Rat Traps Many different types of rat traps are available on the market today from live catch traps to traditional break-back traps. The live catch traps on a whole tend to be cage traps. The rat is tempted into the cage with a bait (many types of bait will work from chocolate to cereals). The bait is placed onto the platform or hook (depending on the design), as the rat is feeding it will trigger the trap and the cage door will close trapping the rat inside.
Knowing your pests The common rat - rattus norvegicus has been around since the early 18th century, these rats can be found in both urban and rural areas, they can be found both indoors and outdoors and often associated with sewer systems. The common rat will reach sexual maturity at 8-12 weeks, the gestation period is 21-24 days, litter size on average is 6-11 with around 4-6 litters per year, and the weaning period is 3-4 weeks. The average life span for the rat is around 1 year; it is likely that less than 5% of rats will survive more than 12 months. Before starting trapping you will need to learn a bit about your pest, identify where they are living, feeding and travelling. Things to look for are droppings, smear marks (these are oily / dirty looking marks) these smear marks can be found along the rats run, around doors, skirting boards holes in the building fabric etc. The rats droppings are around ½" long spindle and slightly banana looking in shape with pointed ends, they are a dark brown in colour and supple looking, after 3 days they will harden and lose their colour.
Once you have identified the run the cage trap can be placed along this run but you have to take into account rats suffer from neophobia, this means that anything you put down for the rat he may well avoid for a good few days. The trap needs to be checked every 24 hours so not to cause the trapped animal any further distress. Break-back traps and electronic traps are designed to kill the pest instantly.
The break-back trap is set off by the rat placing its paws on the baited platform thus setting off the trap and a spring loaded bar comes down on the rat breaking its back and killing it instantly, the electronic rat killer is a tunnel design, the rat will enter to feed from the bait placed within the devise and as the rats paws touch a pad inside the unit it is electrocuted and dies instantly. These types of traps need to be placed as above along rat runs and again the neophobia will come into effect.
Rat traps and cages are fast and effective ways of controlling your rat problem. Rat traps are available from PPC Supplies.