How to catch a rat

So, you want to know how to catch a rat.  It’s not very complicated, but if you do it wrong you may as well get used to them as they won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.  The reason is that rats are intelligent, but they’re also super shy.  If you want to catch a them then you need to know how to catch a rat the right way.  Read on.

Simple rat biology

Before you learn how to catch a rat you’ll need to know the basics of their biology.  For the purpose of this post we’re only talking about Norway rats.  There are other rats species in the US, but since our company is in CT this is the rat that we deal with most often.

The Norway rat is primarily nocturnal and usually become more active in their search for food and water around dusk.  An adult female rat has a territory of about 50′, but will forage up to 300′ if need be.  Rats have very poor eyesight, but the accuracy of their other senses allows them to thrive in both inner city and suburban areas.   A female rat births 7-12 pups that reach reproductive ability within 3 months.  This high reproductive rat is the reason that if left unchecked a rat problem can turn into a nightmare in a very short time.

The last and most important trait for the homeowner to know when learning how to catch a rat is that rats are very shy. More about that later.

You must play for keeps!

Here’s a fact!  Many well meaning homeowners attempt to catch rats with live traps.  While I’ve seen some people do this with success in the past the likelihood of this working all the time is slim.

Use a RAT snap trap.  They’re by far the quickest and must humane way to catch a rat.

Prebaiting is a must

You must be patient and deliberate when catching rats.  We already went over the fact that rats are shy.  Let’s use this against them.

When catching a rat you must under all circumstances do something called prebaiting.  Essentially, all this means is that you must lay out all your traps in areas where you’ve found rat fecal matter.  The traps must be left unset, but baited with food.  Keep feeding the rats for 2-3 days and once the rat gets used to the trap, THEN AND ONLY THEN do you set it.

Norway rat caught after 3 nights of prebaiting
Norway rat caught after 3 nights of prebaiting

I can’t tell you how many jobs are made more difficult by homeowners making rats trap shy.  Trap shyness happens when someone doesn’t prebait and the rat gets away form a trap without sustaining a lethal blow.  If this happens catching that rat will be difficult if not impossible in the future.

Food to use as rat bait

Seems as though most anything will work, but I’ve had great luck with apples and peanut butter, slimjims (believe it or not), pet food,seed or whatever else they happen to be feeding on.

Closing, but important thought

When learning how to catch a rat you’ve got to know that it can get complicated and in some instances where there may be many rats it’s best to use a professional.  We have baits, tools and knowledge that may shorten the amount of time it takes to get rid of the issue.

If you have rats and think you may be out matched, call Envirocare Pest Control at 1-888-879-6481.  We can help.