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Rats!! - Literally

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  • Rats!! - Literally

    I have lived at our current farm for about 2.5 years now. While I have seen occasional evidence of rats, in the past I used to have success putting poison out in a bait box (from TSC, big enough for rats, too small for the dogs and barn cats).

    This was a much harder winter than we are used to and I guess the message got out to all the area rats to come to my barn for good eating. Well, the rats set up shop under the barn foundation and still have refused to go back to where they originally came from. I have added a second poison box (shed is 14' x 50') on the other end of the shed, but my rat problem is not going away. I am seeing rat holes everywhere and lately the rats have become so bold that I am seeing them as well!

    The stalls, shed and paddock by the barn are all picked daily. My manure goes into a spreader and is spread daily on the pastures and away from the barn. There is hay and I am sure the horses spill some grain while eating. The grain is kept in pest safe containers. The barn cats have a bowl of kibble up on a table.

    I already have 2 barn cats that are not doing anything about the rats and I have 2 dogs also. The one dog loves to hunt them (the rats, he's scared of the cats!), but despite his best intentions, he is not having any success.

    I don't want any more cats or dogs, so a better hunter is not an option. I want to keep the cats and dogs I already have so am afraid to put out rat poison that is not in the bait boxes. I am squeamish about finding a not dead yet rat in a snap trap and I find the sticky traps pretty unpallatable as well.

    What else to do? Is there a more effective poison? I use the poison that TSC sells. Are they eating something else beside the poison? What has worked for others? I never had rats in my 10+ years at my last farm and I am keeping the new farm as clean as the old farm. Help, I hate the rats!
    Annabelle Mayr, Arcadia Farm
    Home of Fitz, Austria & Erin
    Now over the Rainbow Bridge: Daeo, Max, Finn, Jake, Seamus & Pleasure

  • #2
    Time to call in the pros! I was in your shape, everyone had great advice, I tried it all... but after a few months, the rats were so plentiful & bold they were literally having "rat jamborees" out in front of the barn at a certain time of the evening. It would have been funny, were I not so desperate!

    I even feel sorry for the little buggers, I mean I know a friend who had a pet rat, it was sweet.

    But this couldn't go on, so I called Western Exterminators. 5 men driving white vans and wearing white coats showed up and in a few days, not a rat to be seen. It cost like $800 but they kept coming for a year to be sure I was clean.

    It seemed like a lot but once you have reached infestation stage it was worth it!!!


    • #3
      I just dealt with this too, I ended up buying a bucket of bait blocks and dropping them behind places that cats, chickens, and kids could not get too- in fact if I looked in the right spot I could watch the rats taking them back to thier holes. 2 buckets of blocks, a bb gun, and a couple weeks later and all rats are dead and gone. I do remember on the chicken website that someone used a 3 to 4 inch pvc pipe that was about 10ft long and cut in half and each pice attached to a short T that had a removeable cap. they put hte blocks in the short T part and capped it, and then the rats had to enter through the pipe to eat it...that way the other animals could not get to the blocks...


      • #4

        We had this problem. We had a barn cat get sick from eating a mouse that was poisoned so my S/O banned all rat poison. So our rat population has been building for two years.

        Well, we had a HUGE rat problem this winter and spring. They were as big as a woman's shoe - literally! And there were so many of them. And the damage they did, the tearing and splintering of wood, holes, ripping out of insulation, etc.

        We tried every rat poison but nothing worked. I think they treated the TSC poison as if we put out hors d'oeuvres for them.

        My brother found this stuff called Zap Rat. It is for the larger rats. Apparently the stuff you buy at TSC or feed stores (the green pellets and other things) is just not strong enough to kill very large rats.

        We put this Zap Rat out (away from all pets!!!) and it killed them in one day. There were dead bodies everywhere. These rats were really too large for cats to eat anyway so I didn't worry about cats gnawing on all the carnage.

        We locked the poison piles in the feed stall and our winter duck stall which was chock 'o' block of rat damage. I just didn't want the cats walking through the poison and licking it off their feet.

        Anyway, my brother found Zap Rat online. Not sure where but I'm sure you can google it. We have not found it locally.

