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
Why Are Cage Traps Only Occasionally A Good Option For Rats And Why Do Relocated Rats Rarely Survive?
When it comes to getting rid of rats, homeowners are usually faced with the dilemma of how to get them out without actually killing them. This usually makes them consider every possible option just to achieve their aims. To make this possible, several devices have been designed to trap rats in homes. But when considering a humane way to get rid of these pests, cage traps are one of the best devices to use.
The use of cage traps helps to capture rats without actually getting them killed. Unlike the use of other devices such as lethal traps, cage traps help to capture the rats in the most humane way. Using a cage trap doesn't automatically guarantee the fact that the rats you are getting out of your home will be in good health when they are being captured. In most cases, before the homeowners get to even remember to check the cage, the rats are already dehydrated, exhausted, or too weak to survive.
To avoid this and keep the rats in good health, you need to try as much as possible to check on the cage trap constantly and make sure the traps are placed away from sunlight coming from windows and other openings in your home.
After catching a rat, the next thing to do is to relocate the rat. But in most cases, these rats never survive. Rats that are relocated have very slim chances of survival and will not make it past a few days.
Relocated rats find it very difficult to feed on available food in a new environment and might die as a result of starvation. Also, relocating them to an environment they are not familiar with comes with the need to urgently find shelter. In the process of finding shelter with no already established route, a vast majority of them become prey to other animals.