Urban Baiting and Rat Control Strategies

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In urban areas, rats may appear anywhere without any apparent source of conveyance. It is therefore important to have all suspect rodent specimens properly identified.
  • Report all suspect rat sightings to Agriculture and Forestry, or local or municipal authorities for further action. Call 310-RATS. The Department investigates all sightings to verify identification, establish control measures, and determine the possible source of conveyance.
  • Rat control action usually takes place within a small area near the suspect sighting. Following lengthy transportation, rats often arrive in poor physical condition, so they seek the nearest shelter and food. Swift action by everyone can result in quick and successful eradication, which is why immediate reporting of suspect rat sightings is so important.
  • Anticoagulant Rat Bait works best in urban areas because it is safer to use. All rat baits are toxic and have use restrictions. Read and follow label instructions carefully. All rat bait must be placed in a tamper resistant bait station, or in a location not accessible to pets, children, livestock, and non-targets. Paraffinized blocks or soft bait placed in a Tier 1 bait station is recommended for an urban baiting set. A Tier 1 bait station that is made of sun proof hard plastic and constructed of high strength material, resistant to destruction by a child (child cannot reach the bait, and bait cannot be shaken loose) is recommended. The Tier 1 bait station must be locked or securely fastened, labeled with product name, registration number, active ingredient, guarantee, WARNING POISON with skull and cross bones. Remember, any rat bait placed out of doors must be in a Tier 1 bait station, and set within 15 meters of a building.

Anticoagulant Rat Bait - Soft Bait (green) and paraffinized blocks (blue).
  • Bait and Bait Stations are available in local hardware stores. Domestic use rat baits can be purchased by the general public and work well in controlling rats.

Labelled Tier 1 Bait Stations

Bait Station with rat bait blocks, snap trap, and soft bait.

  • Rat Snap Traps work well for a single rat report or sighting and can be used to eradicate a newly arrived rat. However, if an infestation or more than one rat is suspected, it is recommended to use anticoagulant baits rather than snap traps. A second rat is not often caught with a trap. Rat snap traps are available in most hardware stores. Do not set a smaller mouse trap when a rat is suspected. Mouse traps will not catch and hold a rat, and will make control more difficult. A rat snap trap can be placed in most bait stations to prevent children and pets from getting caught.

Rat Snap Traps

  • Care must be taken in setting out rat bait to prevent non-target poisoning. Always use recommended bait stations, which secure the bait inside the bait station and have the access secured to prevent unwanted opening. Always place the proper label and poison warning signs on the bait station or in the area where bait is set out. Inform neighbours where rat bait has been set out the same day the bait has been set. Pick up and destroy all unused rat bait containers by incineration, and report any dead rates to 310-RATS before destroying.
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For more information about the content of this document, contact Phil Merrill.
This document is maintained by Karen Hladych.
This information published to the web on May 30, 2013.
Last Reviewed/Revised on October 20, 2016.