Kacee(WV)June 22, 2004

I have never had rats but I guess onto every farm a rat will come.

Do any of you have any natural means for getting rid of rats?

My cats do not seem too interested in them. I do not want to get anymore worthless cats.

I would rather not put out rat poison because I do not want the chickens, guineas or the other farm animals to get the poison or eat the poisoned rats.

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gooselady_OR(z8 OR)

Horrible, evil creatures, aren't they? And when you've seen one, you know that more will follow. Usually, I too am totally against using poisons, but we did it anyway with the rats. We bought some bait boxes at the feed store - they are totally enclosed, so only the rats will get in and get to the bait, which comes in bar form and is inside the bait box on small rods. They seem to love the stuff...My husband also built a bait box with an old tool box. He drilled fairly large holes in each end (maybe 4 inches diameter), and screwed a tuna can into the center. We fill the tuna can up with bait pellets, and lock the top on the tool box. The rats love that stuff, too. And we have had no trouble with the other critters getting into the bait, or trying to eat the dead rodents, which go into the garbage can first thing in the am.

We tried traps for awhile, but found a little sparrow in one one morning. No more traps. Also controlling the amount of spilled poultry feed helps - we now put the pountry feed and scratch out on cheap tablecloths on the ground, then just roll up the tablecloth at night and take it - and the spilled feed - inside.

Unfortunately, we have not completely eliminated the problem, just knocked it down. I'm looking forward to hearing others' solutions to this problem. Good luck!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2004 at 9:04PM
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What good ideas. Thank you.I have never seen the bait boxes our feed stores do not have them. Your homemade one sounded great I will get one made and set it out. We set a box trap and caught the horrid rat. We reset it incase there are more. I have been told there is no such thing as one rat.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2004 at 1:22AM
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geraldo(Cent. WA z6b)

Get to the shelter and get a good dog. Any terrier breed will make short work of them. But also many other things on your place if you don't train them well. Gawd, a Jack Russell terrier would think he was in dog heaven if he was placed on a farm with a bunch of rats.
Rats don't stand a chance around my Border Collies. I almost feel sorry for them. Sometimes. Ok, I don't really.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2004 at 9:34PM
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vetivert8(NI-NZ zone 9a)

About dogs. Not all terriers are ratters. I have three terriers and only one is a starter on rats. He is a bedlington and comes from working lines that do set on rats.

A good border terrier will also work rats although they were bred to bail up, but foxies and Jack Russells seem to have the independence necessary to tackle rats, as well as the persistence. You'll have to be tolerant of frenzied digging, too.

Unless your rats are in a known area where the dog can work, then bait stations are probably the best bet.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2004 at 6:27AM
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No to poisoning!!!! You may regret it. I just bought a house in my neighborhood. The owner had a rat problem and poisoned. I tore out all of the sheetrock to remodel because the house stunk so badly from dead rats. I took 24 dead rats out of walls.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2004 at 8:57PM
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lgslgs(z6 SE ohio)

Rat Zapper 2000 is a fantastic and humane way to catch & kill a rat.

It is battery operated and works much like a bug zapper. The kill is clean and fast. It is more certain to produce a clean kill than a pellet rifle and does not put anyone else in the ecosystem at risk of poisoning.

We are really glad we got one of these.

Use it when you are sure you have a problem rat in the area. Set up the Rat Zapper according to directions in an area where you know the rat runs. After it catches and kills the rat, a light goes on and you can empty the Zapper without having to touch the rat. Don't leave it set up if you are unsure whether you have a second rat in the yard because it is possible to accidently catch & kill chipmunks and other pleasant rodents.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2004 at 6:05PM
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I have a rat zapper and several for the warehouse at work. They are fantastic. Put it out tues night as the dog was chasing a roof rat and I had him dead in the morning. I never worried about the dog chasing rats, as a matter of fact she caught 2 mice last year that were in the house. Someone on another forum mentioned something I hadn't thought of. The dog has a rabies shot and can't be hurt, but if the dogs saliva gets on you it can be another story.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2005 at 7:57PM
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It depends on the type of poison you use. While I am an organic gardener & despise using poison, I also had rats that were creating leg-breaking-deep tunnels in my horse stalls.

