Rat bait: Snap traps, stations or boxes and the best baits to trap and control rats

What you need to know about rat baits in boxes or traps

Rats are dangerous. They spread disease to people and other animals and can also cause damage to property. The best way to trap or kill rats is by using the best kind of bait. Effective baiting methods can attract rats and control an infestation.

Rat bait and rat control methods go hand in hand. By pairing them together it is possible to clear an infestation. There is also an element of prevention to rat bait and control methods, which is the best way to stop problems with rodents before they become unmanageable.

rat in the house

The main types of rodent control methods that use bait include snap traps and rat bait stations, or boxes. The best bait depends on the method a person is using. Common types of bait include the following:

  • rodenticides, which use chemicals such as warfarin or bromadiolone
  • cheese
  • cooked or raw meats
  • nest materials, such as cotton or string

An irresistible rat bait is a strong first step. However, the most effective solution depends on conditions including weather or climate and the individual nature of the problem. The scale is an issue too. Our services are available to both commercial and domestic clients, some of which have very large problems.

A common type of rat bait is a cheese for a snap trap or a poison bait block, which will target species of rat and mouse entering a rat box. It is important to avoid any hesitation as the problem can worsen.

Many people find it intimidating to deal with rats, which is why we offer a professional service to take on the problem. People need to call 0330 404 1497 for a quote or a rapid response. The can also contact us directly by emailing info@amesgroup.uk.com.

Each type of rat trap will carry its own individual benefits. The best baiting methods will depend on each individual situation.

Rat bait boxes

A rat bait station, or box, is a popular and effective method of rodent control. They look like a small plastic box, similar to a shoebox in size, and open at the top. On the side of the box is a small hole for the rodents to enter.

Many types of rat and mouse control rely on bait stations because they are simple to use. There are industrial and homemade rat bait stations. It is possible to purchase prefilled stations, which removes the requirement of adding bait.

The chief benefits of a bait station or box include the following:

  • Feeding time: If a rodent feeds on the bait for a longer period it is more likely to be effective. The cosy box shape of a rat bait station makes rodents feel instinctively safer than bait out in the open, so they are more likely to feed longer.
  • Bait storage: When the bait is in a box it has a shield from the weather, This helps to make sure the rat bait attracts rats over a longer period. Outside the bait can degrade more easily and become less effective, which means replacing the bait more frequently.
  • Containment: The box only allows small rodents to enter it, so the bait is able to target species of rodent without affecting any other types of animal. The boxes are usually very strong too, so bigger animals will be unable to break into the station and access the bait.

Overall a bait station offers a very simple and effective way to control rats. They are usually very cost-effective as they have a long lifespan. People can easily check whether rats are eating the bait by opening the box.

Drawbacks of rat bait stations

If a rodent is already feeding itself, it may not necessarily seek out bait in a rat station in favour of a more reliable source of food. People can check if rats are entering the box by checking bait levels, but there is no guarantee.

Some bait boxes will not be effective for certain types of rat, as they may be picky about the bait. Some rat bait stations can also be fairly expensive. They may also be annoying to open in some cases, with certain designs requiring keys.

Snap traps

A snap trap is one of the most simple and robust methods of rodent control. The best bait for traps depends on circumstances such as weather conditions. When people find a site where rodents appear, placing a snap trap can help catch them in that area.

Snap traps are a popular form of rodent control as they work with a variety of bait. They are a very old form of rodent control, with the classic imagery of cheese on a spring-based trap dating back to the 1800s. Some traps kill the rats while others merely capture them.

The main benefits of snap traps include the following:

  • Affordability: Bait stations usually use expensive poison-based baits. A snap trap will provide an opportunity to use cheap baits such as cheese or meat. These baits are usable in a snap trap because trapping or killing the rodent in a specific location is the goal. It’s also simple to reset traps after using them.
  • Location-specific: Not only does the snap trap allow for trapping in a specific location, so a rat does not die in an area that is difficult to access, but they are also easily placeable in different locations. This is beneficial when someone has specific problem areas where rodents tend to congregate.
  • Safety: While a rat or mouse may be in danger, pets and children will have no risk. Conversely, poison baits may harm pets or other animals that unwittingly consume it, and children can be curious or stumble across poison bait by accident.

