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Asked DH where the other 50lb bag of sunflower seeds was so I could fill the bird feeders. Said they were in the tool shed! Not in the metal cans! A big mess. Rats had eaten most of the bag. Looked at the old chicken coup that joins the tool shed. Burrows everywhere! I cleaned out the tool shed while the rats grunted at me. I vomited twice. Husband refuses to use poison. He loves his three cats and is worried they may get poisoned. This weekend we caught 12 rats in the two traps. I need the Pied Piper of Hamlin!We have stopped feeding the deer, I emptied all of the bird feeders, dumped all of the grain about 1 mile from here. We will clean the old coup in the morning. Any suggestions to rid the shed of rats? He poured amonia all over the shed before we set the traps. Big help that was. I believe where you see one , there are 10 more. HELP!

-- Terri Perry (teperry@stargate.net), March 12, 2001


Hey Terri! If the worthless cats were doin their jobs the rat population wouldn't be as large as it is! I love cats as well as the next guy but if they don't pull their own weight then they will just have to find a new home! Personally, I don't care a whit about poisein'n those filthy things. I also 12 gauage'm too. A rifle works well and electrocution also will do the trick. I've heard that feed'n'm beer will kill'm. I don't know and don't intend to find out-- I won't buy beer. Rifle shell, shotgun shells, traps and poisen--- I'll buy! Good luck with the "war" you're encounterin. Matt.24:44

-- hoot (hoot@pcinetwork.com), March 12, 2001.

Hoot, I dont mind the 12 guage or the rifle. I do not want to shoot up the building however. Please eloborate on the electicity thing.

-- Terri Perry (teperry@stargate.net), March 12, 2001.

Cleaning up the grain was a good start. They aren't likely to stay somewhere there is little to eat. Unfortunately a chicken coop almost always has something for them to eat. If you won't use poison then continue using traps. Hoot mentioned beer...I've also heard that you can put out soda pop and it will kill them too. Seems they have no ability to belch and they kind of blow up...terminal indigestion. I've never tried it so I don't know how well it works. I'd personally put the cats in a cage for a couple of days and put out poison. Whackin em with a hoe handle works too...or the other end of the hoe.

-- Amanda in Mo (aseley@townsqr.com), March 12, 2001.

Heck with Hubby , I hate poison to but hate rats more .Can you lock the rooms up so the cats cannot get in ? If not lock up the cats for a few days , put out the "rat treats" and then do the "all the rats are dead dance ".Now seriouslly the carry disease and are gross .I would be worried about children and myself being bitten.

-- Patty {NY State} (fodfarms@slic.com), March 12, 2001.

We have cats, rats and mice. I put d-con(and Lots of it) in the rat wholes. Our cats are still alive!

-- Maylene (zedanka@aol.com), March 12, 2001.

Yikes !

I've used the Decon pellet bait around our cats a number of times; all the cats are still here... In particular, if you remove any local source of water, the rats will travel to it. The poison makes them want to drink, thus, move their water source away from their burrows and they should follow. Close things up as they leave.

Of course, getting in your best 'me vs them' state of mind and the liberal application of heavy (or pointed) object against said 'them' might make _you_ fell better !

Rats and piegons - both will eat the dead of their own species; thus I have little complusion for lenency.


-- j (jw_hsv@yahoo.com), March 12, 2001.

Ok, have not tried this myself, but my wife came across this someplace. Put out a mixture of flour and cement in a shallow pan. Next to that put a pan of water. The rats will eat the flour/cement mixture and get thirsty. They then drink some water and turn into little rat statues. Supposedly cats won't eat the flour/cement mixture, but not having tried it myself, can't vouch for that. Good luck

-- Randy (randywilde@netscape.net), March 12, 2001.

You need rat terriers or Jack Russell terriers. There is nothing that works like they do. With two of them working the barn, they eventually set out to clean out the adjoining fields as well, sometimes had to come in from acres away to show me the newly killed rodent. If you don't have one handy, see if there is anyone in the area who'd come over and give you a hand getting rid of them -- however, they WILL dig down into wherever the burrows are to get them.

