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Rats - anyone try snap traps in a box?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by itsy, Dec 20, 2011.

  1. itsy

    itsy Songster

    Mar 14, 2011
    New England
    So - Not only do we have a mouse problem, we just found out that we have a rat problem. This is what happens when you move to a house in the middle of the woods. We're here not even two months and are finding holes outside next to the base of the house... and a hole IN the outside wall....and hearing critters IN the walls in the night time. My boyfriend patched up the outside hole, but who knows what we're not seeing.

    Our landlord bought a have a hart trap this afternoon and caught this one: [​IMG] The green thing is my canoe, and I think it would be smart if we put it up on saw horses so that critters don't think it's a comfy place to live.


    But I'm going to need to take drastic measures. I was thinking of getting several of the large snap traps and setting them up in cardboard boxes with a small enough hole cut in the box for a rat, but making it small enough that the neighbors' cat can't touch them. I don't want to use poison because I'd be afraid of it getting to my chickens. We have been monitoring the amount we feed the chickens so that there isn't any waste in the evening. We also adopted two kittens about a month ago that will live inside during this lovely NY mountain winter, but will go outside as soon as the weather is warmer.

    I wish a whole colony of feral cats lived next door.

    We found out we had rats when my bf was loading his truck up with our trash to take to the dump. We keep our trash in cans with locking lids, but somehow had two rats get inside one of the bags. He saw them as he put the bag into his truck - and the rats stayed in the truck until the end of the driveway, where they jumped out.

    ::sigh:: This wasn't good news.

    I'm also thinking of doing the can covered in peanut butter on a string over a bucket - probably a plastic trash can.

  2. chickened

    chickened Crowing

    Oct 2, 2010
    western Oregon
    Cats will usually not kill adult Norway rats. Get a couple good terriers. Traps work they are just time consuming. I use the poison that requires 2 feedings for years and have never lost a bird. I put the poison where only the rat can get to it and they take it further in the ground to share. Or pen the birds for a week during poison time.
  3. gmendoza

    gmendoza Songster

    Mar 23, 2010
    Rock Hill,SC
    Thats not entirely true.My cat Scrapper( rip) ate rats and bunnies.Of course he would be resting off his meal the whole day in the shade.We have two cats to line up for his job in the acclimation coop.
  4. Tallulah Chicklet

    Tallulah Chicklet Chirping

    Dec 9, 2011
    New Haven, CT
    I have a friend who had rats... we got this repellant that you spray at the foundation, and a trap that electrocutes the rats (you put a milk crate over it so the cats don't get into it, or put it in a cat or dog carrier). Seems to be working so far.
  5. Quinn4321

    Quinn4321 Songster

    Aug 28, 2010
    P.A/M.D border, USA
    I dont mean to hijack the thread, but on a similiar subject...
    I believe I have a rat living under my coop. There are several large holes... ( my coop is raised off the ground )
    Anyways, I don't know how to get rid of it without harming my chickens....
    Poison- no... chickens might get it.
    Snap Trap- I'm afraid A chicken might put a leg in it.
    Any suggestions?
  6. peepacheep

    peepacheep Songster

    We use a combination of snap traps and 2 sizes of live traps in our barn. Over the years we have had 2 large male cats that would catch and kill rats. I am very grateful to their efforts but being gifted a freshly killed pack rat first thing in the morning is a bit of a jolt. Years ago we caught a number of gopher snakes and turned them loose under the barn. They went throughout the barn, amazing where we would find shed snake skins after that. The gopher snakes put a dent in the rodent population and are doing quite well. Not uncommon to find a group of 4 or 5 of them, four foot long, sunny themselves in the spring, there are lots of smaller ones zipping around. We do not use poison, too easy for the rodents to carry and stash the poison bait other places. Friends have lost dogs that have gotten into the stashed poison. A neighbor has had success with the zap traps.
  7. chickened

    chickened Crowing

    Oct 2, 2010
    western Oregon
    How fast can you run? You gotta take risks, poison, traps or shoot it take your pick.

  8. Ole and Lena

    Ole and Lena Songster

    Jul 22, 2011
    Wright Co Minnesota
    Snap traps will work. Your cardboard box idea will work. Unless the source of the rats is eliminated however (I'm guessing there's some unsecure grain or dogfood or birdfeeders nearby) you will have a permenant problem. I'd build some trap boxes out of cheap plywood with a hinged top. Leave a 2 1/2" opening at each end of a 10X10X18" box. Set 2 traps in each. A #1 longspring "muskrat" trap will work better and last a lot longer than the snap traps. Will also work well on Raccoons and possums if you get those.

    Fill any holes in buildings with steel wool, then spray foam shut and cover with siding. They 'usually' won't chew through steel wool. Plug burrows with lanscape rock and compacted heavy soil. Wouldn't hurt to drop a wax type poison bait (Tomcat or Hawk brand) down the burrows first. Secure any loose hay or grain or dogfood in metal cans or an old chest freezer. Pile firewood above the ground on skids on windy side of buildings (makes it unattractive for nesting). Leave up the hoods on any winterized vehicles or machinery, plug exhausts and intakes with steel wool and treat with mothballs. They just love making nests in air boxes, upholstery and mufflers of stored motorized equipt causing great damage$$$. Clean up any loose debris around the area including rotten hollow logs.
  9. clairabean

    clairabean Songster

    Nov 7, 2010
    Kootenays of BC!
    You have some great tips above.

    I don't *think* we have many rats here, but we have mice coming from our field. I have used snap mouse traps in boxes. I used cereal boxes and layed them along the wall where a mouse would scurry by. Got lots that way. I have used posion (for mice) in block form right beside my coop. The moce came and gnawed away at the block and then went back down their hole. Not probably the block (or posioned mice) would find their way to the chickens.

    Good luck sent your way for this rat killing. It may seem overwhelming now, but you can do this! [​IMG]
  10. itsy

    itsy Songster

    Mar 14, 2011
    New England
    I wanted to thank everyone for the tips.

    Unfortunately, I can't control all of the variables. My neighbor (landlord) has a very large compost pile year-round that is not turned. It has all sorts of fresh fruits and veggies and some egg shells. They don't put cooked food in, but to me - this is still a buffet for a rodent. They also have unsecured garbage containers and a wood pile that is not off the ground and is covered with a tarp. My BF split some wood for them and stacked it and we found all sorts of rodent doo doo in there. There's also a very large wood pile in a field over as well as a corn field .

    They said this is new - and that they never had rats until we moved in. Funny thing is, we heard them in the walls the first night we slept here. They implied that the chickens are attracting them, but I only feed what the chickens will finish AND all grain is stored inside our house.

    When my BF was cleaning up the yard, he actually found a bag of horse grain tied up in a plastic garbage bag. This had holes in it, of course. When he asked the landlord why there would be this random bag of horse grain next to the house, he said "Oh, I forgot about that there. We were using it to plant the grains." Um...duh! I think that bag was feeding every mouse and rat for miles!

    We were told that we are also attracting the mice because we eat meat (whereas they are vegetarians and don't.) I let them know that you can use a carrot to bait a rat, but they shook their head and told me that it's because of our meat.


    I've had the snap traps set in the boxes, but I think I may make the bait a little more exciting. The have a heart trap is working, but the snaps are not yet.

    Even if the cats don't go for the rats, which I hope they will, they will go for the mice. I'm curious to know how many snakes are here in the summer time. I like snakes...I just don't like getting surprised. I bet there's quite a few, considering we live in the woods and there's such a feast of rodent here for them.

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