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SadieMartinPaul's avatar

Have you used a humane rodent trap?

Asked by SadieMartinPaul (8997points) January 17th, 2013

Lucky me. This morning, I found signs of an animal infestation in one of my kitchen drawers. The plastic handles of several utensils had been gnawed through, and I believe that the droppings are from a rat (about the size of a paper clip and really disgusting to see).

I want to buy a humane trap and release the creature into the woods. Have you ever used such a contraption? Was it effective? If yes, can you recommend a brand name and model?

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27 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

I use only Havaharts. They come in various sizes. I have had a high level of success with the ones for mice and voles and the next size up for chipmunks amd squirrels.

My bro-in-law uses a large Havahart for the woodchucks that get into his garden. There is nothing quite like driving an enraged woodchuck in his little trap in the back of your car to the Woodchuck protection program five miles away from the original sting. They are surprisingly and inventively vocal.

zenvelo's avatar

I would not use them. The only effective way to get rid of rats (once you have blocked the access points to your interior) is to use deadly Victor traditional rat traps.

If there is that much evidence of rats in your drawers, there is more than one.

gailcalled's avatar

^^^Good point. I should clarify that I have dealt only with mice and have never had rats. I might have a different POV in that circumstance.

Coloma's avatar

Yes, I have a Havahart trap and it works very well.
I rarely need to use it and the last time I was convinced I had a mouse under my stove it turned out to be a tree frog! lol
Yep, the little poops looked just like mouse poo and I couldn’t figure out why all my efforts and perfect bait was failing to catch the mouse until….one morning, when I walked into the kitchen and saw a fat little pacific tree frog sitting on top of the trap. haha
Hey…he was keeping my kitchen bug free.

jca's avatar

I used a little havahart trap (purchased at Walmart for only a few bucks) for a mouse which I caught. However, I see more droppings now and there must be a new resident. Same as you, it was (or is) in my kitchen drawer where I kept the cooking stuff. Totally gross thought of mouse walking on my cooking stuff, and it all had to be taken out and put through the dishwasher. Needless to say, nothing is going back in that drawer until I solve the problem, which will probably mean taking everything out of the lower cabinet and figuring out how the mouse or mice get into the space. I have cats, but with the drawer shut as it usually it, the cats probably never even knew the mouse or mice were in there.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Havahart traps work but you are only foisting the problem on someone else when you release them. Use Victor Snap Traps for $1.79. they are effective and take care of the problem permanently.

As a side note, if you do take the rat in your car be prepared to have your interior smell like rat pee for a while. The Havahart trap is only a wire cage and rat feces and urine pass right through . Bleech!!!l

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

I just had a plumber check for suspicious holes in and under the cabinets. He found a couple that were rat-worthy—something the size of a quarter is big enough—and he filled them with some foamy stuff that rodents (supposedly) can’t chew through.

So, no rats were in sight; it seems that they’ve been having nocturnal parties in my kitchen but leaving at dawn.

Yuck! I’ll need to soak every utensil, pot, and pan in a bleach solution, plus sterilize the surfaces of every drawer and cupboard. I think I’ll wait until tomorrow. I’ve already had enough fun for one day.

gailcalled's avatar

@PaulSadieMartin: My sympathies. In future, you can plug any hole or crevasse you find (no matter how small…mice can limbo through almost anything) with very fine steel wool.

gailcalled's avatar

@LuckyGuy: I know we have agreed to disagree, but I put down some newspapers under the Havahart that holds a mouse in the car. Then I can burn the newspaper. Even mice do distribute poop.

(Passed Dan’s Diner this afternoon and thought of you.)

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

@gailcalled and @LuckyGuy. I’ve been reading instructions about how to clean up after a rodent party. The advice is NOT to vacuum the droppings, because doing so will release dust and fiflth into the air. Instead, I’m supposed to spray the droppings with a bleach solution, wait a while, and then remove the mess with protective gloves and paper towels.

I say, the heck with that!!! I’m going in there with a vacuum cleaner hose. If I need to discard the vacuum cleaner’s bag immediately after, that’ll be fine with me. But, gloves regardless, I’m not handling any rat droppings.

By the way, urine isn’t visible, so I’d forgotten all about that. Yes, my drawers and cupboards are no doubt covered with rat urine, along with the revolting droppings.

