In recent years, the Sacramento rat problem has gotten so bad that even the Environmental Protection Agency wasn’t spared.
Like many Sacramento residents, you may have set up rat traps in your basement and other exposed areas to keep the problem to a minimum.
However, you’ve just noticed that your rat trap is playing host to a live one!
What do you do if you’ve caught a rat but it’s still alive? Read on to find out.
Identifying a Live Trapped Rat
Rat traps are designed to close between the base of the rat’s neck and the top of its body. This causes an instant break that kills them on impact in order to spare them a painful or prolonged death.
Sometimes, the bar of the trap descends too late. This often occurs if the bait end is further back than it is supposed to be. Rather than catching the rat around the neck, the bar hits the rat lower than the shoulder or closer to the middle, which does not deliver a fatal blow.
Some obvious ways to determine that the rat is still alive is to listen for noise or watch for movement. They may squeak or twitch if they are trapped and in pain.
However, it’s not always that clear. If the trap did not catch the rat around the neck, you should not open the trap without thick, protective gloves and something to put the rat in so it doesn’t escape.
What to Do if There Is a Live Rat in Your Rat Trap
Because you have trapped the rat, it is your legal obligation to euthanize it. Relocating a wild animal is against California state law.
While you are allowed to coax the animal out of your home and deter it from returning, it is already injured and has a low chance of survival. In other words, the most humane option is to euthanize it.
Note that euthanization entails ending the animal’s life with the least amount of pain and suffering as possible. The rat must lose consciousness quickly and brain and heart function soon thereafter.
Cervical dislocation is the best method at your disposal. Wear gloves and, for added protection, place the rat in a plastic bag.
Apply firm pressure at the base of the skull with your thumb and forefinger. Pinch and twist the skull to one side while simultaneously pulling back on the tail with your opposite hand. This will disconnect the spinal cord at the base of the brain.
Call in Wildlife Removal Professionals to Get Rid of Rats
If you’re not keen on using a rat trap or potentially performing cervical dislocation, consider calling in wildlife removal professionals who specialize in rodent removal. At Perrys Wildlife Removal, our goal is to remove the rats from your home and seal off all entry points to prevent their return. If they come back, so do we, free of charge!
Contact us today to set up a consultation. We’ll help you to avoid dealing with rat traps altogether.