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How to catch a rat 

How to catch a rat 

Need to catch a rat, our tips for trapping rats.

Rats are one of the most prolific pest animal species in New Zealand. They invade our homes and buildings, as well as killing native birds and wild life.
Using traps to catch rats, is an effective of way of dealing with these pests and reducing numbers.

Trapping options:

Methods of trapping rats include using live capture cage traps or kill traps, to catch and remove these pests.

Live capture traps:

Live capture traps are a safe option for use at home or in areas where they are children, pets or non-target animals. The Pestgard multi-catch rat trap, is one of the most effective traps for live capture and removal of rats. This allows one rat to enter through the front door which closes when the trap activates, other rats can enter the trap through a one-way door at the rear of the trap. Also called the 'whole family rat trap'
Live capture traps are easy to set and use, simply bait the trap with a suitable lure or bait  and set the trip mechanism to hold the door open until the trap is activated.

Kill traps:

Kill traps are more commonly used for getting rid of rats, but more care is required to insure children or pets are kept safe. Snap type traps that were invented in the 1800s are still commonly used, but there are now more effective kill trap designs available for catching rats.
Nooski rodent traps are designed and made in New Zealand. These traps are designed to be far safer than ordinary rat traps, they also kill quickly and humanely and are an effective way of trapping rats and mice.

The Pestgard Rat Zapper kills rats with deadly consistency and can continue to be used over again. This is ideal for use in houses, garages and other buildings.

Pestgard MK4 kill traps, are an excellent way of trapping rats outside, see our tips for trapping stoats, for more information on these traps.

Bait Stations:

Another option for getting rid of rats, is to use bait stations with poison bait. Pestgard medium and large bait stations are both suitable for rats and can be used inside buildings or in outdoor areas.

Where to place rat traps:

Inside buildings rats like to follow walls or similar objects. Place traps parallel with walls,  near a corner or known rat entry point.
Outside, traps are often placed in tunnels, to protect the trap from non-target animals. Place the traps near known rat holes, near fence lines or against buildings.
Rats also like to search vertically for food, the Nooski rat trap can be mounted vertically on a post, fence or wall, which is an effective and safe way of targeting rats in different areas.

The best bait for rats:

Rats like a variety of different foods including: nuts, fruit, seeds and chocolate. Options for baiting traps for rats include: peanut butter or hazelnut spreads, whole nuts or seeds, small pieces of chocolate or banana. A little vanilla essence on small pieces of bread can also lure rats into a trap.
It is important to use fresh bait and keep it fresh. Change the bait regularly even if no rats have been caught.

Rats are smart:

Rats are cunning creatures, they can quickly learn and adapt to different traps.
Rats may not enter a trap unless there are limited food sources available, so it is important to restrict access to other food items and keep areas clean of food scraps and mess.
It may be necessary to try a few different bait options to find what works best, this can vary in different locations and at different times of the year.
It is also important to clean traps after each use and limit human contact with the traps when setting.

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