Humane Options to Get Rid of Rodents : Waking up in the middle of the night because rats are having a party in your kitchen is not a way to live. Adorable as they might look, rodents contaminate your place and supplies as they travel in search of food and shelter, leaving their droppings around. They carry some serious diseases, too. A humane mouse trap is surely a welcome solution, but what is considered humane and how to choose one fitting your needs best?
What Is a Good Rodent Solution?
With the market overflowing with rodent eradication tools and devices, finding an option that’s both safe, humane, and efficient can be a challenge. A good remedy will give you a rodent-free home at no cost to your health. This means no toxic stuff to kill the nasty balls of fur, potentially endangering your family and pets, and a clever design that precludes accidental injury. Conventional snap traps are suboptimal in this respect and also not particularly humane, so it’s not a recommended option for health-conscious animal lovers.
When it comes to traps, these fall into two categories, deadly and live. The former can be quick enough to pass the humanity test, such as the relatively novel no see, no-touch electric traps that can be emptied directly into the trash bin. These rely on baits such as peanut butter to lure the animal in and kill it by electrocution as soon as the sensor is triggered when the vermin is inside. The tunnel design prevents pets and children from getting injured, provided that you follow the directions. This is probably the least yucky and most hygienic deadly trap in terms of disposal, but it tends to be on the expensive side. Another limitation is that the mouse tunnel design won’t work with rats, so you need to be really specific.
Live traps can be used to capture and release rodents somewhere they won’t bother you. Most goods in this category are reusable but can obviously host a limited number of critters at a time. It’s thus best to purchase a pack if you’re dealing with a massive infestation so that you can solve the problem in a more efficient way.
Typically, live traps feature a bait, often home-made such as food that rodents find attractive and a closing mechanism. When the animal gets inside to feast on the treat you’ve placed for it, there’s no way out anymore. This is not to say you are to leave the tiny critter all alone to die a slow, painful death without food or water. Instead, make sure to check the traps regularly. Once in every two to three hours is the recommended frequency during the daytime. Rats and mice will normally make noise when they realize they are locked inside, so you are unlikely to miss it if you are near.
Capture-and-release rodent trap might sound like a blessing, but what do you do when the vermin is caught? You need to develop a plan in advance. According to People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (commonly known as PETA), there are two options when it comes to disposing of a caught rat or mouse. You can either take it to the vet’s for humane euthanasia or spare its life and relocate it. Some shelters accept rodents, too. If you choose relocation, make sure the new place is within 100 yards from your home, because a strange environment might kill the fluffy bandit. This means all potential rodent entries should be sealed to prevent re-infestation.
Rodent proofing your property can be a powerful vermin control method in itself. Keep whatever can be sealed, and try a natural, non-toxic deterrent to make your place as unwelcoming to rats and mice as possible. PETA recommends mixing salad oil with intense-smelling ingredients such as cayenne pepper, horseradish, and garlic and spraying it in sensitive areas (but not onto sensitive surfaces!) after it’s been left to set for four days. The same organization advertises mothballs as a potentially effective rat control tool, but these might damage your own health and this of your pets because they contain toxic naphthalene.
Finally, you can rely on rodents’ natural enemies to keep their population in check. While getting a cat seems to be the most obvious option, some dogs will catch mice and rats as well. These include the highly trainable rat terrier. Opinions differ as to whether this is a humane approach, but it surely is natural and isn’t associated with risks to human health. Remember that eating a stray rodent might have unwelcome health consequences for your fuzzy companion, though, such as toxoplasmosis and roundworms.
Conclusion for Non-Toxic Rodent Solutions
Whether killing rodents fits with your idea of what is humane, it’s always best to choose non-toxic pest control means that provide for responsible disposal. From live traps to electrocution, be sure to check an approach that is the best given your situation. Stay safe!
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