rat problem. warning talking about killing many rodents.

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Grim, Jan 26, 2011.

  1. Grim

    Grim Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 26, 2011
    Ok so they aren't a problem i don't know how to deal with. i have a barn with various feeds in it. currently i use a verity if rat control methods.

    1) steel traps on the rafters, unbaited. when i feed up in the morning i have 10 to 15 dead rats hanging from the rafters. they use the rafters as highways.
    2) barrel traps. 55 gallon drums with a inch of feed in the bottom under steps and close to work benches. i have 4. rat jumps in and can't get out. you've heard of shooting fish in a barrel. i shoot rats in a barrel. maybe 10 to 30 in each barrel each morning.
    3) assorted regular rat traps. hit and miss on catching them. use peanuts held on with bread ties.
    4) 4 cats. i never feed them but i suspect the lazy jokers are eating the rats i kill in the traps instead of working for a living. i usually just throw the rats out the door.
    5) redneck games. a cooler of beer, a flashlight, and a pistol with rat shot. yes i'm easily amused.
    6) 1 barn owl. for now i'm letting him stay in the barn. if he takes a biddy this spring then he's getting evicted.

    what i want to know is any other ideas of getting rid of these vermin. no poison. i'm all for catch and release on animals that haven't harmed me or mine yet, however rats die. i know i'll probably never get rid of all of them. i just thought i'd ask fresh minds for suggestions.
     
  2. dirtsaver

    dirtsaver Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 20, 2010
    Northern Kentucky
    Continue the program as you are doing now. When the weather stays above freezing temps at night put a foot or so of water in barrels and locate them as you do now. The rats will drown and save you time and ammo. Otherwise there are not many other options for posion-free rat control.

    Larry
     
  3. Chicken.Lytle

    Chicken.Lytle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Suggestions? I'm going to use your ideas.
     
  4. Grim

    Grim Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 26, 2011
    2 problems with the drowning idea. first my barrels are holey. second rats can tread water for 3 days. they are almost as bad as roaches. one of the few creatures found on test islands alive after nuke testing in the 50's.

    thanks for the idea though.
     
  5. patman75

    patman75 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I like your list. #5 sounds like lots of fun.

    A high power pellet gun with a night vison scope could be fun too.
    A pet weasel instead of the lazy cats. But once the rats are gone the chickens would be next on the menu.
    Securing all the feed, I know this is probably impossible.
     
  6. clairabean

    clairabean Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 7, 2010
    Kootenays of BC!
    Wow, why do you have so many rats? All your feed is secure?
     
  7. Grim

    Grim Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 26, 2011
    cows, horses, pigs, goats, turkeys, chickens, and dogs. all the feed is stored in there. some in drums. but others in sacks, ect. lots of hay too. rats breed like..... well rats. i have to keep lots of feed on site and have no way to keep the rats out of all of it.

    edit. another fun fact about rats. they can chew through concrete. it's almost impossible to secure anything against them.

    and like you said weasels would kill the rats but my chickens would be on the menu too and as soon as i found a headless chicken it's be a dead weasel.

    thanks for the suggestions though.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2011
  8. dirtsaver

    dirtsaver Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Grim I was thinking new barrels because of your current "target practice". You educated me too. I did not know rats could swim that long. I knew mice would drown that way and figured rats would too!

    Thanks!
    Larry
     
  9. Grim

    Grim Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 26, 2011
    i've been fighting this war for a while. know your enemy!! they learned that bit of info in WWI when rescuing sunken ship survivors. they would see rats still swimming in the water with the people after 3 days at sea.
     
  10. dewey

    dewey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    north of eternity
    Wow. How big is your operation? The family cattle/hay ranch up north is 2000 acres and produces millions of pounds of hay yearly and ran over 300 cows for generations, in addition to their calves plus bulls, and those numbers in vermin are unheard of in the feed barns.

    Rodent control is always a challenge, and up to 40 trapped rats per day would be cause for taking extended measures to protect humans and livestock from disease, not to mention the possible loss of tons of feed and money yearly from a rodent infestation of that size. It's a small operation compared to many others but there's no way the ranch could ever survive that type of loss, nor could larger ones I would think.

    Cat's cannot keep up with that number of breeding rats, and hungry cats are rarely lazy when it comes to survival, it's just that many cats can't take on rats or even make a dent when there's an infestation of that size. Just tossing the dead rats might be feeding some of the hungry cats but it also provides even more food for the rats to thrive on...no less the feeding stations provided by the ones that die naturally in the walls. In our experience baited traps produce trap-shy rodents after a very short while and so become mostly ineffective over time, plus, unless emptied daily the traps become feeding stations for the rats (keeping up with a few hundred traps each day is a full day's work for a couple of people that's better spent on haying or calving) and with spilled feed or uncontained feed available rodents have little need for bait in traps. Shooting the ones seen or caught in live traps isn't really a drop a bucket since the nests are unharmed and alive and well and there's many more hidden breeding adults (and growing babies) than will ever be seen or caught in traps.

    Short of glueing up the walls it sounds like getting the infestation under control using other options initially may be something to seriously consider in order to give you a fighting chance to keep up with them in the long run. Then keeping them under control by the other methods might be effective.

    Good luck and all the best.
     

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