Rats!!!

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Boogie and Linda
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Rats!!!

Postby Boogie and Linda » Sat Aug 19, 2006 3:39 pm

Last night about 9:00 Boogie and our cat Nemo were going crazy at the back door. The outside light was on and the back window was open and Boogie was slamming himself against the sliding door and barking and carrying on and he cat was meowing and clawing at the screen on the window. I got up and went to the door and there was a RAT about six feet away from the door eating dog poop. :shock: I could not believe that it was just sitting there looking at us right out in the light and didn't even flinch at all of the noise we were making. I pounded on the door and it ran up the fence and onto our roof! About 10 minutes later it was back in the yard again. It was trying to take Boogie's rope toy! I had no idea what to do besides close all of the windows and hope that it had no way to get in our house.

My question now is, what do I do to keep the rat away that won't hurt other animals? We never have any food out and there are rarely any droppings although now I will make sure there isn't any at all. The only thing I know of that really works is rat poison becasue they are supposed to take that to their nest and it will kill them all. I can put it in the yard where the dog can't get it but I am worried about the dog or other animals getting hold of a dead rat. People have suggested traps but I am more worried about those because they will attract other animals and as the traps are so large they can easily kill a cat too. I have those plug in things in my house but they are for smaller rodents. I went to every hardware store around today looking for a heavy duty sonic repellent but I could not find any. I am ready to put my house up on the market and move! Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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Postby jerryo » Sat Aug 19, 2006 6:14 pm

One sugestion would be -- Open the door and let Nemo at it. Cats love rat hunts the way Chows love deer hunts.

One of my friends moved to the woods with her city cat. The cat wasn't really sure he liked Squaw Valley that much at first, but Pat told me one day that Oreo had bagged a wood rat that had been making noise under the house. Oreo was about to pop from pride -- He was now a real mountain cat.
Last edited by jerryo on Sun Aug 20, 2006 10:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby redangie24 » Sat Aug 19, 2006 6:26 pm

Its a rat it need to survive. Either let nature get it-- it will eventually or call the exterminator. Or let a cat at it. I agree with Jerryo Cats love a good rat hunt.
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Postby Boogie and Linda » Sat Aug 19, 2006 7:40 pm

As for Nemo, our overfed city cat, while I made my husband go outside to try and scare the rat away, we both turned around and there was Nemo, plopped in front of the television all stretched out with no intentions of going out. I think he was finally releived that we were going to do something about the rat in his yard. :P

I actually thought about letting Boogie at it since he wanted to get it so badly but then I would be worried if he were to get bitten by it or if it had already eaten poison from somewhere else.

If there was a way to have it live but just go away, I would like that but I really haven't found any repellent. If they eat dog poop, I guess not much would deter them. Unfortunately, what I have been told is that the rats here live in colonies so if you see one then that means there is a nest somewhere near. They have about 20 babies at a time so even though the life span of a rat is only about a year they can have hundreds of offspring in that time. The animal shelter here suggested that I put a mix of cornmeal and powder cement out and the rats will eat it and then drink water and the cement would mix and harden turning their insides to cement. This sounds really inhumane. I would think birds and other animals would eat this too. I don't think it is a good idea. I also found a wild life place that for $200 for every 15 minutes will trap them alive and then either relocate them or humanely euthanize but I don't think I can afford that.

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Postby Auddymay » Sat Aug 19, 2006 8:30 pm

.22 caliber is plenty humane for rats...

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Postby kingalls » Sat Aug 19, 2006 9:44 pm

We have problems with rats. We have a large overhang/trellis that our wisteria sits on. Shiloh & Mr. N were tormented by their presence. The rats were chewing on our wisteria and eventually killed off part of the wisteria. Jeff put out very large rat traps with peanut butter as bait. We probably trapped 15 rats. The problem subsided but it looks like there's a nest near the back fence so we need to get rid of it.
Mr. N did catch a rat that fell down out of the wisteria. He bit it once trotted around the deck with it, then dropped it.
Where there's one, there could be many more...
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Postby Guest » Sat Aug 19, 2006 9:59 pm

I don't like the cement idea either, Auddymay's idea is better if you have to get rid of them.
I don't know rats but isn't there a big difference between the city type rar the the field rats.