Using poison baits is effective, but they degrade over time. The snap trap kills or captures the rat instantly, whereas poisons take some time to become effective. They are cheap, effective and fast, so snap traps are a popular and reliable choice.

Drawbacks of snap traps

Snap traps require regular checking, so they are not as low-maintenance as other types of rodent control.

Lethal snap traps can also be unsightly to find once a rat activates it, with a potentially upsetting experience for people who are not familiar with such a sight. Some people consider such traps to be inhumane, although any lethality is usually instant.

While largely harmless, there is a small risk of a very strong snap trap potentially breaking a child’s finger or harming a pet. People can mitigate this risk by placing traps out of reach.

Rat bait solutions for domestic and commercial settings

Rats and other pests can be extremely challenging to deal with, and recurring infestations can be disheartening and frustrating. As a result, it’s important to get it right. If people would like to know more about different types of bait, they can see our blog post here

People need to call a reactive and responsive pest control provider to ensure they handle their problems right away.

The Definitive Guide to Types of Rat in the UK and Abroad

The Definitive Guide to Types of Rat in the UK and Abroad

Rats are one the most common rodents in the UK, with the rodents outnumbering us by about six to one. Most rats live on farms or in large open fields scattered across the UK, but rats have no trouble finding their ways into our home in search of shelter, warmth and food.

The UK is home to a number of different rat types of rat and we will be exploring rats from both the UK and across the globe. There are several types of rat species scattered across the continent and our team has provided a fully comprehensive guide on every type of rat currently known.

A Guide to All Types of Rat 

We have separated the different types of rat by continent to make it easier to identify which type of rat you may have encountered.

Types of the Rat in the UK

Brown Rat

  • Also known as – Norway rat, house rat, garden rat, sewer rat, domestic rat, Hanover rat, common rat, roof rat, rattus norvegicus
  • In the UK? – Yes
  • Lifespan – Two years
  • Size – 21 – 24 days
brown rat in loft

Widely known as the most common rat in the UK, the brown rat is home to all parts of the UK but is most commonly found in fields and farms. Brown rats have a gestation period of 21-24 days and live for approximately two years in the wild. Domestic rats, which are effectively brown rats that have become domesticated, will live longer as pets. They are also known as ‘fancy rats’.

Black rat

  • Also known as – Roof rats, port rats
  • In the UK? – Yes
  • Lifespan – About a year in the wild
  • Size – 30 to 45 cm and up to 240 grams
black rat

Black rats are common in the UK but only in certain areas. Black rats prefer to inhabit ports and seaside areas. Adept swimmers, black rats are able to swim up canals and infiltrate properties through drainways and sewage pipes. They are notorious spreaders of bacteria and disease, notably the bubonic plague.

Giant rat

  • Also known as – Large brown rats
  • In the UK? – Yes
  • Lifespan – About two years
  • Size – sizes recorded up to 1.3m

Giant rats are simply mutated brown or black rats that have overgrown. Giant rats are not a specific rat type but can become dangerous simply due to their size. If you find a giant rat, it is essential you call a pest control company to ensure it is safely removed from the premises. Standard traps will not work against giant rats.

Naked Mole Rat

  • Also known as – Naked rats, bald rats, hairless rats
  • In the UK? – Yes
  • Lifespan – Up to 30 years
  • Size – 3 – 10 inches

Naked mole rats are easy to spot and are characterised by their naked, hairless bodies that resemble a shaved rat. They are almost pink in colour and live far underground in colonies. Rarely do they ever surface except to gather food for the queen naked mole rat.

