For the past year or two I have been focused on possums and mustelids, but more recently given the volume of rodents on my cameras, I have decided to turn my attention to rats. I’m in the process of working up a prototype automated rat trap, different to anything else you can buy, but I am interested in the use of poisons for more effective use on a widespread scale.
So it was interesting to see Kiwicare recently launch their “Predator Free Pack”. Deciding it was worth a look, I bought one today from Mitre 10. Overall, a great deal, around $105 worth of kit, for $50, and profits go to support Predator Free New Zealand Trust. Here’s what you get …
- Kiwicare NO Rats Bait Station – $45 retail (incl bait)
- Kiwicare NO Mice Bait Station – $11
- Kiwicare NO Rats & Mice Rodent Bait Blocks 160g – $10
- Modified Victor Stoat and Rat Trap – $14
- Kill Trap Tunnel for Stoats Weasels and Rats – $19.50
- Manuka Seeds – $5
TOTAL – $104.50 retail, available at M10 for $49.95.
It’s a great deal, the bait station alone is worth the price (and I needed one) so if you’re interested in poisoning rats it’s definitely worth considering!
Here’s a few musings on the offer …
- Like your traps, you will need to regularly check your bait station, and buy more bait. Poison is one of the best way to deal with “plagues” of rodents, so it’s a worthwhile investment, but there’s a reasonably significant ongoing bait cost if you buy the retail packs. If you have an Everest sized rodent problem, you can shop around and find the bait stations, and rat bait cheaper in bulk.
- Poisons … Some people are reluctant because of issues with secondary poisoning. In this pack the baits active ingredient is Coumatetralyl which is a first generation rodenticide, the risk of secondary poisoning is low. Second generation products such as Cholecalciferol do have a potentially higher risk, but its not that clear cut. It depends on what it’s mixed with. Anyway, in this particular pack the risk of secondary poisoning is low and here’s a good article from an industry expert.
- The instructions for baiting the Rat station were apparently incorrect and were updated. Sadly, they are still confusing (to me) … the bait comes in a plastic bag with 4 blocks, and there seems to be no way to thread the bag or the blocks onto the rod. So, maybe it’s best to just put the bait in the well each side?
- The pack, somewhat unusually includes a Victor Stoat and Rat Trap, rather than just the standard Victor Rat Trap. For me this is good, but for general home users probably less ideal, as they are a little harder to bait and set, and are specifically designed for a tunnel. And …
- Interestingly the trap doesn’t come with a tunnel for the Victor, which for outdoor use is an absolute NO-NO, because birds WILL get caught in the trap (talking from experience!). But, you can register and get a free corflute tunnel sent to you. Which is great, as I have been too cheap to buy one and I wanted to trial one for another project! I understand why, it wouldn’t fit in the box, and M10 staff don’t want to hand out at the checkout etc. But, if you use the trap outside without a tunnel, you might do more harm than good.
- Manuka seeds? We’ve planted lots of manuka, ideal for bees and fast growing. But there are far more bird friendly options out there given the PF2050 goal. Check our planting guides for birds.
Overall however it’s an awesome initiative and the pack also comes with a pretty good brochure/guide. It’s well worth the investment for backyard trappers.
And if you’re really keen, check out an article I recently wrote, the 4P’s of trapping.