How to Get Rid of Mice and Rats, National Apartment Association

How to Get Rid of Mice and Rats

Q: How do I get rid of mice or rats in my apartment?

Answer: If you want to rid them yourself, keep in mind that rats and mice are smart and conservative. They are not risk-takers. In the rat or mouse’s mind, a trap out in the middle of the floor is too risky to investigate. Rodents will run along walls, rafters and other low exposure areas. Put the traps along these routes about 10 feet apart. Peanut butter is a good bait to use. Patience is king when trying to trap a rat.

Place all your baited traps, but DO NOT set them for a day or two. Let the rat nibble at the bait danger free. This last part is what really can test a person’s patience. However, patience will win out. If you rush ahead and set the traps and the rat triggers one and is not caught; he will remember! Also, avoid using traps designed for mice; it will only annoy the rat and he will be smarter for it. The same goes for using rat traps to catch mice. The trap is too big and when sprung may miss the mouse.

Poison is another option. Anticoagulant poison is popular. It causes a rat’s blood to thin. It will make him thirsty and when he drinks water, he will bleed internally. When using this option, be sure to leave a saucer of water near the poison. The poison normally comes in bars that can be broken into pieces. Remember, rodents hoard, so just because the poison is gone, it does not mean they ate it. Put more out until they stop taking it.

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The local hardware store should carry this product, but it is best to go to a farm supply store. Be careful not to place it where other animals might find it and eat it. The hardware store or farm supply store carry approved bait dispensers designed for rats or mice. Again, patience is rewarded. Before using poison bait, use crunchy peanut butter to let the rats get used to the bait station for a few days. Then add the poison bait with a little bit of peanut butter.

Glue traps also are an option. It is important to use large, rat-sized traps. Put the glue trap along a known rat runway, or along a ledge or rafter used by the rodents. It is important to nail or fasten the glue trap in place. Place a bit of peanut butter in the middle of the trap as an attractant.

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