Mother Nature has always been kind to every living organism, whether humans or plants. Animals have been helpful to man by getting domesticated such as a dog (from wolf), oxen (from the wild bull), cows (from wild cows), etc. Some animals always create challenges for man by making their life miserable such as rats (stealing the rice of farmers from paddy fields, destroying their household property such as gnawing at valuable clothes or books; crickets destroy crops of fields, squirrels posing challenges to fruit farms, house flies spreading diseases such as typhoid fever, leprosy, anthrax, dysentery etc. Although every household takes precaution, there are chances of rats getting into home leading to various unfortunate situations. In this article, information will be given on how to catch a rat in your house and the consequences.
How To Catch A Rat In Your House?
Rats can be classified as an animal that can survive both in urban, semi-urban surroundings. The challenges posed by rats to mankind are numerous. As mentioned in the first paragraph, they can also spread diseases by their feces and urine. They usually live near garbage and areas prone to dirt. The parasites residing on rats are ticks, lice, mites and fleas. The urine of rats can spread leptospirosis (Weil’s disease), the outcome of which will result in kidney, cardiovascular problems and liver damage.
The first indication of rats in your home is the odor of urine, feces and presence of living or dead rats. Other symptoms are grease and scratch marks on floorboards and walls. Rats usually prefer living secretly, but with growing numbers, they will be forced into the open. Midnight raids by rats will be common on the kitchen. If you are having a family reunion and then the fuse goes off, you have an unwanted rat guest crashing to the party, gnawed at an electrical wire and went back to the source he/she came from.
Infestation of rats can occur in buildings where excellent standards of hygiene are maintained. If they pose challenges to the infrastructure of your home, it is advisable that you take preventive steps so that they can be eradicated. You can think of your own steps, or take advice from city councils for a fee.
Personally as a human being, you have always admired Jerry, the little mouse who scores incessantly over Tom, the cat. But that is only in the animation world. If you took a survey of the many valuable books, family wooden artistic pieces distorted by rats, for some time, you would think of wiping the entire rat population of the world. Remember, your enemy has the capability to squeeze their whole body through a very small hole such as the body of your pen. You have to contact the Health Department of your locality and the measures suitable.
Simple Precautionary Measures
- You can cover gaps or holes in pipes or walls
- Fix the bottom of doors with bristle strips available at your local store
- Ventilation holes could be covered with very thin wire meshes
- The crest of drain pipes can be covered with wire balloons (available at your DIY store) and the bottom with cone guards
- If you have a garden, ensure that every plant has its space. A clustered garden can become easy walking, roaming grounds for rats. The Space between plants can expose rats to their natural predators such as cat. Mint plants can prevent rats from entering your home.
- The kitchen and other places around your home should be kept clean. A few tidbits or crumbs can tempt a rat to making a grand entry to your home. In due course of time, its companions will also follow the same route. Garbage should be disposed immediately. Home is meant not only inside your home but also the entire area including the garden. Fallen fruit, left over bird food should also be disposed, feed trays and bird houses should be in a safe place. The garbage bins should be kept closed, and in the store ensure old appliances and furniture do not become breeding grounds for cartoon Jerry’s families.
Pets such as dogs and cats deter rats from entering your home. While a dog prevents humans from entering your home as intruders, rats are the favorite play and food items for cats.
Electromagnetic And Ultrasonic Devices
These devices are easy to use by plugging into wall sockets. These sounds can make the rats run helter-skelter. The biggest advantage they do not affect dogs but can affect other pets – gerbils and hamsters.
Outdoor repellers can be used if you do not have pets. The sound emitted is high and scares the rats far away from your home.
This method, if selected, needs to be handled carefully if you have other pets or children. The rodenticides or poisons can be harmful to humans and if your other pet consumed a dead rat, it can result in health issues or worse, even death.
How To Catch A Rat?
As soon as you have detected a rat in your home, it is advisable that you buy traps and start trapping them. Do not hesitate to call in for professional help if needed as per the proverb – penny wise, pound foolish.
If you start laying traps at the earliest, you will stop the growing number of population of the pest. You can buy in your local store rat traps – you can either buy a disposable or non-disposable one as they come quite cheap.
Live traps are useful for one or two rats, but for larger numbers, it is beneficial to use snap traps.
The snap traps are designed in a way that a metal wire is snapped to the rat’s neck when it grabs the bait. They vary in size, and can be used for killing rats effectively. They are reusable and can be left in rat prone areas permanently. But they can cause bleeding or severe injury to rats, so if you are one with a soft heart, take a second thought. Also, do not leave much food on the bait part or the rat would not get caught. Use the least amount on the spot where the rat can trigger the metal wire.
