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Rats

Discussion in 'The Homestead' started by Tony, Mar 18, 2019.

  1. Tony

    Tony White bear (Admin)
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    We have a bit of a rat problem at the moment, we're next to a stream and wooded grazing ground for cattle, I've got a shed and another woodshed etc in the corner of my back yard, it's also where the kids rabbits are. Over the last while the rat population seems to have increased loads, I know Rats breed bast etc but for years I've just shot the odd one, we've had poison out etc and all's been good.

    However, at the moment we're seeing lots of them, the poison doesn't seem to be enough (and we have it out in numerous places, it's also good quality) and shotting the odd one really doesn't have a huge impact. I've not generally used traps but I'm happy to, anyone here had success with them?

    At the moment I'm inclined to get some traps, maybe put more poison down and sit for a while with the air rifle each day...

    Any other suggestions?
     
  2. Toddy

    Toddy Mod
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    We had them in our compost bins. We live next to a strip of woodland that runs along side a burn.

    We tried the poison bait, it takes days to kill them unless you get a 'vermin exterminator' in who has access to more lethal stuff.
    Then we bought the snap traps. Those work, and are easy to empty, clean and bait, and they killed the rats, dead. No fuss or bother.
    Ours are like these ones, but in black
    https://www.screwfix.com/p/stv-pest-free-ultra-power-rat-traps-2-pack/27499

    I think if you have pipe traps they might be better though.
     
  3. Tony

    Tony White bear (Admin)
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    ha ha, pipe bombs!!!

    Thanks for the link Mary goodjob
     
  4. Toddy

    Toddy Mod
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    They tunnel, and they like to dig their tunnels running along side things like walls or pipes, or bricks. If you site the traps right you can clear out a lot of the blighters pdq.

    M
     
  5. Woody girl

    Woody girl Full Member

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    I had a rather problem a few years ago. I tried snap traps but somehow they'd take the bait without setting off the traps. For a while I had the best fed rats in the country! They were big! So I put the trap into a pipe along the run with a flowerpot on the end so it was one way and they could not take the bait from the side of the trap and evade the"kill" as they had been doing. Problem solved.
     
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  6. Toddy

    Toddy Mod
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    Mine is a vegetarian household, so there was nothing in the compost bin but weedings and peelings. We reckoned they thought they'd found a nice warm place to hole up :sigh:

    Peanut butter got the blighters almost every time :)
     
  7. Erbswurst

    Erbswurst Native

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    The main question is:
    Are they really a problem?

    Are you a farmer who looses a lot of animal food, because the rats steal it?

    I like them. They don't do anything bad to me. Why should I kill them?

    The only thing that really helps against them is a big cat which runs around the house in the late evening and early morning. It kills the small ones, the life time of a Rattus Norwegicus is between 2,5 and 3,5 years.
     
  8. Macaroon

    Macaroon A bemused & bewildered

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    Come back and tell us all about how nice they are if you have the misfortune to contract leptospirosis, eh? A life-changing disease on a par with tick-born infections like Lyme disease, amongst others; although Weill's disease (lepto.) is even more common now and is a real danger to those exposed to it. If you have rats you're exposed.
     
  9. Nomad64

    Nomad64 Full Member

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    Really not a fan of rat poisons as even the modern ones seem to have the potential to harm raptors and other predators/scavengers.

    https://www.barnowltrust.org.uk/hazards-solutions/rodenticides/background-rat-poison-problem/

    Also don’t like the open traps and prefer these which are in a dual purpose poison/trap type tunnel box and have been doing a decent job of keeping the rat population (culled rats are put in fenceposts for the rooks, buzzards and kites) down around the animal feed with less risk of bycatch.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Roshield-External-Snap-Trap-Control/dp/B00XL33EB0/ref=sr_1_9?crid=1SZ2AB6NRBJXW&keywords=rat+trap&qid=1552914518&s=gateway&sprefix=Rat+tra,aps,341&sr=8-9&th=1

    At the risk of hijacking the thread, we have a bit of a grey squirrel problem and I have been looking at getting a trap. The Kania 2000 looks like it would do the job but even with the additional tunnel, seems to me to have a risk of catching woodpeckers, nuthatches, treecreepers and other native wildlife that likes checking out nooks and crannies on tree trunks.