Water rat

  • Also known as – Water vole
  • In the UK? – Yes
  • Lifespan – 5 months in the wild, two years in captivity
  • Size – 20cm long

Water rats are chunky in physique, are usually dark brown in colour and have very small tails. They are smaller than the UK brown rat but maintain a similar diet of seeds, vegetation and insects. As their name suggests, they live near lakes, ravines and ponds along urban waterways.

White rat

  • Also known as – Lab rat, laboratory rat, white-haired rat
  • In the UK? – Yes
  • Lifespan – 2 to 3 years
  • Size – 20cm long
white rat

White rats are commonly used in research and they are typically bred for psychology and biomedical science. They are commonly used in water experiments, namely the Morris water navigation test which is used to determine memory. There are several white rats used for scientific experiments, a definitive list can be found on Wikipedia.

Australian Rats

Long-haired rat

  • Also known as – Long-haired rat
  • In the UK? – No
  • Lifespan – About a year in the wild
  • Size – 10 to 20cm and approximately 230g (fully grown)

Native to Australia, the long-haired rat is one of the only rats that does not carry disease and does not smell. It is not similar to rats in the UK as it is not a commensal rodent (meaning it does not like living between humans), instead, it keeps to itself, burrowing underground and living in large open fields and landscapes.

North America Rats

Kangaroo rat

  • Also known as – Merriam’s kangaroo rat
  • In the UK? – No
  • Lifespan – 2 – 5 years
  • Size – 8 – 14cm with a tail up to 16cm long

Kangaroo rats are native to North America and can survive without ever drinking water. perfectly suited to hotter climates, kangaroo rats are able to source all the water they need from their diet of seeds. They have exceptional hearing which makes them adept at avoiding prey such as snakes and larger rodents.

Extinct rats

Bulldog rat

This rat type was native to Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean. Bulldog rats inhabited hilly areas and made their nests underground like most other nests. However, their nests were buried deeper into the ground as they had a severe problem with sunlight and in some cases, direct contact would blind them. They were large rats with about 2cm of fat on their back.

Their extinction is thought to have been brought on by sailors who contracted the bubonic plague. Although unintentional, the plagued sailors were the reason why bulldog rats died out in 1908.

For more information on rats

If you require more information on rats in the UK, such as the best traps to use, where to locate rats and the best bait types, we have a variety of articles dedicated to these themes in our blog. 

This article is constantly updated, so keep a look out for more rat profiles in the future.

If you are suffering from a rat or mouse infestation in a commercial property, we can provide fast, effective and humane pest control solutions at affordable rates across the Midlands.


Seen any of these types of rat? or a different one? let us know in the comments below..

The 10 Best Baits for Mice Traps and Stations

The 10 Best Baits for Mice Traps and Stations

Mice are among the most common domestic and commercial pests in the UK, with the house mouse population thought to be over 5.4 million. While mice pose no threat to us and are far less likely to cause the same amount of problems as rats, they are still pests and can multiply quickly if they become comfortable in your home. 

At AMES Group, we’ve been humanely removing and deterring mice from domestic and commercial properties for very 35 years and have trialled a variety of traps, deterrents and baits to qualify their usefulness. 

In this article, we will be looking at some of the best baits on the market that lure mice out of their nests so you are able to catch and remove them from your property. All baits are humane as well as all trapping methods we suggest.

The 7 Best Mouse Trap Baits

  1. Peanut butter – ideal for both rats and mice, peanut butter is the perfect blend of high fat and sugar and mice are able to smell this from far away.

Seeds are the main part of a mouse’s natural diet, but this is not the best type of bait in homes. Instead, try using foods that are high in fat, sugar or both. This includes:

  1. Cooked or raw meats – cut up bits of hot dog work well as mouse bait. If you’re using snap traps, you can push the soft meat onto the trap to ensure the mouse has to apply pressure to the food in order for it to move; in turn, releasing the trap.
  1. Cheese – cheese has always worked well as mouse bait. If you are going to use cheese, try to choose one that smells, as it will have a further reach than other types.

  1. Marshmallows/gum drops – sweets will always work well as mice bait due to their high sugar count. Sweets are inexpensive and one or two should do the trick.

