About mouse bait stations
A quick breakdown of bait stations for mice
A mouse bait station is an enclosed box that houses the rodenticide bait and shields it from moisture, dust and other outdoor weather elements. It provides an undisturbed spot for rodents to feed on the rodenticide bait peacefully. It can either be used as a standalone unit or be used along with other mechanical mice traps or glue strips. The body of the box is either made out of metal or durable plastic material to prevent spillage of the bait. The tamper-proof varieties of bait stations come equipped with locking mechanisms to secure the units and prevent accidental exposure to kids or pets. They are never manufactured in bright colors to avoid curious kids and pets. Instead, they are usually produced in black, grey or dull buff colors. They come in varying sizes – and can even accommodate a snap trap within. They come equipped with bait securing rods to ensure that the bait blocks are not carried away by the mice and scattered around the home. It is provided with one (or two) entry points to allow mice access to the bait. The mice enter the bait station, feed on the bait block mistaking it to be food, then travels back to its nest and dies there.
The purpose of bait stations is to:
- Shield the bait from moisture and dust thereby keeping them fresh longer, and retain their potency for a longer duration of time
- Ensure the safety of your pets and kids by preventing accidental exposure to toxic rodenticides
- Restrict non-targeted species from accessing the bait, by installing baffles as partitions between the entry holes and central bait feeding chambers
- Target just mice and rats and exterminate them safely, without endangering the lives of little kids, pets or other little animal and bird species cohabiting the space
- Allow safe monitoring of bait
Make bait placement in strategic arear in and around your home easier without having to worry about the weather elements or potential exposure to non-targeted species
A mouse bait station can be used in homes, offices, farms, warehouses, grain storage spaces, retail stores, garages, gardens, kitchens, in the attics of homes, suspended roofs, roof support structures, around the perimeter of homes, especially near utility openings, behind refrigerators, and kitchen appliances, near garbage or trash cans, in the pantry of your home, or any other areas along the walls of your home, which are the most likely routes that the mice in your home take.
Almost all bait stations have the same basic design and key parts. There is an outer envelope made out of plastic or metal that is sturdy, lockable and tamper-proof. There are 1-2 openings to allow mice to enter the station, eat the bait and exit from the station. Baffles are used to steer mice from the entry to the center of the bait station where the bait is placed. In refillable bait stations, there is a designated spot to place the bait in. A few varieties of bait stations allow space to install snap traps. Most importantly, all bait stations come equipped with locking mechanisms to make the bait safe.
There are 2 different categories of bait stations – disposable and refillable.
- The disposable bait stations come equipped with pre-baited stations that can simply be removed from packaging and placed in all locations of your home where you suspect mouse activity.
- The refillable bait stations allow you to reuse your bait station for a prolonged period of time. All you need to do is replenish the bait inside the refillable bait station when the bait inside it gets eaten by mice.
The refillable bait stations are far more economical when compared to the disposable bait stations. But you must be prepared to handle the poisonous rodenticide bait blocks if you opt for the refillable variety. Whereas with the disposable variety, you do not come in contact with the poisonous bait block at all.
What type of users are mouse bait stations intended for?
- The mouse bait stations are intended for a wide variety of users including:
- Homeowners that have rodent issues in their homes,
- Farmers that need to protect their crop and grains,
- Commercial kitchens and restaurants where mass volumes of food waste are generated,
- Grocery stores where food and grains are packed and sold,
- Agriculture based companies that deal with grains, etc.
The most common mouse station terms explained
Bait blocks – They are a mix of common food grains and rodenticides, that is shaped in the form of cubical blocks. These baits may sometime have added flavor for making them more appealing to the mice. They usually contain a hole in the center to fit into bait securing rods so as to prevent mice from stealing them and carrying them out of the bait station.
Bait securing rods – They are straight or L-shaped rods that are used to secure the bait blocks to the bait station. There are slots provided in bait stations for the bait securing rods to fit into.
How do mouse bait stations work?
The bait stations allow a quiet undisturbed area for the mice to feed on the rodenticide bait. These baits are available either in pellet form, larger block form or liquid form. The baits can be loaded into either a vertical top loader bait station like the JT Eaton 902R Top Loader Bait Station or a regular horizontal bait station like the Tomcat Bait Station. The openings provided in the bait station allows access to mice. The baffles provided in the opening steer the mice in the desired direction towards the bait. The mouse mistakes the bait for food, eats it, and returns to its nest. It might return to the bait station few more times before the potency of the active ingredient in the rodenticide bait shows its lethal effect and the mouse dies.
Basically, there are two types of rodenticides used in rodent baits – the anticoagulants and non-anticoagulants.
Anticoagulants disrupt the blood-clotting ability and cause the mice to die gradually due to internal bleeding within 10 days of the first exposure. Since symptoms do not appear immediately after consuming the anticoagulants laden bait, the mouse returns to feed on the same bait again, thereby multiplying its chances of death. The most common ingredients in the anticoagulants used in rodenticides include bromadiolone, chlorophacinone, diphacinone, and warfarin. Accidental exposure may be treated by administering the Vitamin-K1 antidote.
The mechanism of action of non-anticoagulants varies widely based on which non-anticoagulants is used. While Bromethalin interferes with the nervous system and causes paralysis and cell death, Zinc phosphide produces a toxic gas after bait consumption, which results in causes heart and liver damage and Cholecalciferol kills by stripping blood of its Calcium, resulting in hypocalcemia.
