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Rat Control  RSS feed

 
Posts: 15
Location: Spacecoast Florida
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It seems that rats are to be an expected trade off for having fresh food. I've heard it said before, "If you have chickens, you have rats." It would seem that statement should be expanded to a garden as well. This week I've lost 6 near ripe tomatoes to rats. My small raised beds are located next to my house and at dusk, I watched the horrid thing run up my bamboo stake and eat my black krim tomato two feet in front of my kitchen window. I finally caught him last night with a snap trap baited with a "peanut butter sandwich" smooshed onto the trigger, but I know there are more. They were living in the roof and garage when we moved in 8 yrs ago. The population grew when we had chickens, but then seemed to drop down a bit. I had a compost bin outside for six month and when I moved the bin, a momma rat ran out and I had to use a shovel to dispatch her litter of babies. I got rid of the bin and trench composted for a while. We have used a .22 pellet gun to kill off at least a dozen squirrels who we digging up the yard and I buried them to add some soil fertility around the garden beds.
These rats are making me nuts though. I live in the city in an old house that is an absolute sieve and I will never be able to seal all the holes. Thankfully, I've never seen the rats inside my house, but I've seen them everywhere else. I guess the best I can hope for is population control. One time, we changed an old light fixture and the housing of the fixture was stashed with acorns. There is a large oak tree next to the house.
I'm going o try hot pepper spray and pieces in the garden beds to deter them, and I'm going to pull out my tomato plants. Tomatoes are easy enough to buy at the farmers market and just seen to be too good of a food source for the rats.
Living in the city, the only predators Ivan hope for are snakes, and thankfully, we have a 3ft black racer living on the side of the house. He lives under a piece of wood I've left for him and I've seen him disappear into rat holes before. But one snake just isn't a match against the apparent infestation we have.
I don't like the poison traps because we had a rat die in the attic and start to stink. It was blue from the amount of poison it had eaten. Oh and it was the size of a squirrel! My brave hubby climbed into the attic and found it near the access burrowed into the insulation. He got it out and took it to a dumpster and saved the day. So we don't use poison anymore. Sticky traps are somewhat effective, but they generally avoid them.

So I guess the price of having beautiful landscaping and fresh veggies is pest problems. It sucks.
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Posts: 186
Location: Swanton, MD
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When I had just moved in to this property, I would open the barn door and wait while thousands of rats found a hiding spot.   I would find either evidence in my house of rats or the rats themselves with some frequency.   I have several years now without seeing a rat, mouse or a sign of either.

Things I did:
1.   Sought out black snakes and put them in my barn.  I now have one monster rat snake in there that is about 10' long.   Others have seen more than one.   I am not fond of snakes, but they are better than rats.
2.   I removed all sources of grain and other food.   I even got to the point where I fed my goats grain only under supervision.
3.   Cats, cats, multiple cats.
4.   Peppermint oil.   The crawl space under my home reeks of it.
5.   And here is the biggy, your neighbors have to be proactive as well.  

I did not use poison as I was concerned about secondary deaths - particularly from the barn owls that moved in about 5 years after I did.   However, I became aggressive against mosquitos around 2005 and started putting Dawn dish soap wherever puddles tended to accumulate.  I did this as a temporary measure until I was able to get enough topsoil on my land so there weren't any puddles.   I started winning the war against rats/mice about the same year.   I am not sure if the two are related or pure coincidence.
 
