How to Kill Rodents

Frequently Asked Questions to Exterminate Rodents Invading Your Home

Do you sell rat poisons that will embalm the rat or make him go outside to die?

There has not or has there ever been a toxicant that would cause rodents to go outside or prevent decaying odor should they die inside. Traps are still the safest way to avoid odor problems when dealing with rodents.

What kind of poison baits do you have for squirrels?

No poison baits are labeled for use for squirrels. Trapping with live cage traps is the only reliable method of dealing with squirrels.

How can I tell if I have mice or rats?

The best way is to locate fecal droppings. See : Rodent droppings

I can't seem to get a handle on trapping rats. They seem to come back. Do you have any tips?

You may need more Rat traps than you think is warranted.

Rats are often shy of new objects and placing unset traps in a new location for a week or two will increase the opportunities of catching. This will acclimate the rats to the traps, once acclimated, set enough traps to kill a large percentage of the population before the rodents become "trap shy." This is called mass trapping, trapping them at a higher rate than they can repopulate and become shy of the trap.

There may be a need to have as many as 2-3 dozen rat traps set in place in a commercial establishment, in an infested trash room for example. By having these traps baited with peanut butter unset, a large population would be used to feeding on around the traps. When the traps are then simultaneously set after a while of this "feeding", a large kill can be obtained.The spring on the rat snap trap is very strong,(it could break a finger) so keep it out of reach of your pets and small children

How can I be sure all my mice are gone after all the trapping and baiting I've done?

Place a small pile of sunflower seeds (raw unsalted) in an area frequented by mice. If there are no scattered seeds within a couple of days........ Mission accomplished!

What is the proper way to clean up the aftermath of rat infestation in a basement? Should masks be worn to vacuum up droppings? To remove dead trapped rats?

Breathing the dust that is formed by cleaning up the droppings is a health hazard. Wear a dust mask or a respirator and rubber gloves. It is best not to use a vacuum cleaner unless it is equipped with a Hepa filter. Also wetting the droppings lightly with a mister will lessen the amount of dust formed.

Somehow we got Kangaroo rats inside our home. How do we get rid of them?

Kangaroo rats are common in the Midwest part of the U.S.A, in croplands and rural areas. They feed extensively on waste grain after the harvest. They are also called packrats. They are primarily seed-eaters. They have a strong hoarding habit and will gather large numbers of seeds in their cheek pouches and take them to their burrows for storage.

You can use eitherRat Snap Traps with the expanded plastic trigger(rat-sized), or a live trap such as the Safeguard Trap Model #50450. Bait the traps with a combination of peanut butter and oatmeal.

What is the best material for screening the foundation of the house, to prevent rats from entering. Also, how do I secure the screening so that it will stay and not be moved by the rats? Will caulk work for securing the screening?

Caulking will not work. Use 1/4" mesh hardware cloth and secure it with a screw. You may have to use anchors and screws to attach it to the masonry.

Is there some sort of fumigation that I can spray into the roof to keep them away from that area? I have a serious rat problem. I hear them running in the roof. However, I cannot get into the roof because it is closed off. How do I get rid of them?

No, there is nothing to keep them away. I would use Safeguard Trap Model #50450 a live trap, placed on the roof near the entry points. After trapping all of the rodents, seal the area with metal or hardware cloth or Stuf-fit Copper Mesh Wool

Is there a rat poison in the marketplace that is not toxic to dogs, should they pick up or chew a dead rat after the rat ingested the material. I am not worried about my Labrador Retrievers eating the poison directly, but from coming in contact with a dead rat. We live in the country, and rats are a constant challenge.

I would use the active ingredient, Bromethalin such as Fastrac, Top Gun, Gladiator or Take Down Soft Bait. They contain Vitamin D3 which causes death from heart failure. It doesn't cause secondary poisoning. With both these bromethalin baits, it is essential to keep non-targeted animals away from this bait, because there are no antidotes. It would be wise to use: Tamper Proof Bait Stations: Rat Bait Stations, or Mice Bait Stations, designed to keep other animals and children out of this type of rodent bait.

Written by our resident pest control expert Ken Martin.

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