Please help me decide which of these methods to use for RATS

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by myback40, Sep 26, 2016.

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  1. myback40

    myback40 Out Of The Brooder

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    I. Miscellaneous background info:

    At night I can see half a dozen rats crawling around our run in the beam of my flashlight. Between my dog and me we've scared a fair few but they persist.

    I have tried: snap traps, electronic trap, cat, and various products from predatorpee.com. These rats are smart, suspicious/cautious, determined, and very numerous!

    With 7 beautiful tomato plants in the garden we got zero tomatoes this year- all eaten before ripening. We have a "chicken moat" around our garden and I have dug into several rat holes so I know they are living all over the place. I also found a nest of babies in my compost pile a few months ago. Uck.

    II. My objective: to have an ongoing rat control method since it's likely to be a chronic problem out here. Rural, with near neighbors reporting they get rats too. I am not interested in any method that is only practical for a minor rat presence.

    I also really want to avoid cruelty!!

    III. The alternatives we are now considering:

    1. Bottle/bucket method. They go after the peanut butter on the bottle held sideways on a wire over a bucket of water, fall in ,and drown. How fast is this? Do they try to tread water for hours? minutes? until, exhausted, they succumb. How humane on a scale of 1 (torture) to 5 (quick death).

    2. CO2 method. Catch rats by luring into a bucket with a lid, small hole in the lid and bait inside -- they drop in to eat and cannot get out. You attach CO2 tank (such as used for paint ball) and slowly gas them. (Alternatives: baking soda vinegar method or dry ice method.) Questions: I understand the CO2 level is critical for painless death. How hard is it to achieve the right level? Refilling the small paint ball tank costs $4.50 -- how long would that much CO2 last if I am exterminating every day for a week and then maybe once a week thereafter. Has anyone used this method in a farm situation? Cost effective? Has anyone here tried this?

    3. Plaster of paris mixed with food. How much do they suffer while the contents of their bellies harden? I know they are pests and I hate having them here, but I cannot help wanting to be humane.

    4. Shooting with air rifle or air pistol. We're not spending the night in the chicken yard, so how hard would it be to use a weapon on trapped rats, such as in the first step of the CO2 method? Is it hard to hit them? Do they generally die right away?


    I know some here will be annoyed by my concerns about humane treatment and what will be viewed as "wimpy." I apologize for taking your time. I just want to hear practical suggestions and opinions please. Thank you very much for reading my questions!
     
  2. Flock Master64

    Flock Master64 Overrun With Chickens

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    I've tried method one and it works very well
     
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  3. carlf

    carlf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just keep Decon-type bait out almost 365 days/year. Put it where pets & chickens cant get it but the rats can. Switch up brands from time to time. This has always worked well for me.

    I have never heard of using plaster of paris, I don't understand why rats would eat it???

    What are you baiting the snap traps with? Peanut butter is best. You're using rat size snap traps right?

    Shooting them with a pellet gun works if you can catch them in the open and are a good shot. If they are in a trap and you shoot them in the head with a pellet gun, death is instantaneous.

    While I hunt, trap, fish and cull my birds for meat, I do not support inhumane treatment of any animal. Any animal we kill, whether for meat or to protect our flock deserved as quick a death as possible, even rats.
    But your concern for which method is more "humane" for rats is kinda misplaced.
    They're vermin. No matter what legal method you use, your justified in protecting your flock and your harvest.
    And any legal method is much more humane than a "natural" death from disease or being squeezed to death by a snake or having its head ripper off by a weasel.
     
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  4. myback40

    myback40 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks, Flock Master. Have you observed how long it takes for them to drown? Pardon my lack of courage, but if I went out to the chicken run in the morning and heard rats splashing around and struggling to stay afloat, I think I might have nightmares for a month. Combination of having had pet mice as a child and just being overly sensitive I guess.

    Thanks again!
     
  5. Flock Master64

    Flock Master64 Overrun With Chickens

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    No i don't know how long it takes sorry
     
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  6. myback40

    myback40 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks so much CarlF for your input! I really appreciate it.

    deCon would be a dream come true if we didn't have so much wildlife I'm trying to protect, plus other pets who do stray onto our property. Secondary poisoning is just too likely. In fact our friends down the road who raise sheep lost a champion border collie who ate a poisoned, dead rat in 2015.

    In answer to your question, they eat the plaster of paris because it gets mixed with corn meal (or other food). It sounds like it would take longer than drowning, so I'm not sure I'd try it.