DO NOT put out DeCon if you are going to have dogs on your property however, or you most likely will poison the dogs. The terriers almost always ate a couple for their reward.

You can also try running a garden hose into the holes to flush them out. If you're doing this along with a terrier, double teaming, you'll probably wipe them out fast.

-- julie f. (rumplefrogskin@excite.com), March 12, 2001.

Know anyone with a good & fierce terrier -- like a Jack Russell? My sister's Westie would've taken them on too when she was younger. However, the terrier might kinda rip up the place getting to the rats.

In defense of cats, to be effective mousers/ratters, most of them have to be taught by their mother. If mom doesn't know how, most cats don't learn enough to be really effective, though most do have some inborn instinct.

Now that there is no more food for them to eat, perhaps baited traps will get them -- no where else to get food. Put hubby on the corpse disposal patrol! ;-)

-- Joy F (So.Central Wisconsin) (CatFlunky@excite.com), March 12, 2001.

Terri, I sent you a response by email. have fun.

-- Action Dude (theactiondude@yahoo.com), March 12, 2001.

Randy, I like the one about the rat statues. HAVE to try that sometime. Thanks.

-- Action Dude (theactiondude@yahoo.com), March 12, 2001.

I highly recommend the terrier approach. Our airedale keeps all rodents away. They are excellent ratters.

-- Cindy Clarke (rclarke@revelstoke.net), March 12, 2001.

The dogs may work in 6 months when they are old enough if you are lucky to get a good one .You need to do something now before they run wild and multiple

-- Patty {NY State} (fodfarms@slic.com), March 12, 2001.

Terri - there are steel bait boxes to be used for mice and rats that are impossible for cats or dogs to get into. They're not expensive and can usually be found in any feed or hardware store. If not there, they can be ordered thru any livestock catalog. They work real good!

-- Dianne (willow@config.com), March 12, 2001.

It is a sad fact that rats are not celebate, so yes, if you see 10 you can count on many more that you aren't seeing. In the archives, hopefully under "Pests" somebody (I think it was Brad) posted about putting rat poison up high on ropes in the coop. Rats and mice climb the ropes to get to the bait and happily munch it. No other animals can manage the rope..also there was something about putting the poison up in the rafters (same reason). In Texas, we had a rat shooting party..locked up the cats and dogs and invited several friends over...we shot 17 of them and never saw another one after that. BTW, I always rake up under my bird feeders so that the seeds are scattered all over instead of accumulating in a pile...have not had a rat since I started doing that (famous last words).Good luck to you..as far as I am concerned,rats are lower on the scale than snakes...the snakes only win out because they eat the rats. God bless.

-- Lesley (martchas@bellsouth.net), March 12, 2001.

Ok, not under "Pests"..under Poultry, General..see "rats in the henhouse" and then in that thread another one is mentioned...

-- Lesley (martchas@bellsouth.net), March 12, 2001.

Keeping the poisonous bait out of the reach of cats and dogs is not the only problem. You must be certain that the cat or dog cannot find and eat a poisoned rodent -- they will also be poisoned in this manner. They might survive -- but my recommendation is not to chance it. If you use poison, you will have to be extremely vigilant to keep the dead critters from your pets!

-- Joy F (So.Central Wisconsin) (CatFlunky@excite.com), March 12, 2001.

Rekon some of ya'll are really chompin at the bit to find out about electrocuting those filty rats. I'll attempt to build one this week, take pictures of it and post'm somewhere. Ain't figgered out just where--maybe email'm to whoever wants'm rekon. It's a little gizz- mot-chie that the old hillbilly came up with for birds that are unkind to my song birds. Using a BIG capacitor from an old central air conditionng unit. It works like the "bug zappers" you see on farms etc. These are a lot safer than other ways but must be maintained and placed properly. I'll cover all that later along with parts list etc. hoot. Matt.24:44

-- hoot (hoot@pcinetwork.com), March 13, 2001.