Posts: 12
Location: Western Cascades Lowlands & Valleys, Oregon-Zone 8
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So we have runner ducks and Guinea hens and we feed them during the day. We put the food inside the enclosed, (outside the coop) run but leave the main door open because they free range, coming back to coop to eat and check in. This has worked well so they know where Home is and lay their eggs consistently inside. We want the birds protected while eating, from predatory birds...We put the food away at night. The rats are out of control now. I used to catch one here and there in the have a heart traps but then I would have to relocate the darn things and thats not cool, giving another place rat problems...so I bought 3 new rat-kill-traps and bam the first night caught 2, second night, caught one.....then Nothing! I have cleaned the traps, letting the traps air out, etc thinking they smell "death" on them and thats why they won't go near them, but no matter the bait, we get nothing (except the occasional small wild bird or squirrel using the no-kill traps).  I have put peanut butter, bacon grease, even sausage, pepperoni...but Nothing! They won't go near the traps! They know they can get a free meal going to the bird feeder! I went and bought brand new traps and the guys at the hardware store laughed at me, saying they reuse their traps till the springs are falling off. Just with baiting a little pepperoni. I tried it! Nothing! what the heck. I sometimes change it up and put the birdfeeder outside the coop but then squirrels get to it. and its open to hawks, etc flying over....  Rats rats rats! I think its the bait?! Why are they not attracted to most any bait anymore?? thanks!
 
Posts: 6717
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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We've always had outdoor cats to keep the rat and mouse population down.  This, for us, balanced out the things they would catch that we wished they wouldn't, like the occasional bird, lizard and frog.
 
gardener
Posts: 1870
Location: Just northwest of Austin, TX
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I'm going to assume you never saw my post about my cat bringing the rat into my bed. The body of the rat (not counting the tail) was at least six inches, but we have so many convenient nooks, crannies, and raised furniture that it took three days before we were able to get it out of the house. To be fair, if I hadn't distracted my cat by speaking to him as he was suffocating it (yes, on my bed) he would have killed it before it got away.

edit: I also have to admit this wouldn't have been a problem if he were an outdoor cat. The problem was caused by him being an indoor/outdoor cat. He went outside to catch the rat and then carried into the house.
 
Judith Browning
Posts: 6717
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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Casie Becker wrote:I'm going to assume you never saw my post about my cat bringing the rat into my bed. The body of the rat (not counting the tail) was at least six inches, but we have so many convenient nooks, crannies, and raised furniture that it took three days before we were able to get it out of the house. To be fair, if I hadn't distracted my cat by speaking to him as he was suffocating it (yes, on my bed) he would have killed it before it got away.

edit: I also have to admit this wouldn't have been a problem if he were an outdoor cat. The problem was caused by him being an indoor/outdoor cat. He went outside to catch the rat and then carried into the house.



Our cat brings us things but she is not allowed in the house so she calls us to show and tell and occasionally brings the body parts to her bed/box for us to clean up.  I try to think of it as sharing although in the past when one of our cats left a mouse with one leg chewed off at the head of our bed in our open air hogan/cabin I took it as a message of her displeasure about something    
 
Casie Becker
gardener
Posts: 1870
Location: Just northwest of Austin, TX
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forest garden urban
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I merged your stuff with the following thread. I hope that is okay by you.
 
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I've heard it said most of my life that the best rodent control is a good lid on a trash can. That being said, my first dog was a rat terrier and I've never seen anything better in action when it came to protecting the garden and property from unwanted guests. We named him, "Scarecrow". More recently, we had a male tuxedo cat that was the best mouser ever. Making a decision to not eradicate snakes also helped. Eventually, the right kind of predators seem to show up to do their job. I'm not shy about chasing down something with a maul or a mower either. The best defense is the first mentioned.
After prohibition when the distilleries were starting up again in Kentucky they drew a lot of rats to the area (Nelson County). They moved in cattle to eat the mash and so the rats infested every farm in the area. My father (a boy of ten or twelve) saved up his chore money and purchased a twenty-two. He proceeded to make 10 cents for each rat killed from all the neighboring farmers. Dad always claimed that king snakes were the best predators to keep in a barn. He never convinced his father of that. Most people share a great fear of snakes of all sizes and colors.
The best story of Dad and his brothers was the summer their mother noticed blood all over her kitchen knives. She was taking a bucket to the other side of the barn when she discovered three of her sons in possession of those knives. They had baited a hole and were spearing the rats as they came out. It was that they just put the knives back "as is" that she couldn't forgive.
 
gardener
Posts: 1028
Location: Northern Italy
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In some ways I've learned to live with the rats. Probably the best control ever if you have no natural predators.

You can coordinate their presence by offering them food and shelter in places you don't mind their continued existence.

