Rat Bait & Baiting Tips

Rat Bait (Rodenticides)

Contrac Blox Rodenticides are commonly referred as rat and mice baits. These rodent baits are pesticides that kill rodents (mice and rats). There are several types and forms of poison rat baits on the market. Single feed rodent baits only require one dosage for a lethal dosage as opposed to a multiple feed bait that requires several feedings to reach a toxic level.


Most of our recommended rat baits are single feed baits, which work well for persistent and chronic rodent situations killing both Norway Rats and Roof Rats.

Types of Rodenticide Formulations

  • Extruded blox baits (blocks)
  • Pelleted baits (bulk and in place packs)
  • Meal baits (bulk and in place packs)
  • Liquid baits
  • Soft Baits (pouches) The newest formulation on the market are "soft" baits found in pouches. Often, soft bait formulations offer greater bait acceptance among the rodent population, and they do not mold.
  • See the table below for a quick summary.

How Rat Baits Kill Rats
(Anticoagulants and Non-Anticoagulants)

Rodent baits are categorized into two categories: anticoagulants and non-anticoagulants. Some rodenticides disrupt the ability of the rodent's blood to clot (anticoagulants), and some interfere with the rat's nervous system or interfere with calcium levels in their blood (non-anticoagulant).


Rat Bait Stations and Bait Placement Tips

It is very helpful to use rat size bait stations to encourage feeding when placing out poison rat bait. Rat bait stations will also protect children and non-targeted animals from the poison in the rat baits.

In a rat baiting program, it is essential to eliminate as many competing food sources that serve as the rats' natural food sources. With fewer food sources, it is easier to introduce the new bait to the population.


  1. Place rat baits about 15 and 50 feet apart for rats (mice bait placements are much closer). For heavier rat infestations, set the rat bait closer to 15 feet measurement. Try to place rat bait near their harboring areas.
  2. After placement of rat bait stations, avoid moving them. Some rats react to moved objects. Of course after a time, with the rats are not taking the bait, it would warrant moving the station.
  3. Since rats eat more rodent bait than mice, refill the bait stations more often. A rat can eat as much as 1 ounce or more nightly.
  4. In wet or damp conditions use all weather or weather resistant blox/block or soft bait forms. If necessary, tie down the bait in order to prevent them from washing away to another area.
  5. Some of the general tips for baiting mice also apply for baiting techniques for rat control.
  6. Rats will have a tendency to shy away from the Bromethalin products, such as Fastrac and Top Gun rodent baits, while the mice will readily accept it. The exception to this is a new soft bait called Take Down Soft Bait.
  7. Click Here: Roof Rat Baiting Tips

Further Baiting Tips for Roof Rats

  • All the information above apply to Roof Rats as well with some additional tips because roof rats may be active above ground level, as well. Always try to place baits between there harboraging areas and all food sources.
  • Roof rats do climb above ground. Look for areas as fence rails, attics, trees, rafters as possible bait ares. They should be tied securely so non targeted animals and children may not access them.
  • Roof rats may travel a long distance to access food. Roof rats may live in trees and attics, but travel to feed in garbage cans, pet dishes, etc. Remove competing food sources.
  • Inspect dense cover areas, because roof rats like to rest and feed in these areas.
    These are areas that you will want to place your bait or traps.
  • Roof rats like to feed on smaller amounts and various locations than the bigger sized Norway Rat.
    Provide more areas for feeding in baiting for Roof Rats.
  • You can use PVC pipes(2 inches in diameter) as bait stations to bait on narrow ledges and overhead areas.
    Bait blocks should be wired, and the PVC pipe affixed to the areas.

 

Rats That Are Bait Shy

For bait shy rats try placing a small amount of dog food or bird seed inside and around the bait station before placing the poison bait/rodenticide. Once the rodent's smell is inside the bait box and around the bait station, rats will want to enter and eat the rodenticide. Current rodent baits/rodenticides kill slow enough for rats not to become suspicious of the new food source.

