Successful rodent management is dependent on many factors. Habitat and food availability contribute to population growth. Unsealed openings allow them to enter structures where there may be even more habitat and food resources. An integrated approach that considers reducing food and habitat, keeping them excluded from structures, plus trapping and baiting is best. When using rodent stations, it’s important to integrate them into the overall management strategy.
By using stations in the best possible way, you can quickly reduce current issues as well as preventing future problems. Consider these tips for station placement:
Look for the pathways.
Rodents often establish well-traveled routes that lead from their nests to food and/or water sources. They prefer to travel along edges like the floor/wall junctions of buildings because it provides a sense of safety. These pathways allow them to use muscle memory to run. They aren’t so much consciously thinking of the path, they are almost on autopilot. Putting stations directly in these pathways means the rodents will quickly encounter them. If a station is too far from the rodents’ trails, the rodents are unlikely to go out of their way to visit the stations.
Using the EZ Secured Bait Station on the outside of structures helps to reduce the outdoor population of rodents. When using up against buildings, ensure the openings of the stations are flush with the wall: the rodents will want to travel close to that wall/ground interface.
Place near openings.
Rodents gain access where there are openings. They can’t come in through solid walls, they come in through broken doors, holes in the roof, or incoming shipments. Placing stations near these openings allow for quick capture when something does come in.
Inside structures, place stations with traps close to these potential entry points. Using a station like the EZ Snap Rat or EZ Snap Mouse right next to a door means when a rodent gets in, it quickly encounters the trap. The faster it encounters the trap, the less likely it is to make it further into the structure and find food and shelter.
On the outside, place bait stations a bit further from openings so rodents aren’t drawn in close to those potential entry points.
All kinds of traffic can displace stations that were initially carefully placed. Foot traffic can kick stations out of place or people may purposely move them to prop open doors. Forklift traffic can damage and even flatten stations if they are clipped or run over. Landscapers and vehicle traffic can obliterate stations on the outside. Take an objective look at the site and notice where the heavy traffic patterns are. Make sure stations are out of those heavily traveled areas. Rodents will tend to be in the quieter, less trafficked areas, so placing stations in those locations will be best for quick capture.
Often, using low-profile stations like the EZ Klean can be helpful because it is low profile and fits in tight areas that people and vehicle traffic can’t go.
Assess food availability
Rodents need food, water, and shelter. Inside or outside, rodents will be going to a food source. You can use this to your advantage in a few ways:
- Reduce the food source. If rodents have less to feed on, they will be more likely to go to bait stations as an easy meal. Always read and follow all label regulations when using rodenticides. Use a locking and secured station like the EZ Secured Bait Station.
- Use the food source. If using traps, bait the traps with some of their preferred food source to make the traps more attractive. Stations like the EZ Snap Seeker, have a specific space to put a small piece of food on the trap.
- See the trails. Rodents will be running from their harborage points to their food sources. Identifying these pathways, and stations can be placed right in that pathway. Rodents won’t go out of their way to visit a station if it’s outside of their normal runways.
The other factor to consider is a water source. While mice don’t need to drink water daily, rats do. Use the same principles of food when it comes to water sources as well.
See the light
Rodents are mostly active at night so looking for, and placing stations in dark, shaded, and shadowed areas is best. Many sites (commercial and residential) are lit at night as well, both inside and outside. Look for where the shadows remain, even at night. Try to keep stations in those shaded areas. On the outside, notice the lights on the structure or illuminating the structure as well as streetlights. On the inside, see which lights are left on at night and where they shine. Dark areas underneath cabinets, shelving, equipment, and more are a perfect place to place staions.
Even better: find a motor. Appliances such as refrigerators, stoves or ovens, icemakers, and vending machines are not only a nice small, dark area for rodents to hide, they provide the warmth of the running motor. Especially for mice, consider using the MBS Mouse Bait Station. It fits nicely underneath many pieces of equipment and can be placed convienently in tight corners.
Place the right station in the right spot
It may sound obvious: when there are mice, use a mouse trap; when there are rats, use a bigger rat trap. However, it often gets forgotten or overlooked. When showing up at a client, you may not have the righth supplies and put down what you have handy, and forget to change it on the next visit. It may not be clear on the first trip if it is mice or rats. In some cases, it could be both rats and mice. As you consider placing stations, remember that rat staions will be taller with larger openings than a mouse station and which areas those stations can physically fit under.
Think in three dimensions, not just on ground level. When trapping for roof rats in particular, stations should be placed above ground level – on beams, pipes, and conduits. The EZ Snap Seeker is great for this because it can be easily zip-tied to these elevated areas.
Communicate with the customer
The best station in the perfect location won’t do any good if the customer moves it. Communicate with the customer that you have placed the stations and where they have been placed. Enlisting the customers help to keep the stations in place will greatly increase their efficacy. Even more: explain that the holes, the openings of the stations, need to go up against the wall. So when they do accidentally get moved, they can be placed back the way they need to go.
You can even use the customers’ eyes to help check traps: the EZ Snap line of traps has a yellow indicator tie. Let the customer know if they don’t see the yellow to give you a call. It can save visits to the site if the customer can tell you that none of the traps, or some of the traps have been triggered.
Rodent issues are rarely easy and require a combination of sanitation, exclusion, trapping, and baiting. It takes collaboration between you and the customer to quickly and effectively identify issues and respond. When using rodent traps and bait stations, placement is key to effectively monitor and mitigate rodent issues. If you have questions on controlling rodents, want more information on products, or need any other information, reach out to us at: www.vmprodcuts.com/contact-us