Norway rats are always looking for a meal and a good place to live. Commercial facilities often have these resources in abundance. Once they get in and find what they need, it’s often a challenge to remove them quickly. Integrated rodent management is the best tactic, using all methods possible to find the root causes, address those, and remove the offending rats. Here are three tips to keep in mind that could make you more effective when it comes to trapping.
Tip #1 Look for the evidence. Inside, look for droppings, sebum (dark oily marks they leave behind), gnawing marks, and spilled food. In commercial facilities, it’s often hard to find the food sources they are feeding on because there is a lot of food. While Norway rats can climb, they often travel at ground level to check foods on lower shelves and stored near the floor. Look for chewed corners or edges of food packages and look for little piles of spilled food on the ground, then look up from those points.
Sebum can be tough to see in areas that aren’t pristinely cleaned. They look like every other dark smudge on the walls or floor. Find areas that have droppings, and you can use a blacklight to identify urine marks. Be aware that there are a number of things that fluoresce under a blacklight. Once you find the droppings and possibly urine, focus on those dark, greasy marks as the pathways the Norway rats are using.
Outside, look for burrows. Of course, Norway rats like to make their burrows in protected areas. Areas that are often overgrown or have a buildup of old “stuff”: pallets, old equipment, old trailers, sheds, etc. To narrow down the search, focus on these overgrown, broken-down, cluttered areas. There may also be sanitation issues outside, like dumpsters, trash bins, and grease traps.
Tip #2 Once you have identified the likely areas they are living in, feeding in, traveling on, and entering from, target those areas. Many people will just throw down traps and think the rats will go to them. Norway rats won’t go out of their way to visit a trap. There’s no incentive for them. Traps should be placed directly in the rats’ pathways. Since you have identified the key areas, put traps right in those areas.
In commercial facilities, you also have to consider the people there and their pathways. There may also be forklift traffic or large bins being moved back and forth. You will be much more successful by factoring this movement into your trap placement because people won’t be interfering with your devices. It will only be there for the rats and for them to trigger the traps.
Tip #3 Use the right trap. Have you ever walked into an account having a rat issue and seen tin-cat style traps? Or glue boards? How about tiny mouse-sized wooded snap traps? Start using the right trap for the right pest. A rat is not going to go to a tin-cat or be caught on a small snap trap. Rats will chew themselves off glue boards, assuming they get caught on them at all. For Norway rats, a heavy-duty, rat-sized trap is necessary.
The EZ Versa station has a number of features that make it very effective at trapping rats.
- It can fit a full-sized rat snap trap. Norway rats are nervous animals, and providing them with a safe, dark space is attractive to them.
- The glue board option makes it suitable for food processing facilities and audited accounts when both rats and mice are present.
- The station also has larger openings for rats, and the bottoms of those openings are cored out. This enables the rat to enter the trap while its feet are still on the ground, not on the plastic of the trap. By the time it contacts the plastic, the body is already half in.
- Instead of just placing it on the ground, you can run zip-ties through the bottom and anchor it to slightly elevated areas like pipes or conduits where the rats are running.
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Don’t let the rats outthink you. Find their evidence, put traps in the right areas, and use the right traps. Keeping these tips in mind will help to capture the rodents quicker. A quicker catch means a happier customer and fewer repeat visits. For more on Norway rats and management tactics, click here!