Rat Chat

Rat numbers peak in March/April on the Barrier and this is the best time to try to prevent them getting inside houses or sheds, and from demolishing the last of the summer veges in the garden.
At Windy Hill we have been tracking this rise of rats for eleven years and no matter how effective the pest management we have in place what happens is that there is always an increase in the percentage of rats recorded in tracking tunnels in autumn, particularly in the more mature regenerating and mature forest areas.

However, if you have sufficient rat control happening outside your house or other buildings you can really minimise the risk of rats getting inside your cosy house for the winter. An average size developed section could do with between 4 and 6 trap or bait stations tended regularly. At the peak one can catch several rats a night.

Tips for Trappers
Baits: peanut butter mix with rolled oats; nuts – peanut, macademia; chocolate buttons; chook pellets; bread; fruit; bacon rind; leather bits soaked in oil
Set Traps: in & under buildings; inside building walls & ceilings; in rock walls; under and in timber stacks; by compost bins; by firewood stacks; in old cars; under climbing vines; by piles of rubbish; in the orchard and garden
Traps - Trouble shooting
If the trap won’t set, tip the trap upside down and shake freeing the pedal.
Place thumb on top of flat part of mechanism to hold up bait pedal when setting.
If the bar won’t set in the catch, press the bar in under the catch as setting.

Traps, rat bait, and trap covers, are available from

Windy Hill Rosalie Bay Catchment Trust

Plastic Snap-E Traps - $8 each
Plastic Covers for Traps – free
Wooden covers for traps – $22


10L pails Rat bait (approx 290 x 20gm baits) $150 plus gst
Used bait in good condition $20 per 10 L pail.

Ph Judy on 306


• Tie traps down to stop them disappearing when a rat is partially caught

• Cover traps to stop by-catch and protect the trap from being sprung by debris. Set trap at back of cover to reduce risk of by-catch (rails)

• Plenty of traps outside will lower the risk of rats coming inside

• Change baits regularly and move traps from time to time

• When mice appear rat numbers are way down

• Weigh or staple covers down to prevent them being blown over

• Keep a record – it will astound you how much you catch

• Rat numbers are highest in Autumn, lowest in September

• Have one trap for every 50x50m square area in bush situations

• If using bait ensure that it is fixed inside a station that protects it from the weather and stops non target species accessing the bait.