Troubleshooting: I don't think my trap is working!
Sometimes we hear from customers that they’re not having success with their A24 trap. There are a range of factors to consider when trapping pests. Below we explore some of the most common things that get in the way of a trapper’s success.
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Will your trap ‘test fire’?
If your trap isn’t firing, you won’t be able to kill anything! By following the instructions below to test fire your trap, you should have more luck:
1. Unscrew the black cap from the top of the trap.
2. Looking down inside the trap, use a pen or small stick to push the silver trigger to one side. Keep your fingers well clear at all times and be prepared to hear a bit of a bang. The striker inside the trap is powerful enough to kill a pest so would be very painful if any part of you got in its way! If there is gas in the trap, the striker will be triggered. If nothing happens it means all the gas has been flushed out of the trap so it’s safe to move. If your trap isn’t firing, please get in touch with us as we will be happy to help you out.
Did you use Rodent Detector Cards?
A critical, but often missed step before setting up a trap, is using the Rodent Detector Cards supplied with your trap. Rats often aren’t comfortable eating in the place you’ve seen them, as they could be exposed to and feel threatened by predators like cats. By placing a number of detector cards inside and outside your property, you’ll know exactly where your rats are comfortable eating because they’ll chew on the cards to reach the lure inside. If you need more detector cards, they’re available here. They’re still worth using even after you’ve had your trap set up for a while as you’ll know where to move your trap to next.
When did you last change your lure and gas canister?
We’ve designed a long-lasting lure for rats and mice, which is dispensed slowly over six months (without you needing to do anything). If you haven’t changed your Automatic Lure Pump (ALP) in the last six months, this will be making your trap less attractive and therefore get in the way of your trapping success. ALPs are available here.
Our gas canisters hold enough gas to power 24 humane kills when set up correctly. Just like keeping the oil topped up in your car or the air pumped up in your bike tyres, keeping your trap’s gas and lure up to date is critical for continued trapping success. If your gas canister has been inactive for over six months it’s time to replace it. Gas canisters are available here.
Where is your trap located?
Often it’s not until we see a photo of your trap that we can tell it’s in the wrong spot for trapping pests. Its position could be too high or low, or near a competing food source (like your compost or pet food). Some areas are too exposed for pests to feel comfortable eating. For the best locations, check out this blog and follow the instructions.
Does your trap have a Digital Counter or Chirp cap?
If your trap doesn’t have a Digital Counter or Chirp cap, you won’t know if it’s working! The scavenging of dead pests within 24 - 48 hours is so common that most trappers don’t see the dead pests under their trap. We’ve made a quick video about scavenging to explain this here. If your trap has a digital counter or Chirp cap but it's not registering any kills, double check that you have installed the device correctly.
Is your trap set up correctly?
It’s important that you follow our installation instructions when setting up your trap for the first time. Check out this article to make sure your trap is set up the same way. If you need help setting it up correctly, please get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
Is the gas canister screwed in correctly?
If the gas canister was screwed in correctly, you would have heard a short ‘hiss’ as the gas was released into the trap. You will need to screw the gas canister into the trap until it is hand-tight. This will reduce the chance of any small leaks.
Are there competing food sources nearby?
Rats are smart and will always look for the safest and easiest source of food. You want the lure in your trap to be the most appealing food available. Competing food sources are sometimes difficult to remove, but cleaning things up a bit will improve your trap’s success e.g. make sure any compost is well contained and any rubbish is removed or at least inaccessible. One of our customers, Melissa had a problem with rats and her compost bin. You can check it out here.
Is your Automatic Lure Pump activated?
Every now and then we hear from customers who don’t realise that the 10 cent piece is a gift (you can thank us later)! It’s crucial that the 10 cent piece is removed from the top of the Automatic Lure Pump (ALP) to complete the circuit. Then the ALP is ready to work.
Have you been pre-feeding the area around your trap?
As mentioned above, rats need to be tempted by the lure inside your trap. Pre-feeding the area around your trap will encourage them to sniff it out and ultimately lead them to find more of the same lure inside your trap. Pre-feeding is simple. All you need to do is dab small amounts of lure around the trap so the rats get a taste for it.
If you’ve completed these steps, and you still don’t have any success please don’t worry. We’d love to help you get to the bottom of your problem so please contact us here.