properly.