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RebelOne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 09:23 PM
Original message
What to do if you suspect you have rats in your house?
I live in a mobile home and I have been hearing all kinds of scratching sounds in the walls. I suspect it is rats, but have no idea how to get rid of them. An exterminator will probably be expensive. Will rat poison do the trick. I love animals, but when they start invading my home, they will be killed.
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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 09:28 PM
Response to Original message
1. I live in a trailer too, and also have scratching in the walls. Mice. Once the cats retired from
hunting we had to switch to traps. I caught 11 mice and a mole last winter. REALLY bad year for rodents last year.
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 09:31 PM
Response to Original message
2. i put out poison when i think i may have visitors
don't like to but i don't want them, or whatever arthropod vectors they bring along, in my house
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LibDemAlways Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 09:51 PM
Response to Original message
3. Had rats in the attic a while back. Called in an exterminator who brought
traps. About a minute after he left both traps were occupied and we called him back to remove them.

If you can at all swing it call a professional. If not, this site might be helpful.

http://cfhs.ca/wild/mice_and_rats
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 10:00 PM
Response to Original message
4. i have never seen a rat. every fall, we have mice. generally a trap works. peanut butter
seems to work best for hubby. bacon. cheese. he has strips downstairs but i thinnk that is hoorible, though he isnt catching anything. and once he used a beebee gun cause we were always seeing hte mouse, but the trap wasnt getting it.

last fall was the first year we had no mice in the fall. we had feral cats around the house. i think the fox got them. i havent seen them around lately

but never have been around any rats.
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The Velveteen Ocelot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 10:03 PM
Response to Original message
5. I've had occasional invasions of mice, and the cats ate them.
I don't know if they could manage rats, though.
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handmade34 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 10:13 PM
Response to Original message
6. no need for an expensive exterminator
mice and squirrels and other critters come in where its warm in the winter... set traps under the house and any place they might access the walls...

http://www.ecologycenter.org/factsheets/rodent_control.html

Trapping
Get a cat, if possible. Females tend to be better mousers.
Live traps or snap traps can be used for mice. Avoid using sticky glue traps, as they are inhumane and the rodent can be in pain for hours or days before they die. Avoid poisons, as the rodents often retreat into the walls to die, causing odors. Using live traps for rats requires special care. Unlike raccoons, skunks, moles, etc., rats live primarily as parasites among human populations, depending on humans for their food supply. Releasing them elsewhere simply means that they will quickly find their way back to your (or someone elses) house. There is, in addition, the danger of handling them; their bites can cause disease. Be sure to release them in an uninhabited area and to take special safety precautions.
Be sure to use enough traps, 5 to 10 traps per hole, spaced 2 ft to 3 ft apart at right angles to the wall. The bait and trigger end of the trap should be facing the wall. Place traps along walls and along known rodent pathways.
Wear gloves when handling the traps and handle them infrequently because rodents can detect human smells
Use sticky baits, such as peanut butter mixed with mixed oats, raisins, baked breads, gum drops, etc.
Rodents are fairly smart and are suspicious of new objects, so place traps with bait but unset for a few days to get rodents used to them. Once they take the bait, set the trap.
Most trapping fails because too few traps are used.


http://www.gemplers.com/search.aspx?q=rat+trap&src=25GLPST&mkwid=s3hw24yfB&pcrid=6038557945

one site claims
"Rat Poison
A very effective rat poison:
1 part cement
1 part flour
added jelly ?
The cement sets in their stomachs preventing further feeding.
Another reputed sure-fire rat killer is Coca Cola. The rats bloat and die"



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The Velveteen Ocelot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 10:57 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. I can't imagine using that "poison" on any living animal,
even a rat.
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bluedigger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 10:15 PM
Response to Original message
7. Traps, not poison.
You really don't want them dying in the walls, do you?
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Major Nikon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 11:38 AM
Response to Reply #7
16. Dying outside is just as bad
Other animals will eat them and can suffer the same fate.

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bluedigger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 01:00 PM
Response to Reply #16
26. That is a good point, but my concern was the odor.
They will stink.:shrug:
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InvisibleTouch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 10:38 PM
Response to Original message
8. I don't suspect, I KNOW.
They are pets. :)

But for their unwelcome wild cousins, you can get live traps that work very well. You'll just have to release the animals far enough away that they're unlikely to come right back - and then seal up wherever they came in, so the next generation doesn't move in after them.

