No home or business owner wants to deal with rodents. If you notice signs of a rat or mouse infestation, you must take steps to remove and clean up after your unwanted guests. Rodent urine and droppings can contaminate living spaces, making them unsafe for human inhabitants. 

Rats are capable of spreading a long list of diseases. Do not wait to eliminate your rodent problem. These disease-ridden animals reproduce quickly. To give you an example a single female rat can give birth to as many as 20 offspring in a single year.

One of the safest and most effective ways to control a rodent population is by placing bait boxes. Bait boxes contain toxic substances that are designed to kill rats, mice, and other rodents. Bait boxes are typically placed outdoors, as poisoned rodents are far less likely to perish inside walls and other inaccessible places when they are outside. 

You can make your own fully compliant bait stations, or you can purchase ready-to-use bait stations. If you are dealing with a large infestation, consider hiring a certified and licensed pest control applicator to place your bait boxes.

Once you’ve learned the proper way to make a bait station, you must learn how to place a bait station.

Tamper-resistant bait stations are often used by commercial rodent control specialists. Because these boxes contain toxic rodenticides, you must follow the directions on the labels whenever placing them in or around a structure.

Where to Place Bait Stations

In California, there are strict rules that govern the placement of bait stations. 

First off, experts strongly advise that you do not place bait boxes inside. After all, the rodenticides inside bait stations are designed to kill rodents. When rodents perish in inaccessible areas, their carcasses become a source of unbearable odors, ectoparasites, and pathogens.

Exterior rodent bait stations must be placed:

  • Within 50 feet of a structure with a rodent infestation
  • Placed 10 to 30 feet apart (intervals depend on the seriousness of the rodent infestation and the type of rodent being targeted) 
  • Placed alongside buildings or professionally landscaped areas surrounding buildings
  • Placed outside and above ground unless otherwise specified on the label

When placing tamper-proof rodent bait stations at large-scale operations, you may be able to install a second set of bait stations along the perimeter of the property. A secondary set of bait stations are usually only placed at the discretion of a licensed and experienced pest control applicator. 

You may also tailor the position of your bait station to deal with a specific type of rodent infestation. For the most part, rodent mitigation experts recommend that bait stations be placed:

  • In travel ways, such as building perimeters
  • Near wall openings
  • Near suspected burrows or nest sites
  • Near sources of food or water (sprinkles and trash bins)

Complying With Rodenticide Placement Requirements

You must comply with the placement requirements outlined on the label of the rodenticide you’ll be using. Rodenticides may be labeled for indoor and outdoor use, indoor use only, or outdoor use only. 

Positioning Bait Stations

Exterior bait stations should be pushed up against the side of a building. They should be anchored down to ensure that young children, pets, and non-target wildlife cannot pick them up and carry them away. Many professional pest applicators attach their bait stations to cement pavers. 

Place your bait stations 15 to 50 feet apart if you are targeting rats. Meanwhile, place your traps 10 to 15 feet apart if you are targeting mice or other small rodents.

Bait Station Placement Tips

  • Remove all competing food sources before you introduce a new and foreign object to a rodent’s environment. Rodents tend to fear new things. It often takes them days to approach a bait station after it has been introduced.
  • Consider placing your bait stations in a raised place if you are targeting roof rats. You may secure a bait station to a tree, fence railing, or another raised area.
  • Consider the behavior patterns of the rodent species that you are targeting.
  • Replace rodenticides frequently. Most rodents will approach bait boxes that are moldy or moist. 

Accessing Placement Requirements 

When a licensed pest control applicator arrives at an application site, they must address and all hazards associated with bait box placement. 

When children, pets, livestock, and non-target wildlife are present, extra care must be taken. 

When placing a bait station outdoors, you must ask yourself if the bait stations are:

  • Weather-resistant
  • Strong enough to prohibit entry
  • Have locking lids
  • Have entrances that are only small enough for target animals
  • Are capable of being anchored
  • Contain baffles or some other structure for containing baits
  • Do not appear interesting or alluring
  • Are capable of displaying precautionary statements
  • Are capable of displaying labeling requirements

Remember, you must always follow the requirements on the bait box and/or rodenticide. 

Managing Bait Stations

Your work isn’t done just because you properly placed bait stations. You will need to monitor the bait stations regularly. If bait should disappear rapidly, you will want to place even more bait stations around your property. 

You must continuously bait the traps. Continue your efforts until you’re confident that you’ve defeated the rodent population on your premise. When the population is most assuredly under control, the rodenticides will no longer disappear. You should also stop seeing signs of rodents.

Most experts recommend that you place bait continuously for 10 to 15 days or as long as it takes to eliminate a rodent population. 

It is essential that you properly dispose of all uneaten/unused bait and dead rodents. If you don’t act fast, you are sure to have another pressing problem or health concern on your hands.

Once you’re sure that your rodent population control efforts were successful, consider hiring a professional rodent dropping cleaning team. The rodent dropping remediation team at Eco Bear can help you reclaim your home. Give us a call at (818) 358-4359.