Who knows about rats?

colly

Re member eR
Location
Leeds
Iv'e recently been bothered with rats around the garden.

In particular around my pond and waterfall where they seem to have burrowed into the rockery and made a nice cosy nest.
I made sure there was no food anywhere hoping they would move on. No chance.

The final straw was seeing two of the buggers in broad daylight swimming in the pond.
Now seeing as how it's me who has to clean out the pond and I really didn't fancy a bout of Wiels Disease I bought a couple of traps and set them up one evening.

Before I went to bed I wandered down and sure enough one had been caught. Bang to rights, lights out. Excellent I thought. It was dark so I left it until the morning before disposing of it and re-setting the trap.

Come the next morning I go down and what do I find? Nothing. No rat no trap.

After a bit of searching I found both rat and trap wedged up into one of the entrances they had dug to the nest. Hard up between two rocks.

I set two traps that night and caught two rats and sure enough one of them had been dragged to a place about 4 feet away towards the nest.

So the question is:

Were the other rats trying to 'rescue' Uncle Fred or were they trying to take the body back for food?
The body wasn't nibbled or eaten at all and there is no way it would have been the caught rats struggling to get back. They were as dead as it was possible to be so already.

I know rats are not dim but the idea of them trying to get back one of their own is kind of unsettling. Do they have emotional ties I wonder?
 

tyred

Legendary Member
Location
Ireland
Never underestimate how tough a rat is. They often move the traps even though you would expect them to be dead. I've witnessed a freshly trapped rat trying to make of with the trap. I would recommend tying the trap to something with a piece of cord.

They're actually a fascinating, unbelieveably tough and intelligent creature. Shame they cause so many issues.
 

Saddle bum

Über Member
Location
Kent
Two things guaranteed to see off a rat:

1. A good cat in fighting trim.

2. A flat ended airgun pellet (minimum).

I don't like poison, too indiscriminate.
 

tyred

Legendary Member
Location
Ireland
If you are setting poision, try and get some sort of pipe about three inches in internal diameter, cut into eighteen inch lengths and put the poison inside the pipe and place pipe where the rats "run." That will keep dogs, cats, birds, etc away from it.

A hungry Jack Russell can work wonders as well.
 

downfader

extimus uero philosophus
Location
'ampsheeeer
Saddle bum said:
Two things guaranteed to see off a rat:

1. A good cat in fighting trim.

2. A flat ended airgun pellet (minimum).

I don't like poison, too indiscriminate.
I agree though dont like 1. as the cat tends to kill and maim other animals like birds.

No.2 you're better off using a humane trap and making sure it is ACTUALLY a rat (lots of people kill voles, including watervoles - a rat with have a bare tail, voles a fluffy one). You also get a better shot and less chance of the animal suffering.

One approach I know others have used (game keepers and pest controllers) is to use special thick gloves, remove the animal and snap its neck. Takes some doing to get it right.

Trouble I've seen with a lot of flat traps is that they aint strong enough, are indescimintate like poison and sometimes the rat gets wise to them.

Used to keep rats as pets so I know how intelligent they are.
 

swee'pea99

Legendary Member
That's a really unsettling story for some reason...macabre. I'd definitely go for tyred's suggestion - poison in a pipe. It's the only thing that gets rid of them (and that way you don't endanger anything else).
 

Davidc

Guru
Location
Somerset UK
Rats have strong family ties, as we do. The trap may have been moved by relatives hoping to help the trapped one. (Similarly you'll see rabbits trying to revive their mates and offspring when run over or shot, and I've seen a pheasant trying to revive its flattened mate as well)

Rats are about the only animal which can eat as wide a variety of foods as humans do - and they haven't even invented cooking yet! Trying to deprive them of food in your garden is doomed to failure.

Jack Russells are a good rat killing device - unless the dog is trained it may not last long though. Rat bites are disease infested and the dog may succumb.

I've used traps both at home and at work, but the little bugg*** seem always to be able to maintain enough numbers to go on breeding no matter how many get trapped.

Rats have an achilles heel. They can't stand the smell of chlorine. Ordinary domestic sodium hypochlorite bleach (domestos or the Sainsburys etc. equivalent) sprayed into the nest seems to persuade them that next door's garden is a much better des res than the the one they're in.

And they scare me more than almost any other animal. I hate them.

As downfader says they're intelligent as well, and will work out how to overcome your anti-rat measures very fast.

Edit: I ran a foot long one over on my bike a few years back. I was doing about 20 mph, and bike + shopping + me was around 150kg. It rolled over and ran off. I came off, road burns on my arm, ripped jeans, bent crank, milk all over everything, and a new rim needed. Ba$tarδ animal.
 

Davidc

Guru
Location
Somerset UK
downfader said:
I suppose its also worth pointing out that some rats are immune to certain poisons.
Yes, and they're also bright enough to play dead when they're not.
 
Have you tried your local council Many offer free services when it comes to rats and lying poisen. The people who come out are most likely experienced in dealing with them and will do a better job than you would (no offense intended).
 

Smokin Joe

Legendary Member
In the years since we.ve lived here I've shot and killed dozens of the little buggers. We have a field at the back of the house and they come from there for dinner on Mrs SJ's bird table.

I only have a single shot air rifle, but if you invest in a pre-charged multi shot gun it would be even more effective.
 

twentysix by twentyfive

Clinging on tightly
Location
Over the Hill
Davidc said:
Edit: I ran a foot long one over on my bike a few years back. I was doing about 20 mph, and bike + shopping + me was around 150kg. It rolled over and ran off. I came off, road burns on my arm, ripped jeans, bent crank, milk all over everything, and a new rim needed. Ba$tarδ animal.
Yeah intelligent is right. After your Chlorine they laid an ambush for you. Davidc 1 Rats 1 :smile:
 

Davidc

Guru
Location
Somerset UK
twentysix by twentyfive said:
Yeah intelligent is right. After your Chlorine they laid an ambush for you. Davidc 1 Rats 1 :biggrin:
They must have 'phones - previous ones I chlorined were in Brighton - the off was in Suffolk. Wouldn't put it past the vile creatures though.

Could just be that they're not quite intelligent enough to have learn't to cross roads without being hit. But then neither have some humans.

If I was run over by something 150 times my weight (13 tonnes) I wouldn't be getting up and running off either - what sort of body armour have these things invented, our services need some of it!

Are they about to take over the world and make us live in their sewers?
 
OP
colly

colly

Re member eR
Location
Leeds
I would have preferred to use a humane trap but then I would just be shifting the problem to someone else.

As for poison, well I know it works but I read up on it and found that they can take several days to die.;) I may not want the buggers around me but I wouldn't put any creature through that.
Also I didn't want one pegging it in the pond and ending up losing all my valuable Koi carp goldfish.

The rats were definitely dead though. Almost severed where they were snapped.

I did wonder about a hedgehog or bird getting caught by mistake so I put the traps in a sort of run.

By the way my dog with chase them if they are already moving away from him. If they stop or are sitting there looking at him, he is too scared to tackle them.:biggrin:
 
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