If you’re tackling a rodent problem, you should understand exactly what you’re dealing with so you can take appropriate measures. It’s also important that you take preventative action to stop the issue happening again.
Identifying the problem
Recognise the signs of rodent activity;
- Spotting rats or mice alive or dead
- Traces or smell of urine
- Gnaw marks and scratches
- Rub marks
- Unusual pet behaviour
When you’re certain that you have a rodent problem, you need to decide whether it’s rats or mice that you need to control;
- Rats will fight and kill mice if they’re sharing territory. You’ll only have one invading your home.
- Rats are larger and more muscular than mice.
- Mouse droppings are smaller with pointed ends. Rat droppings are brick-like.
- Mice like to eat seeds and grains, leaving behind any husks. Rats are more attracted to moist, high-protein food.
Selecting your trap
Then it’s time to decide what type of trap you want to you use. Do you want to Catch & Kill, or Catch Alive?
Remember to check Catch Alive cage traps regularly and hang them up when not in use to avoid accidental trapping.
Setting up your trap
It’s likely that if you’ve followed our recommendations for checking whether you’ve got mice or rats, you’ll already have a good idea of where best to position your trap. This will be where there are indications of high rodent activity. Look also for access points where rodents are coming into your home or living space. When you’ve removed the rodents, you’ll need to come back to these to ensure they’re sealed up.
If you’ve noticed that rodents have a food source already, such as cereal in your cupboard or pet food, remove this and make them inaccessible. Cardboard boxes won’t stop the rodents, seal any food sources inside secure metal or plastic containers. Keep kitchen and food prep areas clean of leftovers, and shut bins securely. It’s important that the rodents only have one food source when you’re trapping, and that’s the bait in the trap.
The Big Cheese have product videos available which detail how to set up each of the traps we have. Some of our traps come pre-baited with Fresh ‘n Tasty bait, and we list the other best baits for mice and rats. Remember to always wear gloves when handling rodent traps and bait to avoid the transference of natural human scents and oils.
Disposing of caught rodents
How you dispose of rodents will depend on whether you’ve chosen to Catch Alive or Catch & Kill. If you’ve caught the rodents alive, you can either euthanize them humanely by going to a local animal shelter or veterinarian. Alternatively, you can check our tips for relocating caught rats and mice. Remember to adhere to local laws when relocating caught wildlife.
Rat and mouse traps from The Big Cheese have been designed to make removal of despatched rodents easy. Many of the Catch & Kill traps have easy to use release mechanisms so the rodent can just be flipped out into a plastic bag. Rodent bodies should always be double-bagged to minimise the risk of spreading diseases. These can then be placed in secure household waste.
If using the Seal ‘n’ Kill Mouse Traps, the whole trap must be disposed of when it indicates a catch. The Fresh Baited Rodent Traps can also be disposed of with catches or re-used.
When reusing traps, avoid over-cleaning them between use. Rodents have sensitive noses so will be put off by strong cleaning scents on the traps. Wash the Fresh Baited and Sure Kill Traps lightly with water if needed, and a mild bleach solution for cage traps to stop the spread of diseases.
When re-baiting traps, you can purchase the Mouse & Rat Attractant to replace the Fresh ‘n Tasty bait that comes pre-loaded on certain traps, or use the same bait you selected previously.
Remember to check traps and refresh bait when needed so it doesn’t dry out or rot.
Once the rodent infestation has been dealt with, you need to take steps to ensure that mice or rats don’t move back in. When checking for rodent activity, you may have noticed gaps or holes that they entered your home through. Using a UV torch will help spot urine trails that lead to these entry points. Mice have flexible skeletons and can squeeze through gaps that are smaller than their heads. Take measures to seal these as much as possible.
Continue to prevent access to food sources by keeping cereals, grains and pet food stored securely in plastic containers. Clean up any household food waste. Keep bins and refuse areas tidy so rodents can’t feast on waste or collect materials for nesting.
Monitor dark areas of your home where you know there’s been rodent activity in the past. Keep these clean and tidy so rodents won’t feel comfortable nesting there. The earlier you can spot the signs of re-infestation, the sooner you can treat the problem before it gets out of hand.