The presence of rats and mice in buildings or homes is usually regarded as undesirable from the viewpoint of food spoilage and contamination, physical damage and the transmission of diseases to humans.
Trapping is an effective and humane rodent control method, using traps to physically capture rodents. A variety of traps are now available. These include the simple snap-trap type, now in a polystyrene and steel design with a larger trip paddle and set strike bar that closes quickly and multiple-catch devices such as top-catch cage traps which are able to catch several rodents in each setting.
It is always good to know the activity patterns of the rodents to enable careful placement of the trap. Traps should be placed where rodents are likely to encounter them while going on their normal routine activities. The odour of humans or previously killed rodents on traps does not seem to significantly affect their behaviour towards them, as they are accustomed to human odours.
Mice are extremely curious and adventurous animals and will often investigate new food sources within a very short period of time. However, rats are suggested to have a fear of new objects or changes in the familiar environment and may not show interest in a new trap during the first few days of its appearance.
The type of bait used may be bacon, fish, nuts, prune, apple, peanut butter or any number of other foods; the most attractive may depend on the particular eating habits of the rodents in each situation. Some experimenting may be required, using different baits and working out which is the most acceptable.
Traps should be checked daily and rodents disposed of appropriately.