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Trapping Tips

Alternate Baits for Rodents

By | Rodents, Tips & Inspirations, Trapping Tips | 6 Comments

Alternate Bait Options for Rodents

The baits you use to trap rodents can have a significant impact on your catch rate and a thorough knowledge of alternate rodent baits will help.  Fortunately, there are plenty of baits you have at your disposal.  In fact, you may find some surprising ones on the list below.  But, first, some general rodent bait tips.

8 Tips for Using Rodent Baits

  1. Rodents are fickle creatures. Alternate not only the baits you use but also where you place the traps if you are not having success.
  2. When it comes to traps, the more the merrier.  Indeed, placing several traps spread out will increase your likelihood of a catch.
  3. When it comes to bait amount, less is probably more. You should use just enough to fill the bait containers on snap and wooden traps.  This is usually about ½ gram – the size of a kidney bean.  Adding too much bait may actually hurt the performance of the trap.
  4. If you are using a glue trap chances are it is already pre-scented. If you do use baits with glue boards be sure to avoid oily substances like peanut butter that might impact glue performance.
  5. Let the rodents smell the bait, not you. Rodents can smell your scent well after you have touched a trap.  As a result, use gloves when setting a trap.
  6. Leave some bait on the trap before you set it.  Rodents are cautious, baiting before you set the trap will allow them to get used to the trap in their environment.  Once they are accustomed to taking the bait they are far more likely to return once the trap is set.
  7. Stop the rodents before you even have to trap. First, do a thorough inspection of your property and then be sure to seal up any holes like cracks in foundations or gaps in door stops.  An adult mouse only needs a hole the size of a dime to get inside your house.
  8. If baits aren’t working consider creating a “Hansel and Gretel” trail leading up to your trap (props to Joey Starr for the tip!)

Alternate Rodent Baits - Fun Facts

The Not-So-Complete List of Alternate Rodent Baits

Full disclosure – this list is in no way meant to be complete.  Furthermore, different baits work for different people in different locations.  Do you have a bait that isn’t on this list?  Without a doubt, we would love to hear in the contents below.

Protein-based Baits

  1. Peanut butter (consider possible repercussions of this allergen first)
  2. Soy butter (could be an effective alternative to peanut butter, thank you to Chris Morin from Fusion Pest Management for the tip!)
  3. Beef jerky (like Slim Jim, can be cut into smaller parts, remember, you don’t need a lot.  Thanks to Myron Ritter for the tip!)
  4. Bacon
  5. Seeds
  6. Thin slices of hot dogs or sausage
  7. Nuts (Nuts should only be use sparingly & perhaps should be steered clear of altogether, particularly in areas like food processing plants – thanks to Dale Hodgson for the tip!)
  8. Snails or slugs
  9. Pet food
  10. Rodent droppings
  11. Bacon bits (added by Sean Wineberg)
  12. Provoke professional gel by Bell Labs (added by Matthew Blair – for an extra boost consider Provoke +  chocolate fudge pudding, tip from Manuel Varela)
  13. Beef grease, like the drippings from a steak, good for hard and unusual situations (thanks again to Chris Morin from Fusion Pest Management!)
  14. (last two courtesy of Hugh Radford from Guardian Pest Control)
  15. Granola (submitted by Junior Delacruz)
  16. Cheese (although it may be, according to Jay Lee from Pirate Pest Control “only used to catch cartoon mice” if you are out of alternatives the smellier and softer the better)

Sweet Baits

  1. Marshmallows
  2. Gum Drops
  3. Chocolate
  4. Dried fruit
  5. Berries
  6. Nutella
  7. Honey or molasses
  8. Cereal
  9. Maple syrup
  10. Molasses
  11. Jelly (added by Mark Whorton)
  12. Liquorice jelly sweets with a sprinkling of oats around the trap and a spritz of aniseed oil spray to take away any human scent (awesome tip and instructions added by Hugh Radford from Guardian Pest Control – thanks, Hugh!)
  13. Tootsie rolls (added by Scott Palatnik)

One area to consider if you aren’t have any luck with food-based baits – nesting material!  Just as rodents will seek out food for energy they will also seek out materials for home, particularly females.

Nest Material Alternate Rodent Baits

  1. Cotton balls (to “sweeten” the deal add some vanilla extract – thank you to George Mccutchen for the tip!)
  2. Shredded paper towels
  3. Fabric scraps
  4. Dental floss
  5. Yarn
  6. Twine
  7. Cardboard
  8. Packaging materials
  9. Straw
  10. Pillow batting
  11. A shiny dime (submitted by Jerry Vallejos)

Don’t Forget to Alternate

Hopefully the first bait you choose gets the job done but, remember, if your chosen bait isn’t working try something else.  There’s a reason there are so many options!

