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Our sad corn after a rat attack.

Corn Fail – Rats Again!

We’re growing Glass Gem popping corn this year, but we may not get to see the results because we’ve got rats again. They’re more aggressive than ever this year, probably because we gave them an in.

In dealing with the corn worms that burrowed into each ear, we went digging for each one, found them, and destroyed them. But that left behind an opening: loose husks to entice rats. By pulling open each ear, we undid nature’s protection and exposed our corn to attack. The results are scary…

Rats attack our corn with a vengeance.
Rats attack our corn with a vengeance.

Even though we returned the husks to their upright condition, rats found their way in. They devoured most of the ears on the sides they were able to expose. Some, entire ears. Flames are shooting out of my own ears at the moment.

The Solution:

We set traps. For now, we only have snap traps. So far, we caught one rat with this method this season, but the rest of the traps are tripped without a catch.

Our old traps are rusty so the rats can take the cheese and leave alive.
Our old traps are rusty so the rats can take the cheese and leave alive.

But we’re stepping up our game here. Electronic traps are in the mail. Research shows that electronic traps are intended for indoor use and tend to fail after exposure to sprinklers or heavy dew. The trick, so we’re heard, is to place the trap inside a bucket on its side to keep the device dry. We’ll employ that trick and report back our findings. Stay tuned.

Our sad corn after a rat attack.
Our sad corn after a rat attack.

What’s your favorite bait to use in rat traps. (No poisons, please. Poisons kill wild animals who then eat the rats.) List your favorite baits below. We’ll experiment and post our results.

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Martin

    Peanut butter works every time. Rats love it as well as mice. Ants don’t seem to be very interested in it either. Good luck

    1. Christy

      Our rats are only interested in peanut butter once every 4 or 5 times we put it out. The rest of the time they ignore the traps and have their way with the garden. So we keep switching it up – beef jerky, peanut butter, baby carrots (which often succeed), cheese.

  2. John

    Oh no! Poor corn, that would have been so good

  3. Frank Holzman

    I use a combination of solutions. Corn meal or grits mixed 50/50 with cement. Put it on a piece of paper. Lay a bucket down on its side and install the paper. If you see rat droppings, it is working. Traps also work. A really good cat or a rat dog also helps.

  4. Laura Maher

    The electronic traps do work better if you can put the backside against a hard surface. Sometimes I must block the paths elsewhere with board or other flat surfaces before I can catch the smarter ones. Better luck next time!

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