Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by silkiechicken, Oct 20, 2007.

  1. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Ok... So since I stared the trapping and pred removal three weeks ago, I got two coons and one possum in trade for the loss of three birds. The big cage is still set but to combat the rat problem I have 7 rat traps... well, it's been two weeks and NOTHING!!! They end up set off and bait is gone. :thun

    So today, about 2pm, I look out the window in a hunch and what do I see?!?!?! Chickens happily pecking around and a young RAT IN THE FEED!!!!! They didn't even care!!! I run out there scare the rat into the hutch and closed up the run. I didn't want to chance it escaping so I grabbed the closest pair of closed toed boots next to the sleeping cat and needless to say the rat is no more. No idea why it was out but now it is dead.

    Boot one, rat zero. Rat family still wining though.

    The pest problem seems exceptionally bad this year and just getting worse every year. I don't want to go to poisons since my birds all free range but what can I do![​IMG]
  2. Yonaton

    Yonaton Songster

    Jun 28, 2007
    West TN
    Make a wad the size of two peas from the freshest bread you can get, then stuff it real good into the bait holder hole of the trap (press some of it through and then wad it all back together as best as you can).

    Once the bread dough dries, it's too hard for the rat to just pull it out and get missed by the trap. Often it will last about 3 or 4 rats/mice before having to make a fresh wad.
  3. arlee453

    arlee453 Songster

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    What are you using for bait in the traps?

    I have waged war on rats from time to time in my kennel building, and they always seem to win the numbers game until I resorted to poison.

    Anyway, I found that peanut butter is the best bait on the snap traps.

    I wish I had more wisdom, but with my rat problem I'd catch sometimes 5 -6 rats per DAY with snap traps, but rarely would catch any of the large adults that were the breeders. I'd just catch the young, stupid ones in the snap traps.

    Finally when I used poison, I got them all. What a stink for a few days, but in the end, it worked.

    Now, at the first sign of 'visitors' out there, I put out poision. I shove it way under the concrete slab in the holes they have dug under the slab so my dogs don't get to it.

    Good luck - they are persistent and very smart pests!
  4. SandraChick

    SandraChick Songster

    I don't like poison....won't use any on my property...

    My favorite rat trap now is the rat zapper. DH thought I was crazy when I first brought it home....but it catches the rats a good 10:1 compared to snap traps! Best part is it runs on batteries so you can put it IN the coop even if you don't have electricity. I use chicken feed/scratch as bait...since that's what they're eating. (although the best bait when we were using rat traps was bits of bacon tied with thread to the treddle.)

    Now we have two and we keep one in the garage and one travels around the property on whatever whim I have(lol).....

    Dh just got a small rat last week in the garage--first one in months.....Neighbors trash piles are still "breeding" them--ARGH. Beats having to rebait snap traps regularly to keep things under control!

    Good Luck
  5. Carole AM

    Carole AM Songster

    Jan 12, 2007
    Goshen, Indiana
    I use poison, snap traps, AND I just got a Rat Zapper! I'll let you know if/when it works.
  6. helmstead

    helmstead Songster

    Mar 12, 2007
    Alfordsville, IN
    Oy. Just wait til the rats find your EGGS! Good luck in getting rid of those nasty things...I have a rat (well, hopefully HAD a rat because half the poison bar is gone) that easily ate 4 eggs a night if I didn't collect fast enough.
  7. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Yeah, I am using peanut butter topped with a marshmellow on the snap traps. I should try the bread idea. The funny thing I find is that they snap the traps, eat the bait, and I find the darned traps moved about 8 feet each time! How I have no idea.

    I am inches away from giving up and buying poison. [​IMG]

    It's getting real bad since they have burrowed into where the eggs are and I would HATE to lose the baby chick my broody is raising up to a ferocious rat.
  8. hipmarye

    hipmarye Songster

    Apr 12, 2007
    We have them too! :thun They go under the coop where feed drops through to the ground. I haven't seen them, but the kids have. They saw one in the rafters. I'm seriously thinking about poison too. If I put it up high then only the rat will get it and if it falls it won't go in the coop. Ugh! They are so gross!
  9. PurpleChicken

    PurpleChicken Tolerated.....Mostly

    Apr 6, 2007
    Try the Rat Zap. Don't resort to poison. The current poisons
    are disgusting, cruel, hard on the local wildlife, and many times
    ineffective. It takes days to kill the animal once it ingests it. If
    any other predator eats the dead rat it can also be poisoned.

    Bounce dryer sheets do a fair job of repelling rodents. They don't
    like the smell.

    This is a bad time of the year for rats. It's getting cold so they are
    heading into our houses and barns.
  10. goldntoller

    goldntoller In the Brooder

    Jun 18, 2007
    I'm far from an expert on this - I was seriously losing the mouse war in the house last year and finally got a new kitten...who caught his first indoor mouse at 4 months of age - good boy! The bait kept being taken from the snap traps, the live trap didn't catch anything, the sticky traps worked better than the snap traps but not much. What worked best? A bucket with some food in the bottom, they go in and can't get out. I don't know if this works for rats. I didn't know it worked for mice...found out quite by mistake. Maybe rats can jump?

    When we had horses we had lots of rats. Started with a snap trap, the first night we caught a rat head, the next night we caught a rat carcass....they were eating the guy caught in the trap! the next day we resorted to poison. This was 20+ years ago. I'd certainly go further now before resorting to poison.

    Yesterday I "caught" 3 mice in the duck's water basin. Worked the same as the bucket...they got in and couldn't get out even though the water was only down about an inch from the top. Chipmunks have died in our rain barrels the same way and I just about tossed my cookies the other day while cleaning and found a garbage can with about 6" of water, a very dead chipmunk and 2 slightly less dead mice in it.

    On a happier note, the girls are finally laying! Or at least one of them is. 2 eggs over 2 days. I'm thrilled [​IMG] And the pigeon kids are finally nesting again after the weasel massacre earlier this year. Two nests with 2 babies each, everyone looks hearty, I hope they have enough time to grow feathers before the weather gets too cold.


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