One hurdle to get over is the "no-rats-ever" logic. They have their place in the world, and for better or for worse that place is near human activity. If you have kids, babies, or are in an urban area I totally understand doing some control.

That being said, they make good compost with kitchen scraps. Possibly better than chickens, who are more picky. They add manure to a compost pile and as long as you don't intend to touch it (Toxoplasma) there can be an opportunity for enhanced growth around the pile. Like I said, if you don't have natural predators and you're in a somewhat rural area, creating a stable relationship with mice and rats might not be the worst idea. Getting rid of them just because they are rats confuses me (if someone has something different to say about this I'd love to hear it).

I use a green plastic garden dome and just throw kitchen scraps into it, adding straw once in a while. The rats have taken up residence. I probably should grow some trees around the dome and then move it (the dome) to a new spot...if I had the time I'd do just that.

This just in:
"Rats infected with Toxoplasma actually like cat odors. New research finds that the infection makes cat odor aphrodisiacal."
https://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode/toxoplasma-infected-rats-love-their-11-08-17/

William
 
gardener
Posts: 1504
Location: Virginia (zone 7)
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William James wrote:they make good compost with kitchen scraps. Possibly better than chickens, who are more picky. They add manure to a compost pile and as long as you don't intend to touch it (Toxoplasma)



William was referring to rats there, but I have mice in my compost tumblers. They jump out of the side air holes when I spin the drum. They return no matter how much they are disturbed and have had babies in there. I worry about the diseases they may bring because I'm sure the compost never gets hot enough to kill off pathogens​ in their poop. I'd hate to not be using something that I paid for. What would you do?
 
pollinator
Posts: 495
Location: SF Bay Area
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I would never encourage rats, but I'm well aware that we aren't going to get rid of them. I have a rat in/around my blackberry trellis, makes it unpleasant to try to harvest berries in the cool of the evening. My father asked why I didn't stab it to death, as he did in our kitchen growing up. My kids were not excited about the idea of their mother stabbing rats to death in the back yard, they are city kids.

On the subject of toxoplasmosis, it is a very serious issue for anyone who is immune compromised, as my son is. He has significant retinal scarring from it, thankfully, his main field of vision has been mostly spared, but has no peripheral vision left. That being said, the most likely source of it for children is with handling very young kittens.

We haven't had much luck with cats killing rats, one of ours hunts mostly birds with the occasional mouse. She is more likely to bring the mice in the house to play with for a couple hours, and then get bored, than she is to kill it though. The fancier cats don't hunt.

My pit bull is very good at opossum control though. He likes to rip their heads off.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1793
Location: Wisconsin, zone 4
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Karen Donnachaidh wrote:

William James wrote:they make good compost with kitchen scraps. Possibly better than chickens, who are more picky. They add manure to a compost pile and as long as you don't intend to touch it (Toxoplasma)



William was referring to rats there, but I have mice in my compost tumblers. They jump out of the side air holes when I spin the drum. They return no matter how much they are disturbed and have had babies in there. I worry about the diseases they may bring because I'm sure the compost never gets hot enough to kill off pathogens​ in their poop. I'd hate to not be using something that I paid for. What would you do?



Can you put screen over the holes?
 
Karen Donnachaidh
gardener
Posts: 1504
Location: Virginia (zone 7)
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Stacy, thank you for your reply. I'm sorry to hear about your son's experience affecting his vision. I realize toxoplasmosis is serious. It has also been reported to be a contributing factor in schizophrenia​. It's not something that should be taken lightly.

Todd, thank you too. I could try to cover the holes with screen. There are about twenty holes per drum and there are two drums, but still doable.

For the compost contained in each drum right now, would you be leary in using it in your vegetable garden?
 
pollinator
Posts: 163
Location: Zutphen, The Netherlands
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I was talking about these things today. They're called staddle stones



Edit: sorry the image doesn't work.

They're not known here in the Netherlands, they are a great way to keep anything from a pallet to a whole granary away from the rats.

