|1. Inspection – Find active runways where rodents are entering a building. Be aware of local food sources such as bird feeders, dog food, grass seed etc. Common entrances for rats in pier & beam homes include open crawlspace vents, and digging under shallow footings. All houses must be inspected where utility lines enter a structure, such as electricity, gas, and A/C lines. Roof rats commonly use roof vents, stack pipes, gables, and protected roof overhangs. Grease stains are evidence of a heavily traveled path.
2. Patch to Exclude – Hardware wire, and expanding foam are effective tools for patching holes. If holes are not plugged baiting or trapping programs will not provide a long-term solution.
3. Removal – Once the rodents have been blocked from a building a well planned baiting or trapping program should be implemented. For most home owners snap traps offer an effective solution for rodent infestations, but as with baits the size of the infestation must be taken into consideration. Place the baits or traps in active locations such as in the attic and crawlspace. If bait is to be placed outside it must be contained in a protected bait station with the use of securing rods. For snap traps peanut butter is a good bait as well as nesting material such as pieces of cotton balls or tissue.
4. Follow-up – When using baits it is critical to re-inspect the bait stations regularly to add more bait as needed or move bait to more attractive feeding sites. Once the infestation has been eliminated removal of the bait is important to prevent roach and beetle infestations.
Bait Information: If it is determined bait will be used, the least toxic material with the lowest risk of secondary poisoning is the active ingredient Cholecalciferol. Secondary poisoning occurs when an animal eats a rodent that has consumed poison and suffers from the effects of the poison. Cholecalciferol is sold under the trade name of Quintox. Cholecalciferol is vitamin D3 which mobilizes calcium from the bones into the bloodstream, causing hypercalcemia, and death from heart failure. Quintox is a better option than an anticoagulant, because it minimizes the risk of harming family pets. But precaution must be taken to ensure that the bait is not assessable to children or pets. There is always a risk of poisoning if rodent bait is consumed.