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The trap is one of man's oldest devices for animal control. The effectiveness of a trap is usually considered to be determined by extrinsic factors rather than by an animal's behavior. The effect of rodent instinctive and social behavior on trap success is little studied or understood. In considering how behavior studies might affect trap design or placement, aspects of rodent behavior, such as neophobia, dominant and subordinate group relationships, trap approach and contact, and duration of “trap shyness,” deserve attention. With the frequent appearance of new and modified traps, a comparative basis for efficacy evaluation is desirable. General observations on the behavior of a population of Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus) toward two varieties of traps form the basis for suggestions on an evaluation protocol.
vertebrate pest control, traps, rats, neophobia, trap shyness, efficacy, Rattus
Doctoral fellow, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio
Director, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio