I don’t have a ton of super early memories from when I was a small child. Just little snippets of places like aunts and uncles’ old houses, vacation pools, getting a certain ninja turtle figurine on Christmas morning. Nothing with a lot of detail though.
There is one memory in particular that I revisit pretty regularly, probably because of my particular vocation for the past 12 years. I couldn’t have been much older than 6, and I heard my mom yell in surprise from the kitchen. She saw a mouse and it had run behind this heavy wooden stand that held our aquarium. There was no moving the stand, so my dad set a mouse trap baited with cheese because, you know, Tom and Jerry. The next day the trap was clean of cheese, but the mechanism was never triggered, so no mouse.
The trap was re-set and re-baited and again the next day there was no mouse, and the trap was picked clean. At this point I was obsessed and so I sat down to observe, flashlight in hand. I could see a little hole in the corner where the carpet and the wood paneling (80s style) had been chewed away. My little brain knew that the mouse would have to work harder for the bait if I wanted the trap to trigger so I grabbed myself some Wonderbread and cling wrap. Like a little MacGyver, I wrapped a petite ball onto the trigger, poked some holes in it so the smell could escape, and set it by the hole. I sat there for what seemed like forever (but was probably 5 minutes) with my flashlight looking at that hole.
The ever-so-cautious mouse poked its nose out a couple of times but wouldn’t take the bait. Eventually, I gave up and went back to cartoons. Just a short time later I heard a clear and decisive SNAP! I ran into the kitchen and there was my mom who had pulled out the trap and there, hanging from it, was my white whale. Whereupon I was overtaken with guilt, and I started crying. (I was a kind, sensitive little boy)
So that’s how it all started a long time ago, but I learned an important lesson early. If one control strategy doesn’t work don’t be afraid to change it up and try new methods. Adapt to the given situation! If you’re reading this you are probably in a similar situation as young Adam and you need to do some rodent trapping, and the most important part of trapping is getting the rodent to enter your trap. For that, you need the right bait. So here are some helpful hints from the Good Earth Team to find the perfect aMOUSE-bouche.
When it comes to luring rodents, peanut butter stands as the tried-and-true go-to for Good Earth technicians. Its accessibility, robust aroma, and long shelf life make it a reliable choice. For those with peanut allergies, swapping it out for other nut or seed butter yields similarly effective results.
For pet owners, the readily available pet food serves as an excellent bait for rodent traps. Additionally, bird seed can be a solid alternative. To secure these dry foods in place, a small dab of peanut butter does the trick. An extra pro tip: Ensure proper storage in well-sealed containers and promptly clean up any spills to avoid attracting more unwanted rodents.
I know my title reads “Beyond the Cheese” but it’s a cliché for a reason. Whether its cheddar, Swiss, mozzarella, jack, brie, or provolone, just about all types of cheese are Gouda to use on a trap…I’ll see myself out. Seriously though, cheese has a good odor and is highly palatable, just make sure to put on a small amount as to not interfere with the trap’s mechanism. For easier application and trap setting, consider using Cheese Whiz or spread.
Whatever the rodents are eating
Ben is our Home Services Manager, and he says that many of our clients find out they have a rat or a mouse because they are getting into stores of food. If that’s the case, there’s your bait! If the rodent prefers marshmallows…than use marshmallow. If it loves graham crackers…than use graham crackers and so on. Bait your traps by using the aforementioned peanut butter to affix the dry foods to the trap. When using these familiar lurers, you want to make sure you clean up the food they were scavenging for in the first place and make it unavailable to them, so you don’t have competing food sources.
Jerky or meat
Oddly enough, we have had some very tricky and elusive rats trapped using a piece of jerky stick, lunch meat, cooked bacon, or hot dog. The mixture of protein, salt, and fats make this a highly appealing food source for some rodents. Just don’t use the super expensive, free-range organic stuff, save that for yourself.
“Rodents need 3 things to survive, food, water, and shelter. If regular baits aren’t working, the rodent may not be looking for food and you have to think outside the box” Mike, the CEO of Good Earth says. “Water can be a great lurer in certain situations, particularly if it is a scarce resource. But it is challenging to put on a trap.” Many traps have a bait cup that could be filled with water or even a hydrated Orbeez bead which could be just the ticket for a parched mouse. Another way to introduce water is to use a high-moisture food source, such as a slice of apple, banana, or avocado.
Maybe you have a rat that is trying to build a nest and has plenty of food elsewhere. In this case, a trap could be baited with a bit of string, feathers, or cotton ball. A cotton ball would be particularly easy to attach to a trap. As always make any other resources unavailable so the rodent has no choice but to go to the trap.
If you’ve read this far, that means you are invested and need some advice. I highly recommend that you see my previous blog post in which I line out techniques specifically to making your trapping more successful.
I hope with these strategies you can trap your way to a pest-free home. Just remember that if despite your best efforts the rodents continue to overrun, we here at Good Earth are always available to access, eliminate, and provide ongoing maintenance and support for all your rodent and pest needs.