Did we miss your go-to bait?  Let us know in the comments!

Additional Resources – Alternate Rodent Baits

First, get more great content like this in your inbox – sign up for our mailing list here: https://catchmasterpro.com/join-email/

Next, learn more about our rodent management tools here: https://catchmasterpro.com/collection/rodent-management-tools/

Finally, learn more about your pest management professional options from the National Pest Management Association here: https://npmapestworld.org/

Holiday Rodent Inspection Tips

By | Rodents, Tips & Inspirations, Trapping Tips, Uncategorized | No Comments

Don’t give rodents a home for the holidays – arm yourself with some holiday rodent inspection tips.

Holiday decorations, whether you are getting them out or putting them up, provide a great opportunity to check less-traveled spots for signs of rodents.

Why do rodents visit during the holidays?

Rodents invade our areas searching for the same things we do – food, warmth and shelter.  In addition, they prefer undisturbed areas like attics, closets and crawl spaces.  Undoubtedly, your holiday decorations are stored in a similar spot.  Utilize your time in storage to deploy these holiday rodent inspection tips.

Holiday Home Rodent Inspection

4 signs of rodents to look for during the holidays

  1. Droppings – A mice infestation is often accompanied by droppings. Mice droppings are typically one-eighth to one-quarter of an inch long with pointed ends. Larger problems, like Norway rats, have larger droppings with blunt ends.
  2. Strong odors – attics, basements and storage areas have distinct smells. Mice see poorly but use urine to mark their territories and navigate new surroundings. The urine leaves behind an undeniable scent that smells like ammonia.
  3. Gnaw marks – rodent’s teeth never stop growing and they gnaw in order to keep their teeth at a comfortable length. An often-overlooked sign of a rodent infestation is gnaw marks or shavings found on or around baseboards, doors or cardboard storage containers.
  4. Tracks or rub markets – mice do not see well and hug the walls during travel. Eventually they will memorize the route creating a “marked trail”, the result of body oil and dirt being rubbed against walls or baseboards. A strong flashlight may help you to uncover these rodent markings in the attic or basement.

After inspecting your home talk to a pest management professional about year-round monitoring with the Catchmaster® brand.  Monitoring is a sure way to get ahead of pest infestations.  In addition, monitoring is an important part of an integrated pest management program.

Bobby Kossowicz is a content creator for the Catchmaster® brand, learn more here: https://catchmasterpro.com/blog/bobby-kossowicz/

Additional resources – holiday rodent inspection tips

Get more great content like this in your inbox – sign up for our mailing list here: https://catchmasterpro.com/join-email/

Learn more about our insect glue boards and monitors here: https://catchmasterpro.com/product/insect-traps-monitors/

Get more winter pest tips from the experts at Redfin here: https://www.redfin.com/blog/winter-pest-control-expert-tips

Learn more about your pest management professional options from the National Pest Management Association here: https://npmapestworld.org/

 

Helpful Holiday Pest Prevention for People with Pets

By | Rodents, Tips & Inspirations, Trapping Tips | No Comments

Holiday pest prevention may not be top of mind this time of year.  With family visiting, gifts to wrap and meals to cook it is easy to forget protecting your turf from pests.  But pests are persistent, and they would love nothing more than to get in on your holiday feast.

Holiday Pest Prevention - Rodent Destruction

The Importance of Holiday Pest Prevention for your Pets

Not only can pests ruin your meal, they present a health danger to your pets.  Mice alone can bring dangers like salmonella and hantavirus into your home.  Without a doubt, pests can impact you during the holidays and year-round.  Fortunately, there are some easy steps you can take to keep your home pest-free this holiday season.

5 Helpful Tips for Holiday Pest Prevention for people with pets

  1. Deck, and inspect, the halls (and other areas) – pests seek the same things we seek at the holidays – food, warmth and shelter. Did you know an adult mouse can fit through a hole the size of a dime?  Inspect your home for any openings like cracks in the foundation or gaps in doorways.  Importantly, if openings are found seal them up.
  2. Say no to the table scraps – not only will the feeding your pet possibly be bad for them, the food waste that is left can attract all sorts of pests.
  3. Check the box(es) – when getting out the decorations, be sure to see if there is any damage to the boxes. If you see any gnaw marks it may be an indication of rodents.  Use glue traps to monitor your attic or other storage space year-round and be sure to check for activity.
  4. Inspect your decorations – if signs of rodents have been detected make sure to double-check all of your electrical decorations – frayed wires could present a danger to pets.
  5. Maintain your outdoor areas – seasonal debris like twigs and leaves can provide harborage to rodents and help draw them close to your home. In addition, pests can find homes in piles of unkempt firewood.