Here is some rat info from the net,

http://www.metrokc.gov/health/env_hlth/rats.htm
http://www.critter-repellent.com/rat/ge ... f-rats.php

Pekoe was hired once to chase a rat out of a funature warehouse in Oakland once, we were walking by the store and Pekoe somehow spotted the rat in side by the boxs, she went nuts, the owner said good turn her loose, he shut all the doors so we let Pekoe go and off she went rat hunting. She never caught it, to many boxs and hiding places.

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Postby Jeff&Peks » Sat Aug 19, 2006 10:01 pm

the worst thing about being a guest is you can't correct your spelling.

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Postby Auddymay » Sun Aug 20, 2006 2:40 am

Back when I was in college (think disco days) My parents tore down the pig shed which had rats in the nooks and cranny. Being homeless, they manage to find new accomodations by going in my parents house through an open drainage pipe. OMG :shock: Once they got inside, it sounded like urban renewal inside the walls. I came home one weekend, and was so scared I made my faithful dog BaBa sleep right next to me all night. I told my parents to call me when they were all gone... When my Dad managed to poison them out of exsistence I came home. Unfortunately, I discovered one had crawled into my dresser and died in one of the drawers! My Dad thought I was being melodramatic when I told him to throw away all the clothes in that drawer, But there was no way I was wearing a rat's death shroud! I couldn't live where they thrive so openly, it would give me the willies. Although, we had bats that got in our house every summer for 5 years, until I found how they were getting in...BRRRRRYECK!

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Postby Boogie and Linda » Sun Aug 20, 2006 11:03 am

Auddymay you sound just like my mom. She came over yesterday to drop my daughter off and left as soon as she heard about the rat we saw. Then she called later to tell us to sit out at night with a BB gun. I think I would be so paranoid I would be shooting at everything! :lol:

I went out and got poison. There is a plastic container thing that has a hole for the rats to get in to get it but bigger animals can't. I also let the neighbors know to watch for the bright green poison in their yards before they let their dogs out in case the rats take it and drop it somewhere else.

We made sure to pick up all the dog poop before dusk last night. The cat alerted us about 11:00 last night that something was in the yard. I think I heard it under the house. :shock: Poison is going under there today! We live in the suburbs and don't have a large property or anything that would encourage the rats. We talked with the neighbors behind us who have lived here for 20 years and they said that when the creeks dry up the rats come into town. DISGUSTING!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Postby jerryo » Sun Aug 20, 2006 11:12 am

Rats don't need large properties to be happy, they live everywhere. They have been a problem in cities since cities were invented. Many of the epidemics of history were carried by rats. They even adapt to life on ships at sea, as in "only a rat deserts a sinking ship, and only a stupid rat stays on board."

A BB gun is only going to make the rat mad, if by some miracle you hit it, and Annie Oakley would be lucky to make that shot. IMO

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Postby kingalls » Sun Aug 20, 2006 4:26 pm

Ah? Is Boogie or your cats going to do anything with a poisoned dead rat? ANY animal that ingests the rat will also die...Better to trap with rat with a non-toxic bait.
Karen, Kohana, Takoda, and our Chow Angels Nahkohe and Shiloh

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Postby redangie24 » Sun Aug 20, 2006 5:35 pm

You could go old school and use a mousetrap and cheese, but just a warning they don't always die when you use those. Personally I would just get the humane rat traps here is a link I found.

http://www.wildlife-traps.com/rats.html
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Postby Boogie and Linda » Sun Aug 20, 2006 5:41 pm

Yeah I thought about that. Maybe I won't do anything right now. I am worried about those gigantic rat traps. I would think they would attract birds and cats too and those things could kill any small animal. Too bad wishing really hard doesn't just get rid of them. :lol:

My husband went under the house and he couldn't find any nests or droppings under there. We heard something scratching at our pipes and pulling on the cables lsat night so I know it goes under there but we can't find where. Now I am paranoid after reading on a website that they can come up the pipes from inside the sewer. It even says they can come up in your toilets. The more I know, the more paranoid I get. Life was so much simpler when I was oblivious.

I know my neighbor put out poison so I am going to be extra viligant about checking Boogie's area. He doesn't have access to the whole yard, just a part of it. I don't think he would eat one but I know he would play with it. As for the cat, he is an indoor cat who goes out in the yard only sometimes. He isn't going out though until this is all over with.

