Bait placement ideas to keep rats out of attic this winter

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Old 10-01-19, 10:47 PM
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Bait placement ideas to keep rats out of attic this winter

Last year I heard some rats in the attic and also had a mess in the crawl space. I don't know if the two were related or not, but after a few months, I stopped hearing noises in the attic and got the crawl spaced cleaned out in the early spring and sealed the holes I found. I have checked periodically and they have not disrupted the new insulation around the ducts as they had before. I have a couple of Tomcat bait boxes, one outside the crawl space and one inside and while I went months without checking the one inside, I recently did and all of the bait was gone. The bait in the box right outside the crawlspace (basically on the other side of the wall as the one inside) had a little missing but not much. Do you think maybe mice got in there and ate that? I am pretty confident I went over that whole crawl space and sealed any big holes. I do know where rats were getting in because there was a pretty big opening and I even put a loose paper towel in there and they knocked it out once so I know they were coming in there. While those are obvious, I realize mice can get through a much smaller opening so maybe I missed something that small. Anyways, I appreciate the help, especially from PAbugman, but am just posting this now because I want to make sure I have appropriate bait boxes set up outside so help prevent rats from getting into the attic or crawl space again. Can you please recommend some bait boxes/bait and how far apart they should be placed?
 
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Old 10-02-19, 05:44 AM
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Here are examples of rodent bait stations. You should use exterior grade bait stations for outside the house. In the crawl space/attic you can use either indoor or outdoor. Read and choose carefully so you know which ones you are looking at. Make sure they are made for rats, too.

The Aegis RP (6 ea) looks like a good deal.

I've seen exterior bait stations in hardware stores, farm supply stores, etc so maybe locally you can buy some, too. Never checked their prices.

I always like the rodent bait blocks and the soft baits. Contrac all weather blox are one of my favorites.

In any case, the bait must be kept fresh and palatable. Sometimes it will need to be changed weekly, sometimes monthly, bi-monthly, etc. That's going to depend on the ambient temps, moisture, humidity, etc. all of which change constantly. You as the operator have to learn and adjust to accommodate that. I suspect the interior bait was eaten soon after installation whereas the exterior bait may have gotten unpalatable due to environmental conditions so nothing ate it. Also, slugs and other insects will eat it. This isn't an "apply and forget about it for a while" job. The initial application is simply the beginning of the job which requires regular/constant monitoring. You will gain the experience needed as you check regularly and see how the bait goes through changes, either environmentally or through rodent/insect activity.

When you check the bait, look for rodent droppings inside the box; that will help to ID the rodent activity. You may be able to place snap traps inside the bait stations, too. This offers flexibility as well as monitoring and quicker control.

As far as number of placements, I'd say at least a couple outside if not more. Read the instructions/label for the rodent baits as that will help. For a single residence like it sounds that you have, I'd go with less placements initially as opposed to maximum.

I just re-read the older posts and my comments/advice. Look through them again as we covered some of this.




https://search.domyown.com/search?p=...ait%20Box&rk=3
 
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Old 10-10-19, 01:46 PM
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That 6 pack of Aegis RP does look good and those are probably much nicer boxes than the ones I bought at the store. That would also be enough to put around the rest of the house. It looks like those T Rex traps fit in there besides which I have a few of those left. Would you recommend putting a couple in this area where the problem was before and maybe just a couple other on the other side of the house? I have had caught rats outside over there before because there are some woods nearby. As far as the bait, I looked up the Contrac All Weather blox like you mentioned and it comes in an 18 pound bucket (288 blocks) for $82. Is that an excessive amount? It mentions a year shelf life when opened so I don't think I would ever go through that amount. It looks like you can get a 4 pack of 4 pound buckets instead for a little more, but that might last longer if unopened. I don't see those where you can order smaller quantities.

I did neglect the boxes I have because I didn't check on them, but once you set these up, is it pretty much the matter of just replacing the bait every so often as you mentioned? When reading up on them, I see that they mention to use for an infestation and that they will attract nearby rats. If I don't have an infestation (or maybe there aren't even any around), are these also just preventative to keep any stray rats away, or is there a better preventative bait? Do ants eat this stuff too? I had carpenter ants but sprayed the perimeter with Termidor as you mentioned and have not seen a carpenter ant since! Anyways, thank you again.
 

Last edited by dm888; 10-10-19 at 04:29 PM.
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Old 10-11-19, 11:16 PM
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Without actually being on site I can't tell you how many and where to put the stations but I'd put out multiple stations, including underneath. Bait them and check at least weekly if not more often initially until you get a feel for rodent activity, insects/slugs eating the bait, dampness in the bait, etc. The bait will be affected differently on the various sides of the house, rodent/insect/slug activity, different seasons, humidity, rain water run off, etc. You have to get started and stay on it and you will learn how these variable affect your situation. Snap traps inside the stations are a good strategy too in case you're not sure if you want to try the rodenticide bait just yet, or do combinations.

