We own a business that deals with all kinds of Nuisance Wildlife and the conflicts incurred with homeowners. This includes squirrel trapping, raccoon trapping, beaver trapping, bat control and also rat trapping. So we have definitely had a lot of experience with the issues concerning rat trapping & rat control.
Let me assure you that if you have a rat infestation, it does not mean you have a dirty home. Rats do not seek out dirt or filth. They seek out food, shelter & water. You have to provide one of the three to have a rat situation.
When I talk to potential customers I could get rich from betting that either they have large breed dogs or one of their neighbors does. Then I ask if the feces is left on in the fenced yard. 99.5% of the time they say YES - then ask... "How did I know"? Then I explain my theory that a lot of dog food has a CORN or grain base. Corn is non-digestible by the dogs so it is passed right through to their feces. Rats love corn!!!! Disgusting, YES but factual. If they or the neighbors cleaned up the feces right as it occurred then this problem with rats "Might" have been avoidable.
Regardless when you are hiring someone with a wildlife license it is imperative that the traps are checked daily. Here in the State of Georgia it is the law for wildlife control companies. Unless it is a Pest Control company regulated by the Department of Ag instead, then they do not have to perform daily trap checks. The reason that daily trap checks are important is because it makes the most out of your trapping dollars. A trap with a rat in it will NOT catch another rat. It is occupied. Plus if the rats eventually associate the dead rats with this trap then they will learn to avoid it. It is called "trap smart".
We used all kinds of traps to catch rats. Like cage traps, snap traps (different appearances) to mix it up. Regardless of the type or appearance of the trap, any trap left inside a building or home is concealed. Concealed by an outer box so the client does not see the rat - dead or alive.
One thing that I want to discourage is the use of poisons put inside your attic. This is often done by unlicensed people or homeowners. When poison is improperly or illegally placed, it often ends with dead animals in the walls or attic. This situation is completely avoidable. Please let wildlife experts deal with wildlife.
If you need help figuring out the right questions to ask when hiring someone to resolve your rodent problem we developed a website dedicated to consumer awareness called: https://southernpest.net
We have created a couple websites to help people that are faced with the ordeal of dealing with a rat problem. One is consumer education driven: https://southernpest.net and the other one, our newest addition, is https://rattrapping.biz. We hope this article has enlightened you. We will be posting many more articles specific to each critter that we deal with in our business.