Rats, and the hard lesson I learned.

Greenman

Lifer
Oct 15, 1999
20,359
5,112
136
For the first time since I've lived in my house, I've been invaded by rats. Not really knowing any better, I went with WMD right off the bat, and put decon under my house. The rats all went away, except the one that died in my kitchen wall. The stench was unbelievable, and I had to chop holes everywhere looking for the little bastard. After the first day of cutting holes, I seriously considered burning the house down, the stink was making me sick. Finally found the offending rodent this morning after chopping out the back of a cabinet and using an inspection camera to look down a hole in the framing. I had to use a vacuum with a little crack nozzle to get him out, then pry the feted remains off the nozzle as they were too lumpy to pass through it. Sprayed half a can of disinfectant in the hole, packed it with steel wool, then sealed the entire thing with spray foam.

The stink is gone, my wife loves me again, I don't have to burn my house down, and I have a nearly uncontrollable desire to boil my hands.

The lessons here are that rat poison is a bad idea, inspection cameras are awesome, and dead rats are world class disgusting. I really wish someone had told me all this 3 weeks ago.
 

waffleironhead

Diamond Member
Aug 10, 2005
6,919
429
136
We got overrun with rats earlier this summer when my idiot neighbor decided to burn some brush at the height of summer during a burning ban. He ended up burning down his barn and the remains of a few outbuildings. Well apparently the buildings were full of rats, as we found them everywhere over the next month.
I usually live trap them with a havahart cage, then promptly dunk the cage in a barrel of water. I never use poison as our cats and dog could eat the poisoned rat or mouse and then get sick.
And yeah that stench is amazing. Our cats usually bring half dead rodents into the house and let them go. We only find them when the smell gets too bad.
 

mizzou

Diamond Member
Jan 2, 2008
9,734
54
91
This is going to sound gross, but I used to have field mice die in our walls/ceiling occasionally. Eventually the smell goes away if you put up with it.

I imagine with rats it must be much much worse due to their size and food habits.

:\
 

Greenman

Lifer
Oct 15, 1999
20,359
5,112
136
This is going to sound gross, but I used to have field mice die in our walls/ceiling occasionally. Eventually the smell goes away if you put up with it.

I imagine with rats it must be much much worse due to their size and food habits.

:\

Not an option. I couldn't stand that stink, I couldn't stand to prepare food in a kitchen that smelled like that. It was find the smell or burn it out.
 

DrPizza

Administrator Elite Member Goat Whisperer
Mar 5, 2001
49,606
166
111
www.slatebrookfarm.com
Depends on the type of poison - whatever kind it is that we used in the past, the rats all came out of hiding, in search of water. We had an invasion in our barn. Snap traps got one - the rest learned. Sticky traps didn't work. Came home from work about 4 days later, and there were dying rats everywhere in the yard. We've used poison twice - once, a goat died very unexpectedly, the other time, my peacocks died. Decided that it's just not worth the risk to my other animals.
 

gururu2

Senior member
Oct 14, 2007
686
1
81
scary stuff, glad I haven't experienced anything beyond the house or field mouse.
 

NetWareHead

THAT guy
Aug 10, 2002
5,854
154
106
So Im wondering what the option would be if poison is not used? Spoke to an exterminator and asked him if there was a specific poison that would get the rats to run outside in search of water so they die out there and he said that was a myth.

If not poison, then what? Trapping? With the reproductive rate of rats, trapping is probably going to be ineffective.

Spoke to my dad (old school guy who was born on a farm in Italy) and they used to sparingly feed a cat (keep it hungry) so it would be induced to hunt often.
 

DrPizza

Administrator Elite Member Goat Whisperer
Mar 5, 2001
49,606
166
111
www.slatebrookfarm.com
So Im wondering what the option would be if poison is not used? Spoke to an exterminator and asked him if there was a specific poison that would get the rats to run outside in search of water so they die out there and he said that was a myth.

If not poison, then what? Trapping? With the reproductive rate of rats, trapping is probably going to be ineffective.

Spoke to my dad (old school guy who was born on a farm in Italy) and they used to sparingly feed a cat (keep it hungry) so it would be induced to hunt often.
Doesn't seem like a myth to me - I know what I witnessed - rats all over the yard. No stench of decaying rats coming from where they had been hiding in the barn. What's been effective: cats.
 

