LOL Howard...I was living in a forest, but now I only have 4 trees on 1.5 acres and only live 15 miles from Walmart. Also the road I live on is busy so I consider it the city and in all my years of rural living, I have never, ever seen a rat, so this must be the city!Not so fast. There needs to be a sequential accounting of a timeline here.
When did you move to the "city"?
Was this rat in the garage when you got there, or did it arrive after you did and after your brought in the chickens and chicken feed and perhaps other pet food as well?
There is no such thing as "a rat". Its always "rats".....as in plural. Be thinking colony and be finding out how big it is and where they are living. Seeing one rat is like the tip of an iceberg. Lots more below the surface you can't see.
But whatever the case, the usual solutions apply. Limit access to all feed....that's all feed....chicken feed, cat food, dog food and anything else they can live on? And if you feel the need, at the same time, put out poison bait blocks (in bait stations......always in locked bait stations) so that the bait blocks become the alternative food source they turn to when the other feed dries up.
PS: If that had been me, I would have plugged it with an air rifle.....but that only works if you have one. The cheap, high powered single shot springers.....like you could find at Walmart..... in a .22 caliber.......works for dispatching almost all critters you will catch in a cage trap. But so does a single shot .22 rifle with cb caps or shorts. Kills em quiet. If a person is going to set a trap....Act I......, better have something ready for Act II......the dispatch.
My chickens no longer eat inside their home , mainly because of the heat and I'm still getting everything set up since I moved. They spend their day in my large front yard under the pine tree and have since February and it's quite a distance away. So there's no food in there that I know of. My chickens mainly roost in there at night. However because I can't put my stuff in the new garage yet, it's cluttered with air compressors and other tools, so I'm sure the rodents love the mess.Haley.......
On rats in your home......the very first video shown in this series will be helpful......it is of a rat expert in CA showing all manner of things rats.......how to ID access points, how to rat proof, etc.
The rats in this series are black rats, aka, roof rats, which are different than what you likely have, which are brown or Norway rats. But process is the same.
With rats in your home, the use of poison bait blocks gets to be a problem if you kill them, and they are living in the walls or hidden spaces. You don't want that dead animal stench in your home. A dead mouse or two is one thing. An entire colony or rats is something else. So that means a couple things.......rat proofing to keep them out, then trapping program to eliminate those trapped inside. If bait blocks are used, you do that outside. Exterminator friend told me how he would do the above, PLUS he would move the colony away from the home by setting up feeding stations some distance from the home. At least a 100 feet or more if possible. Then once the food was being consumed, evidence the colony had been moved away from the home, then, and only then, did he pull the switcharoon......replace feed with bait blocks...set out there, where they die in their tunnels....out there.