Wikipedia has a nice page on them
 
Karen Donnachaidh
gardener
Posts: 1504
Location: Virginia (zone 7)
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Rus,
Thank you for sharing that. They're pretty cool! I would be afraid of a strong wind making the structure airborne. How did they remedy that? We made sure our barn was anchored well when we rebuilt after the tornado in 2012.
 
pollinator
Posts: 518
Location: Andalucía, Spain
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We have had rats chew up most of the Electric tools in our garden shed. We have had rats chew up the insides of our Washing mashine... we have had rats eat most of the seeds in a huge amount of our carobs, so much so that our neighbor wouldn't bother to collect them because of the work involved in sorting them afterwards would make it uneconomic for him to sell to the coop... We have rabbits - rats eat baby rabbits alive, first eating a foot, then another etc until the baby dies. Snakes did move in (they eat rabbit babies too, but are easier to keep
out of cages - and they kill rats), but not enough, not fast enough. We did have two cats - they were worthless. Now we have a rat dog (bodeguero). I have only seen him catch 2 rats, but baby rabbits have no chance anywhere near the house... I suspect the same goes for snakes (I have seen him go after a ladder snake, it hid in the tall grass, but half an hour later both my dogs came back with blood all over them, not theirs - he is the top predator. But I do need to have my compost in a rat proof container.
 
Karen Donnachaidh
gardener
Posts: 1504
Location: Virginia (zone 7)
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Rats eat baby puppy dogs too. I don't think I want to elaborate further.😞

We have rats, mice and black snakes in our walk-in attic. Sometimes we put raisins on a board on the floor in there and shoot the rats with a .22 rifle. Mice are sometimes an issue in the main (living) area of the house, but no rats (yet).

Caught 2 black snakes mating in the living room closet. Grabbed them and put them outside, but not until I took some x-rated pictures  

(Edit to add: A rat chewed nearly through an electrical wire in the attic. It was black/burnt in about an 8 inch section.)
 
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First the obvious question... Has anyone considered raising rats as a food source? They eat everything (not sure how efficient the meat conversion is, but I suspect it would be really good), they breed very, very, very quickly, they are very easy to raise, and can be very tasty. Some experts say we are quickly approaching a human population where we will not be able to feed everyone even if all available land is dedicated to producing food ( 9 Billion is that magic number). I suspect that when that time comes (12 to 20 years from now), that there will be bug farms and rat farms all over the world. Some food is better than none. Bugs being 40 to 60% protein is good and rat can be tasty as any survivalist can attest.

But onto rat control...


I'm a big fan of King Snakes, when they are small they will eat young rats, when they are big they will eat adult rats. I have seen king snakes in excess of 9 feet long and very capable of eating a NY subway rat. King snakes also eat other snakes, including venomous snakes like rattle snakes and anything else. They are on my list of future projects... I would like to start breeding them and then release the young all over the farm. Granted I would build them some winter habitats, possibly even a space in the barn and greenhouse. If they know it's there, they might come back to it, however King snakes will also eat other king snakes, so once the other prey is gone, it might become a balance of nature thing or it might cause them to wander off in search of more food. Regardless, I really like them and as long as they are around, you don't have to worry about dangerous snakes as they all become king snake food. And I would only consider this with a local king snake variety (which are all over north america and other parts of the world), not an imported variety.

I'm not a fan of cats, but I have had cats when I was growing up, a few of which singlehandedly killed rats larger then they were (adult cat takes out rat that is very big, like something you would see in NY). The cat leaves the head, feet, spine and tail and eats everything else (but you can still figure out the size based on what is left). I've seen this a few times. I have also seen cats that will watch a mouse run over them and not even care, so it all depends on the cat. I'm considering calling my local animal shelter/dog pound and asking if they have any feral cats that I can adopt. I would pay them to spay/fix the cat, and then take them home and keep them in a large cage in the barn for a few days, possibly try to feed them a couple live trapped rats during that acclimation time. I would give them cat food and water as well and would prefer they be well fed before offering them the live rat as that would tell me how interested they are in eating live rats versus commercial food. After a few days of acclimation, open the cage and hope for the best. But if the cats run off, then no big deal, hopefully they will hunt the local area for a bit before getting too far. I might even keep trying that approach to see if I can find a couple good mouser/barn cats that decide to stick around the farm (as long as they don't try to mess with my birds, it's all good).

