Pest Traps, Poisons, and Baits
Part of How to Keep Pests Out of Your House, a TOH Fall-upkeep series
Traps and Poison Baits
Bait station: Holds either a snap trap or poison bait blocks (shown) to kill rats and mice. Must be placed outside, safely away from children and pets. This one is molded out of plastic to look like a rock.
Electric trap: Jolts the unfortunate rat who ventures inside with a lethal dose of electricity. Comes in a smaller version for mice.
Live trap (for mice): A trapdoor swings shut when the mouse enters and tilts the box.
Snap trap: There's no need to put fingers in harm's way when setting this trap. Just pull back the arm and it latches automatically.
Snap trap (for rats): This classic combination of wood, spring, and wire claps shut with breakneck speed.
Glue trap: Snares mice who stumble into its sticky morass. Resistance—and removal of the animal—is futile. You must toss the trap with the animal still stuck to it. A little tent shields the suffering from view. Larger sizes capture rats.
Hardware cloth: Stiff ¼-inch mesh made of galvanized steel prevents chewing and tunneling. Place it over openings big enough to provide entry for a rat or a larger critter.
Chimney cap with grille: Stops raccoons from holing up in the flue.
Copper mesh: Stuffed into foundation cracks, it stops mice and rats, which despise chewing on it. Unlike soap pads or steel wool, copper won't rust. It's a temporary fix until the cracks can be mortared.
Spray foam: Fills irregular cracks between foundation and framing.
Acrylic caulk: Closes narrow gaps in wood trim and siding.
Squirrel exclusion device: Flap lifts up to let squirrel out, drops down to prevent reentry.
Mortar: Seals foundation cracks permanently.
Animals the size of squirrels or bigger are best captured in live traps made of tough galvanized-steel mesh.
Squirrel trap: Clamp it to the roof near the nest and bait it with peanut butter or dried corn cobs. Check it daily. When the squirrel is caught, take it for a long drive—at least 10 miles from your house. Then release it by opening the back door.
Raccoon trap: Set it near nests or likely feeding spots. Also works for similar-size mammals: groundhogs, skunks, armadillos, opossums. Toss a blanket over the trap to keep the animal docile while relocating it. As with squirrels, the release should be 10 miles from the capture point.
Where To Find It:
Rodent traps, rodenticides:
Pest Control Solutions
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Pest Conrol Supplies
Chimney Supply Co.
Multipurpose foam sealant and acrylic caulks:
DAP Products Inc.