eRATdication

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Kittikity, Dec 27, 2004.

  1. Kittikity

    Kittikity Small scale homesteader

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    We live in a mobile home that has the vents in the floors. We've heard a chewing noise in our ducts and I even saw it peak it's head toward the vent when I shown a flashlight in it one night.

    My main question is, how do I get rid of it? I'd like to just have it go away as I don't like killing anything. Is there any way I could scare it away? Or am I going to have to give it something to kill it? I also don't want it dying in my ducts and making my house smell like rotting corpse.

    Thanks much..

    Jacquie
     
  2. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    If you poison it you can bet it will die in the least convenient spot it can find. Best bet is a big rat trap. Killing it is really the only thing you can do except moving out and letting it have the house. Is there anyone who can come help you? I know it is hard to deal with these things sometimes.
     

  3. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

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    You know, this is going to sound insane, but do you have anyone in your area who raises Jack Russells or Cairne Terriers? These dogs are ratters, in fact, they compete as ratters, and if there is a breeder in your area, chances are they will either run their dogs for free, or do it as a business. Just.. er... don't look.

    T
     
  4. Kittikity

    Kittikity Small scale homesteader

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    Now that is an interesting idea. And a rat terrier would probably be the right size to actually go into the ducts. Not sure if I could find anybody though..
     
  5. BobBoyce

    BobBoyce Well-Known Member

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    Could always stuff a cat down the vent. :haha:

    Maybe a neighbor or friend has a good mouser you could borrow.

    Bob
     
  6. george darby

    george darby Well-Known Member

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    dont mess around sett traps and poison bait imediatly , try the other options if you can also but remember rats love to chew ......... electric wires are a favorite so you could wind up with stored power tools you need to replace cords on at the least convenient time or an electrical fire and lose everythingthey dont stink long if the bait gets them open a window or light supervised scented candle /incence..... (i hate burning ether makes me very nerviouse of fire ) after it is gone keep a bait station stocked as a preventative measure the one you see could be the tip of the iceburg
     
  7. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    I am sure you do not want to hear this but I have always heard that if you see 1, you have 10. Take prompt action with mechanical traps before they multiply.
     
  8. george darby

    george darby Well-Known Member

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    dont mess around use the baits and a trap have someone remove the corps for you if the trap works and you cant do it your self rats love chewing and electric wires are a favorite so you could be rewiring apliences/power tools or even worse have an electrical fire . keep a bait station stocked to help prevent problems
     
  9. inc

    inc Well-Known Member

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    there are live traps you need one desigend to hold the small rats.
    bait and you may have to prop it open to let it take bait for a time to gain trust.
    water is important to rats, but since its location is under trailer, there is no way to control the water.
     
  10. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    DON"T USE POISON. It will most likely eat it and die in the ducts. A mouse will make a real stink in a heat duct, forget about a good sized rat or two. If you use traps be sure to connect a string or wire to the traps so they don't drag the trap off with them.
    The real problem is the duct work under the trailer needs replacing, so even if you get rid of rat #1 there will be more as you've got a cozy place for them to live.
     
  11. Quint

    Quint Well-Known Member

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    I would advise you not to use poison unless you like the aroma of rotting rat corpse. I had a neighbor lady use poison so she wouldn't have to dispose of the dead rodents and walking into her house would make one vomit. How she lived in it I'll never know. Get those big viscous looking rat traps and break the vile vermin's neck before they chew through the electrical wiring and burn the house down around you. Back when one could buy iodine crystals without submitting to a rectal probe there was a good recipe that would help keep the rats at bay and provide hours of entertainment to the kiddies. It did me anyway....

    I have developed a hatred for mice and rats. After you have them chew through things and damage your property you soon will lose whatever aversion you have to killing them. In fact you will want to kill them with your bare hands if you could catch them. Seeing one with his vermin neck broken in a trap will provide immense satisfaction.

    I'm currently fighting a battle with field mice in the garage but they seem to be winning. Must be getting in a crack somewhere.
     
  12. Pony

    Pony Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I used to work with rats in undergrad. They are nothing if not prolific and capable of much damage. Agmantoo is right: if you see one, you have exponentially more!

    I don't want to scare you, but you should be alarmed: they can enter your living area! If you can afford it, I'd recommend an extermination service. If not, I'm with the people who advise traps or any other lethal means of eradication. (Like the idea of tying string to traps!)

    Wild rats are horrible. <shudder> I used to love my little lab rats, but the difference between the two is day and night. You have VERMIN in your ducts. You need to get them out. Yesterday is not soon enough.

    This site has a lot of suggestions. I hope it is helpful to you:
    http://www.opkansas.org/_Res/Neighborhoods/Property_Codes_&_Maintenance/preventing_rats.cfm

    Good luck!
     
