There are certain less-than-glamorous homesteading chores that I am really good at. Shoveling, doing dishes, and trapping rats. Sigh. Rats around here are not the loathsome Norwegian variety, but rather wood rats, or pack rats, which look like a big mouse, Kinda cute. In the woods, they build pyramids of twigs 3 feet or so high — rat architecture — always in secluded spots, so you have to be bushwacking to come upon them. In semi-rural areas like this they cruise human habitations for easy pickins. One year I trapped over 40. For years I used the standard wooden Victor traps and would put peanut better in a little piece of plastic (with punched holes), tied to the trigger with baggie ties. Then I started sheet-metal-screwing a 1/2-inch copper pipe cap to the trigger, which I filled with peanut butter.
I went through maybe 4 types of other traps until I discovered these. They have a bait cup so the rat has to tug at it, thereby releasing spring — plenty strong enough to insure fatality. I’m writing this after getting one last night that had been eluding me for a week. Outwitted by a rat night after night. Method: I washed 3 traps (getting rid of scent), smooshed some bacon in the cups, surrounded by smears of Skippy peanut butter — mwah! And whack! Mighty hunter.