Zivic

Diamond Member
Nov 25, 2002
3,505
38
91
setup bait boxes and keep them full. if you have rodents in the house use the bait boxes + glue traps, get good ones and check them often; multiple times a day for a week or so.


we are never going to ever get rid of all mice/rats, so use the bait boxes to keep them out of the places you don't want them.

cats do work, but then you have a slightly lesser evil... a cat is just a big rodent. we have ferrel cats where I live and they are nasty. I'd rather deal with mice.
 

shortylickens

No Lifer
Jul 15, 2003
82,854
17,365
136
Grab one or two of the feral cats, have the deal with the current varmint issue, trap cats again, take to humane society.
 

NetWareHead

THAT guy
Aug 10, 2002
5,854
154
106
cats do work, but then you have a slightly lesser evil... a cat is just a big rodent. we have ferrel cats where I live and they are nasty. I'd rather deal with mice.

Whats wrong with feral cats? They dont spread diseases.
 

thestrangebrew1

Diamond Member
Dec 7, 2011
3,447
392
126
I use these for the mice we have in our garage:

tomcat-mouse-trap.jpg


We don't have rats, but a ton of field mice. I usually catch them then put in a bucket of water and take them out with a shovel or something.
 

Greenman

Lifer
Oct 15, 1999
20,359
5,112
136
Doesn't seem like a myth to me - I know what I witnessed - rats all over the yard. No stench of decaying rats coming from where they had been hiding in the barn. What's been effective: cats.

I checked with a local exterminator who's been a rat hunter for 25 years, he told me much the same thing. The rats almost always go looking for water, but sometimes they don't make it out, or they come back in. He told me to always use traps. After the grief I just went through, I'm inclined to believe him.
Of course that's for one or two rats in a house, an infested barn is going to be an entirely different matter.
 

Zivic

Diamond Member
Nov 25, 2002
3,505
38
91
Grab one or two of the feral cats, have the deal with the current varmint issue, trap cats again, take to humane society.

and then you'll have dozens of cats in a matter of months... and if you take them to the humane society it will just cost the county/donaters 100-200 bucks to kill each one you bring them
 

slashbinslashbash

Golden Member
Feb 29, 2004
1,945
8
81
Had some rats in our house for the first time a few weeks ago too. Learned their habits, set up traps (old fashioned spring traps), caught them both the same day (male and pregnant female) within a week with peanut butter and scraps of roasted chicken in the traps.
 

DrPizza

Administrator Elite Member Goat Whisperer
Mar 5, 2001
49,606
166
111
www.slatebrookfarm.com
Cringe - discovered a dead rat on our sidewalk 2 days ago. I cringe, because it was a very young rat, about the size of a mouse. That means, there are brothers and sisters somewhere - and a mom and dad. I've seen no signs in our barns, and definitely no sign in the house. I'm hoping it came from the barn across the street that our cats visit occasionally. But, time to be extra vigilant again.

I gave the cat a chicken thigh as a reward. I'm not sure if the cat realizes why it got the chicken thigh, but for some reason or another, the cat displays her kills. So, maybe, just maybe she's doing it to prove her worth.
 

calahan

Member
Sep 4, 2015
126
0
0
Cringe - discovered a dead rat on our sidewalk 2 days ago. I cringe, because it was a very young rat, about the size of a mouse. That means, there are brothers and sisters somewhere - and a mom and dad. I've seen no signs in our barns, and definitely no sign in the house. I'm hoping it came from the barn across the street that our cats visit occasionally. But, time to be extra vigilant again.

I gave the cat a chicken thigh as a reward. I'm not sure if the cat realizes why it got the chicken thigh, but for some reason or another, the cat displays her kills. So, maybe, just maybe she's doing it to prove her worth.

don't feed your cats! ... increase your cat motivation )))

$%28KGrHqV,!lsE6Cb3B7%28PBOqu0TPq0g~~60_57.JPG
 

K7SN

Senior member
Jun 21, 2015
353
0
0
I gave the cat a chicken thigh as a reward. I'm not sure if the cat realizes why it got the chicken thigh, but for some reason or another, the cat displays her kills. So, maybe, just maybe she's doing it to prove her worth.

When I was a lad we had a barn cat, no affection given, no cat papering and no rats, mice or other vermin. Sorry calahan you can't not feed the cat, a motivated cat will quickly eliminate their source of food! A non pampered barn cat will amuse themselves hunting, a fat cat pet will not, Cats will respond to praise and you have a very good cat.

There is usually a difference between a working animal (cat, dog, watch goose) and a pampered pet. If DrPizza has a skilled working cat and a companion friendly cat in one, he is most fortunate.