Rats, Rats, R-A-T-S

Does anyone have an ingenious trapping and/or eradicating methods for ridding our property of these varmints? Poisoning is not an option; too much wildlife around. The hawks are not around when the rats are out at night.
Rats are wrecking havoc with our bird feeders and chewing on our avocados and other fruits.
Many thanks for taking the time to respond!
Alain...USDA 9B...Sunset # 19
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Have-A-Hart live traps work, but I have to tell you, there will never ever be rat free anything. They outnumber humans by 5 or more to 1. I have a lot of room, so I put three compost bins are the corners of the property. They have plenty to eat at those so don't bother my plants too much. We also grow sunflowers and let the seeds drop away from the house.
I don't like trapping because I always worry they have babies somewhere which can die a miserable death. Then again, I don't view rats as horrid varmints. I appreciate them as being just another life and try to stay out of it. I also grow strawberries which they can eat...and those plants are away from the house.
I also find if I stay out of it, a rat snake will show up, and has. Nature is cruel at times, but if it happens naturally, without my intervention, it's the way it goes. So, in essence, I tolerate rats and the like.
Victoria
On Sat, 26 Jul 2003 21:56:02 -0700, "J. Farnsworth Wallaby"

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Go to Target and buy a big "Hello Kitty!" poster. Place it near where rats congregate. The rats will think the cat has encephalitis and run away.
- Salty Nut
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words:

If you use a rat (kill) trap, you can also place it in a pipe or tunnel with two open ends alongs an outside wall; the kind of runway rats seek out. The tunnel can be a row of bricks with a plank lid. This also prevents your child/dog/cat hurting themselves with the trap.
Janet
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I don't exactly have an ingenious way to totally rid your property of rats, but pure common sense is what I'd start with...get rid of all your bird feeders...
BT
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I didn't see your post when it first came on rec.gardens, but I will say we have rats out back. They love sunflower seeds and are the fattest rats I've seen! They indeed are not just nocturnal. They are out there every day, all the time, day or night. They don't run any more when they see me. I gave up. There are far more rats on the planet in NYC, than every person or place.
We used to live trap them with Have A Heart traps, but what are we going to do, trap a billion rats? Seems silly.
So, as long as they don't come in the house, I'm okay. I've discovered that by having some brush piles large enough to support a community of wildlife, rats, lizards, snakes, skink, some birds, etc...the rat and mice populations are contained. It took some time, but finally we saw some rat snakes this year on our property. If I poison the rat, the snake dies too, which you know. I would never poison a rat. Never.
So, if you can put the feeders far from the house, make some type habitat to support some reptiles, you will see a decrease in rat and mice populations on the property.
V

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Just remember, rats are people too.
-paghat the ratgirl
--
"Of what are you afraid, my child?" inquired the kindly teacher.
"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
  Click to see the full signature.
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wrote:

I feel greatly complimented to be compared to any wildlife. So, thanks.
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Eaton bait block is a very good product, comes in apple or peanutbutter/molasses, and you can also get the hard plastic rodent baiter boxes at any good pest control supply house, these are great to use where yoiu also have other animals present, they can be nailed to the walls of barns etc, or even attached to cinder blocks.... commercially they are required where you have people with access to the baited area, or pets.
Jim

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