Saint Louis County, St. Louis Rat Control Situation:
Hi David! I have a quick question that I'm hoping you can help me with. My husband and I are hearing noises in the attic and we noticed that the outside vent to the dryer has been pulled away from the house. We have some contraction going on in two rooms and after we put Sheetrock up, the next morning a hole was chewed where the ceiling meets the crawl space between the first and second floors. There were also rat droppings on the floor. We went out and bought snap traps (6) and set 2 in the room with the hole, one in the laundry room, 2 in the main attic, and one in the smaller attic above the room. The next morning half the traps were triggered but nothing caught. We reset all the traps and the next morning all the traps were triggered and empty. The rat had also gotten into the pantry during the night and found a bag of dog treats and tried to pull them out under the door. The reset all the traps, wrapping the trigger with gauze and coating it with peanut butter to make it harder for them to just lick it off. For three weeks now the traps have been untouched. We don't have much activity in the attic either. Last night I took some of the dog treats and put it with the peanut butter as added incentive and we finally caught one... A big one. My question is, is it likely that there are more or that we only had the one? We have two dogs inside and it boggles my mind that rats would be ballsy enough to roam the house when there are dogs around! Should I keep the traps out and see what happens or do you think we got it? Only the one trap with the rat was triggered. Thanks so much for your time, Zui in St. Louis MO
My response: If the traps were triggered with no trap, you were definitely using the wrong traps for the animal you were dealing with. So if it was definitely large rat traps that you were using, then you didn't have a rat - maybe an opossum or something. And if it was rat, then you used the wrong traps - did you you mouse traps, by chance?
St. Louis Rat Control Tip of The Week
Will Rats Hide From People?
The survival instinct of rats leads them to be cautious animals. The fear of being eaten by other predators makes them live in dark places and avoid being seen in broad daylight. People who come in contact with a rat may have several reactions, but the most common one is panic trying to shoo it away or kill it with whatever they have on hand. This situation causes fear in rodents who will look for hiding places and avoid being seen again.
The Mystery Of Smell
Rats use their powerful sense of smell as an effective survival technique. Through odors, a rat can perceive a predator, including species that are still unknown to the animal. Surprisingly, rats flee from cats not only because they know they may be eaten, but also because cat saliva contains chemicals that cause fear when rodents detect them.
Rats Are Pests To Humans
Farmers usually farm in warm places with relative humidity. Likewise, city dwellers tend to have a busy lifestyle, so their environment can quickly lead to clutter and disorder. Both scenarios are perfect for rodents who need the shelter and food provided by a barn, a dump, a messy house, or a sewer.
Rats are quite practical and, if necessary, can adapt to living anywhere, even in a somewhat messy house. The conditions for living comfortably and reproducing are emphasized in people's homes.
Human beings can unknowingly provide rodents with everything they need to survive, turning them into a pest. Rats, being able to take advantage of everything, from rigorously stored food to napkins thrown away, are able to grow as a population. The main consequence of a growing rodent population is the damage to people's health.