“Do Rats Fill in Their Own Burrows?”

By Chris Williams on December 2, 2014.

I noticed a rat outside my ground floor apartment taking birdseed into his burrow by my window well. I set two sticky traps by the hole and watched his behavior for two days without catching him. I then put peanut butter in the center of the sticky traps. I checked the traps tonight and the peanut butter is gone and the hole is perfectly filled with dirt. Will rats fill their own burrow holes or is he storing food in the hole and will be back? Jim

rats in burrowsJim, rats don’t fill in their own holes but pest control technicians, grounds maintenance guys, and 7-year old boys do. In fact, when we are baiting for rats, our technicians fill the burrows with dirt or crumpled-up paper or leaves. If the rats are still alive, they will reopen the burrow, letting us know where we still have activity. If your property has a pest control contract, the technician may have been making his rounds and doing his job.

Don’t Use a Mouse Trap for a Rat-Sized Job

A wily rat could have eaten the peanut butter from the traps without getting caught. It would have been very lucky if you caught a rat on a mouse-size sticky trap because there’s just not enough sticky surface for a rat’s bulk. If a rat does get stuck on a mouse glue trap, he usually drags the trap away in an effort to get loose. Although they’re harder to find, there are rat-sized glue traps which should be anchored in place when used. It’s also possible that a larger animal such as a dog or raccoon ate the peanut butter from the traps without ever having to step on them or make much contact with the glue.

If your apartment property doesn’t have a rat control program, it sounds like they need one. Ask your manager to give me a call. We can do a full property inspection for rodent problems and set him up with a guaranteed, low visibility rat eradication program.

Photo credit: Sarah_Jones / Foter / CC BY-SA


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