Poisons are unconscionable, a horrible way to die - and you risk killing a non-target species, both domestic and wild. The "poison formula" using cement that was listed above just made me sick; "cement sets in their stomach so they're unable to eat anymore." Is that the kind of death you'd want to deliberately inflict on a living, feeling being?

Anyway - live traps. They are good. :)
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Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 11:11 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. dumping far away is the same as killing slow
exclusion plus snap traps is the most effective and the most humane
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InvisibleTouch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-07-11 12:47 PM
Response to Reply #11
36. Not the same thing at all.
Rodents are adaptable - they will find food and shelter wherever they are. In unfamiliar territory some might fall prey to predators or be killed by rivals of their own species, but that's quick and painless compared to dying in a slow, lingering agony. I don't mind if prey animals are eaten - that's part of nature's cycle - but I do mind if they're forced to suffer unnecessarily.
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Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-07-11 01:45 PM
Response to Reply #36
40. yes catch and release is simply a feel-good, fool-yourself method of killing rodent pests
we agree on that

as for fast and painless death by predation, well...I would urge you not to study that too much further as many predators of rodents don't kill them all that fast

not to mention that dumping human-adapted species may be the equivalent of passing YOUR problem on to some other person

to be truly harmless and humane one should just let them live and reproduce right where they are - all the rest is bullshit

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Swede Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 11:00 PM
Response to Original message
10. Turn on Fox News and wait with a bat?
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Skittles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 01:02 AM
Response to Original message
12. get a cat
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MiddleFingerMom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 01:07 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. Duh.
.
.
.
:thumbsup:
.
.
.
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RebelOne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 11:50 AM
Response to Reply #12
17. No cats.
There are a lot of feral cats in the neighborhood. I don't know why they haven't caught the mice and rats.
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whistler162 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 12:14 PM
Response to Reply #17
21. Collusion!
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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 12:14 PM
Response to Reply #17
22. a rat terrier then?
They don't call 'em that for nothing!
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GoCubsGo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 01:31 PM
Response to Reply #22
28. Or, a Jack Russell terrier.
Heck, any terrier should do. I think most of them were bred to hunt rats and other "vermin".
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GoCubsGo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 01:33 PM
Response to Reply #17
29. Not all cats are mousers.
However, I suspect the feral cats HAVE caught plenty of mice and rats. There may just be more of 'em around than the cats can handle.
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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 01:40 PM
Response to Reply #29
30. maybe that's why the mice are hiding in the walls
of places with no cats! :hi:
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madmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 11:27 AM
Response to Original message
14. When I was a young married, some 30 odd years ago, we had the same problem.
I worked 2nd shift, hubby worked 3rd. I would come home and all night I would hear this scratching in the walls. One night I had a dream about how I got so frustrated with the noise I got up and started tearing down the wall. Inside the wall there was not a rat, but a baby, about 4-5 months old complete with diaper, bottle and toys. Needless to say I immediately made hubby do something about our "friend". It still creeps me out to "see" that baby in my mind.:scared:
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meow2u3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 11:35 AM
Response to Original message
15. I have a big cat
So if I ever get rats, I'd turn Max loose on them. He actually caught and killed one last year, when I was temporarily staying at a friend's.
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RebelOne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 11:51 AM
Response to Original message
18. This morning about 4:30, I heard scratching at the back door.
There was no way I was going to open that door to see what it was, but it sounded big.
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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 12:11 PM
Response to Original message
19. I was gonna say, "divorce him", but . . .
Get a cat.
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whistler162 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 12:12 PM
Response to Original message
20. A little Mark Alburger or Van Johnson should work......
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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 12:40 PM
Response to Original message
23. I struggle with that myself.
I have packrats. They are extremely difficult to trap, and my cat stays focused on smaller game, like mice and voles. I only see mice when she brings one in and releases it in a misguided attempt to teach me to hunt.

Poison? They will die in the walls. If you are lucky. If not, they'll die outside and act as secondary poison for any critter that tries to clean them up.

Traps? I set them all the time. They rarely catch anything. And I can't get the traps to where they are the most active.

Good luck.

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zonkers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 12:44 PM
Response to Original message
24. My expert advice: Poisons not only kill rats but beneficial predators like owls, hawks and cats who
might prey on a dazed, dying rat. Don't listen to the Orkin man. There are no safe poisons. Frankly, the more owls, hawks and predators exterminators can kill, the more you must rely on them for rodent control. THEY ARE ACTUALLY IN THE BUSINESS OF KILLING OWLS.

