Rat Trapping2018-10-12T07:43:06+00:00

Rat Trapping

Items you will need:

1 x Rat trap -Fenn Mark4
1 x  mesh tunnel
1 x pair latex gloves

Rat Fenn Mark 4 trap

The Legalities:

The rat is officially classified as vermin. You are therefore legally entitled to cull them- provided you observe the correct practices. You must use an approved spring trap that is placed in a tunnel or safety cage. The Mark4 steel spring trap is the best solution – effective, efficient and legal.

The best legal way is to use a Fenn Mark4 trap and an approved mesh tunnel or cage from The Trap Barn. This way, you are pretty much guaranteed 100% successful kill rate. The idea behind the tunnel or cage is to prevent non target species like birds, cats or hedgehogs getting injured.


  1. The rat is intelligent and does not fall victim to a baited trap very easily.
  2. Rats have an acute sense of smell and are very wary of anything with a lingering odour of humans. Hence always use  gloves when handling traps.
  3. They are very wary of any alien object that suddenly appears in their living space. Then they are even more wary of an alien object that smells of food.
  4.  Rats do not like moving over open spaces preferring to move around with body contact on a wall or some other vertical surface. First, they use their whiskers to sense objects in front of them in the dark. By keeping their whiskers touching a wall, they can tell if they are still on the right path. Secondly, traveling along a wall provides protection on one side.
  5. They don’t like getting wet if they can avoid it, hence they will cross a ditch or open drain where there is crossing point. This could be a tree trunk lying over the water or a plank that you have laid several days earlier. When a trap is placed here it is called “rail trapping”.
    6. Being wary, they actively seek out dark corners and dark channels.Note :- Trapping rats is NOT easy. It takes skill and knowledge. If you follow all the basic rules (given below) you will catch the FIRST rat fairly quickly. But rats are notoriously trap-shy. They are communal animals, and, once they hear the trap go off (and probably a final alarm squeal from the rat) the others will shy away from entering the tunnel thereafter . There is one tip that totally overcomes this. It is not bait. I will not reveal my secret here, as my competitors will copy it . But I will make it available to our customers who purchase one of our Fenn trap and tunnel combination. I have been involved in traps and trapping for over 40 years and have tried out many ideas. I happened upon this tip by chance but I now understand why it works. It really works and is easy to do-  once you know how.

Leave your trap and tunnel outside to weather for a few days to get rid of human odour. If it is for use on a farm or hatchery, place it where there are natural animal smells e.g. muck or feed.

Look for rat droppings and observe where the rat runs are.  Runs are also detected by the looking for the slight dirt trail sometimes left by their feet.
Invariably this will be alongside a wall or on top of a beam, branch or pipe.

Trap Location:
On day one , place the tunnel (without the trap) a few feet away from the rat run. Then next day place it near the run and leave it there for a day so that they get used to it. On day 3 move the trap alongside a wall (on the rat run) with the off-set holes adjacent to the wall. Or place it in one of the positions mentioned above where there is a run. Leave it there undisturbed for a day.

The trap should be inside the tunnel but not set. Have the trap half set i.e. opened up but with the strike bar held down by the safety catch.You should have attached the zip tie to the D ring with the end protruding outside the tunnel. Note it is not always necessary to bait the trap for rats. The action of them running through the tunnel and over the treadle plate will trigger the trap. Baiting the trap early on will just scare the rats away as they are very wary of free food that suddenly appears in their environment. If you do want o use bait, use whatever they would normally eat there eg grain in granary or meat in a butchers.

 Start trapping:
 Holding the trap in a horizontal position, place it in the tunnel through the side door. Only when it is correctly positioned then flick the safety catch off with a small stick.

Baiting the trap:
This is not always necessary (see above)

By law you must check your traps at least one a day.

Rat Mark 4 Fenn trap
rat trap
Rat facts

The rat has excellent memory. Once it learns a navigation route, it will not forget it.
Rats make happy chirping sounds when they play but  succumb to peer-pressure, just like humans. Their urge to conform is strong.
Although very curious animals when they come into a new area, they are very wary of new items in a familiar environment. Being shy, they prefer to run away than confront a potential threat. But when cornered they will fight viciously.
A rat can go longer than a camel without having a drink of water.
Rats’ tails help them to balance, communicate and regulate their body temperature.
The rat is the first of the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac. People born in this year are thought to possess characteristics which are associated with rats, namely: creativity, intelligence, honesty, ambition and generosity.

The best set up for rats can be found here


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