What other products can mouse trap bait stations replace?
A lot of safe and effective mouse bait station options are now available in the market to fit your needs and your pocket. Owing to their versatility and effectiveness in eliminating mice, bait stations have gained a lot of popularity during current times. Mouse bait stations can replace mouse glue traps, humane traps, and even natural products like peppermint oil that are used to deter mice.
So if mouse bait stations do not work for your home for whatever reason, try electronic ultrasonic repellers or bring home man’s good old friend and a rat’s worst enemy – the cat!
Mouse bait station buying guide
If the mouse issue in your home is pretty recent and minor, placing disposable bait stations in and around your home should take care of the problem. For a 1,000 ft home, half a dozen packs of pre-baited disposable bait stations should be sufficient. However, if the mouse infestation in your home is more severe in nature, and recurs every year, then investing in refillable bait stations is recommended. For a 1,000 ft home, you might need to purchase about 10 of these refillable bait stations.
Look for all the important design and safety features in bait stations:
- Size of the station: It should be big enough to accommodate 1-2 mice, and yet flat enough so you can place it in tight, and hard-to-reach spots underneath refrigerators, cupboard, and sinks. Ideally, a 10 x 10 x 4-inch bait station would be perfect for most species of mice.
- Sturdy material: It should be built with sturdy and durable plastic material that is good for both outdoor and indoor use. It should be temperature and water-resistant for outdoor usage.
- Anchors: It should have a provision for anchoring the station so as to securely hold them in place when the toxic bait is placed inside them.
- Bait securing rods: It should come equipped with bait securing rods to prevent mice from stealing the bait away.
- Locking mechanism: It should come with an automatic locking mechanism that securely locks the station as soon as it is closed to prevent any accidental exposure.
- Openings: It should have 1-2 openings, which are big enough to accommodate even a big-sized mouse, yet small enough that a kid or pet can’t get its hand in. The openings should be designed in such a manner, that baffles are used to create a physical barrier between the opening and the bait so that even if a kid or pet inserts its hand inside the opening, it does not come into contact with the bait.
- The most trustworthy brands in the market are the Tomcat brand. They have a huge variety of products to choose from and a well-documented success rate. They are economical and provide educational videos on how to use all their products on their website.
Usage tips of mouse bait stations
Did you know?
Mice cannot see well? Instead, they rely on their sense of touch, smell, and hearing. They feel the wall with their whiskers and tend to stick close to the wall line. So if you place a mouse trap right at those sneaky corners in your home, you are sure to attract them to your bait
Regardless of whether you use the disposable mouse bait station or the refillable mouse bait station, always make sure that you wear gloves before handling them or the rodenticide bait itself. Even if you are intermittently monitoring the bait station, it is still recommended that you wear your gloves.
If you are required to dispose-off the dead bodies of mice trapped in your bait station or found dead in their nest, make sure you pack them in a leak-proof garbage back and label them as poisonous before you dispose of them safely in bio-hazard bins.
Store excess bait blocks safely in locked cabinets, away from kids and pets to avoid accidental exposure.
Other useful information about mouse bait stations
- Mice use ultrasound for communication. They can hear ultrasound as high as 90kHz
- Mice teeth grow 0.3mm longer every day! Their teeth never stop growing. So they keep grinding their teeth constantly to erode the tips and maintain their incisors at a reasonable length
- Mice can squeeze through a hole as narrow as a pencil (0.6mm)
- Mice can do excellent circus feats – they can walk on a thin rope, climb vertical walls and jump as high as 25 cm
- Mice constantly chew and gnaw at food and non-food objects, including fence mesh, foam insulation, and electrical wires
- Mice are greedy – they tend to steal far more quantities of food than they can actually consume in a day
Future trends might include extensive use of the following mice eradication strategies:
- Mice Contraception: As a part of an integrated pest control program, mice are stopped from multiplying in their nest through the administration of birth control medication, which prevents sperm development in male mice and inhibits egg production in female rats. This contraceptive medication is provided through liquid bait, securely locked in bait stations.
- Wireless Technology assisted Electrocution System: Another innovative strategy uses wireless technology for mice eradication. Food bait is provided to lure the mice into a trap that is connected to an electrocution system. As soon as a mice gets electrocuted, the wireless enabled mouse trap signals the owner to come to clean the device.
Our top-rated option is the Tomcat Bait Station. Available in both disposable and refillable options, this lockable bait station comes equipped with bait securing rods and is reasonably priced. Its sturdy weatherproof body makes it perfect for both indoor and outdoor use.
The JT Eaton Top Loader Bait Station is one of the top-rated bait stations. With its unique vertical, gravity-fed design, this bait station can be used with both solid bait blocks as well as liquid bait. Some of the most appreciated design components include its dual openings, entry chamber equipped with zig-zag baffles, vertical gravity-fed bait chamber that hold the bait off the ground level to protect it from rainwater and anchoring points.
The Protecta Mouse Bait Station is another popular choice. Its small, flat, compact, triangular heavy-duty plastic body fits in corners between walls, where mice cannot miss it. Its angled entry chamber and internal baffles ensure kids and pets do not have accidental contact with the bait. It can be used both indoors and outdoors.
There are a lot of other options available for controlling the mice infestation in your home, but each one has its own unique set of merits and demerits. If you are unable to control them through your own efforts, it is best to approach a professional pest management firm.