If you’ve tried to get a rat infestation under control by yourself, you may have noticed that your traps or baits are left untouched. You knew for sure that you had rats in the home, but nothing you did seemed to entice them. This is because rats are quite intelligent.

Rats are naturally smart

Rats exhibit an innate behavior known as neophobia, which means the fear of everything new. Rats are prey to a lot of animal species out in the wild, and the most paranoid rats have repeatedly survived over thousands of years.

Imagine a rat sees something that is slightly out of place in its environment. Which rat will survive – the rat that is paranoid about that disturbance, or the rat that goes to investigate it? Odds are that an animal, maybe a predator, was in the area recently. Even worse, maybe the disturbance is actually a camouflaged predator, a snake, that will strike in an instant.

Obviously, the most paranoid rats will live the longest. In the home, neophobia makes rats fear traps and baits that just show up in an area of rat activity. However, as a trap sits there over a few days with a bait on it, the rats will become curious and start investigating.

Neophobia is also influenced by a variety of other factors. If food is scarce in an environment, and the rats are really hungry, the neophobia is less pronounced, and the rats will approach the trap sooner. This is why denying the rats other food sources when you employ rat control methods, will ensure that you have more success.

Getting rid of smart rats

Since all rats are relatively smart, you have to be smart with your control efforts as well. Traps have to be placed without for a period of time, until the rats get over their neophobia and start approaching them. The traps also have to be along rat pathways or in areas with high rat activity. This can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, and without the help of a pro the process can be even longer.

You do not really have the time to be inefficient with your rat control efforts. If you do not remove the infestation fast enough or completely, the rats will quickly replenish their numbers, and you will not be able to implement successful control methods. We can help you out here. Contact us today if you have a Norway rat infestation and we will get rid of it for you.