Many small breeds of dogs were developed especially for killing rats and some of the the most unlikely looking dogs are extremly good at it. Our, late, Australian Terrier would not rest, neither eating nor sleeping until every rat in the vicinity had been dealt to.

-- john hill (john@cnd.co.nz), March 13, 2001.

The reason we don't use the poison is fear of one of the pets eating the dead rats and getting poisoned. My dad has a mean little Jack Russel that would love to take on the task. I am, however, to humiliated to ask for him. Dad considers rats a sign of filth, and I agree. Locked the big tom cat in the chicken coop last night and I found seven dead babies in there with him this morning. At least he is doing something. My husband is on carcass patrol. His lot in life if we do not use the poison. I used to sneak poison around in the buildings but he caught onto me. Guess it is time to start again. I can't wait to build and try Hoots Rat Zapper. Thanks for all of the advice.

-- Terri Perry (teperry@stargate.net), March 13, 2001.

Oh come! How about a little subtrefuge? Ask to borrow the dog for a weekend to 'see how one would work out around the farm....I might want to get one...'--?

-- julie f. (rumplefrogskin@excite.com), March 13, 2001.

Terri, Glad to hear about the big tom cat figuring out his place in life. A few years back there was a lady here in Manahawkin, or Mystic Islands NJ that was afraid to do anything about her rats, and they were taking over her house. She decided to do the 'be kind to animals, and FEED them routine'. At one point she had so many, she was scared to use the bedroom at night, and slept on the couch. Eventually, the neighbors complained, and the board of health forced the issue. They ended up tenting over the entire structure, and fumigating with VIKANE (sulphural fluoride). As I recall they took out about 1200 or 1400 dead rats when they removed the tarps. Yuck. As I explained in my letter, it may take from 3 to several days for pesticide baits to work at eliminating ALL of the critters... Is it possible to remove the cats for two weeks while the poison bait (and secondarily poisoned rats) are present? If you had 12 caught over the weekend in the traps and 7 more by the cat in the chicken coop SINCE then, (7+12=) and your husband IS NOT working FULL TIME on elimination (like a pesticide would), I would suggest that there are sufficiently greater numbers present to warrant a rethink on this problem. How ARE the terms between you and your neighbors? Do you wish to remain friendly with them? Your problem is their problem, as well. Consider that, and the lady on the couch's neighbors, as you make some REAL plans. Best wishes.

-- Action Dude (theactiondude@yahoo.com), March 13, 2001.

Rats are not a sign of filth , they are lazy and will go where ever there is easy food to find and stay .Your only fault was feeding the birds .Tell Hubby to spend the weekend with a gun in the barn ! Can you tell I HATE RATS AND MICE .We now have 7 cats and have not seen a mouse or rat .

-- Patty {NY State} (fodfarms@slic.com), March 13, 2001.

This is a very simple trap. Needed a 5-gallon metal or plastic bucket and a bit of hardware wire.

At the side at the bottom drill one hole 1 1/2" in diameter. Now make a tunnel with the hardware wire about 2"x2" square with flared feet for securing it. Cut a small piece of hardware cloth to act as a one-way trap door near the inside end of the tunnel (it needs to set at least 30 degrees of angle). Secure tunnel to bottom of bucket. Cover bucket with additional wire and a weight. Concept is a rat will smell the bacon and explore the tunnel pushing under the hinged trap door. However, once past it, they cannot get back out.

For bait I recommend raw bacon as it worked well for me when I trapped field rats as a kid. I almost never found a lone rat as the first one seems to attract others. When you find several in the bucket they can be disposed of as desired.

-- Ken S in WC TN (scharabo@aol.com), March 13, 2001.

Ken, that sounds like a good trap. (and cheap, too). Then you can just drown them when you're done, Terri.

-- Action Dude (theactiondude@yahoo.com), March 13, 2001.