Read more here: http://www.hungryowl.org/services/rodent_control.html

I suggest bait traps and here is the fool proof method....

1. Seal all entry points to unit. No sense trapping if they can keep returning. I suggest hardware cloth or some similar tightly woven wire. Sometimes tin foil will work if you jam it in.

2. When practical, cut whatever trees and bushes are near the unit so the rats don't have "freeway" access.

2. Once entry points are sealed, start trapping. I suggest you handle traps with gloves to keep your scent off trap. I also suggest that sometimes with cautious rodents, you might even bait the traps without even setting them for a few days. Peanut butter. Luncheon meat. Whatever. The rodent will get comfortable with his regular meals. Then, one day, just set and bait all your traps. Also, you may want to tie string to your traps and secure them case the rat is only injured and tries to run off w/trap. Also, it makes the traps easier to check if you have placed them in hard to reach places.

3. I don;t set traps outside. I let those rats live.
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hunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 02:22 PM
Response to Reply #24
31. Well anchored hardware cloth and "Great Stuff" urethane foam.
That's what works for me. The hardware cloth is the immediate physical barrier, but the foam blocks air flow and scents so the rats don't know if there's anything worth digging for.

Rats will chew on wood for weeks if they think there's something worthwhile on the other side.

But you don't want to seal up any places like roofs that need air flow to keep cool and dry. There you have to settle with metal and heavy wire vent hardware.

We have pet rats occasionally which makes our dogs worthless as rat catchers. We've had wild rats in our garage and I swear our dogs knew them by name. They'd greet these wild rats just like they were greeting our pet rats. "Hello, hi, how are you doing?"

Fortunately the owls and our neighborhood semi-feral cats eventually got the wild rats. We haven't had any for at least a year.

Poison is no good for a variety of reasons, the most immediate being that few things smell so bad as a big dead rat decomposing in the walls.
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Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-07-11 01:36 PM
Response to Reply #24
38. agree totally
pb and a chocolate chip smooshed into the pb is my most effective bait
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astonamous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 12:49 PM
Response to Original message
25. I've used peppermint oil for the mice...they don't like it and won't nest
anywhere near it. I don't know if rats are scared off by anything. You can buy kits and instructions. It isn't an extract. It is strong smelling. I also use steel wool to block the small openings in the exterior walls.

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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 01:30 PM
Response to Original message
27. Get a cat.
MEOW!!!
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RebelOne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 05:01 PM
Response to Reply #27
32. No cats. Have 2 dogs that don't like cats. n/t
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RebelOne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 05:05 PM
Response to Original message
33. Thank you all for your suggestions.
I think I am going to take one poster's advice and call an exterminator and let him/her set traps to catch them.
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felix_numinous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 10:25 PM
Response to Original message
34. I heard stinky deodorant soaps
like zest or dial (there's another really stinky one can't remember--it's green) repels the critters. I had a friend that put soaps under the hood and car seats to repel packrats. I also heard dryer sheets work too.

It's worth a try anyway, and experiment with other strong scents. :shrug:

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freshwest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 10:56 PM
Response to Original message
35. Cats and dogs with a terrier disposition help. You need to get them out for several reasons.
Snakes will come for them, they have fleas and also diseases. Not their fault, just part of life.

Plus they will chew the wiring and cause a short and there you go. Main problem with exterminators is that if your trailer is loose enough to allow rats, the same poison will enter your living space.

The only time I've ever had a mouse/rat problem was due to a lack of felines in the home inside and out. Good luck with this.
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raccoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-07-11 01:15 PM
Response to Original message
37. Don't read "Jerusalem's Lot" by Stephen King. nt
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LibertyLover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-07-11 01:41 PM
Response to Original message
39. Well, I know I have rats in my house -
I have 3. They live in a nice pied a tiere cage. I feed them every day and take them out to pet them and play with them. They like carrots and apples. My youngest is about 6 months old and is named Snicklefritz, after the racing rat in Stalag 17. She loves to run around the cage like a mad thing and jump on my two older rats, Selene and Iris. I do my best to keep them in good health with good food, fresh vegetables and fruits, clean water and toys. That's what I do with my rats.
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