I run a few tunnel traps around the farm to keep the rat numbers at bay. The tunnels were getting well used but the rats were running up the side of the tunnel and missing the trigger plate. I then reduced the width of the tunnel in the middle to just wider than the trigger plate. This has done the trick and I am catching rats most days.
One thing I have found is that about 3/4 of the rats I have caught in these mk4 traps is that they are trapped around the back end only. sometimes only at the root of the tail. They are not dead in the trap and I end up finishing them off with the airpistol. I have removed half the width restrictor so that the rat has more room to get caught as the have to slalom over the trigger plate.
Anyone else had this problem? and any solutions would be welcome.
if your catching by the back end , you need to make the rats hit the plate with thier front feet, not their back feet, so either a jump stick front and back or set your trap more fickle, the laws covering traps and tunnels are a bit scetchy at the best of times, but setting in open buildings cannot be counted as a tunnel , i,m sure the laws have just recently bin re-worded , fenn have a guide line for setting a positioning fenns , in it , it says there should be no more than half inch clearence as the trap jumps, we all get foul catches from time to time , but placing in the correct sized tunnel reduces the foul catches by a long way
You're right about the laws being sketchy,especially with the word tunnel (for example I was once asked by a pest control operative 'so if I take that litterally, I can legally set a trap in the middle of the Tyne tunnel'), but setting in a building can be ok legally. If required to prove such a setting was legal you may have to convince a court that there was the absolute minimum risk of any non target species being caught. The view of an expert witness would likely be sought, this would probably be someone with many years experience of trapping and also prefferably a member of a recognised organisation. He would be asked his opinion on the likelihood of any non target species being caught.
Legal wording is mostly mumbo jumbo to all except barristers and judges, so we must use common sense, and when delivering training or I'm asked to give my opinion on legal issues relating to trapping, I usually give two examples:
The building is secure and the only access is via small holes through which no animal bigger than a Rodent can pass. No farm Cats, Dogs or children have access. Inside the building there is much evidence of Rats - clearly defined runs, droppings, damage. There is no evidence of Birds or Bats inside the building. For some reason it is impractical to set traps anywhere else, and baiting is not an option. Checking the traps once within every 24 hour period is also impractical, thus ruling out cage trapping.
I would confidently set Fenns on runs inside this building, though I'd place a clear notice that trapping was taking place inside, on any doors, locked or not. Though if possible I'd also place the traps behind some sort of screen. I'd be clearly taking every reasonable precaution to avoid non target species.
There is the same ammount of Rat activity, but the building has one of the following slight differences: a broken window, a loose board on one of the doors which a Cat or Fox may possibly squeeze past. A few Bird droppings and/or feathers on the floor. A few smaller Droppings on the floor which look like Mouse droppings but could be from Bats (in this case I'm not able to determing which).
I would certainly not set uncovered Fenns in this building, as it would not only be unethical, but could (in my opinion) also leave me open to prosecution, as reasonable precaution to avoid non target species would clearly not have been taken.
I hope this helps .
Edited by kenny14, 31 May 2012 - 08:11 am.