Anybody else overrun with rodents this fall?

audrey_gwNovember 19, 2006

Since we live on a farm, we usually have a few rats and mice in the fall, but this year has been horrible! We didn't used to see chipmunks, and there are scads of them now too. I heard, on PBS, that rodents multiply faster during cool, wet weather, so maybe that's the problem. Or it could be due to the fact that we don't have barn cats now that we've sold our dairy herd. And the dogs seem more interested in chasing rabbits than rodents!

We do have a rat zapper, which is helping some, though it works better on mice than rats. Apparently the rats are too smart to go in it--or maybe they're all just claustrophobic! So we've had to resort to the less humane method of poisoning them.

Anyway, I was curious to know whether this is just our problem, or whether other people have seen an increase.

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geoforce(z7a SE PA)

The only rodents I'm overrun with are about 3-4 foot tall with antlers. D**N deer are everywhere. I've hit one on the road and my wife has hit 2 in the last 3 months. They just ate the new daylilies I planted in fall and nearly everything else down to the ground level.


    Bookmark   November 20, 2006 at 8:10AM
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Pipersville_Carol(z6 Bucks PA)

Our rat population actually seems lower this year, after being over-run a few years back.

We didn't have luck with the Rat Zapper either, although someone over in the Farm Forum told me to try it with Lithium batteries.

I dug out a rat warren in the chicken coops a couple of months ago, and rodents bubbled up out of the ground like a volcano.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2006 at 4:50PM
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earthlydelights(6 pushing 7)

i've never had rats, that i know of thank God, but this year seems to be the year of the skunk. the stink so bad, they wake me out of a sound sleep, not to mention making hte dogs go crazy.


    Bookmark   December 3, 2006 at 6:54PM
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Chipmunks have taken over my yard They must breed like mice and rats because they are everywhere!!
I've had mice and voles in the past I haven't seen any rats(don't care to either)
In 2003 I actually saw a vole under one of my arborvitaes never saw one before. I would love to attract some owls to my yard since that's their favorite food.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2006 at 8:23AM
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This is the first year with our garden which was hand dug out of a grassy yard. SInce fall arrived, and all the dead plants have been removed, we suddenly noticed an awful lot of holes were appearing in the empty dug places. I assume these are mouse holes, but not having seen them, I don't know. I'm wondering what to do to prevent this once planting time comes around again...

    Bookmark   December 23, 2006 at 6:50PM
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I always seem to have vole damage. They are very persistent. I've set traps, put out poison,put moth balls down the holes, anything I heard of including having a friend's dear husban catching a garden snake from their home in the woods.
Last year I couldn't understand why two large clumps of siberian iris were looking downright sick. I did a little digging and found one of their tunnels running right under both clumps. The roots at the edges were intact, but everything in the middle had been severed! Arghhhh!
If anyone hears of a better cure please pass it along.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2007 at 7:50PM
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westhighlandblue(z6 PA)

On Sunday night I sat on my sofa, with a Great Dane to one side, a Boxer to the other, and a Bouvier on my love seat and watched no fewer than four mice run from one end of my long living room to the other, and sometimes up and down my fireplace. The dogs paid the mice absolutely no attention and the mice seemed to be absolutely unconcerned about my presence or the dogs' presence in the room. On Monday morning I ordered two humane mouse traps from the internet. I am going to trap the little buggers and set them free in a local corn field. My next dog may be a rat terrier.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2007 at 8:58AM
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karen_b(6a s.c. PA)

In the mountains we don't have rats, but we have experienced an increase in mice. We have a cat, but she doesn't have any front claws, but she keeps them busy until we can catch them. Otherwise the rest have been found dead in our garage or basement from good old fashioned traps or poison set out by our exterminator. I've also noticed the squirrel numbers have increased, so I am assuming the chipmunks will have too. For that I put out rat poison. Sorry if I offend anyone but I can't see catching them alive and setting them free to only be someone elses problem.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2007 at 3:36PM
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I don't mind killing them but the poison would also harm any predators which could increase your problem in the long run.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2007 at 12:21PM
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My jack russell would love your place.Thats what they were bred for.Love ground hogs too.some are bigger than her.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2007 at 1:00PM
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Pipersville_Carol(z6 Bucks PA)

Westhighland blue, that's a funny story. I can just picture your pleasant domestic scene, complete with sleepy dogs and happily frolicking mice.

I'm seriously considering a search for ferret manure. Rats are supposedly terrified of them, it might work as a repellent. Of course, an actual ferret would be ideal. But I don't think my chickens would approve.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2007 at 9:30AM
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This is the first year I have had mice, they are in my ceilings and walls. You would think they would stay away since I have 5 cats, but that doesn't seem to bother them. They drive the cats crazy running around inside the walls. The cats did catch some and we caught some on the glue traps. I know my neighbors have had the same problem. We bought those ultra sonic devices that you plug in and it seems to have helped. Its supposed to help keep insects out of the house too, we shall see when the water bugs are out.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2007 at 7:50AM
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I live in Northern NJ, but my apartment is next door to the state property line, which is full of 'God only knows' stuff. Last fall my impatiens were striped clean by either Rats, Groundhogs, possums, etcs. These guys eat at my house any time they wish, and I would not give a hoot about them except that they eat my flowers. I ground garden, patio garden and they get at the ground. At the same time last fall, we had to catch 11 feral cats and turn them over to the aspca. I liked having the cats, but the state said that if they catch me feeding them, I would get a stiff fine. I swear that the cats were keeping the rodent population down, or at least scaring them off. Also, some ideas of what I can plant that they won't eat. Thank You!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2007 at 9:45AM
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westhighlandblue(z6 PA)

This weekend I caught three mice in our humane traps and set them free to live the lives of field rather than house mice. One smart little bugger figured out how to eat the bait without getting caught, or at least that's what the empty baitless trap suggested.

One of my dogs, my Boxer, Gonzo, finally did take notice of a mouse -- one that ventured towards his food bowl, while he was eating. True to his gentle nature, Gonzo tried to paw at the mouse, to investigate, but left the mouse alone after moment.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2007 at 8:09AM
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