Thanks for all of the suggestions. I wish there was just a simple solution.

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Postby Jeff&Peks » Sun Aug 20, 2006 5:48 pm

If you look at that second link I posted its not a poison it smells like a fox so it keeps them away.

What is Shake-Away rat repellant? It is a strong, granular deterrent that contains the scent of the rodents most feared predators, the fox and bobcat.

http://www.critter-repellent.com/rat/ge ... f-rats.php

Shake-Away is different. Look at the benefits:

Safe to use around children pets and plants - 100% Organic
Makes NO mess of you or your landscape.
Does NOT harm the animals you are repelling
Easy to apply powder – Applies in just minutes.
Uses the strongest force in nature (instinctive FEAR) to your advantage
And it is guaranteed.

First i was trying to push Nutro desserts, that didn't work so now i'm getting into the rat profession.

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Postby kingalls » Sun Aug 20, 2006 6:01 pm

We put the rat traps out at night and did not let our Chows out until after all traps were checked. Yes, it was really icky at first but seeing all the damage they were doing, driving our Chows crazy, and just thinking that it might be possible for them to invade our home out weighed use of the traps.
We put the traps up on top of the trellis or up on the fence, etc. You can attach them if necessary. Unset the trap during the day so that you don't endanger birds.
Karen, Kohana, Takoda, and our Chow Angels Nahkohe and Shiloh

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Postby Boogie and Linda » Sun Aug 20, 2006 7:19 pm

Well now I feel kind of stupid because I never thought of unsetting the traps during the day. I just figured once they were set, they were set. Okay they may work. That will still be gross though. I really don't like killing them but they have to go!

Jeff you are so funny. :D I did see the website. I figured if they weren't scared of me banging on the door flashing the lights and Boogie going crazy that they wouldn't be afraid of that. It has a money back guarantee so I guess it is worth a try. I did look for it or something similar to it at the major home supply and hardware stores but there was nothing even similar. Poisons and old fashioned traps is all they had.

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Postby Guest » Mon Aug 21, 2006 4:44 am

Re: "I got up and went to the door and there was a RAT about six feet away from the door eating dog poop."

Mix the poison into the dog poop and put the baited bundles inside something that a rat can easily get into, like a wire cage staked into the ground. That won't attract birds and will prevent larger animals from getting into it.


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Postby Boogie and Linda » Mon Aug 21, 2006 7:50 am

Thanks Kiwani. That was actually what I was going to do before Kingalls reminded me that Boogie might catch a poisoned rat. Do you think a dead rat would have enough poison in it to kill a 50 pound dog? Not that I want Boogie hurt at all but I was just wondering.

The rat was back in Boogie's area last night. It was just sitting where it was before when it was eating the poop. There is nothing there now so I am not sure what it was getting. The poor thing is kind of cute until it moves. It zips so fast up the fence and then jumps onto our roof. Then it zips back down. My daughter is terrified to even go outside as am I. The good news is that with all of the zipping around I was convinced there had to be 10 of them back there but my husband went out and he said there was only one.

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Postby kiwani » Mon Aug 21, 2006 10:41 am

Re: "Do you think a dead rat would have enough poison in it to kill a 50 pound dog?"

Here's an excerpt from the ASPCA Poison Control:


"In general, poisonings resulting from the consumption of rats or other rodents who have ingested most commercially available rodenticides are not typically a concern in most companion animals, unless their staple diet consists mainly of rodents. The greater concern involves the potential risk of disease transmission or gastrointestinal problems from bacteria as a result of eating dead wildlife. Because of this, it's still a good idea to contact your local veterinarian if, despite your best efforts, your pet ingests a rat" <end quote>

Rats do carry bacterial and viral diseases, cause a lot of damage inside walls, and can even start fires by chewing wiring. Since your neighbor has already started baiting poison, you'll have to patrol your yard anyway. Usually the rats end up dying in their burrows, or inside walls, since the poison thins their blood and weakens them.

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Postby Juniper » Mon Aug 21, 2006 12:33 pm

"Mix the poison into the dog poop and put the baited bundles inside something that a rat can easily get into, like a wire cage staked into the ground. That won't attract birds and will prevent larger animals from getting into it."

kiwani[/quote]

A rat inside a wire cage with poison will attract birds. I've worked with a wildlife care association as a med tech and handled many birds, mammals, etc. Birds are very intelligent and will poke at a cage until the animal is pulled through it. I've seen scrub jays, magpies, crows, owls, etc., take live rats from my back yard right from the neck. Rats weakened by poison would be an even easier target.

