Need help with pack rat problem

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by HarleysMom, Jul 18, 2004.

  1. HarleysMom

    HarleysMom Well-Known Member

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    A pack rat took up residence in my stove behind the oven in some insulation. (I don't use it much in the summer.) I have tried traps with all kinds of bait (even its favorite which was apple pieces), a glue trap (that took off half of its tail) with no success. I even tried turning on the oven but it got out and ran into my pantry and came back during the night. So I disconnected the stove and hauled it outside and turned the garden hose on it (it is just a basic stove with no electical stuff) and left it outside overnight. I just looked and the rat is still there. I can see it through a small hole in the back of the stove. I have been banging on that area with a hammer and it still won't leave. It is actually kinda funny but does anyone have any suggestions on how to get rid of a pita pack rat?
     
  2. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Grrrr! I had packrats LIVING UNDER MY BATHTUB when I moved in here.

    :no: THEY WERE EVEN LEAVING ME ACORNS IN EXCHANGE FOR WHATEVER THEY WERE STEALING!

    :no:

    Mothballs and (hate to say it) bar bait or Just One Bite bar bait are the only things that worked for me.

    DON'T BE FOOLED BY HOW CUTE THEY ARE!! They'll eat all your electrical wiring and, if you see one, you've got a billion of them.

    Fill that oven with mothballs and get some bar bait, put it in a weighted Clorox bottle (cut a tad off the moth of the Clorox bottle, to ensure they can squeeze in there) AND GET THAT PACKRAT OUT OF THERE!

    Believe me, it's you or the packrats!! :yeeha: :yeeha:

    Make sure, as well, you mow regularly - never let the grass get high! - and keep all pet and livestock feeds out of their reach. :yeeha:
     

  3. HarleysMom

    HarleysMom Well-Known Member

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    I have cats that have kept the mouse problem under control around here and this is the first mouse or packrat that I have seen in the house in 7 years, thank goodness. But the cats won't mess with this one and I don't understand why. I think this is one they caught outside and brought into the house to play with and it got away. I don't have any moth balls or poisonous baits here and no place to get them without a long drive, about 50 miles one way. I have been hoping it would see the outdoors and leave its little nest. No grass, just sand in the yard, so no problem there, and all the feeds are in containers or in a shed that is well sealed.
     
  4. Peanut

    Peanut Member

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    The only thing that worked for us was bar bait. We had rats making nests in some of our belongings that we stored in the barn loft, and had at least one try to take up residence in the house every winter. Rat traps didn't work at all. Cats didn't always work either. There was one rat that must have eaten poison and figured that behind the cupboards in the kitchen was a good place to die, so we had to endure an awful smell for a week or so and then it was gone. But it's worth it...they'll destroy everything. Our dining room table and chairs had to be completely refinished when we took them out of the barn.
    Good luck!
     
  5. woodsrunner

    woodsrunner Well-Known Member

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    Jack Russel Terrier!!
     
  6. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    The people who lived here before me thought having cats and scattering about a few traps was enough for the rat and mouse problem here.

    :no:

    Oh yea! Right! :no:

    Tell that to the packrats living under the bathtub, the rats living in all the sheds and elsewhere, the mice behind the refrigerator and the ... whatevers ... in the hot water heater closet.

    :no:

    It may be a 50 mile drive, but you need to make a choice: you or the rats. They will destroy your electrical wiring and everything else, if you give them even a slight edge. And IF YOU HAVE ONE, YOU HAVE HUNDREDS OF THEM. Simple as that.

    If you don't want to drive, buy online. I just bought two different kinds of bar bait through American Livestock Supply online - got enough to last til next year. One kind was on sale.

    You really need to make a choice. Because being halfway about rats won't get you nothing but more rats.
     
  7. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    Is there any way you can unscrew that part of the stove? Hate to say it, but you really are going to have to take the insulation out and replace it. The moment you heat it up this winter the stench will drive you out of the house. It is quite possible the rat has little ones in her nest and that is why she doesn't want to leave it. Pack rat nests are the worst stinky things anyway, without heating them up. At least you have it out of the house.
     
  8. HarleysMom

    HarleysMom Well-Known Member

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    You are right about the smell Cyngbaeld. I hadn't thought about taking the back off of the stove. I just looked and there are some small hex headed bolts or screws there but I don't have the tools to take them off. I will ask a friend for the tools. I never did like that stove anyway. It bakes unevenly and just never worked right. It might be time to get a different one.
     
