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smart pack rat

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  • smart pack rat

    We have, living in our tack room, a highly intelligent pack rat. (maybe 2!) We set up a live trap for him and he is eating the apples, cheese, and peanut butter and leaving the trap completely intact. In other words, it looks as if the little guy is outsmarting us. As much as I hate the idea of killing him (I've seen him and he's pretty cute) we cannot have him eating our saddles and such. Has anyone had experiences with this type of rat?

  • #2
    do you have a barn cat? Perhaps borrow a feline friend for a few days... that usually does the trick


    • #3
      LOL I read this and thought "ewwww, a dead rat in the Smart Pak drawer"

      My blog: Change of Pace - Retraining a standardbred via dressage


      • #4
        I had a rat in my feed room at the race track. I never saw him but knew he was in there somewhere due to the size of the droppings he was leaving all over the place. A couple weeks go by without any droppings lying around, so I figured he had moved on. It wasn't until I saw the litter box that was in the corner from when my cat was caring for her kittens that I realized he was still there, he had just gotten tidier!
        McDowell Racing Stables

        Home Away From Home


        • #5
          Having tried live traps, and "dead" traps with no success, I finally gave up and put out Decon. It took a day or two but it finally did the trick. Now I keep a steady supply, I think I'm feeding the neighborhood. As soon as there's a week's worth of quiet, someone else moves in.

          I may try the electronic.
          Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

          Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.


          • #6
            Rats are very smart. Get a LOT of traps--far more than you think you need--and bait them with something tasty for a week or so without setting them. Then set them all, and you should catch all or nearly all. They need time to lose their waryness about the traps.

            Once they snap, if you haven't caught them all, you will need to go back to baiting without setting.


            • #7
              I did the same thing... thinking of the little rat opening up each individual smart pak serving

              I would also try the electronic zapper...though if you have more than 2 or 3, they learn quickly! But you may have to bait it without turning it on at first. Also.. try a plastic owl!! seriously!!! Totally worked at my barn!! I didn't want rat poison out, becuase... I've seen what it does to dogs and cats and it ain't pretty... nor is it cheap! But Mr. Hoots does a good job. The first week I moved him around a good bit and even my smart rats decided to leave.

              But.. if you do go for rat poison.... make sure it's the anticoagulant type... we can atleast treat that type..(caught early enough) the other type cause brain swelling and is really really hard to treat if they get a lethal dose!


              • #8
                I've had some (moderate) success with those "pest repellers" (the electronic devices). Ofcourse, there are cats around too (a few ferals), but really, most of it is the repeller.. it keeps them away. the cats get the few that still come. (On a plus side.. the thing also repels bats. Haven't had any bats in the barn in a year!!! which is good bc I can deal with just about anything.. except bats, they scare the beejeezies out of me. And I ofcourse have a neighbor who actually has nesting boxes for them , away from her house, on the property line.. so we have hundreds. I am okay with them outside, but it freaks me out when they come inside).
                "Sadly, some people's greatest skill, is being an idiot". (facebook profile pic I saw).


                • #9
                  We had one in my feed room...

                  ... which is where my barn cat also lives!
                  He was hoarding the cat food and stashing it everywhere you could think of: in ski boots, corners, boxes. He had also shredded some items to make himself a nice cozy nest.
                  We bought a rat trap (giant mouse trap), and he set it off and got the prize.

                  So we screwed the trap to the shelving and BINGO, bye-bye Mr. Rat!
                  "When life gives you scurvy, make lemonade."


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by merrygoround View Post
                    Having tried live traps, and "dead" traps with no success, I finally gave up and put out Decon.
                    I would NOT try Decon anywhere near your barn. We did, and we put it where the horses could not get to it and we ended up with a horse that ingested Decon anyway (we think the cat dragged the box out of the hay loft and into the barn -- far fetched, but we found the box in a stall). Horse was put on Vit K (injections and oral solution) and it ran us over $1000, but thank goodness he's fine.

                    I'll stick with my barn cat, traps and zappers. NO MORE POISON!!!
                    If you cannot set a good example, at least serve as a terrible warning....


                    • #11
                      Maybe you could borrow a terrier, like a Jack Russell, or a rat terrier. I'd also suggest a snake, but I don't think you can buy or rent a blacksnake anywhere!
                      I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry


                      • #12
                        If it is a true Pack Rat, I think they are actually a member of the squirrel family rather than a true rat. Is he a kinda pretty brown with big eyes and a moderately bushy tail? We have been able to catch them with live catch traps but they are really smart. I have the kind of trap that has a rod from the trip plate to a loopy thingy that holds the part that lets the door slam. I had to just barely start the rod into the loopy thingy so it didn't take much to trip the trap and then I got the little fella. That and I think I used peaches, peanut butter and probably cat food too as bait. I relocated him to a more suitable location.
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