To the rescue? Purina "Assault". Comes in pellets & 2" waxy discs. I use the discs, since they're easier to keep track of. I put just a few discs underneath the hay storage pallets in my feed room, & within just 24 HOURS - all rats & mice are GONE. And - since this is not a warfarin product, you're not finding rodents staggering around in death throes or floating in water buckets. They die after just a couple of bites & dehydrate. NO SMELL.

This stuff is fast, & so long as you place it responsibly, safe. I only have to put a few discs down twice a year to keep my horse farm completely rodent-free. And for those of you against poison? Just keep in mind that besides the leg-breaking tunnels, rats gnaw into tack boxes, thru wires, into feed supplements, through metal feed bins, & can transmit leptospirosis, salmonella, & a host of other parasites & diseases.

So please - no bleeding heart replies thank you. If you want to risk your animals' health by fooling around with traps & such that "might" catch one rat out of the hundred you probably have - by all means do.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2005 at 11:14AM
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I hate poison too.. and refuse to use it..and most other methods don't seem to work very well here...

I kinda knew this even before our Vet pointed it out...
Calico cats make the best ratters (or mousers)....


    Bookmark   March 16, 2005 at 11:40PM
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I hate poison too. But when it comes down to the safety of the health & welfare of my horses, poison is what it came down to.

Luckily, Purina Assault has to be the least ugly of the poisons available. Which is probably why it costs a bit more. Like I said, I had no staggering half-dead rodents around, no rodents dead in the waterbuckets because of the thirst that other cheaper poisons induce, & no smell. Assault dehydrates the bodies quickly after death (& it's a one-bite poison) - no "rot" odor. The bodies quickly mummify.

I know this sounds ugly - but really, I can't have my horses breaking legs in their own stalls due to tunneling. I can't have everything in the barn gnawed through. And I can't have rats in the feed & water buckets, possibly spreading leptospirosis & God knows what else.

Yes, it's nice to want to be environmentally responsible & kind to the world around you, but I have no intention of allowing my horses or myself to get sick & die from being "environmentally responsible".

    Bookmark   March 18, 2005 at 10:57AM
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Rats are gross!!! I would use something like what breezyb recommended. That stuff works. There are a few types on the market. The bait is in larger pieces so the rat takes it back to his nest and eats it there, shares it with their kin and die there, instead of in your walls. Just hope the nest isnt in your walls...lol

    Bookmark   March 19, 2005 at 10:15AM
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breezyb...I can appreciate your concern for your horses...
Concern for my animals (cats, dogs, pigs and chickens) has lead to my reluctance to use poisons.....I had a dog become VERY ill from exposure to a poisoned rat....

"Use extra caution with the single-feeding anticoagulant baits; exposure to even a single dead rodent killed by these might be enough to cause poisoning in a pet." refer to the link below.....

Here is a link that might be useful: Rat Management Guidelines

    Bookmark   March 19, 2005 at 4:19PM
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Just a note concerning your cat. A lot of cats will not take on a full grown rat. I have seen cats who are instant death to any mouse in the area, avoid a rat. Also even if the cats do go after the rodents, they are often simply out-populated. They can't keep up with the numbers. Just to let you know your cats are probably not "worthless".

    Bookmark   March 19, 2005 at 11:33PM
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I tried those rat zappers. They didn't work for me. I found droppings in the trap and the bait was gone, but no dead critters. Could be mice or rats. I tried a couple types of batteries. Maybe if you buy the booster battery pack with the D-cells there is enough juice to kill them.

My dog occasionally gets a critter, but not enough to make a difference. Poison worked well, but the dog would bring poisoned carcasses home. She didn't eat them though, so I guess it is ok. Just worried an owl or something might eat one in its death throws or something.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2005 at 2:03AM
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Yes - that is true. Cat's have absolutely NO interest in rats unless they're babies.

