Opinions on Rat poison needed.

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Earthbound, Dec 27, 2003.

  1. Earthbound

    Earthbound Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2003
    Vancouver Island BC
    I have just taken over a lease on a farm that is overrun with rats. They say for every one you see there are 100 more....well yesterday I seen 6.....AAACCCKKK!
    Now here lies my dilemma. I've been doing alot of research on the types of poison and there are ones that kill them with an abundance of calcium and others that kill in other ways. Well basically my 2 options are to poison them and put the neighbourhood dogs and cats at risk for residual poisoning or use a different poison and put the wild birds at risk. It in my opinion is a lose lose situation. I would prefer to get rid of them differently but I don't know what my other options are. I have a friend with a mini schnauser(sp) who brings her for a visit but she only manages 3-4 on a good day. I was told by an old timer to get guinny hens???
    Any input would be very much appreciated.
  2. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2002
    East TN
    Great entertainment for youngsters is shooting rats with a .22. Just put out some corn and shoot away.

  3. Oxankle

    Oxankle Well-Known Member

    Jun 20, 2003

    The hysteria over "residual poison" is foolish. Go on and get a warfarin type poison and put it out. An excellent brand is "One Bite", blue pellet a bit smaller than rabbit pellets. Comes in a plastic bag about a half cup, do not even have to open the bags, just put them out.

    I prefer to put them out in stations where only rats or mice can get to them. I use 3 foot lengths of corrugated drain pipe (l9 cents per foot at Lowe's.) Fold the pipe into a "U", drop in the poison, then put the pipe down beside a wall or under a building, wherever the rats are. It will straighten out the "U" and the bait will then be in the middle of the pipe. Put out these bait stations all over your infested area. If only the barn is a problem, put a bait station every 20 feet or so around the walls, in the grainery, wherever you see evidence of infestation. Keep them baited for as long as you see that the rats are taking bait.

    If you have several hundred rats it may take a couple of weeks and they may eat many packets of bait, but you will eventually get every resident rat. Then you need to keep a few bait stations baited for several months to get those outlying rats drifting into the cleared area.

    I once had rats take over a terraced garden in town; took me about two weeks to clear them out. They were coming from a storm drain opening in the neighbor's yard. I cleared the garden and when I saw where they were coming from I got the storm drain residents too.
  4. chickenman

    chickenman Well-Known Member

    May 13, 2002
    I agree with oxankle. The only surefire way to eradicate rats is with poison.
    You can shoot them and have dogs and cats, but you will always have rats.

    I use Just One Bite bars. They are nailed to the inside of a wooden box that only rats and mice can access. After I poison them, I find very few bodies. I think most die in their holes. After a poisoning I am good for a couple months, then I have to go through the whole routine again.
  5. iblast

    iblast Member

    Nov 4, 2002
    :(Lost a neat cat after it ate a one bite mouse. I went to glue traps and it solved the problem. Also terminex has a bait like one bite that is not toxic to cats and dogs. There are a traps that use bait and catch the varmit and it's friends.
  6. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

    Aug 4, 2003
    Zone Unknown
    When I moved here, it was The Rat Woodstock. :no: :rolleyes:

    And, if it weren't for poison, no doubt they would have elected Osama Bin Rat :rolleyes: , formed little rat militias :rolleyes: and burned me out :no: .

    I don't use the warfarin kind. The kind I use dehydrates them, drives them out in search of water or something. I get it in bars and it works like a chamr. As do mothballs. :D

    I have never had problems with the dead critters hurting my animals either. And I know for a fact - allow me to grr in advance: GRRRRRRR!!!! - my German Shepherd girl considers their nasty little dried out carcasses to be the finest cuisine known to canines. :rolleyes:

    Just look for the newer poisons without warfarin in bar form which cause dehydration. Also stock up on the mothballs because they help, as well. :)
  7. TedH71

    TedH71 Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jan 19, 2003
    Bel Aire, KS
    Try snakes that are big enough to eat rats. I would suggest corn or rat snakes. Make sure they're native to your area. They eat rats and mice for a living. A grown corn can eat 4-12 mice a week. I used to raise corns.


    p.s. or try a Jack Russell or a rat terrier..they will hunt 'em and be obbessed! I know for sure the JRT will be but not sure about the rat terrier.....
  8. Dances In Woods

