A rat foiling idea I had last night!

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GBov

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Just bought a 6ft by 8ft metal shed and am setting it up in the courtyard this week. The ground consists of hardpan with a deep gravel covering which should be hard for the VERY evident rat population to dig through and into the shed.

Once it is all set up I will have a 6 ft by 4 ft by 2ft wire cage across the back of the shed for 6 pair of pigeons - 30 inches off the ground for ease of care - and a corner cage also up about 30 inches, for three hens - with a large wire dog crate attached to the outside of the shed for some sunbathing for them.

And the three new Rex will have the entire floor which will start as gravel but at need can be retro-fitted with plywood if something more solid is needed.

The outside space is about 15 feet by 8 feet and depending on the day/weather all, or some, will have free time lose in that space. It is bounded on three sides by tall houses so is a bit like a brick canyon, only one way in or out and the shed blocks most of that and the simple addition to the gate of some cage wire, wood, and shade cloth makes it impossible to escape past and or to see in.

But RATS!!! I HATE rats and they are already coming into that space so I have been fretting about how to keep the hoped-for kits safe and had a brilliant idea last night....

Not only will I cover every ventilation point and animal pop door with secureable cage wire doors but I will build nest CAGES for the colony floor. Long and narrow like nest tunnels but at the access end I will cover it with cage wire and put a door in. Open until it is used and then closed up tight and safe when there are kits in it.

Morning and evening I will open them for the does to care for the kits while I keep watch and with all those precautions, I should manage to keep them alive and not snacks for the naked tail horrors.

I have lived with, and fought, rats as long as I have had rabbits but I have never met anything quite like UK rats, ultra-aggressive and so many of them :shock: where do they come from in the squeaky clean, brick and mortar world of an old mining town is a constant mystery to me, there is not even a scrap of cover and yet, hoards manage it.
 

ladysown

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you need some mink or ferrets.....

I hate rats to but thankfully was able to end my problems.

It sounds like a good idea.
 

GBov

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We had a ferret once and swore NEVER again!!! He was the funniest thing but a nonstop worry. Talk about an animal looking for a new place to die! :roll: :lol:
 

MaggieJ

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GBov, Ladysown is right about how neatly a mink, weasel or ferret will clear out rats. Mink and weasels have saved us several times.

In some parts of rural UK, ferrets may still be used in the traditional way to hunt wild rabbits -- unless animal rights activists won that round. You could check into it and consider the animal a working employee instead of a pet.

You could also research stoats and weasels. They are apparently quite common in most of the rural UK (except Ireland) although they are seldom seen. If you can find a way to encourage one or two to set up housekeeping, they will have the rats on the run within no time. They seem to prefer rat meat to just about anything else.

The other answer is to poison them. Mix plaster of Paris 50/50 with sugar, cake mix or the like and keep a good supply for them where it can't get wet. It is safer than Warfarin or the like -- and very popular with rats. A secure bait box that only rodents can get into will keep other critters safe. Truckinguy had amazingly good results with it.
 

MaggieJ

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eco2pia

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Thanks for the tip about the plaster of Paris and funfetti cake mix (ok, you just said cake but some horrible part of me immediately imagined sprinkles...
 

MaggieJ

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Thanks for the tip about the plaster of Paris and funfetti cake mix (ok, you just said cake but some horrible part of me immediately imagined sprinkles...
You're welcome, Eco2pia. Everyone facing rat problems needs to know a few different approaches. I've used the plaster and cake mix approach with success and I've learned that baked fish with butter or margarine can be a good bait for snap traps. One night when the rats had invaded the house en masse, I caught close to twenty rats -- one after the other. Mostly juveniles. Imagine if they'd had a chance to reach breeding age! Foods that contain sulphur -- eggs, for instance -- are also great baits. Peanut butter stiffened with brown sugar is also good and can be rolled into a pellet that makes baiting pedal traps easy.

But a weasel or mink is best of all.
 

eco2pia

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I have strongly rethought the funfetti cake mix. PSA: DO NOT use colorful candy looking things in "poison":sick:.

My kids are grown, but my neighbor has an inquisitive three year old. It was a dumb idea, I take it back!:oops:
 

MaggieJ

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Eco, it was a fun idea for the adult mind to play with (and no harm done), but you are right to avoid using it. There are enough dumb ideas on the market as it is: vitamin tablets in colours and shapes, cannabis edibles that look like "gummy candy" ... and the list goes on. A three-year-old in my closest town nearly died after finding and eating her father's stash of cannabis gummies. They got her to the ER in time and last I heard she will be okay. But her father has been charged.
 
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