Summary: You may think you know how to set a rat trap, but there is an art to doing it properly. Rodents are very smart and learn quickly to avoid objects and areas that present possible danger.
So, you think you've been around the block once or twice and know everything there is about properly setting a rat snap trap? Well, there's a lot more to it than pulling back the snap bar and putting it on the ground. Read on and learn the right way.
Rats are very smart and they are not about to jump on a trap just because you've put a dab of peanut butter on it. Rats are very suspicious of anything new in their territory and they will carefully examine it and test it to see if it is friend or foe. To often people set their traps only to find that they have been
set off and nothing has been captured. They re-set the traps and discover they cannot get a rodent to come near it. Once the trap has failed to do its job the target rat has learned his lesson and will not come near anything that resembles the trap or the smell of the trap.
Pre-baiting a rat trap is of utmost importance, but you need to know what to put on the trap as bait. It's important to know what the rat has been eating because rats will test a food to see how it affects them. If it digests well they will return to gorge themselves on that single food source. If, for example, you found the rat had been eating chocolate cupcakes you should take small pieces of those cupcakes and place it on the trap trigger. Do not set the spring bar the first or second day. Allow the rat to become accustomed to eating from the unset trap. If the rat is eating the cupcake from the trap consistently you can set the trap spring bar to go off on day three.
The placement of the trap is also very important. Rats have poor eye sight and use walls to guide them along. Set the trap perpendicular to the wall with the trigger nearest the wall. Setting the trap perpendicular will allow the rat to come in contact with the trigger from either direction. If the trap is set parallel to the wall the rat can only come in contact with the trigger from one direction. The edge of the trap must touch the wall, otherwise the rat may squeeze by the trap without coming in contact with the trap trigger.
After you've caught a rat there are two schools of thought as to whether you should clean the trap or not. Some people believe the trap has been “seasoned” once a rat has been caught. Others believe the scent of a trapped rat will discourage other rats from approaching. I say whatever works best for you is the rule to follow.
And you thought you knew all there was about setting rat traps.
03 Jun 2012, 15:23
i can't figure out how to even set the spring victor trap!! i took out the staple and now what ...their site and directions have no pictures and i just don't get it thank you for your help...seems one is not enough and the jaw one i tried is worthless cause i didn't read what you said here about acclimating them...i have spent hundreds of dollars cementing, bob cat urine, peppermint oil, cayenne time time time steel wool, traps, balsam nothing i tried to use hav a hart but no luck this year...they are under the deck and i can smell them in the sill area of the basement! eek...there is no "wall" to put it up against just the opening to under the deck and the leaves and vines there....dang it is so creeepy and sad and frustrating and now i have this trap that i can't set. i bought a tomcat too with poison..desperate and sad laura b
08 Jun 2012, 07:03
01 Nov 2012, 10:40
04 Nov 2012, 01:35
11 Feb 2013, 14:53
I've found leaving a HUNK of food surrounded by Victor traps with little bait in them TEARS UP the rats.
24 Mar 2014, 12:49
Many thanks for your very helpful site! Unfortunately I only read it AFTER setting out the first traps.
I have a Norway rat in the garden, my husband caught him on our security camera. I've not found droppings yet so our garden might just be part of his nightly prowl path. We set out Victor traps (2) baited with peanut butter and set the trap. As per your advice we should have set out trap, baited but unstrung until rat thinks trap is a good feeding source and only then set it. So our wily rat has been able to detonate the trap and take off with the bait without injury.
My dilemma is how do I proceed from here? I think he might be shy of the Victor traps. I do not want to use poison (he might have his burrow close to the home and stink us up) glue traps are awful and my hardware store tells me zapper traps cannot be used outside. We do not have children or pets in the garden.
I would very much appreciate your advice, many thanks in advance, regards, Esther
20 Mar 2015, 12:38
12 Apr 2015, 12:15
I have a problem with a rat in my house for the last two months. Would love your thoughts on this. We had put the normal snap traps and caught a few rats (one in garage and one in sub floor) but this rat in the house avoids these traps. I have tried putting a number of traps and even put a video camera. The video camera shows the rat avoiding the trap (going around it). We had an exterminator come in and seal the outside of the house and also places inside the house (so that the rat can't go out and come back in). I have even tried rat cage (one with that shuts once the rat walks on a lever) but this rat avoids that too. We have kids at home so this getting a little frustrating. So any tips would be appreciated.
BTW I am now planning to use a Rat Zapper. Hope that works!
13 Apr 2015, 08:47
You need to find the point of entry and seal it shut to stop the flow of rats.