I have an unseen, unknown critter(s) in the basement. I first noticed gnawing on particle board on the floor. I have been placing Tomcat brand All-Weather Bait Chunx on the floor near the gnawing and in an open space in the ceiling. Both have been taken daily for at least 5 days. The odd thing is that there are no droppings! What would you recommend for a trap, attractant and bait. We are about 50 miles north of NYC and have had chipmunks active a year ago outdoors.
There are several animals that might be active in your basement gnawing and taking your bait. The most likely would be a ROOF RAT or a MOUSE. Both animals will routinely take bait (like bait blocks or place back seed) and hoard it for future use. In other words, they will readily take the offering but not eat any. This would explain why it keeps disappearing; basically you’re just throwing away all this bait because they’re not really interested in it but think it’s worthy enough to store in case of emergency.
Now since roof rats typically have a large range that can encompass an acre or two, I would guess roof rats over mice. I say this because I’ve seen many times where a home can have a single roof rat enter one night, forage around for 10-20 minutes and then leave. This would explain why you don’t see any droppings; if it was mice you would assuredly see some sign since they cover a much smaller area and will generally leave droppings ever night.
Now in most cases, homes that have this happen have something to attract these rodents. And the most common things that attract rodents are either pets or bird seed. So if you have a cat or dog, this would be a sure attractor of rodents. But storing bird seed for outside bird feeders or a pet bird could be equally as alluring.
Regardless of why they’ve come inside, there’s an easy fix and here are two options that work 100% of the time.
But before you do either, you need to remove all the rodent poison you’ve applied. These products pose a huge risk to non target animals and all the material you’ve been setting out thats been disappearing is like a time bomb ready to explode.
Just imagine what could happen if the hoarded food is found by a child or a pet and they eat it? Based on how much you’ve put out, there could be enough to kill a person if they ingest it all so do not apply any more. Clearly this approach is not working and hopefully everything you’ve been applying will never be found by some hungry non target animal like a neighbors pet or worse, a child.
Next, get one of the following traps. Both work well; you just have to decide if you wish to catch this critter alive or dead.
So if you want the animal alive (which will allow you to relocate it elsewhere)s install 2-3 of our LT3310 traps set up with some MIXED SEED and PECAN PASTE. Whatever is foraging will easily find the offering, enter and get caught. Once caught, you can take them at least 5 miles away and release them alive or destroy them by drowning them in a tub of water. These traps are easy to set, pose no hazard to people or pets and only need to be placed where you’ve been finding the gnawing or along any close by wall. The Pecan Paste will do the rest.
The second option would be to install a RAT ZAPPER. These devices electrocute rats, mice and other small animals killing them humanely. You’ll still need to bait the back of the trap with some PECAN PASTE to insure they enter but 1-2 of these installed in the basement will get this critter (or critters as the case may be) for sure.
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Pecan Paste: https://www.bugspraycart.com/traps/lure/pecan-paste
Rat Zapper Classic: https://www.bugspraycart.com/traps/electric/rat-zap-classic
Here are direct links to our in depth articles on these pests which cover more details on treatment options:
Rat & Mouse Control: https://bugspray.com/article/rats.html
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