AVOID BAITS IF POSSIBLE
Before putting any pets and wildlife at risk from rat baits, firstly:
- keep your place clean and tidy, clean up brush piles and rubbish, secure compost heaps
- use poultry feeders which prevent spillage
- pick up fallen fruits
- seal holes and other potential entry points in buildings and enclosures
- use traps – a wide variety of traps is available; careful positioning is necessary to be effective and reduce harm to non-target species, particularly with lethal traps that ‘kill first and ask questions later’.
- Place all traps and baits out of reach of non-target animals – noting that setting baits and traps where there is a reasonable chance of killing or catching native wildlife is in fact illegal unless licensed.
Some suggestions for attracting rats into traps – pumpkin seed, nuts, dried fruit, roasted oats (roast them in a pan until they have a great nutty smell), bacon.
Do I have black rats or native wildlife?
Many of us have not seen small furry critters close up until one is caught in a non-lethal rat trap. Have I got a black rat problem or am I lucky enough to be sharing my garden with native rats or small marsupials? The National Museum has some helpful ID information.