Holiday Pest Prevention - Inspection

Trust the Experts

If you discover a pest problem in your home or on your pet work closely with your veterinarian and pest management professional for a safe solution.

Learn more about Catchmaster® insect glue boards and monitors here: https://catchmasterpro.com/product/insect-traps-monitors/

Learn more about your pest management professional options from the National Pest Management Association here: https://npmapestworld.org/

 

Rodent Exclusion Tips

By | blog, Rodents, Tips & Inspirations, Trapping Tips | No Comments

Get Proactive Protection with these Rodent Exclusion Tips for the Fall

The temperatures are getting colder, the leaves are out of the trees and the rodents are heading indoors, but, don’t fret, use these rodent exclusion tips to get ready for the season.

According to PestWorld, mice and other rodents invade an estimated 21 million homes in the United States each winter! Don’t be a part of that staggering statistic. Ensure a pest-free living environment via exclusion work.  Exclusion work can prevent insects and rodents from gaining access to your home.

The importance of rodent exclusion work

Did you know that an adult mouse is able to squeeze through a hole the size of a dime? An afternoon of uncovering and sealing entry points into your home can help you to ensure a pest-free living environment all winter long.

Exclusion work simply means sealing and securing all possible points of entry into a building.  Taking this proactive step can easily reduce and even eliminate pest and rodent activity in the home. Exclusion is cost effective and more efficient in the long run. It reduces the need for chemical pesticides or rodenticides.  The result is a safe alternative for both humans and the environment.

Rodent Exclusion Tips - Home Graphic

In order to be through, begin with an inspection of your home from the inside out.

7 areas to check for rodent exclusion work

  1. Cracks and crevices in the foundation
  2. Improperly sealed vents
  3. Attics
  4. Drain pipes
  5. Door sweeps
  6. Window screens
  7. Garage doors

Caulk works well for tiny gaps, however, for openings two inches or more us copper mesh in order to fill-in holes and entry points.  Because of the mesh, Rodents cannot chew through and gain entry.

Once exclusion is performed remember to monitor indoor areas that cannot be fully sealed with glue boards and trays. Being alerted to a pest or rodent problem early can make the infestation much easier to solve.

Take some time to be pro-active this fall by performing exclusion around your home and enjoy a pest and rodent-free winter.

Bobby Kossowicz is a content creator for the Catchmaster® brand, learn more here: https://catchmasterpro.com/blog/bobby-kossowicz/

Additional resources

Get more rodent tips in your in-box by signing up for our newsletter here: https://catchmasterpro.com/join-email/

Learn more about rodents from the NPMA here: https://www.pestworld.org/news-hub/pest-articles/rodents-101/

Keeping Your Home & Pumpkins Safe from Pests this Halloween

By | blog, Insects, Rodents, Tips & Inspirations, Trapping Tips, Uncategorized | No Comments

Halloween pest control can help keep your holiday festive.

Halloween Pest Control - Cota

It’s October, a chill is in the air and homeowners are busy decking their halls with spiders, rats and other creepy crawlers in preparation for Halloween.  It is about the only time of the year that pests are an acceptable décor choice around the home.  Holiday displays aside, here are some tips for keeping the real pests at bay this year.

Spiders – better out than in

Did you know that spiders can actually be a beneficial pest, particularly in your garden? Perhaps not the best news if you suffer from arachnophobia. It’s true though, spiders in your garden play a pivotal role in keeping down the number of plant-killing bugs and may also prevent you from being stung while working in your garden. However, very few of us want to share our homes with these creatures.

Spider pest control tips

  1. To keep spiders out of your home, consider performing some exclusion work, filling cracks and crevices, sealing gaps and openings around the home and replacing door sweeps that may no longer provide a strong seal.
  2. Another great line of defense against indoor spiders is your vacuum cleaner. Suck up any visible spiders and be sure to remove cobwebs around your home as well.
  3. Finally, consider monitoring your home for spiders with our glue traps and boards. Place our glue trays or boards in out of the way areas to find what’s really creeping around your home this fall.

