Rat Snap Traps and Rat Proofing

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Roof rats can cer­tainly be a per­sis­tent pest requir­ing sig­nif­i­cant rat proof­ing work to keep them out of struc­tures and under con­trol. Here are some good tips on how to defend against a roof rat invasions.

Nor­way Rat

Roof rats have found their way into and around homes and build­ings since time began. Sir Richard Atten­bor­ough said that if you live any­where in the civ­i­lized world, you are never more than 6 feet from a rat. Its name (Rat­tus rat­tus Lin­naeus) is derived from the way it prefers to enter struc­tures via the roof area. Over the cen­turies, Roof rats arrived in the U.S. from Europe and South­east Asia by ships, so it can also known as a Ship rat. Yet another name for the Roof rat is the Black rat because its sub-species is com­monly black, except for its gray belly. Rats Exterminated

Found in many parts of the United States, the roof rat nests in high places, both out­doors and indoors. That is why rats in the attic are such a com­mon prob­lem. In south­ern Cal­i­for­nia it is not uncom­mon to see them nest­ing in the tops of palm trees. How­ever, as its pop­u­la­tion expands it may extend its nest­ing area to include loca­tions closer to the ground like ground floor lev­els inside and out­side of build­ings and in piles of var­i­ous build­ing materials.

The Roof rat lives mostly in warmer cli­mates of the United States in the South­east, some Gulf States as well as the Pacific Coast states. It can even be found in the Hawai­ian Islands. To iden­tify a Roof rat, as opposed to its near rel­a­tive, the Nor­way rat, look for a scaly, hair­less tail that is longer than their 6–8 inch body. Fur will be brown, black or gray with lighter gray, brown or white bel­lies. If you decide to weigh one (and I don’t know why you would,) they typ­i­cally weigh around 5 to 8 ounces. Whereas the Nor­way rat is larger, tip­ping the scales at as much as 19 to 21 ounces. That is over one-and-a-half pounds of rat… eck…Rat Snap Traps and Bait

Most exter­mi­na­tors rely on the sim­ple snap traps. You can choose from from the sim­ple Vic­tor spring / bar traps ( the Tom and Jerry vari­ety) or the T-Rex or pedal-set traps which can be set with your foot. For snap trap bait, I usu­ally rec­om­mend a a bit of peanut but­ter with a jar set a aside specif­i­cally for that pur­pose (it works bet­ter than cheese). Or for some­thing less messy, you might want to try some Rat Attract bait.Kaput Rat & Mouse Bait — 32 pla­cepacks — $35.99from:

Obvi­ously these traps are pow­er­ful and you want to make sure they are tucked away far from the reach of curi­ous chil­dren or inquis­i­tive pets. One addi­tional note on the use of snap traps, Once you have a rat in the trap, the trap should be dis­posed of. Reusing a trap is not rec­om­mended because rats will rec­og­nize the scent of the pre­vi­ous corpse and avoid the trap.

Like the Nor­way Rat, Roof Rats have a spring and sum­mer breed­ing sea­son with lit­ters 4 to 6 times per year, bear­ing on aver­age, 4 to 6 pups with ges­ta­tion period of approx­i­mately 3 weeks. The aver­age life span is about one year.Rats in the Attic

Roof Rats may be heard scur­ry­ing around in the attic. Their loca­tion can be traced by dis­cov­er­ing their gnaw­ing dam­age to util­ity wire insu­la­tion or plas­tic items inside the house. They are active mostly in the cooler fall and win­ter months. Of course, rodent drop­pings are also a giveaway.

Although the it is widely believed that rats like to eat cheese, the fact is that Roof rats eat what­ever is avail­able and con­ve­nient. This will include veg­e­ta­tion, nuts and fruits and of course any garbage that can be found in their nat­ural out­door envi­ron­ment. Once inside a home, such items as pet foods, cere­als or rice prod­ucts and any other avail­able food scraps are on the menu. Like most rats, the Roof rat usu­ally stays close to its nest when not out hunt­ing for food, usu­ally within around 200 feet or so.

Because rats have very poor vision, roof rats travel closely along walls at night by using its whiskers, body guard hairs and nose to touch and smell its way around in its efforts to locate its pre­ferred food. You can often find greasy marks on walls along elec­tri­cal wires attached to your home.

So, what is the best way to keep Roof rats from enter­ing in the first place? And how do you get rid of them once they are in the house? Here are a few sim­ple steps.

Prune and remove vines, trees and other veg­e­ta­tion that allow access to and from roofs and attics.

Place and main­tain obsta­cle guards on util­ity lines and fences where lines attach to or run nearby your residence.

Rats can squeeze into the hold the size of a quar­ter so repair and fill any cracks or other open­ings that make it pos­si­ble for rats to get in.

Use baits with roden­ti­cide as spec­i­fied by the label instruc­tions and con­di­tions of use.

If you choose to use a roden­ti­cide, know that a rat can ingest it and then later, die in a wall. Which is can be unpleasant.

Rats carry dis­ease and their drop­pings can be toxic. Do not han­dle a dead rat with­out pro­tec­tive mask and rub­ber gloves.

I do not rec­om­mend shoot­ing or rely­ing upon preda­tors such as cats and owls. Avoid the use of glue traps.

Finally, I per­son­ally do not like glue traps. Unless you plan on check­ing the traps every day, leav­ing a rat to starve in a glue trap seems unnec­es­sar­ily cruel. Most pro­fes­sional exter­mi­na­tors will not use them. We pre­fer to get the unpleas­ant busi­ness over quickly.

As always, when deal­ing with cleanup, it is impor­tant that you use rub­ber gloves, an appro­pri­ate dust or paint mask and a good bleach based disinfectant.Related posts:Rac­coon Removal: How to get rid of a rac­coons

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