    Dances In Woods Well-Known Member

    Jun 17, 2002
    Henderson, TEXAS
    There was someone on this forum that posted directions for killing mice & rats using a bug zapper.
    Does anyone remember?
  9. The best way to get rid of rats is to remove their food supply. Without food, any pest will move on to greener pastures. If removing the food supply is impossible, stick with available poisons. Rodent poisons were originally derived from molds/fungi (mushrooms) and are blood anticoagulants (act to thin the blood). When first discovered the substance was called Dicoumarol (hence the name de-con). It has largely been replaced by a synthetic called warfarin. Both basically have the same effect; if you overdose on them they will turn you into a walking hemorrhage. People take the same substance as blood thinners (cumin) after heat surgery (etc.)
    Mice and rats are very susceptible to this poison as they have no gag reflex (cant throw-up). Once the poison is inside they are in trouble. Domestic animals (dogs and cats) should be able to purge the poison from their systems by throwing up anything that has eaten the poison (but I would not put this to the test!) The effects of the poison can be overcome by drinking lost of water to try and dilute it out of the system. This is why rats/mice head toward water once they have had a dose of it. Helps a lot as the critters usually make it outside and don’t die in the walls of your home.
    Please don’t try the kids with the .22’s. This can only lead to trouble! Try and reduce or remove any available food source. A reduction of 50% will mean 50% fewer rats. Use poison in a safe manor. Bait stations take little time to construct and will keep things other than mice and rats out of the poison. Bury or burn any poison rats you find. Please do not leave them for other animals to consume. The poison rats may not kill them but the will probably do a lot of damage to the liver. Good Luck.
  10. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

    Dec 9, 2003
    As a professional exterminator, I know a lot of the information in the above responses is incorrect. It's pretty hard to sort out the good from the bad. Everyone seems to have only a portion of the picture correct. First of all, cumin is not a rodenticide. It's an herb. There is an anticoagulant (for people) that sounds similar though. Warfarin is not used by professionals any more because rats have developed some level of resistance and dogs and cats are very sensitive. First generation active ingredients that you may see on the store shelve include diphacinone (de-con) and warfarin. These are continuous feed products that require multiple feedings for the rodent to get a lethal dose.

    Second generation active ingredients like brodifacuoum require only a single feeding. I prefer blocks because if you tie them down, the rats cant carry them away. Rats will sometimes hoard the granular or pellet baits. Many of the block baits available in rural areas may contain this ingredient. It is good because there is no known resistance and the dosage is so small that secondary poisoning is minimal (except for birds of prey). In a situation, like a barn with an owl, you'd want to use the product with no risk of secondary poisoning called Quintox. Terminex doesn't make it, don't sell it, and are not in any way connected to the product except they can use it like anyone else. Quintox is not an anticoagulant. You might be able to get zinc phosphide oats. Very poisonous, very effective. Dogs and cats don't usually eat oats.

    All mouse poisons will kill other animals if they eat them.

    Now, regarding how to control rats, use everything you can. Use glue boards snap traps and poison. Be careful, a snap trap will break your dog's paw. A glue board must be large or the rat can get loose. Limit their food. Put your bait stations where they usually find their food. Hide your bulk dog and cat food in metal trash cans with lids. It won't eliminate the problem, but it will make your poison bait work better. They need a big drink every day, so find where they drink. Cut off the supply if possible. Use the tube device idea from above. They like to carry their food to a private spot like a corner to eat all at once. Place your devices everywhere there is activity. Rats will jump over glue boards, you may need to place several in a row. Be relentless, you'll win. gobug
  11. Always trust the professionals. Warfarin is sold as an anticoagulant for medical use under the brand name Coumadin. Cumin is a spice commly used in chilli. The rodent posion “de-con” no longer contains Dicoumarol, but it does not use diphacinone as an active ingredient either. De-con does not use brodifacuoum but it uses an anticoagulant that sounds similar called brodifacoum.
    Rodent poison is specifically designed to control rodents, not to kill other animals. Obviously, the more potent the poison (kills in one feeding) the greater the danger to anything other than the rodents. Good luck!
  12. jillianjiggs

    jillianjiggs Well-Known Member

    May 13, 2003
    Oh my! We had a problem with rats this summer, and my JRT was in a frenzy! He'd catch the scent of one, wake us up in the middle of the night, and hunt it down until he got it. If it went in the wall, he'd sit and wait for it to sneak out, and then he'd pounce on it and kill it. I can't count how many dead rats he brought me in the mornings.
  13. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

