There are certain less-than-glamorous homesteading chores that I am really good at. Shoveling, doing dishes, and trapping rats. Sigh.
Rats around here are not the loathsome Norwegian variety, but rather wood rats, or pack rats, which look like a big mouse — kinda cute. In the woods, rats build pyramids of twigs 3 feet or so high — rat architecture — always in secluded spots, so you have to be bushwacking to come upon them. In semi-rural areas like mine they cruise human habitations for easy pickins. One year I trapped over 40.
For years I used the standard wooden Victor traps and would put peanut butter in a little piece of plastic (with punched holes), tied to the trigger with baggie ties. Then I started sheet-metal-screwing a 1/2″ copper pipe cap to the trigger, which I filled with peanut butter.
I went through maybe 4 types of other traps until I discovered these. They have a bait cup so the rat has to tug at it, thereby releasing spring—plenty strong enough to ensure fatality.
I’m writing this after getting one last night that had been eluding me for a week. Outwitted by a rat night after night.
Method: I washed 3 traps (getting rid of scent), smooshed some bacon in the cups, surrounded by smears of Skippy peanut butter — mwah!
And whack! Mighty hunter.