I never want to harm or kill any animal. Can’t we housebreak and toilet-train rodents?

gailcalled's avatar

^^ Why not? And then teach them how to run on little treadmills that generate energy.

zenvelo's avatar

Here’s how to make the eco system happy by releasing a rodent.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@PaulSadieMartin If you want really want to creep yourself out you can use a certain wavelength of UV light with the right filters and see exactly where they dribbled. They leave trails of pee wherever they go.
If you knew the truth you’d sell your house.

I’d use a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA filter to clean up the mess.

glacial's avatar

@PaulSadieMartin By using gloves and wiping with bleach, you’re not handling the droppings. By vacuuming, you are handling the droppings – directly into your lungs and in a fine powder all over your face. That is what they mean by “release dust and filth into the air”. I know which option I’d prefer.

Nullo's avatar

My store uses the Victor Tin Cat, but I’m pretty sure that those kill.

Just get a mortal trap and pretend that a wild animal did it. Put it outside to decompose, maybe.

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

@glacial Ok, you’ve convinced me! No rodent-fecal-dust blowing all over my kitchen; I’ll use the gloves and bleach technique. I’ll be disgusted beyond belief, but I’ll do it.

Have I mentioned that my husband, Paul, finds this whole thing laugh-out-loud hilarious? Before he left for work this morning, it was just one rat joke after another. He’s a real riot. Of course, he’s not the one who stays home and gets to clean up the mess. Maybe I should change the locks on the doors before he gets home?

wundayatta's avatar

This is an issue that, in my experience, women freak out over much more than men do.

Rats are very smart. If you set a trap, you better catch the rat the first time, because if the rat is not caught when the trap goes off, it will not go near the trap again. We tried three different kinds of traps, but missed with all of them and we ended up having to have an exterminator lay down “bait,” as she called it. Poison.

We also had spend thousands of dollars rat proofing the basement. We have a hundred year old house. It had a lot of holes. We could have spend close to ten grand getting the basement parged, but even my wife, the rat fanatic, decided that was too much.

Rats should be killed. They are public health hazards. They should not be caught alive and sent to someone else’s house. And there is always someone else’s house near where you want to empty the trap. Rats are pests. They carry the bubonic plague. They carry a host of other diseases. To leave them alive is a very anti-social act. It is saying that rats are more important than humans.

Where I live, the city has stopped killing rats. There is a plague of rats now. An infestation. They come out of the sewers and into our houses. If you catch a rat, please kill it.

glacial's avatar

Yes, kill it dead. Preferably with fire.

Buttonstc's avatar

If you need further convincing to NOT use the vaccum cleaner just Google “Hanta Virus”. It has killed people. Those cautioning instructions aren’t kidding.

On the lighter side of things, there’s a short vid which you’ll all enjoy (if you haven’t already seen it on the news).

Just go to YouTube and search “cadet releases mouse”.

It’s only a bit over a minute long and will give you a chuckle.

Buttonstc's avatar

It’s the Circle of Life, Baby. Sometimes that circle closes more quickly than at other times :)

Instant Karma.

wundayatta's avatar

The poor mouse would have died some other way very quickly being released into the wild in winter where it has no home.

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

Well, Flutherites, my kitchen is now rat-free and immaculate. I didn’t use the vacuum cleaner at all. I soaked every kitchen item in a strong bleach solution for 20–30 minutes and, because chlorine is poisonous, I later washed each item in hot, soapy water. Every surface has been sterilized with the same bleach solution, and each horizontal area has fresh shelf paper.

Drats…what a dreadful way to spend a day!!! It’s a miracle that I didn’t pass out from all the bleach fumes (it’s January, not a great time to open windows and ventilate). Oh, well…the optimist in me is calling this Early Spring Cleaning.

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LuckyGuy's avatar

@PaulSadieMartin I hope you set out traps too. It will not take long for the mess to appear again. Unless you eliminate the problem, the problem is not eliminated.

Gabby101's avatar

Releasing rats is BS. Just kill them and prevent them from reproducing and spreading disease. I had some BS friends who bought “humane” traps and then forgot about them when they went on vacation. When they came back, they found that the mice had eaten each other because there was nothing else to eat.

Buttonstc's avatar

The circle of life…again…


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