  1. Chocolate – in the same vein as sweets, mice also love chocolate. Small bits of chocolate attached to the trap or inside it (if it’s a live trap) will be enough to lure the mouse inside.

  1. Pet food – wet dog or cat food has been proven to work on mice. As it’s often left out in the evening after feeding your pets, mice commonly snack on it under the cover of darkness

  1. Nest materials – slightly more unorthodox but proven to be effective, instead of food, place nesting materials on/in the trap. Mice are always looking for materials to build their nest and the easier they are to source, the more likely the mice will approach. 

Examples are:

  • Dental floss
  • Cotton balls
  • String
  • Bits of carpet

Top tip: do not contaminate the bait with your hands! Mice have a good sense of smell and will be able to detect your scent on a trap or the bait on the trap. This will make them think twice about approaching the bait as they will link your scent to danger. To tackle this, wear glasses and ensure the trap is placed well away 

What to Do When Baits Don’t Work

There are scenarios where the bait you are using may be proving ineffective. There are a few reasons this may be happening, either the mouse simply doesn’t like that type of bait or they have grown used to that food source and are not interested in exploring it further.

Here are a few solutions to consider:

  1. Switch the bait – simple, if the mouse doesn’t take the bait, replace it with something new.
  2. Switch the trap – mice are intelligent creatures and some will be able to recognise a trap and therefore try to remove the bait without getting caught (this is more common in snap traps). If your trap has been out for a few days or a week with no results, try switching the trap. If you’re using snap traps, try using live traps, for example. 
  3. Change the location of the trap – trap placement is essential when baiting mice, so be sure that it’s placed in an area of high activity or at entry points. If it’s not working, try moving the trap to another area where you believe the mouse has visited. We have an article on the best ways to identify rat presence which is just as helpful for spotting mice, take a look here.
  4. The bait is gone but so is the mouse – this is not an uncommon problem, as stated previously, mice are fairly intelligent and can recognise traps and will try and dislodge the bait to avoid getting caught. If this has happened, try testing the trigger of the trap to ensure it works. If the bait does not fit securely on the lever, try switching the pait to something that the mouse will struggle to tear off, such as peanut butter, soft cheese or chocolate.
  5. Buy a trap with sensitive sensors – some mice (especially babies) are very light and their weight may not be enough to trigger standard snap traps. In this case, you will need to buy a trap with a sensitive trigger to counteract the weight of smaller mice. Electric mouse traps are more sensitive than classic snap traps

Still Having Mouse Problems?

Mouse traps and bait work very well when you have a small number of mice in your house. However, if you are struggling with mice in a larger domestic property, traps may be harder to place due to the size of the area. Additionally, if you have a mouse infestation, it is likely you will require professional intervention. 

In this case, you can contact AMES Group for professional, humane and swift removal of mice in commercial properties. 

Is your mouse bait not working? contact AMES today for a FREE no-obligation quote!


Signs of Rats in The House: How to Spot and Remove Rats

Signs of Rats in The House: How to Spot and Remove Rats Fast

Noticing signs of rats in your domestic or commercial property is never good. It only takes a few rats to cause an infestation, as they are able to produce up to six litters a year with approximately eight rats per litter.

AMES Group provide a fully comprehensive mouse and rat removal service and work to help customers across the Midlands identify telltale signs of rats and what they can do to remove and deter further infestations. After you have spoken to our team, you can rest assured that your rat and mouse problem will be swiftly dealt with.

Let’s look at the most common signs of rats in houses before you make the call.

The 7 Telltale Signs of Rats 

Although rats are nocturnal creatures and can be difficult to spot in broad daylight, there are some simple signs to look out for.

Rat droppings – the most noticeable sign of a rat problem is by the droppings they leave and they can be found anywhere in the home. In most cases, rat droppings are located near the nest site. However both brown and black rats poop while moving, so rat droppings can also be found in trails. They are small, spindle-shaped droppings and closely resemble rice grains.

