Got rats in the garden enthusiastically getting at any food I'm
putting out for the birds.
Some do's and don'ts to get rid of them please. My first impulse was
to look at air-rifles. Might be fun but doubt that I'd have the
patience as winter draws in and probably not that effective anyway.
Use a cage trap with a small lump of peanut butter, then shoot them. I
used a CO2 pistol which dispatched them quickly.
Make sure you check the trap regularly or they'll die needlessly
painfully of dehydration.
I had a false trigger caused by a mouse which I saw eating the peanut
butter. When he saw me, he hopped straight through the bars of the cage
which just didn't seem possible. I swear he gave me the finger before
You must have had much more sensitive traps than I have. I had a couple
of house mice that, at around 10cm long, were too big for the mouse
traps that wouldreadily catch field mice. I had to pre-load the platform
of the rat trap with several magnets before the house mice would trigger it.
You could use a huge electromagnet to catch them. :-)
I found that magnets were the only things that reliably stayed in
position on the (steel) trigger plate. From a previous business I have a
number of extremely strong 15mm dia x 3mm thick magnets that find all
sorts of uses.
That sort of split opinion is pretty much par for the course for pretty
much any traps. I can only assume that about half of people simply
don't set them properly.
They have to be in the right place (ie in a run and not somewhere that
will trap other species), they have to be set for long enough for the
rats to get used to them in the environment (though checked often), they
have to carry no residual scent of either people or dead rats and,
importantly, they have to be the most available source of 'food' in the
locality, to tempt ratty into having a nibble. A little lubrication on
the action (cooking oil or butter are good, as mineral oil doesn't smell
inviting to a rat) may help a quick dispatch.
That said, I agree with Adam and you'll never get rid of every rat in
the world with traps, guns or poison. You just have to make sure they
have no good reason (food, water or shelter) to be near you.
You can buy rat traps and poison at places like Screwfix
I'd imagine the only "professional" element in using these things
is in knowing where to put them.
The problem being, any dead rats aren't going to lie around where
you can easily count them, and so judge their effectiveness.
However having seen evidence of rats in my shed I bought four traps
18 months ago laid around the garden perimeter and have seen none
I've seen no evidence of dead birds etc. who would already be catered
for in any case by neighbours cats were they silly enough to
stay at ground level.
I believe they also make bait in blocks which would show
evidence of it having been eaten.
From a humanitarian aspect* I've come to believe that even if they're
not going to be poisoned or trapped, in their natural state rats still
are going to die in a hospital bed under sedation surrounded by friends
and family. Presumably they eventually die of starvation, disease or
injuries as a result of fighting. None of it pleasant.
* Somewhat stretched already with the revelation that they started
eating away at wounded soldiers before they were even dead in
shellholes etc in WW1.
Chained down, after one vanished completely, but the second time I caught a
bird in one (even though there was a cover over it), I stopped using them
(although the smaller but similar mouse traps work very well), and these
days I use 1oz of #9 shot travelling at 1000 fps. (Actually, I use the .410
and I can't remember how much shot there is in a .410 cartridge, so that's
the numbers for the 12ga. which is a bit big for rats.)
Today is Pungenday, the 46th day of The Aftermath in the YOLD 3180
"The four most overrated things in life are champagne, lobster, anal sex
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