How to Build a Better Mouse Trap?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Katz5617, Feb 26, 2015.

  1. Katz5617

    Katz5617 Chirping

    Jul 21, 2014
    I would have bet on the fact that our coop and run were as secure as Fort Knox. We learned by trial and error what kept what out. We reinforced the sides with 1/2" hardware cloth to keep our Pyrenees from breaking through. We covered the top with chicken wire to keep the hawks and owls out. We ran hardware cloth up under the deck boards to keep out the squirrels and we put chicken wire out two feet around the outer perimeter and two feet on the inside of the perimeter to keep anything from digging in and out. We put a corrugated metal roof on the coop. What we underestimated was the persistence of rats. Our coop is towards the rear of our property and borders a wooded area. A few weeks ago the chickens started sleeping outside rather than going in their coop at night. We couldn't figure it out - they had always slept in their coop - loved their coop and it was pretty darn cold and wet outside so we figured something was wrong - just didn't know what it could be. Well my husband and I went out with our flashlight and decided we would pick them up, put them in and close the door. That's when we saw them - rats. I went to Tractor Supply and bought one of those $50 traps that when they enter it zaps them - it's been days and no rats. I bought one of those $15.00 ones that has the bait enclosed - no rats. I bought a couple of tomcat rat traps and we baited those - no rats. I bought decon rat bait and the best I can tell it is undisturbed (it is inside the storage house where we keep the food) . We bought galvanized cans and put in all the feed and treats. I thought my dog was digging under the run to get at the chickens - instead he had sniffed out a rat tunnel and had them on the run. He has managed to sniff out and kill a couple but it did let us know where the tunnel was so today I filled that entire area with a couple of sacks of quick crete. I locked the chickens up in their coop in order to let it dry and searched out any other places where it appears they were tunneling far enough under the hardware cloth to come in. So far with all we have spent on traps and baits nothing - only the dog has done any damage. I had seen where someone had posted something about the expanding foam that was rodent proof - does anyone know where I can get that and what it is called. I want to spray the roof line where the corrugated metal has the ridges to make sure they don't go in the coop. Next question - what is the best rat bait - it seems that my traps and such are not getting the job done - do the rat blocks work? I can only put out the decon in the enclosed house where the food is kept. I don't want my dog getting into it. Our uncle lives on the other side of the wooded area and he has cats that he feeds each evening. He now has possums and coons coming for the cat food. I am going to buy a couple of the live traps and try and catch those - putting them in the woods between our houses - what is best to bait those traps with? I figure it won't be long before they start trying their luck getting in the coop and run.
  2. BayBay Peepers

    BayBay Peepers Crowing

    Apr 5, 2013
    I have had a lot of luck baiting with tuna. For a variety of stinkers. Cats, racoons, possums, the occasional (unintentional) woodchuck, etc. We also rigged up mini versions of the live traps small enough that a chipmunk or mouse can't get through.

    I would be really careful with decon. Even if your dog doesn't directly eat it he/she may eat a poisoned rat and in return be poisoned. Same with the chickens. If they eat a dead rat they're likely to be poisoned.

    As for the should be able to get it at a hardware store. It's a foam insulation. A little goes a long way so just spray a small amount to test how far it will expand. You don't' want to bow your doorway or any framing.
  3. dirtychick

    dirtychick Chirping

    Jun 17, 2013
  4. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Crowing

    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    X2 on the bait, critters can carry it around and stash it where other animals can get at it. Also, the baits they make now are different (no longer anticoagulants) and there is no antidote if your dog or another pet or even a person gets exposed to it.
  5. Katz5617

    Katz5617 Chirping

    Jul 21, 2014
    Thanks - I'll check those out. I'm also going to do the live traps for the raccoon and possums. This morning I went out to check on that zapper and to my surprise the entire trap was gone. I was thinking that was some big rat or creature to carry off that entire metal box then we spotted it. Apparently the peanut butter had attracted our Pyrenees and he had taken it to his favorite digging spot and just a corner of it was sticking out from where he had buried it. He buries his toys, his bones - should have realized if it smelled like peanut butter he would bury it as well. I was thinking that was $50 down the drain, but I brought it in and cleaned it up and it still works - now to re-bait it and put he where he won't get it again. But still no rats in the Tom Cat traps or the enclosed baited container. I've been bringing in all leftover food at night and each morning raking out the straw and poop in the coop and the yard. I have a compost heap that I have been putting it in, but going to go ahead and take it down and plow it into the garden to keep it away from the yard. I had read that the rats will get into the compost/manure as well. I know that they are still around but can't seem to catch them. This weekend we are going to do a bit more concrete around the outside of the coop and along the inner edges - will have to pen the chickens up until it dries - don't want them ingesting it and killing the girls. I want my husband to look at the bucket trap - that seems like a relatively simple idea - we have an old farm and house about an hour and a half away and are not there that often - but the last time I was there I saw sign of rats around the little cabin we have down by the pond - haven't seen any sign around the old farm house, but there are a lot of stray cats around - but still it would be a simple idea to use there and here at home.
  6. RonP

    RonP Crowing

    Mice /rats, subject comes up often.

    Posted to another query.
    Hope it helps.:

    My understanding is that rats/mice are everywhere.
    They will congregate and breed where there is available food, water, and shelter.
    Look closely around any fast food restaurant and you will see rat bait stations.

    They will eventually come, the idea is to prevent them from establishing a colony.
    If you see 1, there are probably fifty.
    If you see two or more holes, expect dozens.

    Keeping a rat trap/bait station baited 24/7 hopefully keeps the population from establishing near your food source. Once established, they are very difficult to eliminate.

    Remember, chickens don't attract rats, food does.

    That said, I fabricated black 4 inch circular x 18" long drainage plastic pipe as a bait station.
    Placed along the outside of my coop, looks like drainage pipe (not unsightly).
    I put a t fitting in the center, capped, for easy viewing once a week.
    Inside I maintain commercial rat poison.

    My run has food scraps 24/7.
    My coop has food access 24/7.
    Water access 24/7.

    5 years, no sign of rats or mice...

    Hope this helps.

  7. Katz5617

    Katz5617 Chirping

    Jul 21, 2014
    I figure they are coming for the free handouts. I've been putting the food up each night now. I'm sure there are a lot more than I even want to think about.
  8. RonP

    RonP Crowing

    Prolific breeders...
  9. Katz5617

    Katz5617 Chirping

    Jul 21, 2014
    We worked in the run today and moved the small house that we have on the ground in the smaller run for the pullets - now I know why they stayed up on the roof - the rats had nested under that house. We have moved it - the rats ran. My husband and grandsons had target practice with their BB guns. We then went to hardware store after we dug up their nest and concreted the entire floor of the small run and the entire outer perimeter of the big run. We're going to make the bait trap by your design and attach it to the outside of the run and put a temporary partition to keep the dog out of that area. I'm going to continue with the rat trap that is supposed to zap them. We're definitely going to have to go to war with them. I stood up on the deck and looked at the neighbors on the other side and they have three or four old sheds that are falling down and an old abandoned dog pen - there are just so many places to house these horrid little beasts - but if we can get them away from our yard and coop - I'm afraid with all the prime real estate of falling sheds and abandoned pens that the problem will not be solved.
  10. RonP

    RonP Crowing

    I wouldn't worry too much about the abandoned shelters.

    It's food there after.

    Choose a poison that gives little worry about secondary poisoning, so if your dog eats a poisoned rat, little worries.

    They don't work as fast, but will eventually.

    Soon the baits will stop disappearing, just keep the station baited for maintenance.

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