    I did use Victor Rat Snap traps. Tried peanut butter, bacon, and bits of apple, alone and in combination. Same with my electronic zapper. These **** rats are smart, and unlike the mouse population (who seem to explore any possible food and are easy to kill) they just wouldn't touch it.

    Thanks for the advice about the pellet gun. Seriously considering it.

    Best wishes and thanks again for your advice!
     
  7. Wickedchicken6

    Wickedchicken6 Chillin like a Villain Premium Member

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    Hi! I'm feeling your pain with the rat situation. We've been receiving more precipitation than normal for a couple years and we were flooded in 2014. It seems that it drove all the rats onto our yard site...lol.

    If you have lawn...keeping the grass trimmed and short 100% of the time helps keep them exposed, which they don't like. It works wonders with keeping mice at bay. But it still doesn't get rid of either species.

    We've used the snap traps; my husband has had moderate success with those. I've had moderate success with the smaller catch and release traps. Between the two of us we've caught over 30 rats. Now it's a competition to see who's going to catch the most.[​IMG]

    I've been purchasing the two pack traps and didn't know what to use the small ones for but set them with marshmellows. To my surprise I started catching rats! The trap is 24X7X7. Unfortunately it catches only one at a time. But I've caught 3 rats in one day in the same cage just by emptying and resetting.

    [​IMG]

    I plan to make some multi-catch traps, based loosely on the multi-catch sparrow traps/multi-catch rat traps which are very close to the same thing.
    I just haven't got my soldering gun out yet.[​IMG] You can check them out on you tube.

    Of course with my method, one has to deal with the rats after catching them. My preference is the pellet gun, one shot how I do it...so very quick and they don't know what happened. I don't want them to suffer unnecessarily either. On the odd occasion I may have to hose down the trap. That's it.

    Personally, I wish they'd just go live happily in the fields. They aren't a problem out there. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2016
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  8. myback40

    myback40 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the very interesting post! I am considering one of these (not being handy at soldering as you seem to be): http://www.livetrap.com/index.php?dispatch=products.view&product_id=31411

    I would then be faced with submersing the trapped rats under water for 2-3 minutes, which I think I could handle. I wish I could avoid spending $33 and just make a bottle/bucket trap, but I read that some rats are excellent swimmers and it might take a very long, anguishing time to drown.

    Or I can shoot them, as you do. We have an air rifle, but if we decide to shoot the rats we catch, would that be too unwieldy? A pellet pistol-- yet another expense but perhaps it's worth it. Do you use a pistol or rifle?

    What to do, what to do.

    Thanks very much!
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2016
  9. Flock Master64

    Flock Master64 Overrun With Chickens

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    You can solder? Awesome! Me too
     
  10. Wickedchicken6

    Wickedchicken6 Chillin like a Villain Premium Member

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    WARNING: Graphic description in following post.

    The traps I see for sale in the U.S., and like the one you're considering seem to be considerably heavy in their build. I like that. I've had raccoons bend the trip on the bottom by pulling stuff into the trap. At least the rats don't damage anything.

    I should note that with this trap, you may not catch the rats 100% of the time. You're already aware of how smart they can be. Right now I seem to have a couple who can get in, eat my marshmallows and get back out without getting caught. For these I will step it up to using tootsie rolls. They seem to harden and it's harder for them to eat it without tripping the trap. Hubby seems to have good luck on his snap traps with tootsie rolls...lol.

    I have never submersed an animal in that manner. I not sure I could do it that way when they're live. I use a pellet rifle and shoot them in the cage. They are incredible climbers and will be all over the inside of the cage whether you have it flat or setting upright. Hubby and I "have" moved a live rat to the live bait cage for my coyote trap...but it takes at least two people and you've got to be really careful. Rats are extremely fast, they'll be out of any opening like a flash!

    I dispatch the rats the same as I dispatch most other animals; barrel at (or pointed at in a rats case) the base of the back of the skull so the pellet will be aimed into the middle of the skull. I've provided a pic below. Normally the rat is looking down so it's an easier angle. This is the only pic that showed the rat so clearly from the side. It's the cleanest shot, there's usually very little blood (which I like very much) and it usually takes just one shot. The pupils dilate and there may be a few kicks from nerves and that's usually it. The animal is gone almost instantly. I've dispatched everything from cows to sheep to mice this way and it's my preferred method if shooting is required. I use a different method for hands on like baby lambs, pigs or baby chicks.

    I have had a couple of rats who would climb the cage on whatever side I was on and they had to be shot from the front between the eyes. They kick more and there may be more blood involved. I hope this was not too gruesome a description. I wanted to be honest with what I do and with what you may encounter.

    [​IMG]
     
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