Sorry - Purina Assault will always be my best friend here. And if you're concerned about your dogs & cats - keep them indoors where they belong. It's a well-known fact that the leading killer of both is being allowed to run loose outdoors.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2005 at 2:41PM
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Good idea....i'll see if I can make room for the pigs and chickens too...LOL

    Bookmark   March 26, 2005 at 8:58PM
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Also reduce there habitat and food source. Clear out all leaf litter, seal stone walls or place rocks together tightly to reduce habitat.Clear away brush, fallen trees and rocks each year.Seal cracks in foundations, close off under porches and decks ( screening is recommended) and use traps to get rid of any in and around the home. I think a dog is a great idea. I remember working for a pharmaceutical co. who had one border collie. They used him to keep the geese population down on acres of property- The groundskeeper would drive him around in a little truck and let him out at various heavy spots- off he would go barking and raising a ruckus with the geese. He didn't have to kill any of them ( that I could see) just chase them away-he was amazing!!!

    Bookmark   April 9, 2005 at 4:34AM
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chuckr30(z5, GR-MI)

I read somewhere an old-time proven method for catching mice and rats. Take a 5 gal bucket, fill 1/2 full of water (so mice or rats will not touch bottom). Put a stick going from the ground to the top of the bucket. For some reason the mice will climb up, fall in and drown. They cannot get back out. One guy gets a few mice each night he empties the bucket! I did not read that bait was necessary. I guess water acts as the bait.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2005 at 12:23PM
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Recommended reading:

RATS by Robert Sullivan
(2004, Bloomsbury Publishing, ISBN 1-58234-477-9)

    Bookmark   April 13, 2005 at 7:04PM
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Rats respond well to a RAT TRAP, drill two holes in the trap so you can wire it up vertically, then you can place it where rats can get it without worry of domestic animals finding it.

We also place the rat traps in a box, with a small hole cut out so that wonderdog or cat won't learn a hard lesson.

DON't POISON........ them critters then run for water and your wonderdog/cat will get them, plus some of the available poisons are very weak and it would take many ingestions of the poisoned bait to do the trick, Secondary posioning is the pits. The box works best,


    Bookmark   April 18, 2005 at 10:09PM
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Purina Assault does not - I repeat does NOT - make rodents search for water. I've been using it for years & would definitely know. Now the warfarin & other products - yes they do, which is why I won't use them.

Assault is a "one bite" killer. Like I have "repeatedly" stated before - I find the animals within a couple of feet of the bait box, with the bodies dry. No staggering half-dead animals at all.

This is the 4th time I've stated this here. Not to sound mean/snarky, but doesn't anybody read previous threads before posting? I truly don't expect or want everyone to agree with me - differing opinions are the spice of life - but really. . . . at least make the effort to read previous posts before automatically disagreeing with them.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2005 at 11:04AM
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"Not to sound mean/snarky, but doesn't anybody read previous threads before posting?"
Yes...some of us do...In fact...the original question was...
"Do any of you have any natural means for getting rid of rats?"
I certainly wouldn't consider Purina Assalut a natural means...not to be mean/snarky...

    Bookmark   April 19, 2005 at 10:49PM
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sunsi(z5 NY)

I think I want to try this Purina Assault stuff...sounds pretty good and it seems like you have had enough experience with it to know what you're talking about, thanks for the tip:)

    Bookmark   April 21, 2005 at 12:44AM
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It comes in 2 types - small pellets & 2" discs. I prefer/recommend the discs because they are easier to place & keep track of.

I only need to buy one canister of discs per year at the very most, since I only need to use it once or twice a year. Canisters of discs come in both large & small sizes, which is very helpful. I think the last small canister I purchased was $9. Think it held 6 discs. Pretty darn cheap when you consider what it costs to treat horses/humans for broken bones, Listeria, Salmonella, etc. Not to mention property destruction.

And no glue traps with live rodents stuck to them. No traps to empty/dispose of, no rodents staggering around in death throes or drowning in water buckets. And no SMELL. Not that it's pleasant, but just quickly dehydrated bodies a few feet away from the bait station to dispose of.

