RAT CONTROL:Information

How to identify type of rat, inspect for rats, how to control using trapping or rodencticides, and how to bait.

Norway Rats

Flying Squirrel


As an adult the Norway Rat can weigh between 12-16 oz. with a body length of 6-8 inches long. The nose is blunt with small ears, and small eyes. The fur is shaggy and coarse with variation in colors. The tail is shorter than the head and body combined, and scaly.The Norway rat is larger and more aggressive than the Roof Rat.

Norway rat inspection:

The droppings are 1/4 to 1/2 inch in length, capsule shaped, with blunt ends. They are usually a shiny black, but may vary according to their diets. Norway rats and Roof Rats will leave a hind foot track of about 3/4-1 inch where a mouse's track measure's 3/8 of an inch or less. Rats will also drag their tails, leaving a mark between their feet tracks. Unscented baby powder or flour, lightly sprinkled can help you determine tracks and their runways as they cross suspected areas. Gnawing holes from rats are about 2 inches or more in diameter. They have rough edges. They prefer to gnaw on wood, but can damage electrical wiring. Rat burrows can be found along foundations, or beneath rubbish and shubbery. If the burrow is active it usually clear of vegetation. Rat runways are smooth and well packed. Indoors, these runways are free of dust and dirt.


They prefer foods with a high protein or carbohydrate content, but will eat almost any type of food. They need water to survive, unlike mice.

Habits and Biology:

The young rats reach sexual maturity in 2-3 months, females average 4-7litters a year, with 8-12 pups per litter. Adults live about a year. They live in colonies. The Norway rat generally prefers to live in underground tunnels. On farms, they will be near a food source: barns, granaries, livestock buildings, and silos. In the cities, they will be in the ground in their is available space, but have been known live entirely inside buildings. Rats will seek food outside, but many times will come inside at night to forage for food and return to their burrows. Needing a water source, they can obtain water from toilets, sinks, rain puddles, or condensation from utility pipes. Their nesting burrows on the outside are often along the foundation of walls. As the rat family grows, more burrows are built, resulting in a network of underground tunnels. Inside, the Norway Rat commonly nest on the lower levels, but if the population is too large, they may be found in the attic and ceiling areas. Their nests are built from soft material like paper or grass chewed into small pieces. Rats will climb if necessary to enter a building, the Norway Rat is an excellent swimmer. Rats are suspicious of changes in the environment or new foods, for this reason it may take a couple of days for traps or poison baits to take. Rats are nocturnal, with their peak activity at dusk or before dawn. When the population is large or they are disturbed or hungry, you can see activity during the day.

Roof Rats

Flying Squirrel


The adults weigh about 5-9 ounces,7-10 inches long. The tail is longer than the head and body combined. They have large ears and a pointed nose. The fur is smooth, as opposed to the Norway rat with it's shaggy fur.The Roof Rat is smaller and more slender than the bigger Norway Rat.

Rat roof inspection:

Refer to the section on Norway Rat inspection. Much would be the same except the droppings are spindle shaped instead of capsule shaped and the droppings reach about 1/4 inch in size. The tail markings and hind feet markings are the same.

Runways for Roof Rats are difficult to determine.

To see a picture of tracks and droppings-click here


They prefer seeds, nuts, fresh vegetables and fruits, but will eat meat and grain products.

Habits and biology:

They become sexually mature in 2-3 months, with 4-6 litters per year, 4-8 pups per litter.

The Roof Rat is a climber, commonly nesting in areas above the ground: trees, vines, attics, ceiling voids, or in voids along the roof line. These rats enter your home much like squirrels. As their population grows they will nest in underground burrows

Inspection Tips

UV FLASHLIGHT to help detect presence of rodent urine for easier inspection.to help detect presence of rodent urine for easier inspection. Using a flashlight to inspect dark, recessed areas that rodents(mice and rats) frequent would help you discover problem areas. When inspecting, keep in mind that you are looking for signs of activity: gnawing, urine, droppings and tracks. Most people underestimate the size of the infestation and under-bait or under-trap, without proper and adequate bait and trap placements. Begin the inspection from the exterior to the interior. Focus on areas that may provide water, food or harborage: vegetation, refuse or wood piles, bird feeders, waterways, garages, carports, attics, crawl spaces, cupboards, closets and food storage areas. Entry points are important to consider when inspecting: windows, door thresholds, utility lines, rooftops and downspouts. Rodents have oily hair leaving smudge marks where they consistently travel. Droppings, urine trails and gnawing marks all are signs of rodent activity. Feces are critical in determining the type of rodent and measure of activity.

uv tracker lightUV Pro Tracker Urine Tracker Led UV Light to help detect presence of rodent urine for easier inspection.


