Rat in my chicken run :( Anyone use peppermint or spearmint oil as rat repellent?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by drkracker, Sep 19, 2014.

  1. drkracker

    drkracker Out Of The Brooder

    17
    0
    24
    May 24, 2014
    Michigan
    This morning I found a big 'ol rat wandering in my chicken run. I have not seen them around before and now I am worried. The chickens were safe in their coop (it is a raised coop, 4 ft. off of the ground, and really...I need to get another job to pay for all of the hardware cloth I've used in building it!!). I'm thinking that it must have come in from the run roof. I haven't finished that part of the project yet :( but will be doing so today! I'm wondering if anyone has had success using essential oils (mint) as a rat repellent? I really, really don't want them around the hens, or me!
     
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Um, no. It really doesn't work. What does better is to cut all tall grass and remove piles of lumber, trash and such from anywhere near the coops. Don't give them a place to congregate and hide. And maybe a cat would help as well.
     
  3. skunknchatter

    skunknchatter Chillin' With My Peeps

    364
    22
    153
    Aug 19, 2007
    Northern Utah
    Go adopt the biggest scruffy looking cat you can find. Our cats have been killing voles by the bucket full this summer.
     
  4. Howlet

    Howlet Chillin' With My Peeps

    317
    13
    83
    Jul 31, 2014
    Maryland
    My Coop
    a cat or a tomahawk x3 or a dog since it sounds like you have a run??
     
  5. jentralala

    jentralala Chillin' With My Peeps

    92
    16
    51
    May 1, 2014
    x2 kitty if you can! Our cat has demolished the rat population, and the snake population. She's awesome at her job, and has 0 interest in the chickens. Just get one that is spayed/neutered to keep from contributing to the extreme over population :) You could also make some of those diy bucket traps, which I think are safe to use around chickens.
     
  6. drkracker

    drkracker Out Of The Brooder

    17
    0
    24
    May 24, 2014
    Michigan
    Thank you everyone! I may have to put out some traps. I'm surrounded by woods (and some swampy area) so there are a lot of places for rodents to hide. Oddly enough, I've been so worried about coyotes, foxes, and raccoon it never occurred to me to worry about rats. Ick. Unfortunately, a cat is not an option for my family (a great idea though). We do have three dogs; maybe they will just have to start patrolling the area more.
    I was curious about the mint thing because I had read that some people use it inside their coops to deter mice and rats.
    I really do appreciate the input!
     
  7. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    I did do the mint route, all in a stand up crawl space that I could not completely block off from rodent intrusion. It was everywhere in there. The mice set up housekeeping in the insulation and ignored all the mint I had in there. Heck, they probably used it in their nests, LOL.
     
  8. drkracker

    drkracker Out Of The Brooder

    17
    0
    24
    May 24, 2014
    Michigan
    lol. Well, I suppose on a positive note it smelled really nice!
     
  9. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Yeah, it sort of did for awhile, LOL. Then, we rebuilt the door to be solid and a hardware cloth covered window so they couldn't get in. And had to remove all the insulation from there. Boy, was that nasty! Still haven't put it back. That area runs under the master bedroom and the kitchen so I certainly didn't want mice partying under my feet all night, ick.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by