My question is about rats. I have a shop that has been invaded
by rats and I am currently without a cat that catches mice and
rats. My old cat kept them at bay, but the new one just likes to
watch them, apparently.
Anyway, I have set out rat traps and I have shot 2 with my pellet
gun. The first night with the traps I caught 3 rats. After 3
more nights with reset traps and new bait, not a single rat.
I am wondering if rats learn to avoid traps after they see what
they do, or did I get them all the first night? I don't know if
I am just lucky and there were only five rats, or whether they
all left after realizing they weren't welcome, or whether they
have learned to avoid being seen and to avoid the traps.
SFWIW, D-Con worked for me.
As for the cat, quit feeding it.
When it gets hungry enough, it will figure out rats are a food source.
The neighbor had a couple of barn cats, they got a bowl of milk when
the cows were milked.
That was it, and nobody taught them how to be "mousers", but they
looked well fed.
As an old farmboy, I can confirm that. We had a cat population on the farm.
There was no vet care, vaccinations or spaying and neutering. It was a
stable population that varied a bit from season to season. They got a bowl
of milk each day. That was it.
It was survival of the fittest. They fed on a wide variety of critters.
Those who survived to adulthood usually lived a few years. Both predator and
prey were fairly fit. Any sign of weakness resulted had dire results.
Exactly. Rats are neophobic, e.g. they are wary of new things and careful
with their first experiences with them. If that inaugural experience is
brother rat dead inside a trap, avoidance is the result. The idea is to
rotate types of attacks
and not set all traps to kill initially. But, of course, you could use
an unbaited field of set traps-- to channel the rodents into an area with
baited traps that are only later activated. Then again, there is a
I noticed that you said that you reset the traps. Assuming they are the
snap type traps, I was always instructed to discard a used trap as it
will carry a scent that rats/mice will avoid. I've always used a fresh
Victor, the maker of traps, suggests the same thing (question 18):
Well, I put out poison, reset the traps, sprinkled some talcum
powder in a few places to see if I could see any tracks. I went
out last night and sat in the dark with the pellet gun again and
never saw a thing. No tracks, no nibbles on the bait poison, no
sounds of movement, no signs of anything.
Perhaps I got them all. I just find it hard to believe that I
got them all in one fell swoop.
I will keep my eyes open and keep the traps and poison out. I
just don't want it to get any worse than it was.
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