Rats

  • Hey Guest, We've had to cancel our 2020 Summer BushMoot PLEASE LOOK HERE for more information.

Tony

White bear (Admin)
Admin
Apr 16, 2003
22,042
633
49
Wales
www.bushcraftuk.com
We have a bit of a rat problem at the moment, we're next to a stream and wooded grazing ground for cattle, I've got a shed and another woodshed etc in the corner of my back yard, it's also where the kids rabbits are. Over the last while the rat population seems to have increased loads, I know Rats breed bast etc but for years I've just shot the odd one, we've had poison out etc and all's been good.

However, at the moment we're seeing lots of them, the poison doesn't seem to be enough (and we have it out in numerous places, it's also good quality) and shotting the odd one really doesn't have a huge impact. I've not generally used traps but I'm happy to, anyone here had success with them?

At the moment I'm inclined to get some traps, maybe put more poison down and sit for a while with the air rifle each day...

Any other suggestions?
 

Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
35,505
1,629
S. Lanarkshire
We had them in our compost bins. We live next to a strip of woodland that runs along side a burn.

We tried the poison bait, it takes days to kill them unless you get a 'vermin exterminator' in who has access to more lethal stuff.
Then we bought the snap traps. Those work, and are easy to empty, clean and bait, and they killed the rats, dead. No fuss or bother.
Ours are like these ones, but in black
https://www.screwfix.com/p/stv-pest-free-ultra-power-rat-traps-2-pack/27499

I think if you have pipe traps they might be better though.
 

Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
35,505
1,629
S. Lanarkshire
They tunnel, and they like to dig their tunnels running along side things like walls or pipes, or bricks. If you site the traps right you can clear out a lot of the blighters pdq.

M
 

Woody girl

Full Member
Mar 31, 2018
2,622
1,743
61
Exmoor
I had a rather problem a few years ago. I tried snap traps but somehow they'd take the bait without setting off the traps. For a while I had the best fed rats in the country! They were big! So I put the trap into a pipe along the run with a flowerpot on the end so it was one way and they could not take the bait from the side of the trap and evade the"kill" as they had been doing. Problem solved.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Toddy

Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
35,505
1,629
S. Lanarkshire
Mine is a vegetarian household, so there was nothing in the compost bin but weedings and peelings. We reckoned they thought they'd found a nice warm place to hole up :sigh:

Peanut butter got the blighters almost every time :)
 

Erbswurst

Native
Mar 5, 2018
1,399
509
Berlin
The main question is:
Are they really a problem?

Are you a farmer who looses a lot of animal food, because the rats steal it?

I like them. They don't do anything bad to me. Why should I kill them?

The only thing that really helps against them is a big cat which runs around the house in the late evening and early morning. It kills the small ones, the life time of a Rattus Norwegicus is between 2,5 and 3,5 years.
 

Macaroon

A bemused & bewildered
Jan 5, 2013
7,115
266
70
SE Wales
The main question is:
Are they really a problem?

Are you a farmer who looses a lot of animal food, because the rats steal it?

I like them. They don't do anything bad to me. Why should I kill them?

The only thing that really helps against them is a big cat which runs around the house in the late evening and early morning. It kills the small ones, the life time of a Rattus Norwegicus is between 2,5 and 3,5 years.
Come back and tell us all about how nice they are if you have the misfortune to contract leptospirosis, eh? A life-changing disease on a par with tick-born infections like Lyme disease, amongst others; although Weill's disease (lepto.) is even more common now and is a real danger to those exposed to it. If you have rats you're exposed.
 

Nomad64

Full Member
Nov 21, 2015
1,073
575
Just out of range
Really not a fan of rat poisons as even the modern ones seem to have the potential to harm raptors and other predators/scavengers.

https://www.barnowltrust.org.uk/hazards-solutions/rodenticides/background-rat-poison-problem/

Also don’t like the open traps and prefer these which are in a dual purpose poison/trap type tunnel box and have been doing a decent job of keeping the rat population (culled rats are put in fenceposts for the rooks, buzzards and kites) down around the animal feed with less risk of bycatch.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Roshield-External-Snap-Trap-Control/dp/B00XL33EB0/ref=sr_1_9?crid=1SZ2AB6NRBJXW&keywords=rat+trap&qid=1552914518&s=gateway&sprefix=Rat+tra,aps,341&sr=8-9&th=1

At the risk of hijacking the thread, we have a bit of a grey squirrel problem and I have been looking at getting a trap. The Kania 2000 looks like it would do the job but even with the additional tunnel, seems to me to have a risk of catching woodpeckers, nuthatches, treecreepers and other native wildlife that likes checking out nooks and crannies on tree trunks.

