Should I Use Bait or Traps to Control Rats and Mice?

So far this year, a record number of residents have requested rat and mouse inspections at their homes, exceeding the District’s 22-year average.

With cooler weather on the way, that trend isn’t likely to change. Weather extremes typically drive rodents indoors.

Fortunately, residents can be proactive to keep each home and property rat and mice-free. One option stands out above the other.

“As a public health agency, we recommend homeowners consider using snap traps before using bait to reduce the risk of unintended or secondary poisoning to other animals,” said District Program Supervisor Jonathan Rehana.

Here are a few guidelines for both options:

Snap Traps
i. Read and follow trap instructions.
ii. Remove dead rats and mice from the traps daily.
iii. Traps are easily set and reusable. Be sure to use the proper size for either rats or mice.
iv. Snap traps are best used indoors and out of reach of children or pets.
v. For outdoor use, place a box with a small hole on each side over the snap trap to reduce the risk of injury to non-target animals

i. Read and follow product instructions.
ii. Rat poison, which is also referred to as bait, should be secured inside a tamper-resistant bait station to prevent non-targeted animals from exposure.
iii. Bait stations should be placed outdoors.
iv. Check bait stations on a weekly basis and replenish with bait as necessary.

Certain baits that contain rodenticides (poisons designed to kill rodents) can poison non-targeted animals such as birds and mammals when they eat the rodenticides directly or when they eat already poisoned rodents. This is known as secondary poisoning.

Not all rodenticides cause secondary poisoning, but many can. Before placing rodenticides, consider the potential impact on non-target animals.

The District’s Rats & Mice Program uses products designed to protect public health while minimizing the risk of secondary poisoning. All products are registered with the EPA and are applied by trained and certified vector control technicians.

For more information on rat and mouse prevention and control or to request a District inspection, visit our website.

About Kevin

Councilmember - City of Oakley, Manager of Mainframe Operations and Optimization – USS-POSCO INDUSTRIES, Co-Founder and Board Member - Friends of Oakley A Community Foundation, Commissioner - Contra Costa Transportation Authority, Board Member - Tri Delta Transit, Transplan, San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority and RD 2137, Advisory Board – Opportunity Junction
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