The big bucket may or may not be a lot. Consider going to a big box store, farm supply store, hardware store, etc and buy a smaller quantity. Look for the same active ingredient that is in Contrac even if the brand name is different.

The rodenticide (bait) does not keep rodents away or prevent rodents. They need to eat it. It needs to be kept fresh. Check it frequently. Look for signs of softness from moisture, mold, insect/rodent/slug activity. You have to get started as this is how you will gain experience.

Read the label for instructions on quantities to use and other guidelines, advice, strategy, etc. The label on line is the same one you'll get when purchased. For rats you will be putting out multiple blocks in each station. Keep a fresh supply in the stations. You have to check frequently until you get a feel for how long the bait lasts, acceptance, etc.
 
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Old 10-11-19, 11:59 PM
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Ok I'll check out smaller quantities. I guess what I asking though is if bait should always be out. It makes sense to do it and check it like you said to control an infestation, but as far as I know, I don't know if there are any rats or mice around. I am sure they are somewhere, but is this still a good idea just to kill any that happen to wander near the house? I guess I am trying to figure out the difference between trying to get rid of rats that you have and trying to make sure rats don't get in your house.
 
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Old 10-12-19, 06:44 AM
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When you're dealing with rats you do "all of the above". In other words don't look at it as either I do this or I do that. Rats are potentially serious. Rats are "commensal". Look up the definition. They like living near us so they will always be probing, seeking. If they overpopulate nearby then you will definitely see rats again.

If there are rats nearby/outside your house, sooner or later they will be a problem for you again. When you monitor your bait stations you will learn if rodents are on the exterior of the house. Some people are concerned that they may attract rodents to their property by using rodenticide bait. I don't worry about it. If rats are that close, then I want them dead shortly after finding my property. Placing snap traps inside the bait stations is somewhat of an alternative to rodenticide for those inclined to minimize the attraction and potential secondary poisoning to non-target species such as raptors.

Figure out a plan that you're comfortable with. Once you get started on a routine then you will quickly figure out and modify strategies as you go.

Look back at previous posts as I thought I remembered some of these questions and answers. We are covering some old ground again. Get back to us with observations as you learn them.
 
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Old 10-14-19, 06:41 PM
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What do you think of this kit? I talked to them at domyown.com and explained stuff and they recommended this kit. I am still learning about the different baits and was wondering what are the advantages of the fast acting stuff vs. the slower acting stuff? Also, I don't have any pets (we may get a dog in the future) but I my neighbor has a dog and I have seen around often. Should I take that into consideration when choosing a bait?
 
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Old 10-15-19, 06:34 AM
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That's only 4 lbs. of rodenticide for $70. Pretty much all of the rodenticides on the market kill with one feeding except ones with the active ingredient: diphacinone. I always like the anti-coagulant baits over the neurotoxins because of the readily available antidotes for anti-coags. I always prefer single dose.

The bait stations shown look more than adequate but for me, that 4 lb. bucket can't be justified pricewise compared to the single dose anti-coags.

If there are animals such as raccoon s, opossums, etc in the area, I would fasten the stations to something. Oftentimes they are fastened to a concrete paver block but that is a real pain and makes them very difficult to clean out if necessary. Sometimes using pipe hanger strap run through the station and screwed into the house/porch posts, etc works nicely and can be undone quickly. Just an example, figure out what works for you. Placing heavy rocks or pavers on top doesn't work well as they get pushed off and in time the constant weight will ruin the station.
 
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Old 10-27-19, 08:43 AM
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Great point, that is a high price for just the bait. Since the Contrac comes in an 18 pound bucket for $82 or four 4 pound buckets for $96, maybe I am better getting the 4 buckets for a little more because that will last me a few years if they are unopened, right? I'll just get those Aegis boxes you mentioned first time around too if those look like the best. I don't know if it makes a difference or not, but to me, it seems like having an opening on both ends of the box like those Aegis do would be better than on just one end. Thanks for the suggestion to not put paver blocks on top of the box because that is what I was doing with the old ones.
 
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Old 10-27-19, 10:32 AM
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The EZ Clean appear to have two openings on one of the enlarged pictures. I've never seen one with only one opening. It was always taught to us that rats want to be able to see a way out, before they even go in so they always have two.

The "four bucket" idea is a good one. Keep them stored in dry, room temp or cooler place, out of sunlight. Did you ever look in stores for a four pound bucket of the same active ingredient? Would be a different brand name though. Might be a reasonable price and that way you'd get to try them before you buy almost $100 worth.
 
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