Halloween Pest Control - Rat Facts

Halloween Pest Control – Keeping the Rats at Bay

Much like spiders, rats can enter your home through relatively small cracks and holes. Did you know that a rat can squeeze its body through a hole the size of a quarter? There are a couple of actions you can take to keep rats away. First, fill any holes or gaps you find around the perimeter of your home. Second, keep your plumbing in tip top shape. Like many other pests, rats are drawn to moisture and a leaky pipe can be the water source needed.

Beware the Pumpkin Eaters

Lastly, be careful where you place that seasonal pumpkin. Pumpkins are a huge component of Halloween Pest Control.  Pumpkins left outdoors are a great food source for rats, mice and other rodents and will also draw pests to your home particularly as the pumpkin begins to rot.

Pumpkin pest prevention

  1. Display pumpkins in a cool, dry place to prevent mold and rot from setting in early and attract insects.
  2. You can protect your pumpkins with a simple mixture of bleach and water. Simply spray this mixture on a carved pumpkin each day before Halloween for an easy, effective pest management practice to keep fruit flies and other insects at bay.
  3. To avoid your pumpkin serving as a food source for rodents and squirrels in the area, try coating the pumpkin inside and out with hot pepper sauce.

We hope these tips help you to enjoy the Halloween season where the only pests you see are a part of your seasonal décor.

Bobby Kossowicz is a content creator for the Catchmaster® brand, learn more here: https://catchmasterpro.com/blog/bobby-kossowicz/

Additional Halloween Pest Control Resources

Looking for more Halloween pest tips?  Gest some mosquito tips from our own Captain Stan (aka the Mosquito Man) here: https://catchmasterpro.com/blog/halloween-mosquito-prevention/

Learn more about pests at Pest World, the official site of the National Pest Management Association here: http://pestworld.org/

Halloween Mosquito Prevention

By | Insects, Mosquitoes, Trapping Tips | No Comments

Don’t let mosquitoes take a bit out of your fun this year – use these 4 Halloween mosquito prevention tips to enjoy pest-free trick-or-treating!

Ah- Halloween!  The season of gremlins and ghouls is upon us, and costumes and candy rule the day!  However, if your locality has not experienced a heavy freeze, nasty mosquitoes will still be out on Halloween. Here are a few tips from Vampire Captain Stan to minimize your exposure whether you are dispensing candy or seeking it yourself.

Halloween Mosquito Prevention - Mosquito Fun Facts

4 Easy Halloween Mosquito Prevention Tips

  1. If costumes permit, cover as much of your exposed skin as possible. Limit access for the blood-seekers (mosquitoes, not vampires!)
  2. If needed, use a mosquito repellent that has an EPA-registered active ingredient (https://www.cdc.gov/zika/prevention/prevent-mosquito-bites.html)
  3. Mosquitoes love entering houses through open doors. When answering the doorbell, don’t leave the door wide open while giving treats.  Invite the visitors in or go outside with them.  If weather permits, you can set up your candy store outside or in the garage but be sure and protect yourself!
  4. Many kinds of mosquitoes are highly attracted to white light. Consider using yellow ‘bug lights’ or perhaps even super cool Halloween bulbs in your outdoor fixtures.  This will help limit the mosquitoes attracted to your front door as well as to your property.

Happy Haunting and remember:  Safety First!

Captain Stan Cope (aka the Mosquito Man) is our Vice President of Technical Services.  Learn more about Stan here:  https://catchmaster.com/introducing-captain-stan-the-mosquito-man/

Additional Resources

For help with mosquito season 2019 & beyond, discover Catchmaster® mosquito management tools:  https://catchmasterpro.com/product/final-feed-mosquito-bait/

Finally, learn more about mosquitoes from the NPMA here: https://www.pestworld.org/pest-guide/mosquitoes/

Rodent Trapping Tip – Big Ed’s Trapping Tips

By | Rodents, Tips & Inspirations, Trapping Tips | No Comments

In the first installment of our 2019 rodent trapping tip series, Big Ed shares one tip with many benefits for utilizing plastic snap traps like our Easy Set snap traps.

Rodent Trapping Tip – Anchor your snap traps to increase catch rates. 

When rodents first interact with newly installed traps they often approach and investigate the device from the back and side.  As a result, they may inadvertently avoid the deadly trigger.  They often push and slide the trap around while inspecting the new item in their environment.  Therefore,  setting it off without a capture.  Another benefit of anchoring your trap is that it optimizes and directs the force generated by the system to maximize killing power.  When a snap trap is triggered, energy can be lost as the device reacts.  Focusing this energy allows the trap to dispatch the pest in a quick and humane manner.

