Pros:Easy to use, inexpensive and effective too!
Cons:Setting requires a little strength. Disposing of dead Rat!
The Bottom Line: I love this trap. Easy to use and effective. It is also Green in that it does not use chemicals to kill rats.
This past summer I was spending a lot of time in my backyard. I planted numerous plants mostly tropical plants like gardenias. Plumerias, hibiscus and even some exotic Pikake flowers from Hawaii! Because I take pride in my plants and their care, I carefully examine them to make sure pests are not attacking them.
In the mornings, I love to read the newspaper in my patio. The fresh morning air and the chirping of the birds reinvigorate me. One morning I was reading the Sports section when I saw something move out of the corner of my eye. I thought, “Squirrels!” A part not to far from my home has a lot of ground squirrels so I thought I had squirrel problem. The following day, I got up just as the sun was rising in the east. It was barely light outside but I saw something that resembled a squirrel diving into a burrow not too far from my Ficus tree.
That evening I did some research in the Internet about Squirrels and their habits. I stopped filling my bird feeder. If I did, then I would only fill it with 4 ounces of seed. The ‘squirrel’ still remained. I trimmed my ficus tree and using a wet/dry vacuum, I vacuumed all of leaves and small branches that I cut. I dumped the waste in to my mulch pile. The following morning, I noticed green ficus leaves on the ground under the tree. Well, what is going on? I know squirrels do not like ficus leaves.
IT’S TEMPLETON FROM CHARLOTTE’S WEB!
One morning while sipping on a glass of orange juice I found my nemesis. It was a sly Norwegian Rat. The thing looked like a squirrel. I counted six small (baby) rats and one huge monstrosity about 6 inches long with a tail of about 4-5 inches. They were all over the ficus tree.
As a kid, I used to trap mice in our garage with those small mouse traps. We would make a game of it like who could kill the most mice in one day. My older brother won. He caught something like 12 one day in the summer in the 1970s. Every morning, we would go to the garage and gather up the ‘prizes’.
But rats are a different story. Not only are they larger but they cannot be caught with regular mouse traps.
RATS ARE NOT STUPID BEASTS
Rats are intelligent beings. I was watching them one morning going about their business. With my particular rats, I notice they are out and about at the crack of dawn running here and there before the rumble of daily human life even begins. First one of the parent rats jump into the ficus trees seeking out the tender leaves. He/she drops the no good leaves and quickly nibbles on the great tasting shoots. The smaller rats scurry about looking for water or bird seeds. By 7am their day is done. They do not show up until the following morning.
THE VICTOR POWER KILL RAT TRAP
I first saw these on my forays to OSH and Home Depot. I am used to the wooden rat traps but this one was made of plastic. I bought three of them and brought them home to see how they worked.
The design of the trap is ingenious. It has a metal spring loaded trap which if it were to slam down on your fingers, it could do some serious harm. OK, I will admit I got my finger pinched on this trap because I wanted to see how it worked. By the way, it worked. I let out a scream and it wasn’t Hot Diggity Dog! The purpose of this action is to snap the neck of the rat to instantly kill it.
HOW TO PUT IT TO USE
My problem is localized to a ficus tree I have in my yard. From actual study, the rats love eating the leaves of the ficus tree and luckily have not found any entry into my home. I stopped feeding and watering the birds. Rats require water and I have adjusted how I water my yard too. I now drip water most of the plants in my yard at about 8am so that by night time, the ground is dry. Rats are known to lick the condensation off of plants to get their water.
I also clean up fallen leaves and any other debris which rats love to use as nesting material. This is the reason why I use an old wet/dry shop vacuum to clean up any fallen leaves or other mess. I have to change the air filter on my vacuum every two weeks but the end result is worth it.
Rats love to hug the walls so when you set out traps like this, make sure the trap is perpendicular to the wall. Set the trap next to areas they frequent. In my case, I placed them next to the burrow openings. I found three so I set out three traps.
So what do I use for bait? Peanut butter is the best bait next to chocolate. Place a small portion of the bait into the bait opening. On this particular trap, the bait open is small. Make it hard for the rat to take the bait because you want them to struggle a bit to set off the trap.
I only put this trap out for a few days. I have one hit. It killed one small rat. My estimation is that I have at least 15-20 rats in my yard. This estimation comes from the fact that I had seen the first rat a few months ago and rats reproduce like rabbits so the rats am seeing today could be the third generation of rats from that original rat I saw earlier.
As the days go on, I expect to be killing at least 3-4 a day. I will probably have to use a supplemental baiting system to eliminate the rat problem but will first try the trapping.
When you bait this trap, you can use bacon bits, bacon fat or peanut butter for best results. If you need to get peanut butter to bait this trap, buy the smallest store brand you can find. Or, if you have old chocolates you can use that too. Jam the bait into the bait well so that it will be hard for the rat to grab and run. You want him/her to struggle a bit to set off the trap.
Set the trap out the evening before. After a few hours your scent will dissipate from the trap and the rats will be put on notice.
You will hear a load snap but wait about half an hour until the rat is definitely dead. There is a lever that you can use to release the dead rat into your trash can. Your hands will NEVER touch the dead rat. I would recommend people to use gloves when handling this trap with a dead rat. Wash your hands thoroughly after handling. Reset the trap with fresh bait and set it out again.
Once you find that it is days before you catch another rat, you can reduce the amount of traps you have. But remember this is a maintenance issue and you have to keep a watchful eye out for rat infestations. Kill the rats before they become out of hand because their gnawing action can cause a lot of damage to your home if left undetected.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Rats are a nuisance. Their droppings can contain the Hantavirus which can infect humans. Rats can also carry rabies and other diseases too. Think about where these rats have been. They can also carry bubonic plague too.
If you are bird lover like me, buy a no mess blend of bird seed. This makes sure there are none left on the ground. Also, wash down any bird droppings every few days to keep the area under your feeders clean. If you have pets, remove dog and cat food and their water bowls whenever they are not outside. Rats hone in on dog and cat food.
Because of my years of experience using Victor mouse and rat traps, I give them a thumbs up. This particular trap is easy to use and if you are uneasy about touching a dead rat, no worries, your hands will never come into contact with the dead rat. All you do is simply pull a lever back and the rat drops into your trash can. How easy is that?
69 N. Locust St.
Litiz, PA 17543
Model #: M144
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