Twice this week I have seen a small rat or very fat mouse cross my patio. I'm in southeast Alabama and have two dogs so putting out traps is tricky. Any suggestions?
Regardless of your dog situation, there are two ways which come to mind. Get a stiff plastic or metal bucket, four bricks, a 8x8x16 inch concrete block. Put the bricks on the ground in a cross shape but leave as space in the middle so the bricks do not touch. Turn the bucket upside down so the bucket edge sits on the four bricks. Now buy D-Con, Havoc (my favorite) or other good rat poison. Put in in a saucer and mix the poison pellets with peanut butter. Slide the saucer and poison into the middle under the bucket. Put the concrete block on top of the bucket. This will keep the dogs from turning the bucket over. The peanut butter draws the rats in to eat the food. The alternate plan is the same except you put a trap under the bucket. I've used both plans in and around the greenhouse. I like the poison alternative best. If you have a fenced yard, put the bucket on the opposite side of the fence from which your dogs run. Just keep an eye on the dogs when they are outside.
I set a trap in a corner or other location that I then can block off with a child gate. The rat or mouse can get through but not out, as long as they are caught in the trap. Smaller dogs can not get to the trap. Another gate or boards could be used to block off the top from cats or athletic dogs. I don't care for poison because a dog may eat the poisoned critter and thus be poisoned itself.
When we had RATS in our yard several years ago, we just left our three dogs outside overnight one night and found remains of several critters in the yard the next morning ;-) Haven't seen a rat since.
Thanks. I'm going to try the poison/peanut butter one. I got some fencing so will enclose the area next to the patio so the dogs can't get in. It's a big flower garden so should work out well.