Suburban Wellington trapper sees birds return and trees recover
John lives on a 516 square metre property across the road from a neglected bush reserve in Karori, Wellington. His home is surrounded by other houses and loads of trees. In 2015, he set out to protect his trees and the native birds returning in his area.
Initially, he thought possums were responsible for the destruction of his puka tree but the damage was typical of rats. To get them under control, John started by setting one Goodnature A24 rat trap on his property.
“We really liked the sound of Goodnature’s automatic-resetting traps. The thought of waking up to a pile of dead rats at the foot of our puka tree was irresistible.”
John had no reservations. “The traps struck me as a humane and fantastic way of destroying pests,” he says.
At first John saw dead rats on the ground under his trap but after a while the rats re-appeared so he shifted the trap to a different location.
Within 29 days of moving the trap to the right spot, John tallied 21 dead rats.
After his success put a stop to the rats damaging his puka tree, he set his rat trap in a spot near his walnut tree. After no obvious success he moved it elsewhere.
“It hadn’t occurred to me that any dead rats might have been scavenged so I moved the trap back. It killed a mouse on the first night and then a rat.”
John also set his trap near his compost bins, and to the best of his knowledge didn’t trap anything. After installing a new gas cylinder and fresh lure in the trap he got some action again. Over a 6-week period, he killed a further 16 rats and five mice.
“At first, we had our doubts about the A24 trap’s efficacy but those doubts have vanished. It’s terrific technology that’s given me a sense of the density of rats in our area.”
John’s success has motivated him to establish a network of A24 rat traps in the neglected strip of bush near his property. “We’ve seen rats in there so we’re keen to use Goodnature’s Rodent Detector Cards to find a good spot for another A24.”