One of the biggest frustrations in trying to trap rats is identifying the right bait for the job at hand. We often hear people say they’ve tried it all, but have had little luck in reliably attracting rodents to a trap.
Unfortunately, it’s true that finding the best bait for your particular situation might require a bit of trial and error. But the good news is that these days there are more options for rodent bait than there have ever been before, ranging from scientifically developed formulations to everyday products you probably already have in your pantry.
Here, we take a look at a few of the best bait options for trapping rats:
One bait option that is growing in popularity is the chocolate or nut butter formula lure. The lures have been scientifically developed to attract rats for a full month, and they are designed to remain stable in all weather conditions. That means you don’t have to check or re-bait your traps as often as most other options. Plus, they’re a non-toxic option, which means they’re safe around pets and birds.
In many environments, chocolate or nut butter proves to be a great rat lure because it gives off such an attractive, distinctive aroma. Rats don’t often encounter chocolate in rural settings and around suburban lawns, so they are instinctively drawn to it when they catch a whiff.
Peanut butter makes an easy rat lure that most people already have in their pantry. A scoop or dollop of the spread can serve as a highly attractive bait, since it gives off an intriguing odor that rats easily detect. Another perk of peanut butter? It’s also a non-toxic option.
In some cases, your best bet is going to be to use food that the rats have already grown accustomed to. Consider where you’re having a rodent problem. Is there dog food, animal feed, or bird seed present? Do you have a compost bin or vegetable garden, or do you regularly leave food scraps in readily accessible areas? All of these could be attracting the rats, which gives you an opportunity to create lures that you know will work.
With a DIY lure basket, you have the flexibility to use whatever lure you want. So if the rats near your home have fallen in love with your pet’s food, you can incorporate it into the lure. Or, if they can’t resist your compost, add a bit to the basket. You can even supplement the lure with chocolate or nut butter formula, or peanut butter to make it even more irresistible.
You’ll probably notice that cheese didn’t make our list, even though it’s stereotypically known as a rodent’s favorite food. For the most part, cheese isn’t very effective in the real world. That’s because some rat subspecies don’t even eat cheese, and some types of cheese simply don’t give off an appealing scent to others. With most rats, you’re better off focusing on some of the solutions above.
5. Get Creative
Remember, trapping rats takes some patience—especially in identifying what will attract them to the trap. If one bait doesn’t seem to be working after a week or so, get creative and try something else. Learn a bit about what types of rats are common in your area, and set out bait that suits their diet. In the meantime, remove other potential sources of food, such as bird feeders or pet food, so the rats will be more drawn to your bait. With a bit of patience, you’ll start to see results and know that you found the best bait for your situation.
Every year, rats and mice enter 20 million U.S. homes uninvited. They reproduce rapidly, and can cost thousands of dollars in damages and extermination costs. They can ruin equipment, spoil food and start fires by chewing on wires.
We’ve trapped millions (seriously, millions) of rats and mice and the knowledge of what it takes to achieve success is highlighted in this guide.
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