Grease and rub marks – rats are not hygienic animals and are often covered in dirt and grease and this can leave smudge and grease marks across walls, floorboards and sometimes ceilings. 

Chewed areas – rats need to wear down their teeth in order to stop them growing and they will gnaw on almost anything to help them achieve this. Most notably, you will find gnaw marks on wooden furniture, sills, wires and other items around the house.

Nests – it’s unlikely that you will discover a rat nest on a plain site as they are nocturnal animals and prefer the comfort of shadows to raise their young. However, rats use a variety of home-based materials to make their nests, these may include:

  • Bits of carpet
  • Wood chippings
  • Twigs and garden debris (brought in from outside)
  • Bits of insulation

Rat burrows – although this is not a problem for rats in the house, they can create burrows outside in your garden. If they do nest in your garden, it can be difficult to catch and eliminate them as some burrows can be difficult to detect.

Footprints – in some cases, you may be able to notice rat footprints in your house. If the area has been desolate for some time, maybe it’s a vacant property or a rarely visited attic, dust will collect and rat footprints will be clearly visible.

Where to Look for Rats

Rats are always on the move in search of food sources, nest location/relocation and they are naturally adventurous and are curious by nature. This means that they can be spotted almost anywhere in the home, but this is far more likely at nighttime as they are nocturnal.

The type of rat(s) you have depends on where they will reside or travel through and we will discuss rat types in the next section. In most cases, both black and brown rats can be found in the following areas:

  • Attics, lofts and high-up areas – some rats are adept climbers and find comfort creating nests in quiet, high-up areas. They are difficult to reach and the only way you may notice them is if you inspect the area or hear scuttling across rooflinings and loft floorboards at night.
  • Kitchens – rats will nest anywhere there are gaps or cubby holes in your kitchen. They are able to squeeze through spaces more than half their size, so if there is an open cable from your garden to your house, a rat will have no problem entering it. You might be surprised to know that rats also enjoy making nests behind ovens. The reason for this is because the warmth from the oven provides a perfect nesting space for the rat litter. 
  • Miscellaneous – rats will nest and burrow anywhere they can. As mentioned previously, rats are able to squeeze into very tight areas and will have no trouble finding their way into awkward spaces. 

What Type of Rats Live Where?

Knowing what type of rat you are dealing with will help you lay the appropriate traps in the right places. We only have two rat species that are native to the UK; the brown rat and the black rat. 

Brown rats are commonly found in both domestic and commercial properties, and are keen burrowers. They will have no problem creating nests outside of your property and burrowing their way into your house. This is why it’s important to seal and cracks and gaps in the exterior walls. They are also adept at squeezing through tiny spaces and enjoy making nests in the warmth of domestic and residential properties.

Black rats are far less common and are not often found in rural areas, if ever. Black rats are usually found in seaside towns or pots and are very strong swimmers. Rats are ‘commensal rodents’, which means they enjoy living within human proximity – this is why they are found in our gardens, fields and homes.

Where they Reside in Your House

Rats can also be identified by the locations where they reside. Most rats that inhabit our houses are brown rats, but it is not unheard of for black rats to infiltrate properties, especially if they are located near a port.

Roof rat – as their name suggests, roof rats prefer to inhabit and nest in high-up places, away from ground level. You can find roof rats making nests inside walls, ceilings, lofts and attics. When laying traps, be sure to look out for the telltale signs of rats, such as droppings in the attic, gnaw and scratch marks and noises from above in the night. Traps should be place in safe areas inside the attic or where droppings were discover.

Norway rat – Norway rats prefer to nest on the ground and rarely come out in the day. Telltale signs include droppings on the floor, gnaw and scratch marks on skirting boards and sometimes in cupboards, as well as ripped and chewed up carpet. Norway rats make their nests on the ground and can be found anywhere in the house. In most cases, their nests will be located inside walls, behind furniture and underneath floorboards. Traps should be placed at the nest site or where you found the droppings.

To learn how to get rid of rats from your home, please visit our article on how to get rid of rats.

