The first time you see a rat in your home, it can be terrifying. We all know rats carry disease and can cause extensive damage by chewing through walls, wiring, pipes, and pretty much everything they can get their teeth into. Really, the first step in keeping rats out of your home or other structures is keeping them off of your property.
Rats can reproduce at an alarming rate. The two most common rats in the US are Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus) and roof rats (R. rattus). Both of these species can produce up to 2,000 young during a year. A rat is ready to reproduce in less than 3 months, which means each of those female rats will start the process all over again. Rats left unchecked will quickly lead to a full-blown infestation on your property.
When controlling rats outside, there are several factors to consider. Safety for outdoor pets, livestock and wildlife is always at the top of that list. The first thing most people think of with a large-scale infestation is rat poison (rodenticides). Many rat poisons have been banned in parts of the US because of their toxicity to other animals and the ecosystem.
Using traditional snap traps throughout your property can also pose a danger to other wildlife, and can be extremely hard to manage on a large scale. Fortunately, there are toxin-free options available today that offer a safe and quick-kill solution to rodent control.
Signs of Rats On Your Property
It’s often easier to spot signs of rats in the home than it is when they are on your property. Here are some signs to look for:
- rat (small brown pellet-like droppings)
- brown grease marks on structures (from natural oil on fur)
- rat tracks can sometimes be detected
- bite marks on trees and other objects
- bite marks in fruit or nuts that have fallen
- "rat runs" -- narrow paths in the grass rats repeatedly run along
- digging under compost piles, sheds, or other structures
How Property Management Professionals Find Success
Actual photo from Kurt & Mark of their A24 performing successfully
We recently spoke with property management professionals, Kurt and Mark, in Nantucket, MA about their success with the A24 Rat & Mouse trap controlling rodents on their property. Below is our conversation:
ATC: Can you please describe the site where you're having success with A24 deployment?
Kurt & Mark: Dirty basement crawl space. On the perimeter of the house, and when I see activity, I move the A24 to a nearby location.
ATC: How many A24's do you have in operation at this site?
Kurt & Mark: Presently 17, but I will be purchasing additional.
ATC: At the site mentioned above, what other rodent control methods have you tried?
Kurt & Mark: Box's with poison in them, smoke bombs, sticky traps, and old-school snap traps.
ATC: Why did you choose to use the A24?
Kurt & Mark: We have a serious issue on Nantucket and I tried a couple for one year. After one year I saw that they were working quite well, and when you leave the dead mouse in the trap, within a day a bird or cat comes along and eats it. This does not poison the animals that eat the mice, which is a great thing. The unit is very safe, and built with great products that last a long time, especially in the salt environment.
ATC: How long did it take to see success once the A24 was deployed?
Kurt & Mark: One or two days.
ATC: What other measures did you take (other traps, poison, exclusion, pre-feed, cleaning) when deploying the A24?
Kurt & Mark: During the summer we keep the A24's near the houses until the end of fall. Usually by then the mice have picked a home and stayed out of the house. Once winter comes ,we move them around the property to areas we see activity. Once we notice a few kills and the action has diminished, we move them to other locations.
ATC: What were any challenges you encountered with the A24?
Kurt & Mark: They are very easy to use. I had no challenges at all.
ATC: How often do you service the traps you've installed?
Kurt & Mark: I try and service them every 4 months. April/May, September, December/January.
Successful Trapping On Your Property
Successful trapping takes proper planning and effort. Rodents are notoriously hard to control, but using the A24 can take at least part of the burden off of you. The A24 is self-resetting so you don’t have to continually monitor and reset traps around your property.
When used outdoors, scavengers will often carry away dispatched rats so there is no cleanup. Since the rats are not exposed to toxins, there is no risk of secondary poisoning to other wildlife or pets.
You can find more information about setting up the A24 by visiting our Quick Start Guide.