  9. whodunit

    whodunit Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Packrats love to run through things so what works well is a chunk of stove pipe with a heavy duty trap inside it. Catch-um-alive traps also work well cause it another thing to run through.


    Mrs whodunit
     
  10. A person in the family had a large dog that got hold of a dead rat that had been poisoned by some kind of rat poison and the dog almost died from eating the rat. I don't know if all rat and mouse poisons will make animals sick or not, but do know that it cost several hundred dollars to bring the dog back around.
     
  11. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    Which is one reason why I don't allow my dogs to eat wild critters. Of any kind.

    My dogs have jobs which include companionship, being exceptionally cute :D and looking scary :eek: . My job is to keep them safe and healthy. Soooo ... no wild critters. Ever. :yeeha:

    Which also keeps the local chickens who like to come visit safe. :)
     
  12. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    I think a new stove is in order if you can swing it! You might want to pick up a set of tools next trip to town. It is incredible how much you can do for yourself if you have the right tools. I like to keep a set in the car and another in the house. I usually buy the inexpensive 'gift sets' at the hardware or stuff mart.
     
  13. Mudwoman

    Mudwoman Well-Known Member

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    Pack rats! We thought we had one and actually had 3.

    DH went to the local feed and seed and got one of the larger "humane" traps that lets the animal go in and the door closes and latches. We put chocolate hershey kisses in there. Caught the first one the first night. They LOVE chocolate! DH then took him a few miles away up on an old logging trail and set him loose.

    2nd rat was a little smarter. That rat turned the cage over so the door wouldn't shut and ate the chocolate and left. We finally had to fix the cage so that it couldn't be turned over. Took a week to get that one. Took him/her up the logging road.

    3rd rat took even longer, but the chocolate finally won him over.

    These little boogers are smart. If you have cats, I'm not sure how the trap would work for you. Your cats may go in there.
     
  14. Little Quacker in OR

    Little Quacker in OR Well-Known Member

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    :) Packrats are very different creatures from your run-of-the-mill-rat. Actually poisons do just the opposite of what we would like do and in the long run defeat the purpose...we wind up poisoning the very creatures that help us control them in the first place! Sound familiar? Many species of raptors, like owls ,are great pack rat hunters, poison kills them too. So, poison is ineffective in preventing ongoing pack rat problems.

    You need to take into account pack rat behavior and biology to eliminate active rats and prevent future infestations.

    The key here is to attack the problem at the nest level, The Pack Rat unlike other rats, is very dependent on their nest sites. So, if you live trap the rat and remove the nest on the same day and then take care to change the site and block it off you will solve the problem. LEt it go somewhere far away from people..it will be fine and won't bother you or others any more.

    You will need to check your traps daily, properly remove nests and alter the environment to discourage future rat nesting and you will be doing yourself and others a favor for the future. ;) Mothballs do work...but take care that you or your pets are not breathing the gas from them yourselves.

    Hope you do OK and solve the problem.

    LQ
     
  15. HarleysMom

    HarleysMom Well-Known Member

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    And now, for the rest of the story.......
    I got the back off the stove (thanks cyngbaeld) and flushed the rat out with the garden hose. He finally came out and ran off but my dogs saw him and gave chase. Surprisingly they killed him, I have never seen them kill anything before. So rat problem solved. Thanks everyone. Now I think I will get a new stove. New thread.
     
  16. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    HarleysMom, keep an eye out for more!

    I found them in my sheds and barn, and evidence of them trying to get back in here for at least a year.

    :no:

    A neighbor told me (with a perfectly straight face) that they build huge tunnels, which is likely where all mine were nesting (as they weren't nesting under the bathtub --- just coming in for goodies :rolleyes: --- or in the sheds). I don't know if that's true but it makes sense for what I was finding, which was evidence of them everywhere and seeing some young ones a few times.

    My problem was complicated with also having mice and Norway mice, however. This place was overrun when I moved in here. :no:

    So ... keep your eyes peeled. My experience is, if you see one, you have a million more!
     
  17. jillianjiggs

    jillianjiggs Well-Known Member

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    DING DING DING!!!! They hunt obsessively. If they can't get in there and nab it, they'll bark and let you know exactly where it is. Get a good Jack Russell and you'll NEVER have a problem with rodents again.