Garden Rats – Trap Location
Our gardens hold a myriad of food items for rats to feed on; be it morsels from the bird table, our prized veg patch or the chicken’s dinner, they will inevitably find it. These food-rich areas can often prove difficult when trying to manage a rodent population. This is where fieldcraft comes in.
To get the best results from your Goodnature A24, it is essential to position it in the right place. This goes for all traps; however, it becomes even more important when using traps driven by a food source. It is not uncommon that a small garden managed with rodent bait stations would see at least one of these untouched. Confusingly, one of them would be so heavily fed on, one starts to question just how many rats they have at the property.
A quick victory can result from a tidy up of freely available food and moving the traps to where the rats are living. If a rat can seek a hearty meal on its door step, its bound to take it. What’s more, rats are constantly evaluating risk and reward. When a rat runs the gauntlet to the chicken coop, it is on the look-out for ground and avian predators. This is where position comes in to its own, if we can negate the rat from having to expose itself to predators and feed in a safe environment, our success grows exponentially.
Avoid Rat Runs & Sources of Food
One of the worst places to site an A24 is on a rat run, open to the elements as well as predators; one would struggle to deliver consistent results. The rodent uses runs to get to preferred locations, they are a necessity that puts them at potential harm every trip. The real question lies with why they are using it, what is it they are so determined to get to? If we can identify this, we can then work back from it and trap them as close to home as possible.
Another common mistake is placing the trap directly next to the food source that they are feeding on. Given the choice and due to their acute neophobia, they will feed on what they know. Again, trap back to where they live, they will be far more inclined to eat the bait in the trap, as it reduces exposure to predators. Providing cover over the trap helps greatly, be it a piece of old plywood positioned as a lean too, or a box fashioned from wood. This will create an environment in which the rodent feels safe to feed, increasing catch rate. Natural shelter can also be used, placing a trap under a dense hedge is a proven winner.
The A24 is not like a conventional spring trap, although some principles can be applied; a different approach is needed. Look at your garden and work out the dynamics of it. You can always move the trap if needed. Through trial and error you will find the perfect location.