How To Get Rid of Rats.

How I Got Rid Of These Pests.

It all started on evening when I stepped out the back sliding door to our elevated porch and 'something' took off across the porch, dove off the top step, landed on the pavement, and hid under the baby barn. It all happened within two, maybe three seconds and all I remember seeing was 'something' brown, longish and with outstretched claws. And...it was FAST!

Instinct told me that this was no mole or mouse or anything like that. I just knew it was a rat. Needless to say, I was astonished and instantly went about thinking about how to capture him. But, WHERE did he come from, as we had been living here for a few years and never saw anything at all. As it was, the local gas company had been quite active installing natural gas pipelines in our neighborhood, utilizing a slanted drill to make way for a three or so inch pipe. They drilled all the properties here and generally were digging up everything. Thus, I assumed that the nests of the these rodents had been disturbed and they had been forced out and to the surface. Didn't matter, really -- what was important was to rid our property of them.

So, what did I do? Traps. Pure and simple, the big boys you get at the local hardware store. Typical trap for rodents, only BIG. Come from a few manufacturers but for all intensive purposes, they all work the same. I didn't want to place poisons and that sort of thing as we have a dog that my daughters adore and would absolutely freak if he ingested anything bad. So I decided to to stick to the hardware.

I have a baby barn near the house and assumed that they had lodged in there and upon further investigation, I was right. Rat droppings are larger than those of a mouse (about 1/2" or so) and they love to chew things to make a nest. Barn contents WERE chewed and there was ample evidence of nesting. Thus and firstly, had to clean up that stuff (gingerly) and make a plan.

Rodents like mice and rats normally like to travel along the right-angled walls rather than pure open spaces, and this is where I started with the traps. For bait I used a piece of bacon that was securely anchored to the holder then covered with peanut butter. Then, pulled back the big latch and carefully placed the loaded trap with the business end at a right-angle against all four walls of the shed. I then exited and closed door to begin the waiting game. And, it's only a matter of time.

Bingo! I went out a few days later and in behind the shed was the bloodied carcass of a brown rat lying in the grass. Apparently got clipped good, shook it off and was able to make it out of the shed through a hole (rats and mice have an unbelievable ability to fit through some pretty small holes). But he wasn't able to survive due to the nature of his injury and succumbed outside. A day later, BINGO again as when I went out, a rodent with the trap STILL on his snout was lying there. Not sure how he managed that, where he got out, etc. but I found him outside.

And, I haven't seen one since, although I had to assist my neighbor with the same method, as there was apparently that activity under her porch. BINGO again with similar results. Trapped two within a short period of time and now they are gone as we haven't seen any activity since.

You know, I almost felt 'bad', really. Rats are a consumate creature and well-adapted to conditions that humans would not normally be able to survive in. However, this does not detract from the fact that they are vermin and potentially quite dangerous.

The rats are gone and the traps worked well. Warning: The trap mechanism can easily break fingers, etc. if you get them caught and it snaps prematurely. Please be careful when handling.

Not a pleasant chore, but necessary. Rats carry fleas and disease and although part of the ecology of earth, still have to be dealt with firmly. They don't make good pets!

Hope this helps a bit if you've got that problem, or looking for a possible solution. Thanks for reading and see you again soon!


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