    http://www.squirreltrap.co.uk/springtraps.html

    Does anyone have any experience of using these or the fancy new NZ CO2 powered traps which have just been approved for use in England & Wales - does anyone have any experience of these and whether other things can get caught?

    https://www.fourteenacre.co.uk/shop/goodnature-a18-squirrel-trap/

    Yes I have an air rifle but am a bit busy at the moment! :)
     
  10. santaman2000

    santaman2000 M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Snakes do a pretty good job..
     
  11. Damascus

    Damascus Native

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    Hi Tony

    Your rat problem, this may sound simple but it is, you said the poisons kept them at bay, change the poison. Rats and mice breed at an alarming rate and those that have ingested poison and survived pass on this to their off spring. If I have had great success in the past, when it drops off, swop poisons and you’ll find it may well be effective again.
    Poisons, go to most farm stores, they will hold various poisons which are used by the trade and try something else, the poison bags are great but buy loose it works out less expensive.

    Dave
     
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  12. slowworm

    slowworm Settler

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    I also don't like or use poison as we have a large number of owls about and they visit the garden frequently.

    I use various traps, all positioned safely, and often baited for a while without setting so the rats get used to them.

    We don't seem to have many but they are crafty little blighters who don't often get trapped. I am considering the good nature trap for rats if they increase much.

    As for squirrels, I've had better luck with these traps than the Kania: https://www.fourteenacre.co.uk/shop/fineren-bodygrip-box-for-squirrels/
     
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  13. slowworm

    slowworm Settler

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    I've wondered about this. Are all rats carriers, or like ticks, only a small percentage?
     
  14. Tony

    Tony White bear (Admin)
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    Yeah, good point Dave, we get our poison from the farm shop so it's not a problem getting something else to mix it up.

    Yes.
     
  15. chandelierman

    chandelierman Full Member

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    If you are not already a member then get on the airgun forums ....there would be plenty of people on there willing to come and help you shoot them ....I know I would :) but I live in Southend on sea
     
  16. Macaroon

    Macaroon A bemused & bewildered

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    Last I read about the situation it seems to be likely that upwards of fifty per cent of the rat population of any given area in Europe will carry the disease; and it's also present in some cattle and will be passed to humans through contact with urine from an infected animal.

    The upsides are that the infection can't survive at under 4 degrees C., nor in dry conditions, and won't survive contact with even the mildest of chemicals, i.e. good soap etc. That's fine if the rats are not in your immediate
    domestic environment as you can measure the risk and act accordingly. When they are right there where you and your family live, play and perhaps grow your food, it's not possible to measure the risk as you'd need to assume it was ever present.
     
  17. Broch

    Broch Full Member

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    You are 530 times more likely to be seriously injured or killed on our roads than get Leptospirosis - though 4 times more likely in France! However, one of our dogs did die of it when I was a kid. There are loads of things that are bad for you out there and simple precautions are best; killing carriers will only work if you exterminate and that's very difficult.

    The odd rat I can put up with but they soon reach pest numbers where they destroy all sorts of stuff including stored food stuff, leather, outdoor furniture and covers etc. etc.

    I would use traps; I have seen the results of secondary poisoning in barn owls.
     
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  18. slowworm

    slowworm Settler

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    Interesting, thanks. The problem with rats is they will be everywhere, so I doubt even poisoning them with something decent will reduce the numbers much.

    We don't have any neighbours and don't have mains drainage and some of the rats I've caught seem to be in very good condition so I was curious if they're likely to be carrying just as many diseases as your average sewer rat.
     
  19. Erbswurst

    Erbswurst Native

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    Another option probably would be to look where they live and to digg them out.

    Pay attention, that they can't bite you!

    Usually they go somewhere else, if theyr house is destroyed.
     
  20. tankie

    tankie Forager

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    If you can find where they are nesting smoke them out using a small 2 stoke engine , typically an old chain saw with the exhaust extended and a hose on it placed down one of their holes, this system is used around this area when using terriers
     
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