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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr. 9, 2008
    Posts
    213

    Default RATS!

    I have lived on my farm for almost 10 years and have never had any rats. That was because I had the worlds BEST rat dog...
    Now that I've lost my dog, I saw my first Rat tonight when I did my night check. What is the best way to get rid of rats WITHOUT endangering dogs, birds, etc? Ugh!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr. 6, 2006
    Location
    Plainview, MN
    Posts
    3,579

    Default

    Get another ratter

    Could try a live trap. Good luck if you actually catch one.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun. 6, 2007
    Posts
    1,962

    Default

    You can only trap one...
    (they are very smart about that!)
    * <-- RR Certified Gold Star {) <-- RR Golden Croissant Award
    Training Tip of the Day: If you can’t beat your best competitor, buy his horse.
    NO! What was the question?



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct. 26, 2003
    Posts
    1,910

    Default

    Agreed, you need another ratter. Was yours a JR?



  5. #5
    Join Date
    May. 9, 2001
    Location
    Lake County, IL
    Posts
    1,248

    Default

    There were rats in our barn. We tried EVERYTHING. We even hired a lady with a JRT to come in and let the dog loose. It took care of the problem for a while, but then the rats came back.

    The rats finally moved out and have been gone because a weasel took up residence. He or she went through and decimated the rat population, and the survivors got up and left. Luckily the weasel moved on, or else we would have taken him out if the chickens started disappearing.

    I am not aware of "Weasel Rental" listings in the phone book, though.
    Illinois Equine Attorney - www.zipptocourt.com



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec. 15, 2005
    Posts
    3,656

    Default

    Hire a good fox, a large black snake, and a few hawks. We had cats, who were useless. A neighbor kid kept bringing us lovely, large, black snakes. They worked well until they hibernated when it got cold, and the vermin returned. For the last year, we have had a wonderful fox who is occasionally assisted by a pair of small hawks. We no longer have rats, sparrows, or squirrels in our feed room. It is wonderful. Now, if we could just teach those foxes to read, we could have a help wanted section on COTH for working wildlife.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan. 1, 2008
    Posts
    4,916

    Default

    I keep my cats in the house now but my Corgis do a pretty good job of killing rats around my place.

    Here's a trick that works sometimes: buy a metal garbage can. Leave the top off. Scatter some grain in the bottom of the can. The rats/mice will jump in to get the grain, but they can't get out. I used to drop a cat in the can to take care of the problem but I suppose a pitchfork would do..



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar. 5, 2008
    Location
    Hagerstown, MD
    Posts
    243

    Default

    I found a bait that was not poisonous. It was corn based - after the rat ate it, after drinking, the corn would swell and the stomach would burst. Rats cannot vomit - that's why it works. But dogs and cats can, so no harm. Sounds gross, but it DID work!!!!

    Good luck - I find rats much more offensive than mice and when I had some in the barn I became OCD about it - like Bill Murray in the golf movie going after the groundhog!



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep. 13, 2006
    Location
    At the back of the line
    Posts
    4,016

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcella View Post
    I am not aware of "Weasel Rental" listings in the phone book, though.
    Cottage industry opp! Work from home...err barn...err farm...
    “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” Peter Drucker



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2009
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    211

    Default

    A few years ago I moved into a very old apartment. It was beautiful with high ceilings, crown molding and hardwoods throughout...never thought anything could go wrong...Until I was sitting in the kitchen one DAY. I had just made a batch of brownies and had them cooling on the counter. I was sitting at my desk on one side of the kitchen checking my email when all of a sudden I heard a dreadful noise coming from behind my fridge. I slowly turned to look at that corner of the kitchen afraid of what I was about to witness. The cord to the fridge was plugged in above my counter and it was moving and shaking violently. I thought I was being invaded by aliens that were transporting themselves from their world to behind my refrigerator and making their way up to the counter via the power cord. I was in shock. I couldnt breath, I couldnt even blink! The noise was so loud, it truly sounded like a small person or a gnome was climbing the cord. I swear I could hear huffing and puffing. After a few moments of this terrifying nonsense a HUGE RAT popped up over the counter! He stood up on his back legs, looked around and wiggled his nose. He then proceeded to scamper over to my brownies and jumped into the pan and started eating! I couldnt move I was so in shock that an enormous rat was sitting in my pan of brownies, stuffing his face in broad daylight. Finally, I managed to say something, "excuse me", I think and that rat took off and flung himself off of the counter to behind the fridge. I heard him hit the ground with a thump and then crawl through my cabinets to the outdoors, I guess. The next week I adopted a little black cat and never heard from the fat rat again!