If you are currently having problems with rats then I recommend an all out, multi pronged, full on war / assault. And if you live in an area where they replenish or migrate in, then you will need to have a rat war from time to time, especially if you compost (which I hope everyone does), and/or have a garden, fruit trees, nut trees, etc. One breeding pair of rats can overrun your home in less than 90 days. I don't like poison (I have a lot of owls and hawks in my area), if I had a really bad infestation I might consider adding some for the initial battle, but not after that, and I would be very hard pressed to do so. However, if you have rats in the attic, then those I would poison, smear some nut butter on some rat poison cubes and leave on a paper plate somewhere in the attic. For the rest, get many, many, many snap traps, I like to smear a dab of nut butter on the trigger plate (sometimes a rat sized snap trap will take out a squirrel which is a serious bonus if you eat them or consider them a pest). Get some rat zapper traps, get some sticky traps, get a lot of traps, get different types as some will work better than others and some rats may avoid a certain type of trap, think big numbers and big variety (you can also vary the bait). You can even set mini snares made out of thin copper wire along fences and areas you see them sprint along. The key is you want to put all of it out at once, and kill as many as possible as fast as possible. Don't set it and forget it, stay on it and get rid of the dead rats and re-bait those traps asap (when you hear one go off, jump on it immediately, clean, re-bait, reset). If you can kill mom and dad and the babies are tiny, then they will not survive to breed more. Rats are exponential breeders, and the more you kill quickly, the better. Once you have gone a couple weeks with no kills in any of your traps, take almost all of them down, leave a couple in places that would be very hard for anything else to get to, but where you can still check once a week (those will let you know if a new batch of rats migrated in and/or they are breeding again). Once you have an infestation under control (which is easy as long as you attack aggressively), then you might consider the cat or dog or snake or just have a rat war once you notice a rat in the area. (if you see one, then there are 20 to 30 you didn't see). Save the traps you are not using in a non humid place as they rust pretty easy, but even when rusty, they can still work and kill, so don't toss them until they stop working. If you hammer them hard with a ton of traps, all at once, then you should get almost all of them within a couple days. Chickens will eat the dead ones and they appreciate the protein and bugs, or bury or compost, but choose a smart place as the dead rats may attract other predators some of which may be just as unwanted as the rats.

 
Posts: 275
Location: West Midlands UK (zone 8b) Rainfall 26"
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re staddle stones

Karen Donnachaidh wrote:Rus,
I would be afraid of a strong wind making the structure airborne. How did they remedy that?



We don't have tornadoes in Sussex where that photo was taken!  Plus the building is pretty heavy being of oak/brick/tile construction.

re wasps

Oddly enough I haven't heard the rats in the roof since the wasps moved in.
 
Posts: 9
Location: Snohomish county, WA
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chicken food preservation
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I apologize if this has already been covered. I think I found a Magic Bullet to protect my vegetables from those vicious rats. I made hot pepper tea and dissolved Ivory soap in the tea. And sprayed on my vegetables. Those nasty rats has not touched anything since. It has been about 5 days.
I have rats that hang out under our chicken coop. They commute from the coop to the garden every night and Sample various vegetables.
Usually my kale first.  My husband laughs because he does not understand why a rat would want something so nasty. I do not want to share my kale.
I pour boiling water over about a 1/4 cup of crushed peppers in a quart jar. Then mix liquid ivory soap in a spray bottle. This usually is a spray I would use for     repelling insects. But I thought they might no like the taste.
This year they ate an entire row of soybeans and then started on my beets and carrots. Uuugghh

If you are at last resort give it a try.
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The first thing to do is try and minimize or eliminate their food supply, compost, garbage, pet/livestock food, unused produce.

