Photo: Mark Hooper
Traps and Poison Baits

Bait station: Holds either a snap trap or poison bait blocks (shown) to kill rats and mice. Must be placed outside, safely away from children and pets. This one is molded out of plastic to look like a rock.

Electric trap: Jolts the unfortunate rat who ventures inside with a lethal dose of electricity. Comes in a smaller version for mice.

Live trap (for mice): A trapdoor swings shut when the mouse enters and tilts the box.

Snap trap: There's no need to put fingers in harm's way when setting this trap. Just pull back the arm and it latches automatically.

Snap trap (for rats): This classic combination of wood, spring, and wire claps shut with breakneck speed.

Glue trap: Snares mice who stumble into its sticky morass. Resistance—and removal of the animal—is futile. You must toss the trap with the animal still stuck to it. A little tent shields the suffering from view. Larger sizes capture rats.

Exclusion Devices

Hardware cloth: Stiff ¼-inch mesh made of galvanized steel prevents chewing and tunneling. Place it over openings big enough to provide entry for a rat or a larger critter.

Chimney cap with grille: Stops raccoons from holing up in the flue.

Copper mesh: Stuffed into foundation cracks, it stops mice and rats, which despise chewing on it. Unlike soap pads or steel wool, copper won't rust. It's a temporary fix until the cracks can be mortared.

Spray foam: Fills irregular cracks between foundation and framing.

Acrylic caulk: Closes narrow gaps in wood trim and siding.

Squirrel exclusion device: Flap lifts up to let squirrel out, drops down to prevent reentry.

Mortar: Seals foundation cracks permanently.

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