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I have baseboard heating that goes all over my house. Since I bought this house nine months ago I've been hearing some noises coming from the baseboards on occasion especially at night. Like pinging, scurrying down there but I never saw anything so I thought maybe it was just the water moving through the pipes.

Well I heard it again and I just saw what's causing it for a half second. Some animal quickly ran from my closet into the heating duck where I can hear it but I can't see it. I think it was probably a mouse but it happened so fast I couldn't really tell.

I would like to immediately go by rat traps and a bunch of poison and stuff but what about my dog? I can't keep her away from the baseboards because they are everywhere. I'm upset with her for not having already caught and killed this thing but I don't want her to get poisoned or mousetrapped.

  • Another rat/mouse control device is the glue trap. It can be effective if placed where the rodents run and where a pet or bird cannot get at it. I hate the thought of it, but I have used it on one occasion. It didn't catch any rats however. – Jim Stewart Jan 24 '17 at 3:24
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Do not use poison if you care about your dog. The modern version of Warfarin is deadly to dogs. Even if the dog does not get to the poison baits, it could prey on a mouse or rat which is slowed from being poisoned. In addition wild predators and scavengers can be poisoned by consuming poisoned rodents.

Use snap traps put inside enclosure boxes designed for that purpose. I use these JT Eaton No. 401 snap trap station and I use the TomCat rat snap traps. In Dallas TX we don't have mice, but do have rats. Juvenile rats are small and could be mistaken for mice, but mice are much smaller. My brother in rural MA has mice.

I have very successfully used these devices on rats outside around the perimeter of the house and under bird feeders in the yard. But right now I have a rat roaming the house at night and I have not been able to entice it into a trap in two weeks of trying.

EDIT SUCCESS got up at 2:30 am (30 Jan 2017) to let our elderly dog out into the backyard found an adult rat (140 g brown rat aka Norway rat Rattus norvegicus) dead in the Tomcat black plastic snap trap inside the Eaton box. These traps are much easier to set than the old Victor traps.

But two days ago, frustrated and exasperated with finding rat feces every morning in the den, I bought two of the old Victor traps and put them in another box placed adjacent to the box that had been there for a least two weeks.

I thought maybe the rat wouldn't recognize the Victor trap. These are very hard to set--I guess one has to get the procedure down. Decades ago I knew how to do it, but in handling them I failed to recognize that I had set one and was handling it set thinking it was not. It did not trip, but could have with consequences to me. If you are distracted handing an old Victor trap you can get nailed. I am sure it could break a finger. I don't want to think about what it would do to a dog's muzzle or to a child's hand.

One critical factor is to deprive an indoor rat of all food sources except what is in the traps. Before catching this rat I unloaded and pulled back a bookshelf with a recess under it. A rat had stashed a pile of dog food there. I cleaned it up and we made sure we had no dog food left in an accessible bowl overnight.

  • Thank you very much, great idea. I will do this but I wish I had a more aggressive solution that could maybe eradicate ones in the walls or elsewhere I am not seeing. I wonder if there's some short-term poison or something that could be put all of the house and then like me and the dog get out of town for a day or something? – Hack-R Jan 22 '17 at 21:04
  • The scenario you just mentioned in the last edit actually may be more like my situation…. Something has to give; I can't live with rodents. I'm fairly sure that they have been leaving droppings all over my kitchen counter. I wasn't sure what was causing that but I think this also explains it. – Hack-R Jan 22 '17 at 21:08
  • One idea to catch rats or mice is to put the traps out for several days with bait in or on them, but without setting them so the animals get used to feeding on the trap. Then put out an abundance of traps and set them with bait. The idea is to not give any rats a chance to learn the danger of the trap and avoid them. I have never been able to make myself do this, I'm too impatient, but I may do this now that this rat is avoiding my traps. – Jim Stewart Jan 22 '17 at 21:37
  • I have given some thought to what kind of gas could be used in an enclosed space to kill pests and my candidates are nitrogen gas and carbon dioxide. But since this is not done commercially I think it probably not effective or is too risky to people or pets. Mouse and rat infestations are a real pain to deal with. I really, really do not want to kill non- target animals. Over the years I have had it happen sometimes and I was horrified and sickened each time. I lost a beloved dog to a bleeder stroke and I think the cause was possibly due to rodent anti-coagulant bait by a neighbor. – Jim Stewart Jan 22 '17 at 21:55
  • Last night I put a clean Tomcat rat trap baited with peanut butter in the center of an Eaton trap box. Flanking the trap on each side I placed a square of cardboard with a small amount of peanut butter. This morning I found both squares cleaned of peanut butter, the trap unsprung, and the generous smear of peanut butter on the treadle of the trap untouched. – Jim Stewart Jan 23 '17 at 11:27

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