A better rat trap?

Howard E

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Feb 18, 2016
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Posted this in another thread, but thought it might have merit to discuss on it's own.

For you rat trappers, this is something you might try.....and further modify it by hanging a mini snicker's bar from a piece of string from the center of the lid so rat has to go to the edge of the plank to sniff it. Juuuusssst out of reach.That might keep you from having to constantly keep putting new bait out.


Amazing to me how many youtube channels there are devoted to trapping rats and mice.

Most promising seem to be these simple "walk the plank" types and the rollers. Both seem to benefit from using a tunnel to get them off the bucket/barrel rim so they can't reach in. Rats and mice seem to like the seclusion and security of tunnels so will readily enter it.

Watch enough snap trap videos and all seem to have a problem in that the traps are too small for the rats. A bigger rat can reach a long way with his nose without hitting the trigger, or even if he does, when the snap bar comes down, his head and neck are not fully within the trap, so these traps miss a lot. Use of video cameras to record what happens is quit revealing. The modifications some use to improve on this are bizarre.

And watch enough videos of rat traps, rat killings with dogs, etc. and you quickly realize the futility of nabbing a few of them at a time if you are dealing with a massive infestation. I found out the same thing years ago when I tried to shoot flocks of starlings. I could get 20 a day, which seemed like a lot, until I realized the roost they were coming from held several hundred thousand of them.

Rat poison is about the only thing that is ever going to thin the herd enough to matter. But if poison isn't an option for you, then traps it is.

PS: If drowning rats isn't your thing, then put an ad on Craigslist for live rats. Perhaps some snake charmer in your area will buy them from you to feed the snakes? Turn them into a profit center!!!!
 
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aart

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That's pretty cool.....wonder about it's longevity of effectiveness.
If the other rats see this happen to their brethren, do they get wise to it?
 

Howard E

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Interesting observation from back in my starling killer days.........I was shooting them out of a sliding glass door in our kitchen. Starlings were feeding on suet cakes about 30 feet away. Initially, they were so fearless you could walk out the door and yell at them and they would ignore you. But once the shooting started, they wised up in a hurry. After a few weeks, if you even walked past the door they would scatter. So how did they know? How did they know where the danger came from or that there was even danger in the first place? They would also post sentinels who scanned the horizon for danger and if a hawk showed up, one of them sounded the alarm and the rest fled.....no questions asked. But even chickens do that, so being aware of danger from hawks may be hard wired into their little bird brains, but knowledge of humans with air rifles?

I have come to believe many of these vermin are a lot smarter than we give them credit for and are able to think and communicate far more than we realize.

Perhaps the rats from NIMH were not so far fetched after all?
 

Howard E

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BTW, on the rat trap in the video, in case you missed it, key feature would be the magnets that hold it steady and in place until the rats are on the end of the plank. Their weight then overcomes the magnets, which releases in an instant and dunks him. Trap then resets. Sensitivity can be changed by moving magnets closer or farther apart.

Second feature is the slick piece of plexiglass that prevents them from getting a toe hold on the plank. So once it trips, down they go. The ultimate "slippery slope"?

A creative mind could think of a number of variations on what to do with the captured rats. Instead of water, bottom could be fitted with a piece of pvc sewer pipe leading to a wire cage to accumulate live rats for disposal or sale. That would eliminate the mess of the water and dead rats, which brings up another question, which is what to do with the dead rats?

I put the recently deceased starlings on my compost pile, which lead to an interesting discover in that hawks would eat dead starlings. A Coopers Hawk might eat 2 or 3 a day.......and they would even go for a cold, stiff, 5 day old dead starling with no problem. Easier than catching a live one!
 

aart

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I did notice the magnets, he was very clear and repetitive(in a good way).
One of the best vids I've seen.

Would love to get my hands on one of those, see how those magnets adjust...then reverse engineer it<smirk>.
But not willing to pay tho, as I don't have rat issues here(knockwood).

Had a bucket trap for mice, and it worked fantastic for awhile, then got nothing in bucket but snap traps were working.<shrugs>

Saw a program recently on PBS about birds solving problems, using 'tools', and learning from watching other birds, was fascinating. I imagine rodents have similar capacities.
 

Farmer Connie

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If the other rats see this happen to their brethren, do they get wise to it?
With our rat infestation, our snap traps work only once in awhile.. rats are smart. The live cage traps only work upon relocation of trap far from the last capture. If Hub resets the cage trap and places it where the last one was caught, it will sit there empty forever. Move it to the other side of the barn.. bingo! rat trapped same night.

We tried the "rat plop in the water bucket trap" awhile back, I think rats a savoy.. they send in stooge rat to scout. When the rats makes all that desperate sound while trapped or drowning, the others take note. THEY DO SCREAM..
The best method so far for us has been "Bait Stations". They eat the bait and go off and dehydrate in search of water.
This one here died in the live trap over night. The trap had a full dish of cracked corn. The rat ate so much that it died of thirst only over night.
20171208_181855.jpg
We have been battling these giant mambas for years. We can't get rid of them, just control the population. They are the size of squirrels.
 

EggSighted4Life

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what to do with the dead rats?
Use them as bait for their cannibalistic comrades? Chop them up and feed directly back to the chooks? Maggot bucket? :sick

Donate to a wildlife rehab center or zoo as feeders?

Yes, they DO scream! Nothing nice about it. :barnie Diggin' the idea of trapping live inside the can... then maybe do a rapid dunking or other means of culling.. so that others behind them won't immediately recognize this as a danger. Can I figure if they are just trapped that they don't actually scream?

This thread and that video have really helped to clue me in to the rats behavior. Knowing you enemy surely helps with an appropriate battle plan! :highfive:

Thanks @Farmer Connie for reminding me just how important it is to move the traps around!

Those trash can aren't super cheap (plus the trap). But I think this might be my next rat killing investment. The $50 electronic trap wasn't cheap and only killed about 4 so far. Snap traps always make me fear for my fingers and usually require culling still. The alligator snap traps have killed one and caught and held a couple. But been relieved of their bait a couple times and broke the top off a couple others. At least the ones I bought (not tomcat brand) were a complete waste of $ even though I no longer feared losing a finger. Even if I could probably make it myself, my anxiety would slow me way down and it might be forever before I get it working right. So I will just order one ready to go! :wee :tongue:thumbsup
 

Farmer Connie

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Thanks @Farmer Connie for reminding me just how important it is to move the traps around!
Caught 2 last night in separate traps in NEW locations.
I wanna guess they pee or mark a scent in the panic attack location when they are trapped. Pheromones or something. They are HUGE this year.. Feeding out off the pig pens.
 
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