The Rodent Removal Process

Do you have a problem with unwanted house guests? They’re annoying, eat your entire pantry, leave their droppings everywhere for you to discover, and haven’t showered since you’ve known them. That’s right. We are talking about rats.

These pests and their disease riddled fur have you calling for backup the moment you see their tails scamper across the kitchen floor; because you know if there’s one, there might be more. But how do those rodent control companies swoop in and save the day, what’s the trick behind their pied piper powers?

Distinguishing Rodent Type

The Rodent Removal Process

First they have to understand what rats these companies are looking for. There are two types of rats that are the most common in the United States. The Brown Rat, commonly referred to as the Norway rat, and their high-flying compatriot, the Black or Roof Rat. The Norway rats can be distinguish by their large frame, as they are bigger than Roof rats, and also tend to live beneath rubbish in moist areas, like basements. Roof rats are smaller with long tails and can be agile climbers so they typically live in elevated areas like the attic

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To find out which rat control agencies are dealing with, they rely on the client for a good deal of their information. And the client may know more than they think. For instance, the state of your backyard can be of real help in finding out which rat is residing in your house. Perhaps you found some chewed up nuts from the tree in your backyard; roof rats are good climbers so you may be dealing with them if these signs, and other similar ones, appear. Or perhaps you have found disturbed dirt around the tool shed and damaged vegetables in the garden; the Norway rats are likely the culprits.

Trap Placement

Once rodent control knows what they are looking for, they can start placing their traps. Norway rats aren’t big on climbing so they will stick close to walls and hide in dark spaces; these areas are where rodent control focuses their traps on.  By placing two traps facing opposite targets close to a wall there is a better chance of catching a rat coming from either direction. Similarly, placing traps in areas Roof rats traverse makes catching them more likely. Such places include fence tops, rafter, shelves, and even pipes. These traps need to be secured to the chosen surface, whether by screw or glue, so that they aren’t knocked down or displaced from their high positions.

Trap Type

The Rodent Removal Process

Rodent control agencies know where to put the traps, but what traps do they use? Well, it really depends on the end game: does the client want the rat captured alive or dead. If they simply want to capture it, without harming or killing the rodent, then the best traps for rat control are live traps.

Live traps cage the rat after a certain point of entry, while still leaving them alive. To ensure the rat triggers the trap at the right point, bait has to be placed close enough to the back of the cage so that the rat is enticed to go inside, but not too close so that the rat will just reach in from behind and drag it to the opposite side of the cage to nibble on.

On the other hand, traps that lead to the other end game can be a bit trickier. Most common are the spring loaded traps. These are the traditionally known traps you can find in any Tom and Jerry episode. Then there’s the electric or poison bait trap. Electric traps work much the same as live traps. Bait is placed in the back of a rectangular, enclosed trap to entice a rat to come inside. Upon entering the trap they reach a trigger that reacts to the rat being inside it, and an electric current is administered to the rat for several seconds, painlessly terminating it.

The poison bait trap plays on the rat’s hunger and habit of taking its prizes back to its nest where it then dies from the poison. The downside to this trap is that you end up having to play a gruesome game of hide and seek to find the nest and carcass.


Rats are never fun to deal with and rodent control is a big help. However not having to deal with rats in the first place is always a plus. So if you want to make sure the furry freeloaders never make it through the door, call your nearest rodent control for tips on rat prevention.