Rodent Trapping Tip - Easy Set

Additional Resources

Catchmaster® Easy-Set™ snap traps have been optimized with feedback from the field, learn more here: https://catchmasterpro.com/product/easy-set-mouse-snap-traps/

Learn more about Big Ed here: https://catchmaster.com/introducing-big-ed-and-his-trapping-tips/

If you liked this rodent trapping tip, get more in your in-box by signing up for our newsletter here: https://catchmasterpro.com/join-email/

Learn more about rodents from the NPMA here: https://www.pestworld.org/news-hub/pest-articles/rodents-101/

 

How to Spot a Spotted Lanternfly Infestation

By | blog, Insects, spotted lanternfly, Tips & Inspirations, Trapping Tips | No Comments

If you are unfamiliar with the spotted lanternfly, Lycorma delicatula (White) (Hemiptera: Fulgoridae), it’s a good idea to get acquainted with this sap-feeding insect before it’s too late.  Your trees and produce may already be at risk.

Spotted lanternfly background

First spotted in the United States in 2014, the invasive pest was originally discovered in Pennsylvania and has since spread rapidly.  It is known to feed on vines, shrubs, fruit trees, hardwoods, grapevines, and over 70 other species of trees. Infestations are often accidental but can occur seemingly overnight when eggs are transported by landscapers or homeowners doing yardwork. Egg masses and other life stages can also be found on a variety of other outdoor items including vehicles, patio furniture, swing sets, and more. For that reason, it’s very easy for them to spread quickly when humans move anything bearing the eggs.

So, how do you spot an infestation of the spotted lanternfly? The following can help as you check for egg masses on trees and items stored outside.

Identification & Life Cycle

If you hear of an infestation in your area, it’s a good idea to look for eggs all over your property.  They can be anywhere – not just on trees. The spotted lanternfly has one generation every year. Adult females lay eggs in September and continue until early December. Early detection is key as the eggs can survive the winter months and hatch in early spring.

spotted lanternfly eggs

Resembling mud, the pod-like egg masses are usually gray or off-white and will crack and darken over time.

spotted lanternfly nymphs

The eggs hatch in the spring and the nymphs immediately begin feeding. They are recognized as small black nymphs with white spots.

spotted lanternfly instars

The spotted lanternfly completes four life stages, also known as instars, before maturing into adults. The first three instar nymphs are black with white markings while the fourth instar nymphs are reddish-orange with white markings.

spotted lanternfly adults

Mostly seen in late summer and fall, adult nymphs have wings and are about an inch long and a half inch wide. They have gray forewings with black spots and hindwings that can be red, white and black striped.

Tree-Banding for the spotted lanternfly

If you are concerned about populations of the spotted lanternfly in your area, consider working with a pest professional who can perform tree-banding. Tree-banding creates a physical barrier on tree trunks that consist of a wrap and glue. The process allows homeowners to monitor trees proactively for the spotted lanternfly. Click here to learn more.

Additional Resources

Learn more from Penn State University here: https://extension.psu.edu/spotted-lanternfly-management-for-homeowners

Learn more about tree-banding with our Catchmaster® TB-1 glue here: https://catchmasterpro.com/product/tree-banding-glue/

Bobby Kossowicz is a content creator for the Catchmaster® brand, learn more here: https://catchmasterpro.com/blog/bobby-kossowicz/

Tips for Fruit Flies – Big Ed’s Trapping Tips

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Tips for catching fruit flies

With the summer months upon us so is the reminder that a pest loves fresh produce almost as much as us.  Fruit flies are a significant nuisance pest and have a powerful sense of smell.  The spend their whole life in search of rotting fruit and once they find a source they can quickly become an issue.  With many fruit fly traps available in the professional market here are some tips for making your traps more effective.

3 Tips for Catching More Fruit Flies

  1. Use a glue board under your fruit fly traps.  Fruit flies tend not to land directly on their intended food source but often land close by and walk around to investigate, providing an opportunity to increase your catch.
  2. Place your fruit fly trap in the middle of an exposed glue board – this will allow you to pick up as many flies as possible as they seek their food source.  This will dramatically increase your catch.
  3. Locate and remove the food source as soon as possible to get control over these nuisance flies.  Remember that food sources can come from many places including drains, appliances and garbage.  A thorough cleaning may be required to remove all food sources.

Catchmaster® insect boards and monitors are ideal glue boards to utilize, learn more here: https://catchmasterpro.com/product/insect-traps-monitors/

Learn more about Big Ed here: https://catchmaster.com/introducing-big-ed-and-his-trapping-tips/

Learn more about fruit flies from the NPMA here: https://www.pestworld.org/pest-guide/flies/fruit-flies/