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Rats !


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Sive
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


Joined: 18 Apr 2008
Posts: 1731
Location: Co.Wexford

PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 1:13 pm    Post subject: Rats ! Reply with quote

I had the pleasure of seeing two large rats coming out of my compost heaps this morning, and then they scuttled under a garden shed.
We live on an acre in open countryside with a few scattered houses around.....no streams or water-filled ditches anywhere, in fact we live on a hill.
As "townies" who have moved into the country side in the last few years, we may be over-reacting to our "visitors" ......or are we ?
Do country rats carry the same diseases as town rats ? Should we wear gloves when handling the compost out of our heaps ? ( I'm thinking of the dangers of Weil's disease )
Should we put poison down ? ( maybe under the shed )
Any advice would be welcome !
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Foxylock
Rank attained: Sessile Oak Tree
Rank attained: Sessile Oak Tree


Joined: 08 Aug 2009
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Location: cork

PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Sive my father used to say " no matter where you are you're never more than four feet away from a rat " I presume he meant the furry four legged kind Laughing

Gloves are essential if you know they are in the vicinity and keep any cuts or sores covered when working in the garden. I would definitely lay some poison making sure it can't be accessed by pets, birds or children, I use short lengths of 9 inch wavin piping and put the bait in the middle. I got infested last year but it's under control now ( long story ) Rolling Eyes Get a cat, a terrier or a bird of prey ( only joking ) Also a granular poison seems to be more effective than cubes coz it forces the rat to eat in situ and not bring it back to the den and store it, giving you the impression that the problem is worse than it really is. Hope this helps and best of luck.
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forest flame
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Joined: 17 Jun 2008
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Location: DUBLIN

PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hi sive
i think i speak for most when i say i hate to see them around the place.if you are putting waste food such as peelings and the like on to the heap it might be an idea to compost these items in a compost bin.as the cold weather continues food is getting scarcer and the rats will eat nearly anything.as foxylock says a cat around the place does help.i would lay poison too as if you can get rid of them before they breed you shouldnt have a permanent problem.
best of luck
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dinahdabble
Rank attained: Rowan Tree
Rank attained: Rowan Tree


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Location: Torr

PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All rats obviously have the capability to spread diseases that can be picked up by other rats and humans. The higher the concentration of rats and humans in an area, the more likely they are to infect one another. Unless, however, you've a barn over-run or a broken sewer pipe in the vicinity, it's unlikely that the casual contact you have with soil in places that rats frequent will need any more hygienic measures than that which normal contact with dirt and decay requires. Gardeners, horticultural workers and farmers all need to be more careful, because they handle dirt and decaying animal and plant materials. You should always clean any cuts more carefully when handling compost or soil. Consider anti-tetanus jabs every 10 years, and similar immunisations in areas with high instances of other diseases if you are at an increased risk of infection from injuries. Wherever you live, you should always wash hands thoroughly before handling food if you have been gardening.

Poison can be a very bad idea in the countryside. Many different kinds of wildlife pick up rat poison besides rats, and also domestic animals. Poison can also be a problem when it is hidden away under a shed, because other kinds of wildlife may share the same area. Also, there can be sufficient poison in a dead rat to kill larger predators like cats, dogs, buzzards, eagles, wittericks etc. if they consume the poisoned animal. Particularly so, since a poisoned rat can live for several days, characteristically sitting hunched up out in the open and unable to escape.

Traps are OK, unless they are likely to injure other wild creatures - so live traps are best. You must, however, take rodents a considerable distance away from your garden for them to stay away. Ultra-sonic electronic devises are also available that deter rodents, though I am not sure how effective they are or whether they have a more limited coverage.

The most permanent way to keep down rat infestations both indoors and outdoors is to keep a predatory animal - though again, you have to find ways of ensuring that the predators don't eat the wrong prey, e.g. birds. If keeping a ferret, dog or cat is a problem, then you might arrange for a rat catcher to bring in his team (usually consisting of ferret, terrier and lurcher) every-so-often to clear them out. They are very much faster and more effective than poison.
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Foxylock
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Location: cork

PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have the number for this guy if you want it


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ormondsview
Rank attained: Silver Birch Tree
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Location: Kenmare, Co. Kerry

PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 11:53 pm    Post subject: rodents away Reply with quote

I agree not to use warfarin as the poison to destroy rats. It is a terrible death. They shouldn't sell the stuff as some psycho people who hate dogs have put poison in leash free zones with it. Also, trapping them is overkill for creatures doing what is natural. Keep the compost pile far from the house and turn it often so that there's not much to get at. Two rats are a lot, so maybe consider a covered pile, lots of earth on top, no meat scraps. I had mice coming into the kitchen this fall and used a catch and release contraption. I wouldn't want to be catching and releasing rats though! If you're in a farming community, they are attracted by grain feed and inevitable.

