Rats are problematic because they have a keen sense of smell and hearing. That’s why they move fast when they detect humans. To capture them, one of the most effective ways is to use bait—that’s why even pest control services use it. But rats are also smart creatures. They avoid strange objects, prefer familiar undercover pathways, and use the shortest route to move from place to place. That’s why they approach most homemade baits with caution. Keep on reading for some rat bait tips!
One of the main reasons why rats are not going for your baits is if there’s an abundant source of food and water in your home. By nature, rats are neophobic—which means that they’re very wary of new and strange things. If possible, they will stick with their current food and water sources, such as the pet food bowl, garbage can, or leaky pipes.
If you want to make the rat bait effective, eliminate these sources. Clean up the pet food bowl, cover the garbage can with a lid, or fix pipes. Keep your home clean and hygienic, so they can’t find any source of food. Without other sources, they are more likely to go for your bait.
The right bait will attract rats in no time. That’s why the food you put in the trap must be similar to the usual food they eat. Indoor and outdoor rats might have a different diet too. In the wild, rats might eat plants, fruits, and seeds. But in the city, you see rats eating meat, pet food, and most types of human food found in the trash.
Some people find that smelly baits usually attract rats. This might be because they have a strong sense of smell and like to live in damp and moldy places. For some ideas, you can use cheese, peanut butter, and the like. Another tip is to make the rat bait small. They are more likely to go for the food if it is easy to handle with their paws.
As rats are neophobic creatures, they are also wary when trying a new food for the first time. They will only eat small amounts at the beginning so they can check for any signs of sickness. That’s why it’s very important to precondition them before they feel safe enough to consume the bait.
To do this, you can leave small pieces of food around your trap to attract the rats. By doing this, they will feel more comfortable going near the trap and overcoming their fear of strange things. Put bait around the entryway and the walls of the trap too. This encourages the rats to step into the device so they can get more food.
Another tip on acclimating rats to the trap is by disguising it. To do this, get an empty cardboard box. Place the trap inside the container without setting it. Cover it with sawdust or other similar materials. Make a trail of food going inside the box, with the final piece above the unset trap. Once the rats are used to eating the food, you can set the trap.
This method can prevent rats from being “trap-shy”. Make sure that you don’t set the triggers at first, because most of them will get spooked if they accidentally set it off while sniffing around. When this happens, they will not return to the trap.
Other than the rat bait itself, the location where you put it can also make a huge difference. Choose high-activity areas where rats live and go through often. You will know this when you see rat droppings. You have a few options such as:
Depending on the population of rats in your building, you might need to use more bait traps to control an infestation. Other than that, you might also have to wait a few days because they’re naturally cautious creatures.
Rats are smart creatures, so you need to follow these rat bait tips if you want your traps to be successful. Get rid of other food sources, slowly acclimate them to the rat trap, choose a bait that is part of their diet, and put your trap in high activity locations.
If you have a severe problem that can’t be fixed with homemade rat baits, you can contact Topbest, a professional pest control team in the Philippines. We can help you control an infestation and get to the root cause of the problem.