Farm, Garden and The Land > Live Stock, Critters and Aquaculture

Rats from hell. Need advice.

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Last summer's corn crop brought a colony of rats from hell to my garden area, under the slab foundation of my house. 

I used the wooden snap traps and caught three rats, but only after a dozen attempts.  These guys are tricky. I even wired the bait to the traps, and they still managed to strip them clean.

So in addition to the snap traps, I bought sticky traps.  After a couple of days of no success, I went out to check again about 20 minutes ago.  Three of the traps are missing, one has two dead or mostly dead sparrows attached, and one was dragged halfway into one of the holes.  After carefully fishing the trap out, I noticed the trap had a bunch of feathers and one bloody wing attached, but the rest of the bird is gone.  My only thought is that the third sparrow became dinner.  I bet the same will come of the other two sparrows.

So, how does one defeat a band of demon rats?  I haven't tried poison.  I have three dogs, but they're fenced out of the garden area where the rats live.  Since the rats have made their home in a separate portion of the garden, I actually thought opening that portion up to the dogs may be a remedy, but I'm not sure.  They've caught rats in the past, but they had access to them.

Any advice would be great.  I'd prefer not to call an exterminator because this is a skill or trick I'd like to learn.

Lots of large baited traps in strategic locations and nail them one at a time. We had little field mice here a couple years ago that were everywhere, several small traps with peanut butter and a couple weeks later no more mice.

I would suggest you let the dogs have a shot at them first. Since they have killed rats before, at least they know what to do.

I have used d-con to eliminate mice. It was very effective. You can get their rat poison in pre loaded trays to minimize contact with the product yourself. Something like this:

The dog would be a good option but it would take a long, long time to correct you problem.  Remember you never have just one rat/mouse, you have dozens.

My dogs will also catch the occasional rat, mouse,mole, bird, rabbit, squirle.

I use rat pellets most resently this fall as the little suckers invaded the house looking for warmth.  I put a box out and in two days all the bait was gone and so were they.  The new bait has not been touched.

Since your problem is outside you could also consider a Giant Destroyer.  Its a gas bomb that will kill them. Just google it. 

BB guns are also fun. Lol

I'd turn to a not-so-friendly neighborhood cat before anything else. Definitely before I tried poison. I know some people don't like to have cats around their dogs because it irritates the dogs, but I think better that than accidentally poisoning the dog or one of them getting bitten or sick from the rats. Once the rats are gone, you could always start a patch of catnip far away from your house, and only set out cat food there to keep the cat out of your hair if it's a problem.


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