And although all of my cats are indoor housecats, my neighbors' cats have been frequenting my stable for the last 8 years 24/7. No illness or fatalities. Gee - I must be doing something wrong - lol!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2005 at 11:13AM
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cindyc1000(W Washington)

this may be a bit too technical but this link talks about the chemical actions etc of the poison in Purina Assault. Note it's highly poisonous to birds. I've seen lots of positive comments web wide on the Ratzapper and only 1 negative, think I'll give it a try.

Here is a link that might be useful: pesticide tech data

    Bookmark   May 28, 2005 at 12:04AM
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You can quote all you want up the wazoo. All I know is that "Assault" (Purina sold that division some time ago to "PM Resources" 1-800-447-5463, for those who wish to find a local distributor) kills them superfast.

No finding sickly rodents dragging themselves around or drowning in waterbuckets due to the insatiable thirst other products produce. And the bodies dehydrate superfast as well - no odor.

AND - poison is only as dangerous as you make it. I place my "Assault" underneath the hay pallets in my feed room, & that's where I end up finding the carcasses. It truly is a FAST killer. Any "birds" wouldn't have a chance at coming in contact with it, so long as someone with half a brain was situating it responsibly. And really - do you know how many lawn & garden products are touted to be poisonous to fish & birds. Start reading labels.

Want to use traps? Go ahead - what do I care. However, after seeing rodents only partially killed by snap traps & dragging them along behind. After seeing friends having to DAILY go around & empty & reset traps OVER & OVER & OVER year round. After seeing rodents struggling to free themselves from those "glue boards" (those are UNBELIEVABLY inhumane & hideous). Go ahead - enjoy yourselves.

All I know is that I spend $8.00 for 10 little green 2" discs. I put down 5 in the spring & 5 in the fall where they are inaccessible to everything except the rodents. And I never see any rodents year-round.

Works for me. For the rest of you - have fun solving your rat problems.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2005 at 2:28PM
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This is the 6th time you've touted "Assault"
Do you own stock in PM Resources?
You seem to defend it like a mother does a child.
Just curious.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2005 at 4:29PM
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LOL - nope, not connected with the company in any way, shape, or form. Although I probably should be getting some sort of commission from them - lol!!!

It's just that after years & years of raising poultry & horses, & battling rodents all the way with inferior methods, I find "Assault" absolutely amazing.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2005 at 3:30PM
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One thing that I found of interest with our rat population: when local vets and shelters are crying about the unusual high amount of kittens or an early kitten year, there seems to be an unusual high rat population explosion that year ... like there was a planned balance in nature.
A couple of other things I've noticed, that with the increase of human population/density, there is a higher rate of rodents. We use to have an owl that did a predawn fence row inspection for us; they tore down the barn about a quarter of a mile away and we have no more owl. They have started high density building in what use to be pasture behind us. I have placed several high perch areas in our yard to accomdidate raptors. After hearing how well an owl box did for this one corn farmer at reducing his rat problem, I'm getting the kids to make an owl nesting box too! We have a fine ratter of a dog (he's a golden retriever mix) and a neutered tom thats super; both use to get out at night in our yard but due to bi-peds with behavioural problems, only the dog now gets to spend the night out ... if the bi-peds are quiet! So in the meantime: peanutbutter in rat traps. Works just about as well as the dog without the yipping and the digging And alot better than watching the cat about ingesting fleas from the rats and getting worms!

    Bookmark   July 12, 2005 at 8:05PM
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huisjen(z5 ME)

What kind of owl are you trying to encourage? It sounds promising, as long as they don't eat poultry who are still out between sunset and dusk. Any good links to perch/nest box sites?