Another alternative is to use Detex Rodent Bait, which is a biomarker. Detex does not have any bitrex. Bitrex is placed in rat baits to make it bitter to your pet's taste. This would serve to trick the rat to a bait source. In a rat bait station, place 1/2 with the Detex and 1/2 with your choice of rodent bait (we recommend block bait or soft bait).

New rat baits on the market Nectus Soft Bait or Take Down Soft Bait have proven to have extremely high bait acceptance, providing a quick kill, mold resistant and will not become brittle or freeze.

California Rodent Bait Considerations

California restricts all 2nd generation (single feed) anticoagulants. Without a pest control license, current laws in California restrict all of the single feed baits except the ones with Bromethalin as an active ingredient. The bad news is that rats do not accept well Bromethalin products (Top Gun, Fastrac, and Gladiator) . The good news, is that there is an exception with a bromethalin product soft bait called Take Down Soft Bait. Rats are accepting the Take Down Soft Bait. Mice will readily accept all bromethalin products

 

Non-Toxic Rodent Bait (Biomarkers)

One of the newer improvements in the rodent control industry is the procedure of biomonitoring by using non-toxic rodent baits. These rodent baits do not have active ingredients to kill the rodents. These non-toxic rodent baits are used for monitoring and identifying where rats are present. They help identify rodent runways, the location of possible nests, and distances traveled. After monitoring, you can choose to place a poison rat bait in these identified places.

detex soft baitWe carry Detex Blox and Detex Soft Bait rodent baits. They have a biomarker that glows bright green under a LED black light. Detex has a huge bait acceptance; it may help jump-start any rodent control program, particularly with bait-shy rats. For "finicky" rats, Detex Soft Bait may be used. The rats' feces glow green.

Common Rodent Entry and Harborage Locations

common rodent entry points Try to place rat bait near their harboring areas (areas of shelter). It is critical to place rat bait between their harborage locations and entry points. Rats only need a small opening ( about 5/8 inch) for entrance into the building. Look into possible entry points such as metal flashing around roof vents, laundry vents, crawl space vents, any ground level vents. Look closely at the roof line and openings in roof tiles. Roof rats may climb up tree limbs to the roof.


See more tips at Rodent Inspection.

Typical Harborage Areas

Rats' natural harborages are by streams and fields as they feed on insects, birds, nuts, berries and other natural sources. Closer to urban settings, rats have adapted very well around people. They need food, harborage and water to survive.

Norway Rats

rats in burrowNorway rats will prefer to harbor in burrows near areas of food supply. But you can find them in and around homes they also seek shelter basements, crawl spaces, and wall voids.


  • These rats have been found in abandoned furniture and occupied furniture (overstuffed chairs, beds, or couches). They make structural nests from available items such as foam padding, card board, cloths, and insulation. Look for them in abandoned cars or appliances outside. Homes have plenty of food sources for rats such as pet food, bird feeders, vegetable gardens, and compost piles. They are abundant in farm and livestock operations near barns picking out food particles in leftover feces.
  • In commercial settings they seek refuge in voided wall areas of stores, empty garbage cans and dumpsters, dirty alleyways in cities, cars, and abandoned appliances.
  • Outside they can also be found in abandoned drainage pipes, sewers, underground tunnels, and any structural element that would provide protection. Look for areas that are well-concealed, warm and relatively close to food and water.
  • They mostly inhabit the lower levels of a building but may be found in the attic or upper levels of a building.
  • An average Norway rat will range 25-100 feet from its harboring nests in search for food and water.

Roof Rats

roof rat on beam The Roof Rats is mostly climbers, and are commonly found in attics and ceiling voids. In commercial settings and warehouses, they may be established in the upper levels of racks, storage boxes and overhead beams.


