How to SAFELY eliminate a rat?

I know they say; "Where this is one, there are many", but my dad has a rat that thinks it's a chipmunk! He feeds with them under the bird feeders (he doesn't climb them like they do) alongside the birds, plays hide-n-seek games, runs with them in the yard, and hides food with them!
His house is atop a mountain above the Ohio River. The only time rats ever ventured atop this several mile hill is when the river has extreme flooding, which is not often.
He loves his wildlife so the deterent must be safe. He especially loves his 'chippy's', even named each one of them! And there are many! And if the neighborhood were to find out that he has a rat and did nothing about it.. well that would make the front newspaper!
My mom was told to place pepperment outside to eliminate just the rat. (Which by the way, looks like a cross between something and something else).
Thanks for any advice.....
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This will sound counterintuitive, but the safest way may be a pellet rifle with a scope on it. But, there are two aspects to the safety question here:
1) Safe for the other animals? Yes, assuming your dad doesn't have shaky hands, and he rests the rifle on some sort of support (which a person of any age really should do under these circumstances). A pellet rifle is quite accurate if adjusted correctly, and that wouldn't take more than an hour of testing is on a cardboard box full of newspapers. Once that's done, just one shot would take care of the rat. No poison or traps needed. A decent enough pellet rifle can be had, with scope for about $100.00.
2) Safe for the neighbors? If you can see a house in the line of fire, that house should be 500-800 feet away. But, since you'd be shooting toward the ground, you can reduce that distance assuming the ground's not full of rocks or tree roots which might cause a ricochet. And, of course, everyone watching this happen would be wearing safety glasses / goggles.
It sounds crazy, but safer than wishing really hard that the "good" animals won't be hurt.
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Great thought and I wish he would consider this option as he has a pistol type pellet gun, but he has not used it since I was little. This is out of the question now. He would not even permit me to do it for him for fear he'd lose a chippy. (and daddies girls try to avoid upsetting their daddies) If only the rat was by itself this would work but it is always with the chipmunks and the birds. Never alone.
I'm beginning to wonder if one of the spoiled brats in the neighborhood let some sort of exotic pet out because they were bored with it, as this has happened in the past. I haven't seen it, but mom says it really doesn't look like a rat. Kinda fuzzy, much bigger than any mouse we've seen, yet much smaller than any rat. We looked at enature.com to see if the rat was there, but it wasn't.
JoeSpareBedroom wrote:

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Are you sure its actually a rat. It oculd be one of CArol Gulleys children so call her up or send her a email and ask if she has any renegade kids on the loose i your area, most rats originallay come from that woman anyhow.
snipped-for-privacy@bellsouth.net or snipped-for-privacy@directway.com
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has a

bird
plays
rats
extreme
many!
rat.
something
rifle
question here:

shaky
person of any

quite
hour of

just one

enough
fire, that

toward the

of rocks

animals
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Sounds like you've never used a scoped rifle. Unless the target is constantly changing position, you should be able to cap the offending creature without hitting anything else.

Can you photograph it? If so, post it online for all to see, on a site like www.photobucket.com. And, call your state environmental department & ask if you can e-mail a photo to someone who knows wildlife. I'm beginning to wonder if you have a baby possum.
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for sure, until you know what it is, leave it alone. Ingrid

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ List Manager: Puregold Goldfish List at http://weloveteaching.com/puregold / sign up: http://groups.google.com/groups/dir?hl=en&q=puregold&qt_s=Group+lookup www.drsolo.com Solve the problem, dont waste energy finding who's to blame ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I receive no compensation for running the Puregold list or Puregold website. I do not run nor receive any money from the ads at the old Puregold site. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Zone 5 next to Lake Michigan
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For god sakes kill the dam thing I am sure its not the last of a speices or an endangered speices..... There just is not that many critters that an average individual is not capable of ID'ing out there. Evidently this iidot never attended a school and is therefore clueless as to what it actually is.........duh!
On Fri, 09 Jun 2006 17:32:35 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@wi.rr.xx.com wrote:

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http://www.ganesha.org/ptb/hipcrime.html
http://groups.google.com/groups/dir?hl=en&q=puregold&qt_s=Group+lookup
website.
site.
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Koi-Lo For god sakes kill the dam thing I am sure its not the last of a
speices or an endangered speices..... There just is not that many critters that an average individual is not capable of ID'ing out there. Evidently this iidot never attended a school and is therefore clueless as to what it actually is.........duh!
On Fri, 09 Jun 2006 17:32:35 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@wi.rr.xx.com wrote: for sure, until you know what it is, leave it alone. Ingrid
"ChelleBell" snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net wrote: really doesn't look like a rat. Kinda fuzzy, much bigger than any mouse we've seen, yet much smaller than any rat. We looked at enature.com to see if the rat was there, but it wasn't.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ List Manager: Puregold Goldfish List at http://weloveteaching.com/puregold / sign up: http://tinyurl.com/h5rmf www.drsolo.com Solve the problem, dont waste energy finding who's to blame ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I receive no compensation for running the Puregold list or Puregol website. I do not run nor receive any money from the ads at the old Puregol site. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Zone 5 next to Lake Michigan
from what u are saying this may very well be a pet that someone decided they didnt want anymore. your best bet might be to try one of those humane traps like "have a heart" where u can catch the animal and set it free. otherwise it might be an idea to call your humane society and see what they suggest. good luck. cyaaaaa, sockiescat
-- sockiescat
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Get with the program. Call the USAF in and let em drop a laser guided 500# in on that rat.........They managed to hit that big rat in Iraq, dead on.........
On Fri, 09 Jun 2006 13:57:53 GMT, "JoeSpareBedroom"

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I find a #10 boot to the skull, where the skull is between said boot and the hard ground with a few Newtons of force to be the most effective.
I used to run to get something to hit 'em with, or try to sneak in and get the .22-- but without fail, they would scurry away before the weapon of choice was located and prepared to perform its duty.
Then one day I looked at the house (where the shovel was leaning) said "ah, screw it, by the time I get it and get back here, he'll be long gone" ... so I chased him around for a minute or two before I had him cornered, and put my #10 boot to his head.
Works like a charm every time. Safe, effective, and easy to do.
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We used DCon, a poison, and it did not appear to bother the chipmunks, but I don't count them so I can't say with absolute certainty that none were harmed. I would suggest you consult a veterinarian to find the best way to solve the problem. You could take along a picture of the "rat" so the vet could identify exactly what it is.
ChelleBell wrote:

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