Trapping Recommendations

There are several advantages for using traps:

1. Safer than potential hazardous poison baits

2. Quick, immediate results

3. Easy disposal of dead rodents avoiding odor problems that will occur if rodenticides kill rodents in inaccessible areas.

4. Types of traps: Snap Traps, Glue Traps and Live Traps

Snap Traps, Glue Boards, and Live Traps

You may need more 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 the 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 a Rat/Squirrel lure or peanut butter unset, a large population would be use 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. An alternate solution would be using the Trapper T Snap Traps with a protective bait station. The T Rex traps are designed to fit perfectly in the protecta bait stations.

Human or dead-rodent odors on traps do not cause a reduction in trapping the population, but the odors of the natural predators, such as dogs or cats can cause an aversion to the traps.

Do not touch pets, prior to handling the traps.

Avoid handling dead rodents with bare hands to prevent contact with ectoparasites or diseased animals.

Avoid storing glue traps in vehicles during warm

Trapper T-Rex Trap for both rats will fit in the protecta bait stations to help keep non targeted animals and children away from the traps.

Rodenticides:chemical control

Rodenticides are poison baits and should be used in areas where domestic animals and children can't reach. However there are resistant -tamper bait stations that hold the baits in place and keep children and pets out. It is a national law and guideline to use resistant-tamper proof bait stations in areas where children or pets could access.

We carry single feeding bait (requires just one feeding for a lethal dose).

The baits come in seed, pellets, liquid or block forms.

Multiple feed bait: rodents need multiple feedings for a lethal dosage

Baits available in a liquid concentrate

Tamper proof bait stations to keep children and pets out

fastrac bloxFastrac Blox
Single feed bait and weather resistant

Fastrac Pellets
Single feeding bait and weather resistant

final bloxFinal Blox
Single feeding bait
contrac place pellets packsContrac Pellets
Packaging: 25 gram packs
Single feed rodenticide active ingredient-Bromadiolone

contrac cakeContrac Cake
Single feeding bait and weather proof

How to bait

Some of the general tips for baiting mice also apply for baiting techniques for rat control.
Some extra tips include:

Eliminate the rat's natural food source as much as possible. It is much easier to introduce rat bait to the population with less food choices. Space baits between 15 and 50 feet apart for rats( mice bait placements are much closer). As with mice bait placement techniques use closer spacing of bait placements in a heavy infestation, placing bait between their harboraging areas and food sources.

It is very helpful to use rat size bait stations to encourage feeding. They provide the rat with an attractive , protective feeding area.

Once these bait stations are placed, avoid moving them. Some rats have a reaction against moved objects. Of course after a time, and the rats are not taking the bait, it would warrant moving the station.

Rats consume much more bait than mice. Each rat may consume 1 ounce or more nightly. Keep plenty of bait available to refill the bait stations. In damp conditions use weather resistant blox/block forms. If necessary tie down the bait in order to prevent them from washing away.

Roof Rats : Further Baiting Tips

All the information above apply to Roof Rats as well with some additional tips because roof rats may be active above ground level as well. Always try to place baits between there harboraging areas and all food sources.

Place bait above ground, such as the rafters and garages, fence rails, trees, telephone phones, etc. They should be tied securely so non targeted animals and children may not access them.

Roof rats may travel quite a distance to access food. In residential areas for example, roof rats may travel from harboring areas in trees to feed in garbage cans, pet dishes , etc.

Inspect dense cover areas, because roof rats like to rest and feed in these areas. These are areas that you will want to place your bait or traps.

Roof rats like to feed on smaller amounts and various locations than the bigger sized Norway Rat. Provide more areas for feeding.

You can use PVC pipes(2 inches in diameter) as bait stations to bait on narrow ledges and overhead areas. Bait blocks should be wired, and the PVC pipe affixed to the areas



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