I've found staking something they like to eat (mine like apples) to the ground with a light shining on it so you can see them at night and then waiting and shooting them with an airrifle does the trick, though this may not be practical or legal in certain jurisdictions.
 
pollinator
Posts: 2230
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
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This is embarrassing,  but it might help someone.

Thought I had mice, but it turned I had rats.
Rat sized snap traps baited with tootsie rolls  killed some.
Tried oil and sugar mixed with cement.
Some was eaten.
No dying or dead rodents found.
Effects, inconclusive.
Buckets half filled with water were baited with sunflower seeds floating on the surface
This killed 2-4 a night ,then tapered off,but the seeds where still being eaten.
Hmm.
Plastic bottles of cooking
Last night my dog was scratching at our  1941 Chambers oven.
Following her lead,  we cranked up every burner and the oven, then started opening up cubbies in the stove and banging on it.
We flushed something,  but it made it under the fridge.
Flushed it again and Blue snagged it.
She took it outside and finished it.
Good dog!

That rat was big enough to jump into a bucket of water and seeds,  and back out again,and smart enough to avoid the snap traps.
During this saga I have been cleaning the basements and closets, cracking down on bedroom snacking,  and securing food in plastic,glass and by hanging it up.
I've closed up a utility chase and holes in door jambs.
All feeding of scraps to the chickens has ceased.
I'm hoping I got the only smart biggun, and any left will be smaller and dumber,but I will listen to my dog when she tells me otherwise.
I spent hours cleaning the stove with bleach,dawn and vinegar.
I will be closing off the openings with hardware cloth.
The bodies have been tossed into the back bed, for the chickens to peck at while the scratch through the pile of oak leaves.

I'm ashamed I let them get in and proliferate.
Their filth is  evident in every hidey hole of theirs I've cleaned, I wear a respirators  and gloves and use alcohol and bleach too.
The basement has been a dumping ground for the house holds junk and the rats loved it.
Inch by inch I'm getting it back.
 
pollinator
Posts: 700
Location: Chicago/San Francisco
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> inch by  inch

Yeah. We're working on that problem. Turns you into a beady-eyed ruthless fanatic with tunnel vision!


Rufus
 
master pollinator
Posts: 383
Location: Galicia, Spain zone 9a
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Thelma Mc Gowan wrote:I apologize if this has already been covered. I think I found a Magic Bullet to protect my vegetables from those vicious rats. I made hot pepper tea and dissolved Ivory soap in the tea. And sprayed on my vegetables. Those nasty rats has not touched anything since. It has been about 5 days.
I have rats that hang out under our chicken coop. They commute from the coop to the garden every night and Sample various vegetables.
Usually my kale first.  My husband laughs because he does not understand why a rat would want something so nasty. I do not want to share my kale.
I pour boiling water over about a 1/4 cup of crushed peppers in a quart jar. Then mix liquid ivory soap in a spray bottle. This usually is a spray I would use for     repelling insects. But I thought they might no like the taste.
This year they ate an entire row of soybeans and then started on my beets and carrots. Uuugghh

If you are at last resort give it a try.



Am beyond last resort! Am gonna give it a go!
 
Posts: 353
Location: Rural Unincorporated Los Angeles County Zone 10b
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We keep an annual Vermin List and tally the kills.

M for mouse
R for rat
S for squirrel
GS for ground squirrel
G for gopher
M for mole

They're all just Rats, you know.

Mice are small rats.
Squirrels are bushy tailed Rats that climb trees.
Ground squirrels are hairy tailed Rats that dig holes.
Gophers are bobtailed Rats that burrow.
and Moles are little bobtailed Rats that are shallow diggers.

It's taken years, but with a persistent combination of trapping and shooting we've actually put a local dent in the vermin population. It never ends as there are always vermin arriving from the outside, but when they come they are promptly terminated with extreme prejudice.
 
master pollinator
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We don’t have rats.

Part of it is that I never kill snakes. We have no poisonous snake species here, so we’ve no worries in that regard. Black rat snakes are our friends. One time I found a bunch of newly hatched black rat snakes in an area where we were going to start a big project. I picked the babies up and moved them all to safety while the guys were going “Ewww” and “Snakes?!?!?!” I like snakes, and there was no way I was going to let them get harmed!