  • An ideal situation for roof rats are areas of lush landscaping with mature fruit trees with tree limbs and fences, and utility lines nearby. They travel along these lines to access the attic. Outside, they establish nests in dense cover and shadows of trees and bushes. Homes with lush and mature natural vegetation will be a perfect habitat for a Roof rat. Look for areas along thick vegetation and fence ledges, garden sheds, and behind trash and wood piles.
  • In some cases, they may also inhabit lower levels of buildings and sewers in the cities.
  • A Roof rat will travel up to 300 ft away from its nest to forage for food and water.

Further Baiting Tips for Roof Rats

  • All the information above apply to Roof Rats as well with some additional tips because roof rats may be active above ground level, as well. Always try to place baits between there harboraging areas and all food sources.
  • Roof rats do climb above ground. Look for areas as fence rails, attics, trees, rafters as possible bait ares. They should be tied securely so non targeted animals and children may not access them.
  • Roof rats may travel a long distance to access food. Roof rats may live in trees and attics, but travel to feed in garbage cans, pet dishes, etc. Remove competing food sources.
  • Inspect dense cover areas, because roof rats like to rest and feed in these areas.
    These are areas that you will want to place your bait or traps.
  • Roof rats like to feed on smaller amounts and various locations than the bigger sized Norway Rat.
    Provide more areas for feeding in baiting for Roof Rats.
  • You can use PVC pipes(2 inches in diameter) as bait stations to bait on narrow ledges and overhead areas.
    Bait blocks should be wired, and the PVC pipe affixed to the areas.

Featured Rodenticides (Single Feed Rat Baits)

Extruded Blox, Blocks, Pellets, Soft Bait and Liquid Baits

For more information on how to choose the correct rat bait for your situation, click Choosing Rat Baits or give us a call.

For a list of active ingredients and secondary poisoning concerns click Rodent Baits

contrac bloxcontrac pellets

Contrac Blox

Contrac Pellets-Packs (174 x 1.5 oz)

Contrac Pellets Packs (291 x 0.88oz )

Contrac Pellets Bulk

(Bromadiolone-Blox and Pellets)

 

2G Second Generation nectus soft bait

Eaton's 2G Second Generation Bait Block

Eaton's Nectus 2G Soft Bait

(Bromadiolone-Blocks and Soft Bait)

take down soft bait

Take Down Soft Bait (Bromethalin)

(Bromethalin-Soft Bait)

topguntop gun pellets

Top Gun Bait Block

Top Gun Place Packs

(Bromethalin-Blocks and Pellets)

final bloxfinal pellets

Final Blox

Final Pellets

Final Soft Bait

(Brodifacoum-Blocks, Pellets and Soft Bait)


WeatherBlok XT

(Brodifacoum -Blocks)

 

Soft Baits

We usually find it to have a higher bait acceptance than other formulations (although every situation is different)

Soft baits are free of wax, so no bait aversion by rodents to the waxy exterior of other formulations.

Soft baits work well in high temperatures and does not mold.

Block Baits-Extruded Blocks

Bait blocks have ave multiple edges for gnawing and hold up well in all weather conditions.

They are very palatable and may be used indoors or outdoors.

Bait Blocks feature a center hole so that rods or wires that come with tamper-resistant bait stations may secure the bait. This is called "rodding" the bait.

Pellets

Pellet place packs are convenient to use; the rodents like to gnaw onf hard , compact shape.

Another advantage is that when the pack is open, you know that a rodent has taken the bait.

Pellets are commonly applied in burrows and are weather resistant. Bulk Pellets (loose pellets) may be applied to burrows; place packs (in glassine bags) may not be placed in burrows.

Pelleted bait can be translocated, so it may not be the perfect choice for inside residential use, schools, or other sensitive locations.

Meal

Meal baits are formulated with several types of seeds and grains for a high palatable formulation.

Meal rodent baits are not as easily translocated.

Meal baits are not suitable for damp and humid because they absorb moisture and can spoil quickly.

Liquid Baits

Liquid baits are ideal to use when a water source is scarce. However, liquid baits work better for rats than mice, since mice obtain a great deal of water requirements from food.

Use liquid baits when there is a high competition of other foods, such as a food warehouse.

*Picture-Cooperative Extension-Ask an Expert