No one wants rats in the barn, shed, cabin, or chicken coop. Maybe you never expected them, and suddenly there they are, eating your feed corn, scaring your kids, chewing on things you don't want to be chewed on. You know poisons can harm your own animals or cause other serious systemic environmental issues — so you buy a Goodnature™ A24 Rat and Mouse Trap, set it and then, nothing happens. Nothing.
So why is your rat trap not working? In our experience, this fundamental issue is a common culprit to tripping up trap success — it isn’t location, it isn’t bait, and it isn’t the trap. Its food competition!
Food Elimination for Rat Trap Success
Goodnature™ A24 Rat and Mouse Traps work by delivering a CO2 powered strike to a rodent when it sticks its head up into the trap looking for food. The trap is quick-kill and death is instantaneous. But a rat that is well fed is unlikely to stick its head into the trap. Why should it? When corn, grains, or other abundant food sources are in the vicinity and in plain sight, rodents have little reason to look for a new meal.
For rat trap success, you must first try to eliminate competitive food sources. Food elimination is a crucial response to a rat trap not working. This is because rats, in particular, are known as being “neophobic”. This means they don’t like to try new things and in general are skeptical creatures.
A couple of easy solutions to eliminate food competition include keeping food sources in galvanized containers with secured lids (make sure the lids are very firmly anchored, rats are smart!), or removing food from the space completely for a short time.
If you throw food scraps on a mulch pile, stop doing that until your traps show that rats are indeed being killed. Clean up under any bird feeders and remove them until your traps show kills. Keep trash in a can with a secure or locked lid or weight the lid with bricks or heavy stones. Be scrupulous in removing every edible crumb and scrap or else your visiting pests will show little interest in your traps.
Make Rats Feel Comfortable with Your Traps
If your traps aren't working, and you have not yet eliminated all other sources of food, don't feel like you've failed. Rats are acutely aware of changes to their environment and will avoid new objects until they become familiar with them. Letting your rats get comfortable with traps in the vicinity of their food source is not a bad idea, and once you remove all the easy sources of food, they will ideally search for a new food source.
Another aspect of making rats comfortable with your traps is trap placement. Make sure you place your traps properly. Rats like to run along the base of walls because it gives them added protection on one side. Additionally, their whiskers help them navigate in the dark, so when they run along walls they only have to focus on what is straight ahead and what is to one side. Placing your trap near a wall base may be helpful in structural trapping locations.
If you make rats comfortable with your traps around an easy source of food, then remove the easy meal, you may be shocked at how many you catch. You can eliminate a large number of rats this way in a single night.
Eliminate Other Entry Points Around Infestations
Many people don't realize that some rats can run along tree branches onto the roof of a chicken coop or barn. Take a good look at your structure and the trees and shrubs around it. Are there branches touching the roof? Prune them. Remove protective shrubbery around these structures, and plug obvious cracks and holes where rodents can gain easy entry.
If you get rats running around a dumpster area, keep that area clean and free of plants and debris once you acclimate the rats to your traps.
Remove Dead Rats Safely
Scavengers will generally remove dead rats from an animal barn or outdoor structure, but that doesn't mean you will never find a dead rat. Rats carry disease, and they can be plagued by ticks and fleas that also carry disease, so do not touch a dead rat with your bare hands.
Always use disposable plastic gloves when touching a dead rat. Place the rat in a sealed disposable bag. Remove the gloves and dispose of them in the same way. Dispose of both bags in the trash, then wash your hands thoroughly.
Another issue is rat feces, which can also carry disease. In parts of the desert Southwest, a number of people have, in recent years, come down with very serious viral illnesses after sweeping out a barn, cellar, or shed that was soiled by rat urine and feces as well as dust.
When cleaning out spaces you suspect may be soiled with rat feces, wear a mask and disposable gloves and make an effort not to kick up a lot of dust. If you can use a shop vac with a disposable liner instead of a broom and dustpan, all the better.
Why The Goodnature™ A24 Rat and Mouse Trap Is Better Than Poison
In many parts of the U.S., rat poison is illegal, and for good reasons. Family pets like dogs and cats can get into poison; so can protected animals like raptors, songbirds, and big cats. Rat poison can leach into water tables, or runoff into streams and rivers, infecting the water supply. Children can get into food tainted with rat poison.
Worse, rat poison is inhumane. Animals die slowly and horribly when poisoned. They crawl off to die behind walls and in other inaccessible places, where they slowly decay and share the smell of that decay with people who come near.
The Goodnature™ A24 Rat and Mouse Trap delivers a clean, instant kill, toxin-free, over and over again. The rat does not suffer. Its body is recycled through the digestive systems of scavenger animals and then returns to the environment in their scat without infecting you, your family, or your pets.
By cleverly eliminating food competition and placing your Goodnature™ A24 Rat and Mouse Traps effectively, you can solve your rat problem quickly, and with a minimum of distasteful interaction with rodents.