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What to do about a trap-shy rat

If you have encountered a rat that just won’t get in the damn trap, don’t worry, you’re not the only one. These rodents are quite well known for being almost impossible to trap, and that’s because they seem to outsmart us at every turn. They can run faster than we can, they can sniff out holes much faster than we can, and they can climb, swim, and dig if necessary too.

In short, unless you educate yourself, you’re probably not going to stand a chance at catching that rat and removing the infestation from your home or business property.

So, what do you do about a trap-shy rat? First, you must work out what is causing the rat to be shy of the trap. When you think about it - really think about it - you might just figure that out.

This rat might have seen a trap before. It might have even seen a fellow rat friend caught in a trap before. They’re not stupid animals. Some homeowners have found that they need to place empty and un-set traps down to get the rats used to them, before adding the bait, and then setting the traps. This is a last-case scenario, however, and there are other ways to get around the problem before you reach that point.

There’s a good chance that you have put your trap in the wrong place, or that you’re using the wrong trap. If it’s a live cage trap, you’re causing yourself more hard work. Snap traps are the only kind of rat trap that we would recommend.

Secondly, if you don’t place the traps in the right kind of spots, the rats might not even see them at all. Remember that they entered your home because there was already a steady source of food. Adding a little bit more food on traps might not be enough to entice them away from their kitchen stash. Rats are smarter than mice are too. Mice might fall for this trick, but there’s a good chance the rats will not. They learn about their surroundings, and this is what helps to keep them alive. If they come across something in their usual surroundings that is different from normal, just like a rat trap, they will avoid

It isn’t actually that unusual for a rat to outsmart a trap. You might even find that some rats can even grab the bait, or at least, some of it, before it hops right over the trap, avoiding getting captured within it. What we do find, however, is that rats have a tendency to avoid the more humane traps that have a covering all the way around. Electrocution traps, for example, and the black box-style traps require the rat to actually crawl into the trap in order for it to function, and for the most part, they are far too cautious for that.

So, make sure you’re using the right kind of traps, and also make sure you’re putting them in the right places too. It all makes sense when you think about it, but these aren’t things you would automatically know unless you’ve ever had a rat problem before. Google can only help so far … Give the professionals a call to get the job done properly.

For more rat information, visit our rat removal tips page, or for more specific how-to instructions, read the how to get rid of rats page with 6 step-by-step instructions. If you have a problem with rats above your ceiling in your house, read my rats in the attic guide. The most important part of rat control is sealing shut entry holes into the building, but after you've done that, you'll want to know how to kill rats humanely to complete the rat control job. If you need to hire professional help in your city, click on my directory of over 200 rat removal companies servicing 95% of the USA. we can help your with your rat problem!
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