  13. Little Quacker in OR

    Little Quacker in OR Well-Known Member

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    Please don't overlook the other terrible problem to you and your family with mice and rats...and that is disease. Not to be taken lightly.

    Consider that if it's your life(or someone you love) or a rat's life..which way do you want to go?

    We have another side of this discussion too everytime someone posts with a vermin problem. And that is with the misguided advice of using cats or dogs. Consider the size and diameter of a rat or mouse hole(and yes they are under the trailor and the holes are down there too)and then look at the size of whatever animal you are comsidering. Do you know of any cat or dog that can go down into a rat or mouse hole? Of course not! And that is why no cat or dog, no matter how gifted or experienced will eradicate the vermin. They will catch the slow and stupid ones though..and then you wind up with faster and smarter rats!

    There has never been a verified case of I don't care how many "barn cats" or whatever else, getting rid of a vermin population. They just make it healthier.

    Do get on a website about eradication and read up on the process. it is a combination of methods that will get them out and keep them out. You will have to keep up the controls or they will move back in.

    Good luck..it just gives me the shivers knowing that there are people who happily live with "keeping the population down" as opposed to killing it off.


    LQ
     
  14. BamaSuzy

    BamaSuzy Well-Known Member

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    Don't use poison because anything like chickens, cats or dogs that eat the poisoned rats can also get poisoned....

    We've found that a couple of good mouser Tom Cats are our best bets.
     
  15. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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  16. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

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    traps trap s and traps.

    melt a hershy chocolate bar and coat the bait bar, it will harden and they have to gnaw it off, and they do LOVE chocolate.
    besides, after you catch em you can stew.
     
  17. Chester71

    Chester71 New Member

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    Kittikity, you might try a solution that I've used for years to keep various forms of undesirable animals at bay. I will probably get flamed for this, but it works most of the time. I've found that rodents, including 'possums, snakes, squirrels, 'coons, etc. do not like the smell of moth balls.
    I had a friend once who caught rattlesnakes in west Texas for a hobby. He said if your house is not on a slab, you can throw some moth balls under the house, set up a box fan just inside the crawl space hole, go around the house and open the other crawl space hole and in about 15 minutes, every snake under the house would come crawling out. Well, I tried it with not only snakes but possums eating my peaches off the trees, squirrels (which is a rat with a bushy tail) in the attic, and other various applications.
    I know the directions on the box says not to do it, but which is worse--the smell of a few moth balls or the smell of a rotting rat, disease, bubonic plague, etc?
    The stuff moth balls are made of--can't remember the name just now--is some sort of petroleum distillate and will eventually dissipate into the air, I think, rather than into the soil.
    Anyway, just a thought... Good Luck.
     
  18. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Please don't use moth balls. They are paradichloroBENZENE. Perhaps you read the recent articles about the discovery that even trace amounts in your air supply can cause a significant drop in your white blood cell count. It is not as effective for animal control as claimed.

    With any rodent, it is important to get the device chosen into the pathways. This is the challenge, as just about any control method will work. Do a thorough inspection including under the trailer. They may be living in the structure, under it, or near it.

    Closing entry points into the trailer is the most important step. Find the holes and plug them. A mouse needs a 1/4" gap for entry, a rat needs about 3/8". A mouse can get through a nickle sized hole, a rat through a quarter size.

    Look for clues of traffic. They follow a path. If the population is established, you will even see dark lines (grease marks from the oil in their fur) on the surfaces they follow. Sometimes all you "see" is the lack of dust (like on a pipe or under the dishwasher). They are acrobats and can climb pipes, electric cords and just about anything else.

    Rats need a daily drink of water. If it isn't available in/on the trailer, they may be living nearby and just visiting the trailer on their rounds. Find the water. You may not be able to stop access, but it will add information about their habits.

    If you have pets, you may be feeding the rats when you feed your pets. Dry pet food is a gourmet rat treat. Controlling the food and water is critical to success. Look for where they feed. It could be the trash cans. If you live in the city, it could be the dumpster in the alley.

    If they are living in the structure, poisons will get you an odor if its rats (not with mice). If you saw just one, it could be a pack rat. They tend to be loners. You may have just one. If the one you saw was at night, the population may not be immense. Seeing one in the day is cause for greater concern.

    Most poisons do have a little risk of secondary poisoning. However, a healthy pet that does NOT rely on rodents for food will be unlikely to get enough toxin to effect it at all. Rodenticide makers test this a lot and have data available. Still, it's better to err on the side of the angels. If you use poison, get block baits. D-con has many demerits as a bait.

    The suggestion to tie the trap is good. Rats are strong enough to carry them away if the event isn't lethal. Glue boards work well, but they also must be attached to something, and need to be rat sized. There is a live capture rat trap, but who would want to do that?

    Good luck