How to Service a Rodent Bait Station (Best Practice)

How to Service a Rodent Bait Station (Best Practice)

Servicing a rodent bait station is a standard process for all pest managers. We're sharing our expert tips to help you follow the best practice protocol and ensure you get the best results out of the service.


To get started, there are a few basic tools and safety equipment we always recommend having on hand for the job:

  • Disposable gloves

  • Bait station key

  • Fresh bait

  • Spare bait station tethers

  • Torch

  • Hand brush

  • Any other PPE suitable for the environment and job

In terms of precautions, make sure you’re wearing gloves when handling any carcasses, bait stations or bait, and that you’re wearing a respirator if you’re in any dry, dusty spaces or areas with poor ventilation such as roof voids, floor spaces or empty buildings.

Recommended PPE for Servicing a Bait Station

1) Inspect the area around the bait station

When you approach each bait station, stop and really inspect the area around the station itself. Look for any changes to the environment since your last service like vegetation, human waste, droppings, and burrows that could indicate a rodent population increase or create an environment that could be conducive to this.

Then, inspect the exterior of the bait stations, removing any vegetation or blockages that might have moved over the station preventing access.

2) Inspect the integrity of the bait station

Check integrity of the station, ensuring that any labels/stickers on the outside and tethers/adhesive fixings are still intact. Carefully check the station for signs (especially a change in weight) that any snakes, lizards, frogs or toads may have taken up residence inside station, as these pose a safety risk when handling the station.

3) Inspect the inside of the bait station

Upon opening the bait station, check for signs of rodent activity. Is the bait consumed or spoilt? In addition to bait consumption, droppings, fur, and urine can also provide a lot of information. Identify the species of rodent that has been travelling through the bait stations via droppings - are there different sizes indicating that rodents are reproducing? 

If there is no consumption or gnawing, identify if the bait needs to be replaced for other reasons:

  • Mould, water damage or heat exposure and melting

  • Physical disintegration or discolouration of the bait

  • Snail, slug, beetle, cockroach or other signs of insect damage

4) Replace and replenish bait

Replace and replenish bait as required, keeping in mind that fresh is always best! Remember to assess whether the bait amount or bait type needs to be changed, due to the surrounding situation, consumption, activity trends and current population. You may need to switch out the bait to best suit any changing situations.

5) Return and secure the station to the location

After you have replaced and replenished the bait, lock the bait station back up to ensure the bait is secured and cannot be tampered with. You may need to use a new tether to affix and secure the bait station so it cannot be removed or tampered with by others. Repeat this bait station servicing process around the rest of the job site with each station.

Should pest technicians clean or disinfect a bait station?

In regards to cleaning the bait station, rodent bait stations are usually most effective when they have been visited by rodents, leaving scents and pheromones, which are signals to attract other foraging rodents into the stations.

There may be fur, droppings, remnants of bait, leaf litter and insect casings that may have made their way into the stations since your last service. A hand brush should be a staple of your rodent toolbox and used to brush out and expel any excess and unwanted debris.

Important Tips and Takeaways

  • Avoid using any cleaners, detergents, chemicals or anything else that may transfer unnatural scents.

  • Look beyond stations and devices for evidence of rodent activity and conducive conditions.

  • While the exterior of the bait station is less crucial to the efficacy of the rodent control program, this is what is seen by the customer, so it should be brushed clean to ensure a professional presentation.

  • Activity in bait stations is a symptom, try to identify the cause, and you will get on top of a problem a lot quicker!

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