I'd like to get that kitten on my rooftops to shoot the squirrels eating my bulbs!
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Sive
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


Joined: 18 Apr 2008
Posts: 1731
Location: Co.Wexford

PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2009 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you to everyone who took the time to reply to my request for advice. I will take on board all that has been written.
My heart says I shouldn't kill any creature, particularly in a nasty, painful way....but my head is concerned that we may have two rats about to have a load of babies under our shed.....and then a dose of grandchildren too!
We never put any animal products in our compost heap, but I do put scraps of bread or leftover cooked vegetables in there.
I will ask a friend who is a vet for advice....and our neighbour who keeps horses has offered to come and see how bad the problem is.
I do, of course smile at the thought that we may well have had rats around always, but just never happened to see them before. I will try not to over-react !
I will also have a serious word with a neighbour's Jack Russell......an extra Bonio may help too !
Thanks again !
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sal
Rank attained: Sessile Oak Tree
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Location: kerry

PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

you could always borrow my jack russell Laughing

this pic is a pure fluke,he jumped up onto the sofa(where he is NOT allowed) and as i went to lift him off he leaned back onto the fairy wings my daughters left there,
he really isn`t a fairy Wink



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catman
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, just a quick one on rats. Stupidly I had bird seed and peanuts in my garden shed that I forgot to put on a shelf. I went out over Christmas to refill my bird feeders and noticed that all the peanuts were gone and half the bird seed. I hoped for mice???? I got rid of the remaining seed and cleaned up the around where they were feeding. I half hoped that they would leave. After buying new bird food I was looking at some birds feeding in the garden Saturday when this huge rat came from my shed out to the patio and started picking at seeds the birds had dropped from the feeders!!!! I bought rat poison and put the dose it prescribed into the tray and put it in the shed. Back out Sunday morning and all the poison was gone. I filled up the tray again with the prescribed dose again and left it. Went out this morning and all the poison was gone again!!!! I put three trays out and three satchels of poison out. I checked at lunch time and some of this has been eaten. Can anyone tell me how long the rat poison should take to work? Somebody told me that it can take a week or so and the rats will leave the shed to die. This doesn't seem plausible to me. You cannot get passed the door in the shed with all the summer furniture and stuff, and it is full of lots of little hidden corners so I would assume the rat would hide in one of these to die meaning I have to empty the whole shed looking for it. Can anyone give me a bit of guidance on this?
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Protein
Rank attained: Ash Tree
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Joined: 05 May 2009
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Location: Clare

PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Either you have more than one rat, or the rat is bionic.

As far as I know, rat poison contain anti-coagulant, which causes blood vessels to burst.The poison should kick in after a day or two...

Practically most houses on my road have Jack Russels. Its almost worth putting up with them nipping at my heels, because I have yet to see one...

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catman
Rank attained: Hawthorn Tree
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Location: Kilkenny

PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Checked yesterday evening and again this morning and only a small bit of poison has been eaten, plus there are bloody footprints around the trays so I assume the poison has worked. The only problem now is emptying the whole shed so that I can find the critter and get rid!!!!!!!!
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Foxylock
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 12:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Catman.

Rats are known to stockpile poison, meaning they will stash it when the supply is being constantly replenished. There are two things you can do to combat this , firstly lay the bait for a few consecutive days then take a break for a day or two before starting again. Secondly use a granular poison which forces the rat to feed in situ.
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Fiachra
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i have the same dread of rats that you have sive. We have had them around the pony's shed from time to time but my husband puts out poison 9 in narrow pipes)on a regular basis and that seems to have cured the problem. Also , this might sound drastic but do you know anyone who has a gun - we have used this method before - fast solution to the problem and, I think, not as cruel as poison.I have never had them in the compost as I use a bin with a tight fitting lid and vents on the sides. It has a mesh base to keep rats out but let worms in. I have a few pots of mint around the garden - it is supposed to deter them.I don't mind them living in the ditch but don't want to meet them in my garden - especially with kids around.
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catman
Rank attained: Hawthorn Tree
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No need to clear out the shed yet thank god, can wait a week or two till the weather is better. The rat had the good sense to curle up and die in the middle of the garden just outside our back door. The snow finally melted yesterday and there was the little critter frozen solid. The shed will need a complete hose down but at least I dont need to do it straight away. Anyone know why rats come out in the open to die?? I had heard from someone in work who has a farm that this happened but I didn't believe him until I saw it myself. He told me when I first put the poison down that I would find him in the middle of the grass!!!!!
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Foxylock
Rank attained: Sessile Oak Tree
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Probably trying to find a phone to call a doctor Laughing It was maybe trying to find water. There is a poison which actually drives the rats into their burrow to die, called Neoperexa gold. I've used this with quite good results and no carcasses to be disposing of.
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