John Elliott wrote:I'd let you have the big, black snake that hangs around my patio, but first I would have to catch him. And he is fast.
Even chickens are known to kill and eat baby mice. I wonder why they didn't attack the baby rat. If you can find a good predator and keep him happy, in short order he will clean out all the rats.
John Elliott wrote:As for composting, yes, it will kill rat-borne pathogens. If you lived in a hantavirus area, then it could be a serious health problem, but as it is, it is only annoying -- the smell is "awful". If you get a regular spring trap and bait it with peanut butter, you can set them out and get rid of them one by one and compost their carcasses. Just have a lot of wood chips (known as "browns" in the compost biz) in the pile to take care of all the nitrogen a rat carcass provides.
David Hartley wrote:You certainly can compost the rodents
For trapping them: use a 30~55 gallon drum. Add water high enough they can't stand above the water line, but low enough they can't jump out. Affix a rod across the top of the barrel, roughly 1/3 the circumference (less than the diameter, which would be 1/2 circumference). Attach a plank to the rod so that it reaches the short distance to the edge of the barrel and is balanced slightly to the edge when the end floating over the barrel is baited. Stack various stuffs to facilitate the rodents reaching the plank.
Hope this makes sense.
Dale Hodgins wrote:I'm going to only address safety issues, leaving extermination to others.
Rat poop, hair and carcasses can harbor disease which is why they are such a concern. A good quality dust mask should be worn during clean up. A full face, asbestos grade mask is ideal. If only a cheap mask is available, the area being cleaned should be dampened in advance, to prevent dust from becoming airborne. Rat fleas are also a concern, so clothing exposed to rat waste should be washed in hot, soapy water. The same goes for the people doing the work. Special care should be taken to cover hair and to check hair after accidental exposure.
If a whole out building has been exposed to dust, it can be hosed down with water followed by a bleach solution. Whitewash will brighten the space and seal in or destroy odors.
A hot compost seems like the best place for waste.
Edit --- There were no replies when I started typing. We're a busy bunch