        Good luck. I felt bad killing these things but if you saw the damage they did that we'll now probably have to spend hundreds to repair, it is well worth the cost of whatever Zap Rat costs. Again, good luck.
        Sorry! But that barn smell is my aromatherapy!
        One of our horsey bumper stickers! www.horsehollowpress.com
        Add Very Funny Horse Bumper Stickers on facebook


        • #5
          yeah, rats have to be the worst.........at some point, they get to large for the cats to even consider attacking.......
          the only bad thing about effective bait, is finding the dead bodies by surprize, or following your nose to a rotting carcass....
          does a pest control place take the bodies if they have a contract on your place for a year?.....yuck....


          • #6
            have lost a cat who ate a poisoned rat. ( neighbours used poison until they killed one of their $$$$ pedigreed shutzhunds from the same problem)

            and now a lot of rats are relatively resistant to the poisons that are legal for use, because the poisons have been in use for so long that resistant rats have survived smaller doses and are living to breed even more resistant super rats.

            Professional pest control is worth it. The ones around here, some advertise a "green service" that does not use any poisons, but involves setting multiple baited traps and capturing them and taking them away to kill them. They check the traps every 2 or 3 days.

            Also, get some fiberglas insulation and whenever a new rathole appears, stuff it with fiberglas. The animals don't like the glass fibers and will generally not eat through it. Forces them to move on. Used to work for the rats in my old student apartment.
            "The Threat of Internet Ignorance: ... we are witnessing the rise of an age of equestrian disinformation, one where a trusting public can graze on nonsense packaged to look like fact."-LRG-AF


            • #7

              "Also, get some fiberglas insulation and whenever a new rathole appears, stuff it with fiberglas. The animals don't like the glass fibers and will generally not eat through it. Forces them to move on. Used to work for the rats in my old student apartment."

              They made nests in our fiberglass insulation. This did not work for us.
              Sorry! But that barn smell is my aromatherapy!
              One of our horsey bumper stickers! www.horsehollowpress.com
              Add Very Funny Horse Bumper Stickers on facebook


              • #8
                Originally posted by pines4equines View Post
                "Also, get some fiberglas insulation and whenever a new rathole appears, stuff it with fiberglas. The animals don't like the glass fibers and will generally not eat through it. Forces them to move on. Used to work for the rats in my old student apartment."

                They made nests in our fiberglass insulation. This did not work for us.
                I am sorry but that is too funny! I guess the new super rats are resistant to that too! ( Been a long time since I was a student!)
                "The Threat of Internet Ignorance: ... we are witnessing the rise of an age of equestrian disinformation, one where a trusting public can graze on nonsense packaged to look like fact."-LRG-AF


                • #9
                  one thing rats are not resistant to= rat traps. Go get the big snap traps, not the little mouse ones. I mean the big mothers.

                  Get some shoe boxes, Cut the end out and put upside down on trap. Rat has to go in and will get snapped. Bait it with something ripe and tastey. Begin the slaughter.
                  ...don't sh** where you eat...


                  • #10

                    I'm just posting if you have the mother of all rats like we did. Those large rat traps...believe it or not...were too small for our rats.

                    We even tried the zapper traps. The kind where you use batteries to actually electrocute the mice and rats when they crawl in. Again, our rats were too big. They crawled in, grabbed the treat and back legs were sticking out so they were able to get out.

                    I'm telling you, if your rats were as big as a woman's shoe...get the Zap Rat. In one day, they were dead.

                    One thing we did was to take a large, heavy wooden box. Cut a hole big enough for a rat to crawl in. Place this over the Zap Rat...usually right on top of the rat hole. It kept other animals away but the rat was able to get in and out. Again, make the hole big enough to fit a woman's shoe through. And place something heavy on top so other animals can not move the box.

                    Or simply, lock it in a feed stall or somewhere other animals can't get to it. It is tough stuff.

                    Good luck. We were battling these things for 6 months and tried stuff for moles and gophers but this Zap Rat killed the beasts.
                    Sorry! But that barn smell is my aromatherapy!
                    One of our horsey bumper stickers! www.horsehollowpress.com
                    Add Very Funny Horse Bumper Stickers on facebook


                    • #11

                      I am so glad I live in Rat Free Alberta. I have never seen a wild rat, and I hope I never have to.


                      • #12
                        Yup, after the winter we have had and the wet wet spring, rats are plentiful here at Sunkissed as well. And since they burned my barn down once, they cant stay no matter what. They are too big for the cats, to fast for the dogs and so, poison it will be. They do a ton of damage under stall matts digging in the gravel. Thats where I will put the poison.
                        Our horses are not seen as the old and disabled they may have become, but rather as the mighty steeds they once believed themselves to be.

                        Sunkissed Acres Rescue and Retirement