    Bookmark   July 14, 2005 at 6:58PM
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adchon(Ingham Qld Aust)

Try this one. Make up a mixture of plaster of paris and wholemeal flower with a small amount of caster (icing) sugar for smell and put that out for the rats. Must be enough to fill their stomachs with the plaster of paris (more for plural rats), so they block up and cannot eat or digest food.
Here in Australia there is no problem with other animals geting at it, but there may be one in the USA I.E. Squirrels and Chipmonks.
The rats do not know what is going on and eventually black your establishment, the older ones may work it out, not so the younger ones.
The best part is that being non toxic animals that eat the dead rats don't get poisoned.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2005 at 9:20AM
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To: AlchemyAcres -
You asked for a "natural" means of getting rid of rats. What is natural? Old age? Cancer? Getting hit by a bus or perhaps a shovel on the head? Or maybe you could try yelling at 'em really loud and making scary faces to see if they'll run away. I don't think so.
No, see, rats are relentless and will do anything they have to do to get what they want, including naw thru concrete. Now I don't see anything natural in that. Of course, I'm not a rat. But I know it is natural for them to continuously naw at those forever-growing teeth.
I think my question to you would be, why do you care so much about "natural" means? They are destructful, disgusting rodents and if there is not enough room on God's green earth for them to stay off our turf then the rat will meet our wrath - natural or otherwise.
I say - kill 'em all but that'll never happen. There are way too many.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2006 at 11:58AM
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i raked a hay field yesterday, and the day before, and i never saw so many rats runnin around, i feel bad for the people that live down the road from it, cuz im sure they are going to get some nasty visitors, more than the normal amount.
i dont know any natural or organic way to get rid of the the varmits, we use poison.and have good results, we have more mice than rats.. they are both pesty little suckers though.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2007 at 8:32PM
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jennijenjen(z9b FL)

Sorry to re-open a can of worms but...

I think FogLily had a good point about the cat population.

And if you were to consider another cat - I know that certain breeds like calicos or domestic short-hair bengals tend to be better hunters and that the females are normally the fiercest hunters - just like the lioness' in the wild.

Our neighborhood has had a bad rat problem since they dug canals nearby but since we've had our bengal we have no more rats. She got especially good at catching them just after she had kittens, though she kept trying to bring them in to her babies to show them!

    Bookmark   July 23, 2007 at 10:13PM
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Not sure if it's a mouse, rat, squirl, or demon. I hear it day and night. It scales the cavity between the studs in our plaster walls in about 5 seconds. My house is a hundred years old, many passages for rodents. It chews in certain areas. I hear it running up and down joist spaces in my ceilings and floors. Heck it may be 5 of them. I see no poop. My mouse traps go untouched. I think I spooked it in my kitchen one morning. There I hear it now... It sounds like it's a pack rat with a treasure clinking on the ceiling above me. Man it's having a ball here at 1am. I'm in Kansas if there are specific species information that may be useful. Please help! I have had this problem for over a month.. I dont know what the monster is eating!

    Bookmark   December 12, 2008 at 2:19AM
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brendan_of_bonsai(4b AK)

sticky traps work very well, leave a blob of penut butter in the center and when it goes for it it will get stuck.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2008 at 4:25PM
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you need a jack russell dog.They are great for rodent control.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2009 at 5:52PM
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where do you get this "purina assault " in Mass. or R.I. ?

    Bookmark   March 8, 2010 at 10:27AM
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Where in las Vegas can I find the Purina product? I live in a suburban area and just saw a rat tonight WOking on the back yard wall. Ugh! Thanks for your help.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2011 at 12:21AM
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Pooh Bear

Is there an online source for Purina Assault?
Or a local supplier in the Chattanooga area?

Pooh Bear

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 8:11PM
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To ASSAULT poster. Don't waste your time trying to convince the nay sayers. TOO many people dont know the difference between opinion( there are many) & fact( usually one). They are only to be pitied & ignored. This from a 76 yr old who ran a business for over 50 years that required direct contact with the public. UGGHH !! Say it once. They either "get" it or they don't. Not your fault. Thank you very much for the info. I "get" it. My mama didn't have any stupid children.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2011 at 1:17PM
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if you wanna kick rats out try ret traps.
I had found a solution with the help of stoppestinfo.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2014 at 8:06AM
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