Snap traps are meant for rats, but remember, you can also get hurt. So be careful while baiting for the rats.
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Other Vital Tips: How To Catch Rats?
1. Glue Traps
Imagine you had a dream when you are stuck in a glue pond and struggle to get free. You woke up with a heavy sweat and thank the Supreme Power for not getting into such a situation. As a human being, you would pray your worst enemy should not be caught in a similar fate. The glue traps are considered inhumane by many animal right groups. They are pads/sheets laced with sticky adhesive and have a middle spot where you can keep the bait. The rat first gets its legs caught in the glue, and if it wiggles, turns, the entire body gets caught. Now the hard part you have to face is you cannot free the rat. It will be torn into two. If you abandon the rat, it will die a slow painful death from hunger. You have to take the option of killing to free it from suffering, but the disadvantage is that the adhesive can get dry.
2. Poison Traps
They come in perfect size in the form of a toy station. They have to be used carefully in places where children or other pets wander. The rat after consuming poison, dies in a place you cannot reach (inaccessible) – then you have to use other methods to get the body and then dispose it or else – stinking smell. Also, you would not know that a rat has taken the right dosage. However, this method is effective for outhouse control of rats. Some dormant mice will carry the powder for storing in their burrows. Kindly check the instructions given as bromadiolone is poisonous (one or two doses will be enough), warfarin requires more than 10 feedings.
Although rats can wander around your house, there will be a favorite spot for them. You can place the trap at that specific location and also place many traps in the places where you feel you could sense rat activity. Rats usually travel the edges of a wall, guided by their sense of smell. Rats usually have the habit of jumping over unfamiliar objects. Hence it is beneficial to leave traps 5cm apart. If rats avoid the trap, try to put the bait in the trap, but adjust the trapper metal wire for few days. Once the rats get accustomed, you notice the symptoms, free the metal wire and you will have the thief. Experts usually advise the trap locations as storage rooms, near the fridge and kitchen table, stove etc.
Baits can be of different types. You could purchase specially made rat bait from over the counter store or use scraps from your home. Peanut butter or cheese will work wonders as you can stick them to a place where you want to.
Before making a bait, kindly understand that a rat has many advantages such as a keen sense of smell, vision and sharp ears. The house rats have adapted themselves as per the recent conditions. Their small size and flexibility allow them to access and live in places beyond a human’s imagination. While they survive on seeds outside the home, their favorite food is fatty food or sweets inside a home.
The best bait is one where rats are lured to become prisoners on their own. One example is a lump of peanut butter with a seed in the middle. In the breeding season (fall and winter), female mice gather materials suitable to build a nest. Yarn, twine, threads, and dental floss are preferable. You can tie the fabrics to the trigger of the trap and can have a female rat as the prisoner.
Other popular baits are small pieces of hot dog, bird seeds, wet pet food (cat or dog), bacon grease, strong smelling food bits, sweet candy or chocolate. The alternatives are raisins, corn meal, cooked bacon, gum drops and pineapple chunks.
Do not allow the rat to rot. The dead can cause odor and rats can have dangerous parasites or bacteria on their body harmful to humans.
How To Catch A Rat In Your House?
Making Your Own Human Rat Trap:
If you are against killing a rat, even though it is a pest – then God bless! You can search the youtube for making a rat trap where you can catch a rat and release it in the wilderness away from your home. You can make use of the instructions given below to build a more humane rat trap of your own.
Get a finished toilet roll devoid of paper. You can also use something similar, but ensure that the size is big for a rat to move to the bait. It should be light and should not support the rat’s weight. You can cut the roll in half and use one piece on the edge of a table. The peanut butter should be applied at the other end inside of the tube.
The tube roll should be placed in a way that the peanut applied part should be kept on the edge of a table. Facing challenges, you can tape the roll lightly. The next part is taking an empty trash can or bucket. The prison for the rat. It should be at least two feet tall so that the rat cannot jump out or escape after getting caught. The trash can or bucket is kept directly under the roll. Keep checking the trap frequently and if the rat is caught, release it in a place far away from your house.
You can also try the same method with a spoon. You can play the same trick on the rat by placing a paper plate over the bucket. The bucket will be taped slightly on the end with the other end displaying the bait.
Use an antimicrobial liquid to clean the surfaces where the rat has roamed for killing harmful bacteria.