I like chocolate. Specifically dark chocolate, but I’m not turning away the semi-sweet chocolate chip cookies or the milk chocolate morsels in a good brownie. A candy bar or a filled chocolate candy will do just fine. Open a bag and I’ll be there. The closer it is, the faster I am going to find it and eat it, probably a lot of it given the chance! If I have to go to the store and buy it, or spend a few hours cooking it, obviously it’s going to take me longer to get to it. When we think about baiting for rodents, think about it a little differently than just putting it down and walking away.
Choose the right bait – You know I like chocolate so why would you use peanuts to entice me? Same with rodents. Rodents have food preferences and (rodenticides aside) when baiting traps you have a lot of options. Choose the right bait for the right species and the right situation. Think outside the peanut butter jar. First, many people have nut allergies, and second, rodents are often looking for sweets or fats over protein. If you can, bait with as many different things as you can. I had a situation where we had a mouse on a plane and we had to get it out fast. We used everything from chocolate, jelly, beef jerky, vanilla soaked cotton balls, and more. (It was finally caught on the trap with the tootsie roll.) Don’t forget that I like wine too: chocolate + wine = instant attraction. Rodents are often after liquids so think about using liquid baits or pieces of fruit or other items high in moisture.
Have enough stations – If there’s a bowl of chocolate in the family room with the TV, and a few bars in my office, and a plate of cookies in the kitchen, you can bet I’m going to get to some of that quickly. Are there enough bait placements for the area and for the number of rodents you are after? More placements mean more chance of a rodent being nearby and quicker capture. More stations also mean the more different types of bait you can use on each trap.
Put it in the right place – I had bought some really good chocolates and, in an attempt to not inhale the whole bag in one sitting, I put them all the way in the back of the pantry on the
lowest shelf and I put a bag of veggie chips on top of it. (Okay, I was also hiding it from my husband, don’t tell.) If the bait is hard to get to, the rodents are going to look for an easier food source and won’t go to your bait. If you can find the pathways they are running, the food they are eating, and their potential nesting points, get the bait close to them. If I have to wait for the store to open, drive to the store, pick out what I want, drive back then I’m probably drinking less wine than when the delivery guy drops off the case of wine that I ordered from the comfort of my couch. If you make it easy on them, they will respond.
So: give them what they want, in large and varied amounts, close to where they are and your baiting program will be more successful. Think about my chocolate and wine addiction preference and think about those rodents that are where you don’t want them.
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