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How to get rid of rats. — The Grow Network Community
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How to get rid of rats.

Suzette CarlinSuzette Carlin Posts: 16 ✭✭✭
Hi Suzette, I've got two suggestions.

Get a good barn cat (I bet you have thought of that already).  But seriously a good cat will do the job and they love it.  It's always nice to have a working animal versus 'pets'.

The other is to figure out the food source for the rats and make it isn't available to them.  I once had this huge bag of mesquite beans I didn't store properly in the barn and it turned into a rat depot mega store!  It was astonishing how rapidly they multiplied.  Ha, ha, you could walk in the barn at almost any time and hear hundreds of little scurrying feet (very unnerving to say the least).

I got to experiment with a lot of different types of traps, and I was stoked to have perfected my figure 4 deadfall and the piute deadfall - a primitive skill from the paleolithic era which is my hobby.

I agree with you that killing things isn't fun though.

But basically just removing the food source got the problem way, way down.

Properly storing feed is a big deal.

 

Comments

  • Suzette CarlinSuzette Carlin Posts: 16 ✭✭✭
    edited August 2018
    I have several barn cats but they don’t want the rats lol. They are tunneling under my barn and eating my animals food out of their feed dishes with them. I know it sounds strange, but everyone gets along with everyone at my place except the foxes who don’t. I only seem to catch cats in my live traps, and can’t put killing traps in with my animals. All other feed is in freezers. It’s so frustrating!!! Would the other methods you mentioned work around my animals?

     

    Thank You

    suzette
  • Ruth Ann ReyesRuth Ann Reyes Managing Director TGN Shy of the Chi - Zone 5bPosts: 350 admin
    edited August 2018
    We had a few living above our coop - between the hardware cloth and corrugated roof. They were trying to nest there...Sadly, we resorted to a pellet gun. While I agree that I don't want to harm them...I also don't want them living right above my 6-week old chickens - eek!
  • sherryosherryo Posts: 58
    edited August 2018
    Tunneling rats are the worst.

    We've dug up areas to disrupt the tunnels so they have to travel above ground.  That makes it easier to trap them.  We also started pulling uneaten feed at dusk.  Our chickens don't eat after dark so this removed access and rats were hungrier.

    We've used 55 gallon barrels as traps and this worked fairy well although it is gross to pull out the dead rats in the morning.  The idea is to tempt the rats into jumping into the barrel where they will drown.

    Here's how we set up our barrel but there are lots of other ideas on the internet out there:
    • place barrel near a ledge or wall where rats can access the top of the barrel.  You might need to provide a wooden walkway if there aren't any good ledges.
    • Put about 12 inches of water in the bottom
    • Add a piece of large wire mesh across the top of the barrel and mold it (keeps other animals from falling in)
    • Tie a piece of rope to the wire, coat the bottom with a layer of peanut butter, and drop through the wire so that it dangles above the water.  You want the bait far enough from the wire that they try to jump, and far enough from the water that they can't reach it to climb back
    • Check and clean barrel daily
  • Suzette CarlinSuzette Carlin Posts: 16 ✭✭✭
    edited August 2018
    Awesome!! Thanks, I’ll try it.
  • AlisonAlison Posts: 155 ✭✭✭
    edited September 2018
    How has the rat problem been going lately? Any luck?

    I had rats getting into the coop from a neighbouring property. As soon as they knew feed was there they hung around.

    What I did was change to only putting out the feed the chickens / ducks needed for that day. I put the soaked grains/ pellets out in the morning. When they are done with that I remove the containers I put it in and give them their fresh greens in the afternoon. The rats aren't interested in a container of weeds and garden greens.

    I did use some traps outside the coop but the change in how I feed was the game changer. I've not seen a rat since shortly after the change in feed routines. It's also saved a lot in feed. I didn't realise how much the rats were eating. The chickens don't waste their feed either now and I've not had a drop in egg production, but I did stop the problem of rats eating eggs under a broody chook and then introducing lice into the coop.

    A 'grandpa feeder' is also an option. I'm not sure what they call them in the U.S, but it's a feeder that the chook has to stand on to make it open so they can eat. Youtube has other diy feeders that you can consider if you want to save money but stop rats having feed available.

    Alison
  • Suzette CarlinSuzette Carlin Posts: 16 ✭✭✭
    edited September 2018
    Thanks Alison, I’ll look into that feeder because they are so smart that they don’t get trapped in the traps, they don’t go for the water barrel idea, I’ve not tried taking the feed out of the coop for the day after a short feeding. I’ll try it.
  • Merin PorterMerin Porter Editorial Director Southwest Colorado (Zone 6a)Posts: 758 admin
    edited September 2018
    Suzette, I have no idea if this will work in this situation, but it might be worth a try: I was having a lot of trouble last summer with squirrels getting into my chicken coop and mowing through the feed. I started adding cayenne pepper to the feed, and that seemed to fix the problem. Apparently the cayenne bothers the squirrels, but not the chickens. Not sure if you're dealing with rats in chicken feed or in feed for some other animal, but if it's for chickens, this might be worth a go, since both squirrels and rats are rodents....
  • Merin PorterMerin Porter Editorial Director Southwest Colorado (Zone 6a)Posts: 758 admin
    edited September 2018
    Suzette, I have no idea if this will work in this situation, but it might be worth a try: I was having a lot of trouble last summer with squirrels getting into my chicken coop and mowing through the feed. I started adding cayenne pepper to the feed, and that seemed to fix the problem. Apparently the cayenne bothers the squirrels, but not the chickens. Not sure if you're dealing with rats in chicken feed or in feed for some other animal, but if it's for chickens, this might be worth a go, since both squirrels and rats are rodents....
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