Whether you’re doing rat control for conservation or to protect your home and garden, the best results come when you have a network of traps in place. It’s the best way to prevent a reinvasion of pests because there are more traps for rodents to encounter. This principle holds true wherever you're trapping.
The most effective conservation projects have an organised and steadily maintained trap network. Here are some general guides for those wanting to set up their own trap network:
Rat trap networks should consist of trapping lines 100 m apart with A24 Rat & Stoat Traps spaced at 50 m along the lines. The home-range of rats in New Zealand forests tend to be about a 50-100 m radius, depending on the forest type. Two traps per hectare is DOC best practice for rat control.
Work with the contour
You should also use the contour and any existing track infrastructure on the land to make your trap lay-out easier. It will also help when you need to do your maintenance round after six months.
Marking and plotting
Use flagging tape to mark your trapping lines so it’s easy for you and your team to find their way through the bush during the 6 monthly maintenance rounds. If you have a GPS device then plot the location of each of your traps as well.
Broaden your control
Creating great habitats for our native birds means making a healthy forest, therefore cosider building possum control into your network with Goodnature A12s (set at 100 m x 100 m spacings). Also, target stoats with a few of your A24 Rat & Stoat traps using our stoat formula. To target stoats effectively set one trap every 10 hectares.
It can take a few pest breeding seasons before you start seeing the fruits of your labour. A very easy way to see your impact is to observe what’s on the forest floor – the presence of seeds, seedlings and fungus are all great indicators. You can also use our recently launched Chirp for A24 and Chirp app to monitor trap success via your smartphone. Department of Conservation science has repeatedly demonstrated that Goodnature trap networks are highly effective and efficient in recovering native species populations because they provide constant control.
Don’t have a one-trap mind! While you may not be protecting hundreds of hectares of native forest, having networks at home, on the farm or at work will enhance your success. Bear in mind that food distribution varies greatly in these settings and, because of this, rat home ranges will vary as well. Therefore it’s essential you use Goodnature Rodent Detector Cards before establishing your domestic A24 network as they enable you to find the best places to install your traps.