Do You Have a Rat or Mouse Problem?

While a one or two rats may not seem like a major problem, leaving them to nest and gain confidence in your property will cause serious infestations in the future. Rats make 5-10 litters every year and those litters can create up to 12 babies, and that’s just one rat.

Buy traps, place them in safe locations away from children and pets and remove the rat when it has been caught. If you have a severe infestation in your domestic or commercial property, professional intervention will be required. 

Seen a rat in your house? contact us today for a FREE no-obligation quote!


How to Remove Rats in Your Loft | Fast & Simple Rat Removal Tips

How to Remove Rats in Your Loft: Fast & Simple Rat Removal Tips

Rats are known as ‘commensal rodents’, which means they enjoy living around humans and watching our day-to-day activities. They are very comfortable living between us and the longer they are left to nest, the more problematic they become. Our lofts and attics make for great nesting and breeding places for rats as they are dark, quiet and often well-insulated. 

Most rats are adept climbers, so they will have no problem climbing up walls and through pipelines to enter your loft.

Why is this a problem?

Rats are able to produce up to eight litters a year and each litter can contain up to 10 babies. That means two rats can swiftly become 20 and that’s when you will require professional rat control intervention.

However, there are some fast and easy ways to get rid of rats in your loft before they become a serious problem. We’ve outlined a step by step guide to identifying and swiftly and humanely removing rats from your loft.

Step 1 – Identifying the Rats

Before you start laying traps, it’s important to identify the rat you’re dealing with in order to select the best trap and appropriate location. There are two rats native to the UK, they are:

The brown rat – far more likely to be found in lofts as opposed to black rats. Brown rats are larger than black rats, have shorter tails, a blunted snout and are commonly found in fields and gardens.

The black rat – less common than the brown rat, black rats are typically found in seaside towns and near ports. Both rats are adept swimmers but black rats are adept and will have no problem climbing and swimming through drainways to infiltrate properties. Black rats are smaller, have a pointed nose and long tails.

Step 2 – Sign of Rats in the Loft

As rats are nocturnal animals, it is often very difficult to spot them in broad daylight, let alone catch them. They do however, leave tracks to help us identify areas they have been. There are a few key clues to look out for.

rat dropping in loft
Rodents droppings in an attic after exterminator removed insulation, exposing infestation
  • Rat droppings – when you go to inspect your loft, look out for rat droppings in the corners of the room and other dark places where rats may like to nest. Droppings resemble brown rice grains and can be found anywhere. Rats poop on the move, so it’s not uncommon for you to discover droppings all across your loft or attic. 
  • Noises in the loft – rats are most active at night and you may hear them scuttling around the loft or in the ceilings late at night. 
  • Gnawing – rats like to grind their teeth on woods and plastics, so be sure to look out for gnaw marks on sills and skirting boards in your loft. Rats are also able to chew through wires, so watch out for this.
  • Smudge marks – rats are notoriously unhygienic creatures and pick up dirt as they travel through fields, sewers and pipelines. As they prefer to keep to the shadows and hug walls as they travel, it’s easy to spot smudge marks and smears along skirting boards. Look out for these marks both inside and outside of your attic or loft.
  • Rat nests – slightly more difficult to look out for as rats usually bury their nests outside as they are less likely to be detected underground. However, it’s unheard of to find a nest in a domestic or commercial property, especially if the area is high up and out of reach from humans. Look out for garden debris, wood chippings and torn up carpet, as these are common materials used for nest building. 
  • Rat footprints – easy to spot in lofts, attics and high-up areas where dust has gathered and footprints can be easily seen. 

Step 3 – Using Rat Traps in Lofts

Fortunately, there are a number of traps and deterrents you can use to eliminate the threat of rats and stop them from returning to your loft. The majority of all rat traps can be effective in trapping and killing rats, but what’s equally, if not more important is trap placement.

  • Snap traps – the most common rat trap, snap traps are used to catch rats and kill them instantly. They work by luring the rat onto a pressure lever (usually baited by peanut butter or something sweet) and upon contact with the lever, it clamps shut, killing the rat. 