Please do not suggest poison as a solution to handle nature's creatures. I live with roof rats, yard rats etc. and even have mice in my house- still trying to find a location where they are coming in. But then they keep developing this area I live in, so the mice/rats are forced to become nomadic. Then they find my house- I feed the birds and supply water too. :roll:

Poison is an inhumane way to kill any animal. It causes a slow, very painful death. My neighbor used poison and she now has dead mice smell in her house that she can't get rid of since they slowly died in her walls. Her house smells like mice poop. The smell permeates the walls. Serves her right, since at the time I did find some dead birds in the neighborhood who had died for no apparent reason.

Live traps- what do you do when you've caught the rat/mouse alive? Grab it by the tail and bash its head against the edge of a table. That's what herpetologists/snake owners do to feed their snakes if they refuse to eat frozen-thawed. Humane, quick, break the neck death, but tough on one's psyche.

Best way is the old-fashioned way. Rat trap & cheese, I've found the rats and mice don't care for peanut butter. I give 'em even the organic. Sometimes they outsmart the trap and get the cheese. Just make sure you place it along the periphery against a wall or fence. The route they usually travel to avoid birds catching them.

I've seen them out day or night. They are pretty bold here. At night one time I even petted a pretty large 10" wild rat just for the hell of it as he was eating some bird seed. If you shine a flashlight in their eyes they get rather stunned and can't see very well, nor do they move.

So follow Kingalls suggestion and set the traps, night would be best. But make sure you're very careful when you unset them and don't injure yourself. The trap usually breaks the neck or catches them above the eyeballs- they die in just a few seconds to one minute depending on where the trap got them. And if you do by accident catch one where his thigh is stuck in the trap and he's turning blue place him in a plastic back and smash his head agains the table and put him out of his misery. :cry:

Good luck with this.

Oh, forgot to mention- rat poop has the Hanta Virus- any contact with the poop- usually inhalation of the dust it's encompassing can give you the virus. It is a deadly virus. I got it in LA when there was a rat infestation. Don't know how I got it but then my cats were ratters and mousers and probably had rat poop dust on their paws from walking outside then me cuddling with them.

Two women died in my neighborhood- it took me 2-3 months to recover- holistically, after diagnosis. I wanted to keep an immunity to rat poop so I did it naturally instead of the medication route which apparently wasn't helping those who died. I almost did die but here I am. :D So it is important to be careful. You can wear a face mask that covers your nose and mouth so you don't get any dust inhalation.
Jennifer & Sheena

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Postby kiwani » Mon Aug 21, 2006 1:14 pm

Re: "A rat inside a wire cage with poison will attract birds... Birds are very intelligent and will poke at a cage until the animal is pulled through it."


No where did I suggest *locking* a rat into a cage.

The "dog-poop bait" is what I was referring to as 'not attracting birds', unlike the other bait foods mentioned.

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Postby Juniper » Mon Aug 21, 2006 1:49 pm

Kiwani:
Apparently you aren't very aware of bird, animal or mammal habits - any of them will go into poop or anything to gather some undigested particles when they are hungry or even just out of curiosity and eat the poison. The point I'm making is that poison is never a good idea and it is inhumane. Period.
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Postby Mandy » Mon Aug 21, 2006 2:24 pm

Jennifer, I agree with you about poison. I was the small crying child begging my father not to poison the chipmunks/bunnies/mice etc that lived in our woodpile/house/porch. I will never forget the day he dragged a dead, rotting oppossum out from under porch. Broke my heart. What a scary thing you went through! Thank goodness you survived!!!!

linda - Live trapping, if possible, can be a good solution. But with a rat, and the problems they can cause I would also vote for a old fashioned rat trap. It will do the killing for you (hopefully) if you're squeemish and do it quickly.
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Postby kiwani » Mon Aug 21, 2006 2:31 pm

Re: "Kiwani:
Apparently you aren't very aware of bird, animal or mammal habits..."


The whole point of using the staked bait cage is to keep out larger animals and birds, unlike the advice about leaving baited snap-traps out in the open.


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