http://www.squirreltrap.co.uk/springtraps.html

Does anyone have any experience of using these or the fancy new NZ CO2 powered traps which have just been approved for use in England & Wales - does anyone have any experience of these and whether other things can get caught?

https://www.fourteenacre.co.uk/shop/goodnature-a18-squirrel-trap/

Yes I have an air rifle but am a bit busy at the moment! :)
 

Damascus

Native
Dec 3, 2005
1,450
52
62
Norwich
Hi Tony

Your rat problem, this may sound simple but it is, you said the poisons kept them at bay, change the poison. Rats and mice breed at an alarming rate and those that have ingested poison and survived pass on this to their off spring. If I have had great success in the past, when it drops off, swop poisons and you’ll find it may well be effective again.
Poisons, go to most farm stores, they will hold various poisons which are used by the trade and try something else, the poison bags are great but buy loose it works out less expensive.

Dave
 

slowworm

Native
May 8, 2008
1,035
129
Devon
I also don't like or use poison as we have a large number of owls about and they visit the garden frequently.

I use various traps, all positioned safely, and often baited for a while without setting so the rats get used to them.

We don't seem to have many but they are crafty little blighters who don't often get trapped. I am considering the good nature trap for rats if they increase much.

As for squirrels, I've had better luck with these traps than the Kania: https://www.fourteenacre.co.uk/shop/fineren-bodygrip-box-for-squirrels/
 
  • Like
Reactions: Nomad64

Tony

White bear (Admin)
Admin
Apr 16, 2003
22,042
633
49
Wales
www.bushcraftuk.com
Hi Tony

Your rat problem, this may sound simple but it is, you said the poisons kept them at bay, change the poison. Rats and mice breed at an alarming rate and those that have ingested poison and survived pass on this to their off spring. If I have had great success in the past, when it drops off, swop poisons and you’ll find it may well be effective again.
Poisons, go to most farm stores, they will hold various poisons which are used by the trade and try something else, the poison bags are great but buy loose it works out less expensive.

Dave
Yeah, good point Dave, we get our poison from the farm shop so it's not a problem getting something else to mix it up.

The main question is:
Are they really a problem?
Yes.
 

chandelierman

Forager
Dec 14, 2018
111
20
54
essex
If you are not already a member then get on the airgun forums ....there would be plenty of people on there willing to come and help you shoot them ....I know I would :) but I live in Southend on sea
 

Macaroon

A bemused & bewildered
Jan 5, 2013
7,115
266
70
SE Wales
I've wondered about this. Are all rats carriers, or like ticks, only a small percentage?
Last I read about the situation it seems to be likely that upwards of fifty per cent of the rat population of any given area in Europe will carry the disease; and it's also present in some cattle and will be passed to humans through contact with urine from an infected animal.

The upsides are that the infection can't survive at under 4 degrees C., nor in dry conditions, and won't survive contact with even the mildest of chemicals, i.e. good soap etc. That's fine if the rats are not in your immediate
domestic environment as you can measure the risk and act accordingly. When they are right there where you and your family live, play and perhaps grow your food, it's not possible to measure the risk as you'd need to assume it was ever present.
 

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
3,177
2,349
Mid Wales
You are 530 times more likely to be seriously injured or killed on our roads than get Leptospirosis - though 4 times more likely in France! However, one of our dogs did die of it when I was a kid. There are loads of things that are bad for you out there and simple precautions are best; killing carriers will only work if you exterminate and that's very difficult.

The odd rat I can put up with but they soon reach pest numbers where they destroy all sorts of stuff including stored food stuff, leather, outdoor furniture and covers etc. etc.

I would use traps; I have seen the results of secondary poisoning in barn owls.
 
  • Like
Reactions: daveO and Nomad64

slowworm

Native
May 8, 2008
1,035
129
Devon
Last I read about the situation it seems to be likely that upwards of fifty per cent of the rat population of any given area in Europe will carry the disease; and it's also present in some cattle and will be passed to humans through contact with urine from an infected animal.
Interesting, thanks. The problem with rats is they will be everywhere, so I doubt even poisoning them with something decent will reduce the numbers much.

We don't have any neighbours and don't have mains drainage and some of the rats I've caught seem to be in very good condition so I was curious if they're likely to be carrying just as many diseases as your average sewer rat.
 

Erbswurst

Native
Mar 5, 2018
1,399
509
Berlin
Another option probably would be to look where they live and to digg them out.

Pay attention, that they can't bite you!

Usually they go somewhere else, if theyr house is destroyed.