Tips will help dispense of those dirty rats
Do you or any readers have suggestions on how to catch rats? A gang of rats has built a clubhouse under a concrete slab and eating garbage that we put out. I've tried different kinds of bait like peanut butter, cheese and fish, but they won't take the bait. I would appreciate any suggestions.
Answer: A good resource for finding out how to deal with rodents is the state Department of Health's Vector Control Branch.
Call 483-2535 for more information or to ask for an inspection of your property.
The best bait to use to entice your rat pack is whatever they have been eating out of your garbage, said Mark Leong, vector control inspector.
If you can't determine what the favorite foods are, then he suggests using dry dog or cat food.
"It is very important to remove any competing food sources to force the rats to attempt to feed off of the traps," Leong said. "In this case, the garbage needs to be stored or placed in a rodent-proof container, such as a steel trash can, until the time of garbage pickup."
His other tips:
» Set rat snap or cage traps by wrapping the bait in gauze or cheese cloth, then tying it on the trigger.
"This prevents the rats from simply eating the bait off of the trap," Leong said.
» Don't use "sticky" traps outdoors. They are not recommended for outdoor use unless placed in a well-sheltered spot, because dust, dirt and debris can coat the sticky surface and make the trap useless.
» Snap or sticky traps should be secured with string or wire to prevent the trap from being dragged away.
"About four traps would be a good number to set out," Leong said. "The more traps set out, the more likely you will catch the rats."
Rat complaints make up a large portion of the complaints the Vector Control Branch receives.
There's usually a noticeable increase in rat-related complaints during the spring and summer months, Leong said, although this doesn't seem to have happened this year.
"In general, the main conditions that will lead to a rat problem are access to a food source and having a place for rat harborage," he said.
Q: Grocery Outlet on Dillingham Boulevard lost its lease and closed in March. A lot of people depended on that store. Will the owners reopen at another location?
A: Co-owner Albert Respicio told us Tuesday he had no plans to reopen the discount grocery store, mainly because there was no suitable location.
At one time, there were three Grocery Outlets on Oahu; now, there are none.
Q: I just love the music that plays at the end of the KHNL television newscasts. Can you tell me what it's called?
A: The song is "He Aloha no 'O Honolulu," which translates to "Goodbye to Honolulu."
KHNL General Manager John Fink said it was composed by Lot Kauwe. The version heard on the newscasts is performed by ukulele master Herb Ohta Jr.
Got a question or complaint?
Call 529-4773, fax 529-4750, or write to Kokua Line, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu 96813. As many as possible will be answered. E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
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