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov. 7, 2008
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    2,323

    Default

    One aspect that's important in managing 'pests' of any type is making your place as inhospitable as possible. Granted, this is difficult to do in a stable environment because you HAVE to put feed out for horses and they don't sweep up after themselves, but as much as possible you want to clean up spills and store things in rodent-unfriendly containers. (Note that my pet rats quite happily chewed through some fairly thick plastic to get at treats once, so I'd go for metal or glass storage whenever possible over plastic bins.)

    Also clean up/out anything they might be using as bedding, and regularly clean behind things like trunks and bins to make the spaces they use as paths as exposed as possible.

    Finally, including stuff they don't like the smell of can help as a deterrent (but again, it's ONLY a deterrent - if your place is otherwise ratty heaven, they're gonna be there anyway.) Examples would be used cat litter (smells like a cat is around), mint essential oil (they supposedly don't like the smell), and I've had success with used rat bedding when I had pet rats and we got mice. (Rats can and will attack mice, so I guess the smell of a rat around puts the mice off.)



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr. 9, 2008
    Posts
    213

    Default

    Yes, the wonderful ratter I lost was a JR. The ones I have now don't have a clue. The have enthusiasm but no follow through.
    My barn is as clean as a barn can be, so there are no "welcome home" sites for rodents.
    Our local fox has moved away (you should see the rabbit population!)and the hawks just aren't getting the job done.
    I will try the trap tonight...



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb. 17, 2009
    Posts
    1,359

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TheRedFox View Post
    A few years ago I moved into a very old apartment. It was beautiful with high ceilings, crown molding and hardwoods throughout...never thought anything could go wrong...Until I was sitting in the kitchen one DAY. I had just made a batch of brownies and had them cooling on the counter. I was sitting at my desk on one side of the kitchen checking my email when all of a sudden I heard a dreadful noise coming from behind my fridge. I slowly turned to look at that corner of the kitchen afraid of what I was about to witness. The cord to the fridge was plugged in above my counter and it was moving and shaking violently. I thought I was being invaded by aliens that were transporting themselves from their world to behind my refrigerator and making their way up to the counter via the power cord. I was in shock. I couldnt breath, I couldnt even blink! The noise was so loud, it truly sounded like a small person or a gnome was climbing the cord. I swear I could hear huffing and puffing. After a few moments of this terrifying nonsense a HUGE RAT popped up over the counter! He stood up on his back legs, looked around and wiggled his nose. He then proceeded to scamper over to my brownies and jumped into the pan and started eating! I couldnt move I was so in shock that an enormous rat was sitting in my pan of brownies, stuffing his face in broad daylight. Finally, I managed to say something, "excuse me", I think and that rat took off and flung himself off of the counter to behind the fridge. I heard him hit the ground with a thump and then crawl through my cabinets to the outdoors, I guess. The next week I adopted a little black cat and never heard from the fat rat again!

    That was so friggen funny to read in a no so funny situation! You said "Excuse Me" LOL. I wouldn't have been able to say anything let alone move!



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2009
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    211

    Default

    Yeah, I have no idea why I said "excuse me?"..I was thinking Oh Sh*t but excuse me is what came out...very rarely does that happen, it's usually the other way around.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    43,102

    Default

    I have never seen aliens behind refrigerators, but never say never.

    Every time you see a RAT, there are more around, they are very social.

    We have generic dark brown rats, some about the size of my 10 lb rat terrier.
    She runs them down and dispatches them, but for every rat out there, well, there are many more.
    You may not see them for years, but they are there, just so shy and nocturnal that they are hard to see.
    Ours live out in the grass pastures and come to the barn in the winter and not that many or often.
    The trouble with them and mice is that snakes come right behind them, for a rat or mice snack.
    That's ok, if those snakes were not mostly rattlers.

    I am still wondering if the rat sighting in the brownies was not an alien in disguise.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2009
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    211

    Default

    I swear I have never seen a rat that big before. You could definitely be on to something...it may very well have been an alien in a rat suit. I suppose the moral of my story is: If you have rats or aliens dressing up like rats, a cat is sure to solve the problem.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb. 16, 2006
    Posts
    718

    Default

    My first riding instructor had poodles. They were awesome ratters, even the itty bitty tea cup poodle would go after a rat! It was funny though they would dig and dig til they got them, once they caught the scent there was no getting them away from it.
    The View from Here



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2009
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    211

    Default

    Oh, Jasmine! That's revolting but kinda funny



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr. 9, 2008
    Posts
    213

    Default

    Well, no success last night. Will try peanut butter tonight...



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun. 9, 2009
    Location
    The Frozen Tundra
    Posts
    670

    Default

    you could try baiting the traps with wet cat food too, that worked like a charm for me!

    No more traps though because my 90 lb Dobe and the 7 lb doxie from next door make an awesome ratting team (they'll go after anything really), you should see it... Big dog sniffs out a critter (often under the porch) and little dog goes in and flushes out rat, and that is the end of that!
    ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~



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