Escaped rats can be a common problem for pet owners. Rats are intelligent and curious animals that can easily slip out of their cages or escape from their enclosures. When a rat escapes, it can be challenging to find and catch, especially if it is hiding in a small or hard-to-reach area.
If you find yourself in this situation, there are several steps you can take to increase your chances of finding your escaped rat. The first step is to search your home thoroughly, paying close attention to areas where your rat may be hiding or nesting. This includes dark corners, under furniture, and inside cabinets or drawers.
Another critical step is to set up traps or bait stations to lure your rat out of hiding. Many different types of traps and baits are available, so choosing the right one for your situation is essential. Additionally, being patient and persistent in your search is important, as it may take several days or even weeks to locate and catch your escaped rat.
Search the Immediate Area
Once you realize that your pet rat has escaped, you should first search the immediate area. This means checking all the nooks and crannies of the room or area where your rat was last seen. Rats are curious creatures and can quickly get stuck in tight spaces, so check behind furniture, under rugs, and in any small holes or crevices.
If you have other pets, keep them away from the search area, as they may scare or harm your rat. It’s also a good idea to turn off loud music or TV to avoid drowning out any potential squeaks or noises your rat may make.
When searching, remember that rats are nocturnal animals and are most active at night. So, if your rat escaped during the day, it may be hiding and sleeping somewhere. Search at night when your rat is more likely to be active and moving around.
It may have ventured further away if you still can’t find your rat in the immediate area. In this case, you may need to expand your search to other areas of your home or outside.
Now that you have identified where the escaped rat may be hiding, it’s time to set traps. Traps are the most effective way to catch a rat that is on the loose. Here are some tips on how to set traps:
- Use multiple traps: Place numerous traps in different locations to increase your chances of catching the rat.
- Bait the traps: Use a bait appealing to rats, such as peanut butter or cheese. Place the bait at the end of the trap so that the rat has to step on the trigger to get to it.
- Place traps strategically: Put them where you have seen the rat or where you think it may be hiding. Rats like traveling along walls, so place the traps along walls or corners.
When setting traps, be sure to handle them with care. Rats are intelligent and may avoid traps that have human scents on them. Wear gloves or a cloth to hold the traps, and wash your hands afterward.
Check the traps regularly, at least once a day. If you catch a rat, dispose of it properly. Wear gloves, use a plastic bag to pick up the trap, and dispose of it in an outdoor trash bin. If the rat is still alive, release it far from your home in a wooded area or park.
Use Food and Lures
If you’re having trouble finding your escaped rat, food and lures can be a great way to return it to its cage. Here are some tips on how to use food and lures to find your rat:
- Place some of your rat’s favorite treats in a small bowl or dish. Then, place the container where you think your rat may be hiding.
- Try using a food trail to lead your rat back to its cage. Place small pieces of food in a line from where your rat hides to its cage.
- Use a live trap with food as bait. First, place the trap where your rat has been spotted or where you think it may be hiding. Then, check the trap regularly to see if your rat has been caught.
It’s important to note that while food and lures can effectively find an escaped rat, they may not always work. Rats are intelligent animals and may be wary of traps or unfamiliar food. Therefore, if your rat has been missing for an extended period, it’s important to continue searching and monitoring your home for any signs of your rat.
Search at Night
Searching for an escaped rat at night can be more effective than during the day. Rats are nocturnal animals, which means they are more active at night. If you have searched for your rat during the day and have not found it, try searching at night.
When searching at night, make sure to use a flashlight. Shine the light into dark corners and crevices where the rat may hide. Look for any signs of movement or rustling sounds. Remember to move slowly and quietly, as rats are easily frightened and may run away if they sense danger.
Another effective method for finding an escaped rat at night is to use a bait trap. Leave some food, such as cheese or peanut butter, in a humane trap overnight. Then, check the trap in the morning to see if you have caught the rat.
If you have a large area to search, consider enlisting the help of friends or family members. Have them shine flashlights in different areas while you search. This can help cover more ground and increase your chances of finding the rat.
Remember to be patient and persistent when searching for an escaped rat. It may take several attempts before you can locate it. However, don’t give up hope; keep trying different methods until you are successful.
Call in a Professional
If you have tried all the above methods and still can’t find your escaped rat, it may be time to call a professional. A pest control expert or an exterminator can help you locate and capture the rat safely and effectively.
When choosing a professional, it’s essential to research and find someone with experience in dealing with rodents. Look for a licensed and insured professional who uses humane methods to capture and remove pests.
The professional will likely begin by thoroughly inspecting your home to identify the rat’s hiding spots and entry points. They may also set up traps and bait to lure the rat out of hiding.
Once the rat has been captured, the professional will prevent future infestations by sealing off entry points and advising you on making your home less attractive to rodents.
Remember, while it may be tempting to try to capture the rat yourself, it’s essential to prioritize your and the rat’s safety. Calling a professional can ensure that the rat is caught and removed safely and humanely.