Rat or "Healthy Mouse"?
Find ANY point of entry. It's amazing what they will fit through. I
found a hole the size if my little finger that mice were using. I
borrowed a smoke tester from a friend who used it to sell replacement
windows. I turned off the boiler and covered the damper, then turned
on the bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans to create negative pressure in
the house. Then I was able to use the smoker to find air leaks. (Gotta
work on a few more this fall.....)
I had a bout with rats and the real trick is stopping them from coming in. Once
you do that, trap them out. Don't use poison unless you like the smell of
My first uneducated guess is roof rats (rattus rattus) AKA fruit rats, tree
rats or "palmetto squirrels" around here. (SW Fla)
They are brown to silver colored with a white belly and a very long tail. I
have a live trap (with peanut butter) and I also used glue traps. Just be sure
to tywrap the trap to something heavy or staple it to a big enough piece of
cardboard so they can't get to the edge and drag it away. I used some 1/8"
plate steel about the size of the glue trap because I had it. They set up quite
a rattle on the tile floor when you catch one.
Try to find out where they go and put the glue trap on their path. They tend to
When you are looking for the entry holes look around the eaves, attic vents and
soffits along with the normal places close to the ground. Roof rats can climb
better than a squirrel and they will come in a smaller hole. Also be sure you
have screens on your plumbing stacks. If one falls down the pipe he will come
up in the toilet looking for daylight. I really think that is the source of
most of the rat in the crapper stories.
The good news is if you are not in the city, the chances are the rat is not
going to be any more disease carrying than the other furry critters in your
yard. They just have a "yuck" factor and nobody really wants critters in the
BTW don't be surprised if you have several but it will be at least two. Hope
one didn't just have a litter of pups. (think rotting flesh again)
If they can crawl they will come out tho.
:) I've just discovered a rat running across my kitchen floor! I need the
:) collective wisdom of the group! How do I get rid of these critters....Any
:) and all help greatly appreciated!!!!
Try to figure out where the entry point in the kitchen is...corner of
the cabinets...bottom of the dishwasher, around the stove gas line
maybe. Place a rat sized snap or glue trap at the point of entry (on
the floor under the entry point). After you are satisfied you have
caught it/them try to close the openings they are using to get inside
the kitchen. Along with where they are entering in from the outside.
If you go with a bait, there is a chance of one dying in the attic or
under the crawlspace, but since the rats are more than likely living
away from the home and coming in exploring, it isn't a sure thing.
Lar. (to e-mail, get rid of the BUGS!!
It is said that the early bird gets the worm,
but it is the second mouse that gets the cheese.
I used to get citrus rats in the garage from time to time.
Would tie an empty Budweiser can to a rat trap with a foot or so of
leader/fishing line. Sometimes you'd hear a can clunk clunk clunking over
the attic rafters at 3AM. Tended to make an angry wife though. Quite
funny, watching a rat flopping around attached to those traps dragging a
dangling beer can down the cable tv line headed home or aimed for another
neighbors house. Lost an awful lot of traps until I started tying them to
big heavy things.
"The world's best mouser was tortoiseshell moggy Towser, April 21st, 1963
to 20th March 1987. In her lifetime she caught 28,899 mice, plus numerous
other unfortunate creatures such as rats & rabbits. Towser worked for the
Glenturret Distillery. A statue has been erected in the distillery grounds
to honour Towser."
You can borrow one for a few days. Put up a note at your local pet store.
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