6 Common Tips, Mistakes, & Facts About Rats & The Goodnature A24
The Goodnature A24 is an amazing non-toxic trapping technology. The automatic system provides you with constant control over your rodent population. It’s a non-toxic, self-resetting, and a humane rodent control alternative that’s already helped countless businesses and homeowners across North America.
Despite this, not every A24 story is an overnight #A24Success story. It's important to think like a trapper and remain pragmatic if you don’t see immediate results. Like any trap, it can require patience and finding the right combination of the lure, trap location, and eliminating food competition to achieve optimal results.
Over the years, we’ve curated a number of common tips, mistakes, and observations to keep in mind when setting up your trap kit. We thought we would illustrate these for you in an article to help you start thinking more like a trapper and understanding rodent behavior.
Tip: Trapping Is Like Fishing
Trapping is a lot like fishing—the world’s best fishing rod still needs to be set up for success. There is no universal location, bait or rod that can guarantee a catch! Each fishing spot, species, water, etc… provides a unique situation in which you need to find the right combination to reel in your catch.
Think of your A24 as a fishing rod. Is your trap set up in an area with rodent activity? Is there food competition where the rodents are feeding on and thus have no need to sample your lure? Are you moving your trap around and switching your lure when you’re not finding early success? If your trap set up isn’t working right away, troubleshoot your site and find that perfect combination.
One of the best troubleshooting tactics is setting up a camera to monitor trap activity. If you happen to have an extra video surveillance camera or could borrow or purchase an inexpensive one, this helps tremendously as you can track rodent activity around your trap. Sometimes, they’re not fond of the bait you’re using or you can see them gathering food from another source. In other cases, maybe the trap isn’t inline with their tracks or in an open exposed area in which they don’t want to go to. A camera can be the eyes you need, much like fishfinder on a boat!
Tip: Rats are Neophobic
If your rodent problem is a rat problem, remember the term neophobia. Neophobia is defined as an irrational fear of anything that is new. When it comes to their diet, rats are more similar to your 3-year-old by the fact that they have an unwillingness to try newly introduced foods or break their feeding routines.
This may be the product of years of evolution, with rats becoming more skeptical of available foods from the risk of poisoning and trapping.
This means two things for your trapping location:
- You will need to introduce your lure in abundance to ensure that they will trust your food source
- If there is food competition near your trap (ie - compost, garbage, seed or grain) you will have trouble finding success as they will not try a new food source without a reason to
Neophobia is an important character trait of various rat species that you will need to understand if you want to think like a trapper!
Fact: Rats smell each other's breath to make sure food is safe
Rats have an incredible sense of smell. They’ve even been used to detect tuberculosis and in some cases landmines! Further to their neophobia, rats will use that amazing sense of smell to qualify the safety of their food. In other words, they will smell each other’s breath to find out what foods they like and more importantly that they are safe. This incredible character trait has been studied in-depth and speaks to rats being extremely social creatures.
Mistake: Not pre-feeding your trapping area
What does this sense of smell mean for your trapping site? It reinforces the importance of pre-feeding your trap and making sure that you familiarize rodents with the scent and taste of the lure of your choice. It’s similar to a sample kiosk at the grocery store. Give them that initial taste and eliminate other food competition and you will have #A24Success in no time.
If you’re using a Goodnature Chocolate Lure Pouch squeeze small drops of lure up to 25ft from the base of the trap. Pre-feeding really works and is probably the best way to improve your success in your trapping area.
Mistake: Not moving your trap - Location is everything
Just like real estate, location is everything. So often, trappers will skip through selecting a location properly. The thought process is “I know where I have rodents, I’ve heard and seen them. Why do I need to find a proper trapping area?” The problem with this approach is that it ignores where the rats feel comfortable, are feeding, or their regular paths. Just because you believe rodents are nesting in a certain location, doesn’t mean that they will be comfortable to feed there.
The best areas to place your traps are covered, shady, and unexposed areas where rodents show a propensity to chew or feed. Just like our earlier fishing rod analogy, it’s important to move your trap to new locations when it is not successful. This is another example of how a video camera can help. A trail camera can reveal rodent activity and perhaps give you a new location to try out your trap.
Fact: Rats have cannibalistic tendencies
This one is more of an observation—despite the fact that rats are neophobic, they are opportunistic eaters that have been known to feast on other rats. Yes, that’s right, rats are cannibals. We’ve seen it many times over the years, on our network of cameras especially in high infested trapping sites.
Rats will often find the remains of other rodents underneath A24 traps and capitalize on the meal. This is important to think about in outdoor trapping locations. Dead rodents may be scavenged by other wildlife including other rats. For these trapping sites, it is recommended to use the Digital Strike Counter to record the number of strikes from your A24.
Tying it all together
Hopefully, these tips, tricks, and observations help you set up your trap for success. Remember to always be thinking like a trapper and getting to know your targets a little better. As always we are happy to hear from you and help you troubleshoot any trapping location. Email us via firstname.lastname@example.org for detailed trapping knowledge and site support and for those of you that haven't checked out the Goodnature A24 yet, head to our video section to see the amazing trap in action!