Below is a mixture of tips and tricks both from Auckland Council recommendations and suggestions that have come from members of the Friends of Te Wairoa pest control project. There is no one correct way to control pests. They are intelligent and learn to be wary of certain things, and can also pass on these behaviours to others. This means it is important that we constantly change our mode of attack, so that they are caught unawares, literally!

Rats & Mice:

Placement:

  • Bait lines 100m apart
  • Bait stations or traps every 50m along a trap line
  • 25m spacings between traps or stations on boundaries (not needed where neighbours are also trapping)
  • Place traps near a waterway, or along a fence line/retaining wall. They like to be able to run between areas using what ‘shelter’ they can, rather than being in the open.

Lure:

  • Peanut butter or Nutella – smear on bait bags to increase attraction too
  • Kibbled wheat/oats/other grain mixed with peanut butter or Nutella
  • Using a lighter, melt a small piece of cheese to the trigger mechanism

Tips:

  • Attach T-rex traps to a board to place further into holes e.g. under a house/in a ceiling. This also helps to prevent an animal running away with the trap.
  • Place lure deep in the back of T-Rex traps and on the underside of the hood.
  • Build a tunnel around rat traps to make them more attractive. This can be as simple as a board base with corflute or other rigid plastic stapled tunnel-fashion on top.
  • Pop wax bait blocks on a nail on fenceposts, with a half milk bottle on top to protect it from the weather.
  • If you don’t have enough bait stations, an ice-cream container does the job just as well. Cut a C-shaped hole in the edge of the tub for an entry hole, and attach the lid with the bagged bait stuck between the lid and the tub. Think about water if it is out in the open – you may need to fashion a kind of awning to prevent rain getting in.

Possums:

Placement:

  • At the base of an attractive tree or in a grove of trees e.g. in an orchard, the base of a large palm or large natives
  • Near waterways that they would use to drink from
  • Near a pathway that they might use e.g. a fence line, farm track

Lure:

  • Long life lures and bait cards
  • A cut apple with cinnamon rubbed on the cut side
  • Carrot (with cinnamon)
  • Feijoas, citrus or other fruit they are enjoying
  • Aniseed, can be added to fruit lures

Tips:

  • You can attach a Timm’s or trapinator to a board, so that it is elevated from pets and easier to move around rather than attaching directly to a tree.
  • Buy cinnamon in bulk e.g. Bin Inn – $2 per 45g in supermarkets vs. $7 for 500g !

Mustelids:

Placement:

  • Approximately one trap per 15ha
  • On flat ground so that the trap is stable and doesn’t rock
  • Near a waterway, or along a fence line/retaining wall. They like to be able to run between areas using what ‘shelter’ they can, rather than being in the open.

Lure:

  • A whole, raw egg – also functions as a visual lure. When changing this, throw it into the bushes nearby to attract mustelids to the area of the trap
  • Fish/salmon (raw or cooked)
  • Meat scraps from dinner (raw or cooked)
  • Possum or rabbit meat from recent catch.

Tips:

  • Rub a freshly caught possum or mustelid on the trap. The scent will attract mustelids.
  • Disturb the ground near the entrance by pulling out grass or roughing up leaves.

Rabbits:

Tips:

  • The best mode of attack is to shoot these pests.
  • A live trap with a trigger plate, using vegetables as the lure with a vegetable trail leading into the trap. Sometimes the smell of a rabbit who has urinated or left droppings is enough to entice another rabbit into the trap.
  • For impossible rabbits with easy access warrens, MagToxin pellets are very effective.

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