Just share the info. I had a cat that did eat a poisoned mouse he was ill (near death) for several days, we were not sure he would survive he had a very high fever and the complcations that went with it, he started out stagering and progressed to the fever state by the next day and could not drink water, another example that prayer works. he recoverd and continued hunting after that even after a dog got hold of his back leg causeing it to wither up, he could still jump some 4 foot high and leap into mid air to catch birds in flight his shoulders developed to compensate for the loss, he was an impressive animal.

All that to say, I don't like poison, but I would still use it in the situation you described. Your health should be more importaint.

-- Thumper (slrldr@aol.com), March 13, 2001.

Action Dude, My relationship with my neighbors is perfect. One is a mile away, the other is 3 miles away! We are surrounded by a few thousand acres of national forest. Lots of hickory and oak trees. Plenty of food for all the creatures around. I try to make the snakes welcome, but husband doesn't like them. I believe part of dh problem is he grew up in the city and came to the "country" when we married. Never had a pet when growing up and all of these things that you and I take for granted are new to him. Guess rats were more normal than snakes. Still trying to get the food chain explained. I have found the litter box and set it up. When he gets home, I am going to tell him to lock up his little kitties. This woman is going to war! I picked up a 3lb tub of rat bait at the feed store this morning. hehehehehe, listen to their guts burn, hehehehe.

-- Terri Perry (teperry@stargate.net), March 13, 2001.

Good job, Terri! You go girl, good hunting.

-- Action Dude (theactiondude@yahoo.com), March 13, 2001.

Terri, I may be a little late but-- My Grandpa used to put a barrel with slippery insides ( now I use a big plastic garbage can) in the "affected" area. Put about 24" of water in it and float some grain on top of the water. Oats float nicely. It looks like a solid piece of floor. Lean a board against the outside of the barrel so the rats or mice can get in. They fall in the water, can't get out, and drown. This has worked for me.

-- Peg in NW WI (wildwoodfarms@hushmail.com), March 13, 2001.

The rat B.B.Q'r is completed. All I gotta do now is take the pictures and upload'm into my big, expensive, purty emachine! [$500. puter] Took about 2 1/2 hours but I did it a little better'n normal. If'n nobody was gonna see it it'd been much quicker and sloppier. It'll work---betcha! old hoot the rat miss-treater! Matt.24:44

-- hoot (hoot@pcinetwork.com), March 13, 2001.

Unmentionable Cuisine by Calvin Schwabe has about a half-dozen recipes for rat. Remember the movie King Rat?

-- Ken S. in WC TN (scharabo@aol.com), March 13, 2001.

Ken, Tell ya what, I will freeze them and when you are ready for that big get together this summer, I will Fed Ex overnight. Hey, who is going to Kens? I need to know how many rats to keep. Is it one per serving? Sorry, I won't be able to make it.

-- Terri Perry (teperry@stargate.net), March 13, 2001.

Hi Terri, I know what you are going thru. I'm in the rat attack mode after being over run with rats the past 2 weeks. They moved into a storage area by my woodpile. One night I went out and could hear them running everywhere! I bought 3 spring traps and baited with chunky peanut butter. I also bought a block of "rat candy", it's a one lb block of poison that you can break up into pieces. I put this up high in the garage and dropped it down some holes I found. So far I'm up to 3 adults and 10 midsize babies. 12 were caught in the traps and I found one huge male down by my pond dead. I think this was the only one that died from the rat candy. I have a cat that's worthless, so she's no help. I haven't caught anything for 3 nights, so I'm hopefull that I caught the wave in time. I can't get that Michael Jackson song and movie"Ben" out of my head :) Good luck.

-- Kent in WA (kent@premier1.net), March 13, 2001.

I got Rats in and under the barn foundation. Used the truck and hooked an exaust with an old vacuum cleaner hose to a rat hole. cover all existing holes but one and start the engine . When they run out club them to death . Now I cut the cats food down when they stop hunting.