Placement – be sure to place the snap trap at the suspected nest site or travel route of the rat. If your attic or loft is dark, place the trap somewhere safe so you don’t walk into it.

  • Live traps – live traps spark a rats natural curiosity into exploring a trap that appears like a nesting location. The rat enters one way and is then trapped, as it cannot exist where it entered. These traps are great for humanely catching rats and relocating them after capture.

Placement – with no risk of children or pets becoming harmed, live traps can be placed anywhere in the loft. It’s a good idea to place it near the suspected nest site of the rat, or around locations where droppings have been sighted.

The Solution

Any of the above should help you successfully identify, catch and safely remove rats from your loft. There are other traps, such as glue traps, but this trap in particular has been deemed somewhat ineffective due to the boards not being strong enough to detain the rat.

If you find that the function is growing larger or traps are failing to work, please contact our professional pest control team for further information.


Are rats in the loft common?

Rats prefer attics and lofts because they suit their nesting requirements; dark, quiet and rarely disturbed. Infestations can happen swiftly if the area is not routinely used for inspection.

What do rats in attic sound like?

You should be able to hear scratching and scuttle across the floorboards of your loft. Sometimes, the rats may find their way into the walls and floorboards below the attic, as they are able to squeeze into very tight areas.

Are rats in the attic dangerous?

All rats are dangerous because they are natural harvesters of bacteria and disease. Rats can cause severe health problems to both pets and humans, especially if either are bitten or ingest rat faeces, urine or a droppings. 

Do rats make nests in lofts?

Yes, rats prefer to make nests in lofts because of the quieter surroundings and dark corners.

Hear rats in your loft? Contact us today for a FREE no-obligation quote!


How to Kill Rats: Fast & Humane Rat Removal Solutions

How to Kill Rats: Fast & Humane Rat Removal Solutions

AMES Group specialise in the humane removal of rats and use a variety of different baiting, trapping and luring techniques. We understand the problems that come with rat infestations and provide clients with both pest control solutions and home rat removal advice.

Before you remove the rats, you will need to find out where they are nesting.

How to Find Rats

Before you begin killing and removing rats from your property, you will first need to identify where the rats are nesting or infiltrating. Setting baits and traps in random locations is not an effective process and could even put puts or small children in jeopardy. 

Rats are not commonly seen in the day, so it’s not likely that they won’t be caught in the traps in daylight. They are nocturnal creatures, so traps are most effective at night. 

However, there are some telltale signs to look out for, which include:

  • Rat droppings near the nest site
  • Chewed up carpet, furniture or electrical wires
  • Scratching noises at night (floorboards, ceilings etc)
  • Nests made from debris or bits of carpet

If rats are located outside: 

  • Burrows and mounds in the ground
  • Damaged bird feeders
  • Evidence of gnawing of wires or structural wood
  • Gnawed fruit and vegetables in the garden

Identifying the Type of Rat

While most treatments will succeed in eliminating the presence of rats, it’s important to know what type of rat you’re dealing with in order to get the most out of your treatment method.

For example, if you have a roof rat, you will have to place traps and treatments in your attic or within your roof linings.

In the majority of cases, there are only two main types of rats found in both domestic and commercial properties:

  • Black rats – black rats are less common than brown rats in the UK and while they can be found in domestic properties, they prefer wetter environments (such as ports). They are adept climbers and swimmers, meaning they are able to access hard-to-reach areas with ease. Black rats are around 16-24cm in length and their tail is longer than their body. They are slender in build and have large ears and a pointed nose. 

They usually live for about a year in the wild, but are able to produce 5-10 babies per litter, and they usually have around five litters a year.

  • Brown rats – bigger than the black rat and far more common in domestic and commercial properties. They are around 40cm long and have a much shorter tail than black rats. It weighs more than the black rat, between 350 – 500 grams. 