Another part of it is that I never use those chicken feeders where you can dump in a 50 pound bag of pellets or grain and the chickens have food in front of them all the time. Chicken feed is stored in bins that shut tight. I ferment it one day at a time and feed the fermented feed plus the kitchen and garden scraps once per day. The chickens are fed enough, but finish it off in maybe 20 minutes or so. Those bins of dry feed / grains are like a rat smorgasbord and promote fat birds.

Indeed, all feed is stored in tightly closed bins. I am frugal. If I grow it, I want to use it. If I buy it, I want my money to go to something other than raising fat rats.

As a girl I worked on a couple farms that had rat problems. The farms shared in common feeding poultry with those gravity fed rat feeders, and storing grain out in the open, where the rats could feast, nest, pee and crap in it. I learned from that what not to do, I guess, but I just don’t want to feed rats. 🐀
 
Greg Mamishian
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We have Rattlesnakes so they get relocated away from us to an area where there are ground squirrels. Let them fight it out. The little Rattlers are the worst. They don't even try to rattle a warning, and just start striking out at anything and everything.

We call where we live "The Kingdom of the Rats".
We're just visitors in their kingdom. (lol)
 
William Bronson
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My fight continues.
My dog, it turns out,is an avid and excellent ratter,  she just needs me to flush them.
My traps are working, off and on,  and I've enhanced them, adding depth and otherwise making them hard to escape.
I have used 4" square electrical box covers, made of steel,  to closes holes.
I did one under a sink,  only to come back and find a hole twice as big.
Now that whole space is covered in aluminum parking signs....
Totally not stolen, found them on a housecleaning jobsite.

They seem desperate for food,  so I'm going to makes them some cookie dough:
flour
sugar
oil
plaster of Paris

Should set up fast in the stomach ,  won't hurt anything that eats the dead rat.
IMG_20190126_174540.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMG_20190126_174540.jpg]
Blue got this one.
 
Myrth Gardener
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I hate to be the bearer of unwelcome news, as I know folks have strong beliefs about certain traditional methods, but scientific experiments have debunked the myth of plaster of Paris as deadly poison that hardens when they drink water.

http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1030&context=vpc14
 
Amanda Launchbury-Rainey
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Right. I made chilli tea and soaked a bowl of broad bean in it before planting (replanting...) out this afternoon.  The smell of the tea had us coughing and spluttering so if the nibbly things still eat them I give up.
 
Amanda Launchbury-Rainey
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Right. I made chilli tea and soaked a bowl of broad bean in it before planting (replanting...) out this afternoon.  The smell of the tea had us coughing and spluttering so if the nibbly things still eat them I give up.
 
William Bronson
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Myrth Montana wrote:I hate to be the bearer of unwelcome news, as I know folks have strong beliefs about certain traditional methods, but scientific experiments have debunked the myth of plaster of Paris as deadly poison that hardens when they drink water.

http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1030&context=vpc14



I'm grateful for this!

From the paper:

"Plaster/Cement and Rats
Boelter (1909) states that plaster of paris (calcium
sulfate) mixed with sugar has long been recommended as a
rat poison. This bait is placed near water. When the thirsty
rat drinks, the plaster hardens in his intestinal tract and
"literally stiffens him." Fitzwater (1990) fed caged rats (Rattus
norvegicus) plaster of paris mixed 50% with their dry feed.
He also fed a mixture of portland cement in the same ratio
to a second set of rats. After 14 days on these diets, there
was no mortality in either test and the animals appeared
perfectly healthy except for sore rectums due to their large
bowel movements. It is probably safe to assume the digestive
fluids in the alimentary tract prevent these substances from
hardening. Other suggestions along this line, such as
dehydrated potatoes and bath sponge or cork pieces soaked
in butter or bacon fat, can be presumed to be equally
ineffective."
 
My pie came with a little toothpic holding up this tiny ad:
permaculture bootcamp - learn permaculture through a little hard work
https://permies.com/wiki/bootcamp
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