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
- Rodents are fickle creatures. Alternate not only the baits you use but also where you place the traps if you are not having success.
- When it comes to traps, the more the merrier. Indeed, placing several traps spread out will increase your likelihood of a catch.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- If baits aren’t working consider creating a “Hansel and Gretel” trail leading up to your trap (props to Joey Starr for the tip!)
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.
- Peanut butter (consider possible repercussions of this allergen first)
- Soy butter (could be an effective alternative to peanut butter, thank you to Chris Morin from Fusion Pest Management for the tip!)
- Beef jerky (like Slim Jim), can be cut into smaller parts, remember, you don’t need a lot. Thanks to Myron Ritter and John Cunningham from Stark Exterminators and Daniel Connelly from Connelly Pest Control for the tip!
- Thin slices of hot dogs or sausage
- 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!)
- Snails or slugs
- Pet food
- Rodent droppings
- Bacon bits (added by Sean Wineberg)
- Provoke professional gel by Bell Labs (added by Matthew Blair – for an extra boost consider Provoke + chocolate fudge pudding, tip from Manuel Varela)
- Beef grease, like the drippings from a steak, good for hard and unusual situations (thanks again to Chris Morin from Fusion Pest Management!)
- Granola (submitted by Junior Delacruz)
- 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)
- Sunflower Seeds (props to Michael James Burks from B6 Pest Supply)
- Hot Sauce (thank you to Edward Cosgrove from Hearts Pest Management)
- Canned mackarel – works especially well for rats (thank you to Thomas Tripp from Modern Pest Services)
- Sardines (shout out to Paul Potts from Potts Pest Control Ocala for the tip!)
- Gum Drops
- Dried fruit
- Nutella (shout out to Lawrence Plecha from Biotec Pest for the tip, Daniel Connelly from Connelly Pest Control notes it works particularly well for rats)
- Honey or molasses
- Maple syrup
- Jelly (added by Mark Whorton)
- 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!)
- Tootsie rolls (added by Scott Palatnik)
- PayDay candy bars (submitted by Michael James Burks from B6 Pest Supply)
- Reese’s peanut butter cup
- Starburst (last 2 courtesy of Gary Johnson from Buzzkill Pest Control)
- Gummy bears (props to Tom Hudson)
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
- Cotton balls (to “sweeten” the deal add some vanilla extract – thank you to George Mccutchen, Timothy from Assured Environments & Gary Johnson from Buzzkill Pest Control for the tip!)
- Shredded paper towels
- Fabric scraps
- Dental floss
- Packaging materials
- Pillow batting
- 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
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