    Nov 18, 2003
    Dysfunction Junction, SW PA
    remove all traces of what they can use as food and then set out a line of shell corn someplace where they will come out to get it and the slugs wont hit anything behind them. Sit with a nice cup of coffee, a few bricks of 22 subsonics, and plink away. shoot from different distances, it will sharpen your aim. make it a daily few hour chore, bury the dead ones with some lime, and just keep it up till your hard pressed to shoot any on any given day. THEN you have a good dent out of the population. stop feeding them, and set some traps with the triggers dipped in chocolate. Rts will kill each other for chocolate. check yout trapline every day instead of taking a shooting break, make it fun, wear a fur coat, talk to your dogs in french (or with a thinck accent) and drag around a small canoe, pretend your a french fur trapper checking your beaver traps. (hey... you kill time your way I will kill time my way). I reccoment getting a few rat terriers, they do an excellent job, set corn cob baits out where the rats have to run about 25/30 feet to get to cover to give the ratters a chance to nail em. When you do this you can put on your czar outfit and pretend your hunting on your estate with your prize wolfhounds. (imagination is a absolute must for country living) Cats cats and more cats. Mother cats with curious kittens are going to do you good, for this one you can pretend your zigfied and the rat is roy. (ok bad taste but that was funny)
    I say nix on the poison, I have has amany cats and a few dogs and several owls die from poisioned rats.
    besides.... where is the sport of poision? If you want to really freak out your neighbors, mount a few rat heads, and display them in your game room over the fireplace. "yes, we nailed that bad boy on safari back behind the machine shed..." "we had been out for hours tracking that beast, but just when we were about to call the bearers to start packing our supplies, he leapt out of no where and we set the hounds on him. Good thing to he nearly took one of the poor natives legs off. Gads, that was an adventure!"

    I assure you, in one month you will have no rats, and the neighbors will be so warry of you, youll never have to lock a door.
    Works fer me .
  14. croston

    croston Member

    Aug 30, 2003
    I am not normally bothered by rats but just over a year ago it got so bad here it was costing a fortune in eaten feed eaten eggs and damage to building etc. I tried for a few weeks with poison but it didnt seem to make any difference.If anything the rats thrived. My son paid for a professional pest controller to do a clear up.In the first days we were picking up bucketfuls of dead rats.
    This man used the right poison in the right bait stations and most importantly he put these stations at the right places.I now have a contract and constant vermin control.The bait stations are topped up whenever needed. Probably more important the correct bait is used. The type is changed so the rats do not build a resistance as quickly as they have to the old baits. In some areas of the UK there are rats who are imune to ALL poisons.These can only be killed by traps and they are breeding faster than they can be caught.When dealing with this problem an amature can do terrible long term harm.
  15. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

    Nov 18, 2003
    Dysfunction Junction, SW PA
    are you calling the great white hunter an amature??
    Ive hunted rats sitting atop elephants on the hot kalahari plains... (well ok, I was on top of a VW out beside the shed, and it was just an old hayfield...apples/oranges!)
    Hurumph! I'm going now to clean my pith helmet and press my hunting clothes... (OK.. its a ww1 civil defense helmet and a flanel shirt with a pair of torn jeans....Its MY illusion!!! )
    I'll have my valet clean my prized elephant gun for the hunt... (OK OK its an old romainian 22 with electrical tape holding it together, almost the same thingand I dont actually HAVE a valet...yet)

    next thing youll be telling me these rats are not 5 foot at the sholder, either.
    (3 inches, 5 feet...don't be so nit picky)

    'scuse me.. I need a refil on my hot nyquil toddy.
    amature indeeed..... :mad:

  16. Judy in IN

    Judy in IN Well-Known Member Supporter

    Nov 28, 2003
    Comfortablynumb, you really know how to have a good time! You must be a legend in your own mind! :haha: :haha: :haha:
  17. puffdog

    puffdog Active Member

    Dec 13, 2003
    Take copies of yours farm records or you can have mine and place them around the area where the rats are . Everyone knows that rats are the first to leave a sinking ship .
  18. Farmer Brown

    Farmer Brown Well-Known Member

    May 28, 2002
    Our 2 yr old cat was picture of health Friday and Saturday morning terrible sick. Barfing and diarria, no fever, no bloody stuff coming out either end. Drinks lots of water but no food. Vet. looked at him and thinks maybe a stomach bug or something. Worse today. May not make it thru the night. Does anyone know how a cat acts that eats a mouse that is sick from rat posion? FB
  19. lanie1209

    lanie1209 Member

    Apr 2, 2003
    ComfortablyNumb... YOU are a hoot! I'm with you on the NyQuil toodies! TheY sure do help what ails ya! :worship:
  20. poppy

    poppy Guest

    Farmer Brown, I doubt your cat was poisoned. These poisons are figured at a lethal dose using a formula of milligrams of poison to killograms of body weight. In other words, if your cat weighs 20 times as much as a mouse, it would take 20 times as much poison to kill him. A single mouse would not eat near enough to kill a cat. 20 mice, yea.