-- jay vance (jay.l.vance@worldnet.att.net), March 13, 2001.

Sometimes it takes a few days for the poison to work .I clubbed a couple once when they came out wondering around.

-- Patty {NY State} (fodfarms@slic.com), March 13, 2001.


Breaded, deep fried rat. Hey, I'm be willing to try it. Don't remember how they cooked it in the King Rat movie. There are families in India who live on little more than fire cooked rat. It is almost a profession.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (scharabo@aol.com), March 13, 2001.


See the thread on mice in the walls. Call a couple of pet stores. They might buy live-trapped ones from you.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (scharabo@aol.com), March 14, 2001.

Hubby locked up his sweeties last night and I set out on my mission. Caught three more in the traps last night, 2 in 55 gallon drum with used motor oil in the bottom. Started feeding the critters warfarin blocks. They were knawed on last night. Jay, I like the idea of the carbonmonoxide chamber. May try it tonight. Got to get a rat zapper built. I love a challenge.

-- Terri Perry (teperry@stargate.net), March 14, 2001.

Try ammonia, sometimes it's very effective for removing animals. They can't stand the smell. We humanely discoraged a chipmunck who had set up a burrow beside a foundation...stuffed an ammonia soaked rag down one of his holes and he vacated lickety-split. Since you're out in the country, you may also try the LOUD radio trick and blast 'em out as well. This works occasionally on some animals. Between the 2 methods, they may pack up and leave.

My mother tells a funny story about her grandmother in Hungary. When great-grandma was a teenager, she went out one night to the village well. She heard this wierd sound,like a swishing hissing sound, then in the moonlight saw hundreds of rats. Apparently when a village was overrun with rats, a bunch of them would migrate to the next town. She ran home and told her father and uncles. The next day, everyone was freaking out about this invasion of rats. My great-great-grandfather found a solution. He caught on of the rats, wrapped it up in a rag like a straight jacket, then proceeded to sew some peppercorns in slits under the skin in the rat's backside. Very cruel method, but when they turned that poor rat loose, it took off shrieking and squealing down the street. That night the rats moved on to the next town. This could just be one of those folk tales, like our current "urban legends", but it sure makes for a family story that gets passed down the generations.

-- Chelsea (rmbehr@istar.ca), March 14, 2001.

There is a re-usable trap you can get at the hardware store called "A Better Rodent Trap". Also comes in mouse size. It is a plastic cross between a clothespin and a crocodile, and it works great without the danger of breaking your fingers when you set it and without pulverizing the rodent so you have to deal with the gore & stink. It is truly a better trap. You need to place them in such a way that your cats can't stick their noses or paws in them.

-- snoozy (allen@oz.net), March 15, 2001.

Hi, Sounds like the rats may be thirsty after all that eating. So, give the little uninvited party guest a drink. Rats, and all rodents for that matter, do not possess the ability to belch. This is how I kill the rats in my barn. I bloat them to death. Works quick too. They love the taste of soda pop, but they just can't get rid of the air. Leave shallow dishes of it out for them. And the pop won't poison your cats. Your cats will have a sweet feast! Bye for now. Indiana Gardener

-- Indiana Gardener (greenthumbs777@yahoo.com), March 17, 2001.

I have been using the mouse version (The Better Mousetrap) of The Better Rodent Trap. It is made by Intruder Inc. Their website is www.intruderinc.com. These traps work well, as I have not yet experienced the bait having been stolen without the trap triggered, or having the trap triggered with nothing in it. They do not cost much more than tradtional traps, but work much better.

I also have somewhere about a trap made from a oil drum, where a wire is strung across the top with bait in the middle, and a couple tin cans that can roll on the wire. So when the rat walks across the wire steps on the tin can, it rolls dumping him in the barrel where he drowns in water. I have never built one or even seen one, but it sounded interesting.

-- Rob Jacob (rjacob@frontiernet.net), August 09, 2001.

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