Have you ever set a rat trap that failed to catch your prey even when you knew rats were around the area? You may even continue to see rat droppings, yet the trap remains undisturbed. Or even worse, you check your traps and find that the bait is gone, but it caught no rat. Situations like these can be very frustrating and prompt you to wonder if traps work or if rats can learn to avoid traps.
Rats can learn to avoid traps. Studies have shown that rats are neophobic and highly intelligent. This means they are cautious of new items and tend to avoid them. They also have very powerful noses that can detect the human scent and will mostly avoid anything with a human scent.
However, there may be other reasons your traps don’t catch rats. This article will tell you what to do if your traps keep failing. Then we’ll explain different traps while ranking them based on their effectiveness. Finally, we’ll advise you on the best practices to adopt while setting rat traps.
Why are Your Rat Traps Not Working?
Rat traps could fail for many reasons. First of all, if you do not take the time to study and understand the pests plaguing you, your traps could easily fail. For instance, if you purchase rat traps to tackle a mouse problem or vice versa, your traps will most likely fail. Also, if you fail to set your traps on paths the rats are likely to take, it will most likely not work. Finally, it would help if you consciously used bait that will attract the rats you’re trying to trap.
Your rat traps might also not work because the rats have figured out it is a trap. As we pointed out earlier, rats are intelligent. Their intelligence helps them recognize items to an extent. So, whenever they see any other rat fall victim to a trap or even a specific type of bait, they will most likely continue to avoid that. However, even if they do not see another rat fall victim, their neophobia (fear of new things) makes them wary of anything they are unfamiliar with.
Studies have hypothesized that the neophobia of rats developed as a survival trait in response to human efforts to eradicate them. In a study comparing the reaction of wild rats to new food to the response of laboratory rats, the researchers found that the wild rats experienced lower levels of neophobia. This tells you that the rats understand that you do not want them around. However, they’ve also developed traits that ensure you don’t win easily.
To enjoy a rat-free environment, you must understand their defence traits and how to combat them.