DIY Rat Catching

All this year I have noticed little piles of earth and sand next to the paths and patio in my garden. It was only after one of the large plastic filter chambers for my Koi pond that sits on a paving slab suddenly developed a significant list that I looked under some of the slabs. I found a very elaborate network of tunnels. I have called the council and they put some poison in the tunnels but they didn't think the tunnels were caused by rats, the tunnels weren't big enough and thought that it must be mice. All I can say is that they must be some big mice. The tunnels must be about 2 ins diameter. What ever the animals are, they have left the bait and redug the filled in tunnels. I tried flooding them out with a hose pipe and they have redug the tunnels. I have borrowed a humane trap and baited it with a sausage, recommended apparently but haven't caught anything yet. Has anybody else had this sort of problem and any idea what is causing it. The amount of earth being excavated is quite incredible and the soil in my garden is very, very stony. I have three cats and they haven't caught anything either.
Kevin
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<... snipped >

filled
Chocolate might work - rats and mice are sweet-toothed when given the opportunity!
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On Thu, 18 Sep 2003 18:11:07 +0100, "Pam Morris"

Those traps don't half hurt, you know 8-(
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Yep, and rats are particularly intelligent animals too. They suffer pain, and badly. Sadly treated with contempt in most of the western world, revered in other cultures.
There are natural nad painless ways of dealing with rats and mice. Sonic deterrents discourage effectively, in many cases.
-- S i g n a l @ l i n e o n e . n e t
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TMI TMI!! Trying to get that image out of my brain now!!
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On Mon, 22 Sep 2003 11:27:51 +0100, Peter Ashby
Wish the same could be said of a neigbour I once had! :O) (Oh, and no, let's not go there!) ;O)
Take Care, Gnube {too thick for linux}
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That may be true, however not in the case of devices sold for domestic use intended as 'repellers'. They simply do not work.
Find me verifiable proof

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So is the idea that mice leave the area due to feeling inferior in someway?
Or do that just start hunting for one hell of a party thats going on next door?
Darren - images of mice looking for an orgy and dying of disappointment :)
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I'm not sure we know, though possibly some of the former. Maybe it gives the females a headache? ;-)
Peter
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They could be young rats, which are easier to trap than their much cleverer parents.

We poured conc. disinfectant down into the tunnels and that did drive them away.
Mice and rats will always try to live near a regular supply of food. Do you feed the birds nearby, or do you have a compost bin (worms) in the vicinity? Getting rid of a food source is important.
--
Tony Williams.

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<snip>
The piles of earth and network of tunnels are extremely suggestive of moles to me; although 2 ins diameter sounds a little large. Don't suppose moley likes rat poison, which would explain the council's failure! They rarely, if ever, emerge from underground which explains the cats lack of success(although I remember ours got one once).
They can be got rid of in many ways - the green/PC solution is supposed to be an electronic gizmo you stick in the ground and the ultrasonic noise or whatever it produces is supposed to scare them off. No idea if they work.
Alternatives are poison firework jobs which you shove down the holes; otherwise there are various nasty mechanical traps (google for mole trap) which are fairly effective.
Assuming you have got moles, they are not a health problem like rats and other than creating little piles of topsoil, AFAIK they are unlikely to cause damage (somebody will now tell us their house collapsed due to moles undermining the foundations...) Moles probably help drainage of the soil too. So you may feel you can live with them?
They are certainly incredible earth shifters, you may well have no more than a couple causing your problem.
HTH David
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (David) wrote in message

Agree these could be moles. I personally don't mind them, but having had a bad fall as a result of stepping in a hole I now take more of a NIMBY attitude.
If you bait near the runs with some dog food you will see if there are rats, however they are suspicious and may take several days to take the bait. Then you can watch and see what the problem is.
For rats and moles you could also try connecting a pipe to the exhaust of a petrol mower if you have one, and piping the fumes underground into the tunnels. Have to make sure the end of the pipe at the exhaust doesn't get hot and melt, so use some metal pipe for the first bit and flexible garden hose once the gas is cool enough.
Another option for rats is to get the help of someone with an airgun. A competent shot will be able to kill a rat instantly with a single shot, and have a suitable rifle, with a special lamp for night shooting. If you wish you could ask for a demonstration of accuracy with a paper target before before letting someone loose. Contact your local Gunshop, you may have a local Gun/Air Rifle club, or look in the Airgunner or Airgun World magazines at the newsagents for contact.
Eric
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