How To Get Rid Of Rats? Oh Rats!
Whether you have a rat infestation or you have spied one rat in or around your premises contained in here is a wealth of information and a story or two about vermin rats. Once you have a rat problem you have to get rid of rats, there is no choice in the matter. Although since the first time I spied a rat I have gone on to have several pet rats dealing with rats as pests is extremely problematic rather than enjoyable. A rat infestation is a very serious matter and if you have only seen one rat, that can only mean that there a dozens more about that you do not see. Rats not can not only cause a lot of damage they also carry disease. Prior to actually seeing a live rat my only knowledge of them had come through the story of the Pied Piper read as a child. In my teens and since I had many opportunities to fully comprehend just how deeply the villagers came to appreciate the Pied Piper of Hamilton.
If you have no time for rat tales and you need information rat now, not mousy now, scroll down for the solutions to your rat infestation.
What follows here is an account of how a family of 'city slickers' found out how their new, idyllic country life could be changed overnight by the discovery of one dead rat. It was thirty-five years later that the first pet rat came into my life. Both first rats were to be the first of many - that is the thing about rats, you never have just one.
We moved to the country to fulfill my mother's dream of having her own horse. The fulfilling of this dream and our subsequent move to the country came about as a result of my father, after a night of drinking, having purchased a half Arab, half Welsh pony for me and our having nowhere to keep it on our manicured city lot. Establishing ourselves as responsible horse owners is a story unto itself and I mention it here only as it relates to our run ins with rats. Once the stables were built and the horses housed my father's next surprise for his unsuspecting family was the purchase of two piglets. A piece of plywood was put down on the floor of a tie stall, shavings were thrown over top and my father and brother built a trough. We inherited the job of cleaning the sty and 'slopping' the pigs. My father's job it seemed was to dress and act the part of a gentleman farmer which he did with great gusto.
The piglets were cute and friendly and wagged their curly little tails at the sight of their two reluctant caretakers. They soon became very ugly, stubborn and cantankerous and extremely smelly. Where we had first been very reluctant to consider their fates we now relished the thought of pay back in the form of dinner. I was the first one to discover that their was something else revolting about them as well. I had gone into a stall to feed one of our horses, an Arab mare, when I noticed she had two puncture marks on one of her flanks. Looking around her stall for a possible source of the wounds my horrified eyes landed on a dead rat. What ensued thereafter was nothing short of an all out war.
Rats Wars Is Star Wars Spelled Backwards
If you find yourself in a starring role in the war against rats there are some things you ought to know before engaging in battle.
- For every rat that you see there are 20 or more rats that you don't see
- Rats are attracted by pig slops
- Rats tunnel under pig sties
- When attempting to shoot a rat inside a barn it is quite likely that you will miss the rat and blow a hole in the barn door instead.
- Swinging madly at a rat with the butt of a shotgun, as my father did as he and said rat raced across the field will not result in a dead rat but it will shatter the butt of one's great, great grandfather's shotgun should it connect with a rock.
- When you stealthily send the now shattered antique shotgun off to a costly specialist to have it restored and expect to be quiet as a mouse about it ensure that your children are in on the 'secret'. Not doing so is likely to result in turning one of your offspring into an unwitting rat when they happen to mention the incident in front of a uniformed spouse.
- Trying to trap rats in a bunny cage when they go in after the baby bunnies is futile. This because anything a rat can get it's head through (and this includes some very small places indeed) the rest of the rat's body will follow.
- When attempting to trap rats in a bunny cage it is imperative that you be aware that a pack of rats know no fear and will not hesitate to launch themselves at you.
- That sending your seven year old brother running for the house to get your mother will not help - for two reasons. One the rats have already escaped the bunny cage and are now chasing you and your little sister. And two, mum will panic and run down to the stables in her housecoat as she tries to stuff shells for a 22 rifle into a 33. This does nothing to handled the rats and only results with a trail of 22 shells from the house to the stables.
- Said trail of bullets is to a screaming mother and her two screaming daughters as bread crumbs were to Hansel and Gretel when in the confusion of being chased by a flurry of angry rats they have lost all wits and need someone or something to point the way to safety.
- Keeping pigs in a stable is a very bad idea
Winning Rat Wars - Lock And Load
Winning the war on rats takes some intestinal fortitude, as with any war on anything one must have the guts for it. As rats do not often show themselves you are often fighting an invisible enemy and you must employ well hidden means to do so.
The best way, of course, to handle a rat infestation is to not attract rats in the first place.
Rats are attracted to:
- Pet food this includes livestock feed
- Food waste
- Bird seed - bird feeders draw more than feathered friends
- Pet waste
- Fruit Trees and Berry Plants
- Standing water
- Compost Piles, Wood Piles and Storage Sheds
- Crawl Spaces and Attics
Paper and plastic do not keep rats out. Use metal trash cans and metal, glass or ceramic containers to store both people and pet food and metal feed bins for livestock feed. Seal and secure any areas that rats may use for shelter and nesting.
Do you want to get rid of rats naturally? Of course you do but I mean naturally as in without use of chemicals or poisons.
Natural Rat Remedies:
- Cotton balls dipped in peppermint
- Well used kitty litter
- Pellets containing predator's scents
- Powdered rat repellents
- Ultrasonic repellents
- Peanut butter baited traps - it is important not to set the traps for a few days. Replace the peanut butter as needed in order to allow the rats to get comfortable with the traps before setting them
The chemical and poisonous means of killing rats must be used with extreme caution as they are also harmful or lethal to children, pets and wildlife. These methods should only be used when there is no danger of a child or a pet, other animals or birds coming into contact with poisonous pellets or bait.
Rat poisons contain many dangerous chemicals, including strychnine, warfarin, sodium fluroacetate, bromethalin, zinc phosphide, and arsenic.
I Don't Mean To Leave You Dangling but.....
You will find my pet rat stories and the joys and heartaches of having a rat for a pet in another hub
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