They enjoy eating sweeter foods and drink milk, both of which can be used for baiting traps. Brown rats typically produce up to 3-6 liters a year with each litter containing 7-8 young.

The Best Rat Killing Methods

Humane elimination and disposal of rats is encouraged for both the sanitary of the environment and to ensure the rats do not suffer. All rat killing methods should be fast and effective to ensure swift and safe removal. 

We have seperated treatments into three separate categories: baits, traps and placement of traps and baits. This ensures that you are using the right traps/baits in the right places to increase the success of rats being caught.

How to Kill Rats Using Rat traps

There are a number of rat traps on the market, some good and some very bad. It’s important to know which rat trap is suitable for your problem to ensure safe and effective elimination. 

  • Snap traps – the most common rat trap, made out of plastic, metal, wood, or a combination of all three. They are relatively inexpensive and multiple can be used to humanely kill rats. 

How they work – snap traps work by luring a rat onto a pressure point that when stepped on, triggers a metal bar to snap down onto the rat, killing it instantly. Bait is typically used to lure the rat onto the pressure point, bait does not have to be used as some rats will simply be curious about this new object and may want to inspect it. It’s important that these rat traps are regularly inspected to ensure if the rat has been caught, it’s responsibly removed from the premises. 

Note: cheap traps may not kill the rat, but instead badly injure it, which is inhumane and can cause severe distress to both the rat and yourself. Be sure to purchase the correct trap for black or brown rats.

  • Live traps – live traps work differently to snap traps, in that they arouse the rat’s natural curiosity and lead them to investigate the new object in their environment. 

They come in many shapes and sizes, some are designed to look like small houses, others are a series of interconnecting narrow pathways that once entered, cannot be exited. Most live traps are made from plastic and metal.

How they work – Live traps usually incorporate some sort of small entrance that rats enjoy wiggling into and exploring. They will be able to easily enter the rat trap but will not be able to escape. Again, these traps must be regularly inspected to ensure the rat has been caught and can therefore be humanely disposed of or released.

  • Glueboards – glueboards use a strong glue to trap and stick rats to a board. They are usually around 30 – 60 cm long but can come in many sizes. They are made from wood, metal or plastic and feature a glue-based foundation. Baits can be used to lure the rat onto the glue board which it will then become stuck on. 

How they work – as briefly mentioned, glueboards use glue to stick rats to the board. Rats become trapped and then they must be removed outdoors or humanely killed. Glueboards have certainly lost popularity over the years, mainly because of the advancements and affordability of better rat traps, such as the live and snap traps. 

Some rats will also be able to escape from the glue traps, especially if it’s a large brown rat. In this scenario, the rat may end up dragging the board around with it. On a positive note, at least you will be alerted by the noise of the rat dragging the board around the property.

Other Methods on How to Kill Rats

Below are the other methods used to kill rats.

  • Rodenticides – rodenticides are typically used in large scale infestations to humanely poison and kill rats. They are small ingestibles that are placed or scattered around the rat nest site or area of suspected activity.

How they work – rodenticides work by activating Vitamin K in the rats central nervous system, a critical component in the production of blood clotting factors in the liver. This shuts down the rat’s internal systems quickly and eventually kills it.

Proofing your property – prevention will always be better than a cure. The best ways to ensure that rats do not enter your property is by adhering to the following:

  • Maintain a hygienic home or workspaces
  • Cleaning up any leftover food
  • Sealing and cracks, gaps or fissures in the wall

Following these simple steps should ensure rats have no reason to enter your property. If you want to know how to get rid of rats in the house, please visit our article on how to effectively remove rats from your home.

Struggling With a Large Rat Infestation?

If you discover your rat problem is worse than first expected, a large scale infestation may be inevitable. That’s where we come in, AMES Group provides a fully comprehensive rat elimination service for commercial properties and large scale infestations. 

We are based in Birmingham and cover rat problems across the Midlands. We hold over 35 years’ experience in the pest control industry and are BCPA-certified, so you can rest assured that our team will handle your rat problems with care and professionalism

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