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That could waste a lot of time sitting around waiting for them, not to mention all the bovver of getting a gun permit. The poison I use does the job quickly and without further effort or time form me apart form bunging any corpses in teh bin.
Now I just need to find a way to stop all the meeces from migrating into our attic via the rather too porous brick walls this old farm is built from. Any sensible suggestions gratefully received as they've been more than usually numerous and persistent this year.
You don't need a gun permit in the UK for a .22 which is ideal and more than adequate for dispatching rats.
In your situation obelixx an infra red night sight would be essential. It is the only way you would deal with rats effectively in a rambling old house and outbuildings. The professionals use both bait and night sighted air rifles to make a serious impact on rat populations.
You can't faff around with rats. Poison em, shoot em. or get a Jack Russell or two.
You have to be ever vigilant with the critters. I'm not of the gently gently brigade when it come to rats. Get rid or you WILL be overrun.
Peppermint, mothballs ? Waste of time.
I have only just discovered these pests and I am really worried. I know they are under our decking in the Pergola, but worse still I think they may get into my Grandson's play house, right next to the Pergola. I love animals and I am soft to fault but these creatures I will destroy to the best of my ability. I think I will get professional help in. We also have Guinea pigs and I am afraid to put them out on the lawn in their run. mainly because I saw a large rat saunter across the lawn only today.
Hi Jpop. Do keep your guinea pigs well away from any rats. We lost all ours to a really nasty parasite which they caught from a rat which had got into the summer house where they were kept. It was years ago though so hopefully there are better treatments available now.
Decking provides an ideal home for rats - I wouldn't have it in my garden. Get professionals in to get rid of them and get them to come back on a regular basis until you and they are sure the problem is dealt with.
Clean the playhouse and toys with Dettol solution or similar - don't leave them out at night. Teach grandson to wash his hands properly after playing in the garden and not to put his fingers in his mouth, eyes etc. make sure wounds have a plaster on them.
Make sure guinea pig food etc is in rat proof containers.
And then, don't worry too much
There's two really simple ways to get rid of them WITHOUT using chemicals: 1) use peppermint essential oil. Get a glass spray bottle with water and put in about 5-10 drops of peppermint oil. Spray the area where they and around your house at key places you think they would go. Rats hate the smell and usually leave but you could have the problem that they just go to another area of the house where they don't smell it. 2) You can use a pest chaser which emits a high volume that you can't hear but rats can (and they hate it).
If a cat kills a rat that has eaten poison but doesn't eat it will the cat be ok??
If it doesn't eat the rat the cat should be fine.
Just keep an eye on it for a couple of days and if it does seem poorly phone the vet and ask for advice (they'll want to know the brand of rat poison if possible).
But honestly, I'm 99.9% certain the cat should be fine - try not to worry
Ironically iv'e had to deal with 3 rat invasions in the last 3 months one at my house one at my mothers and another at my grandparents. I've found each time that one of the main causes for them to shack up is food, my mother and grandparents problem was bags of birdseed being in there garage or just inside the conservatory, my problem was i was putting to much birdseed out so the first step, would be to make sure there are no food sources available to them that will help a tremendous amount.
Secondly my grandparents used rat poison but me and my mother refuse to use it because of dogs, but the method is still similar, try and fill in the rat holes with dirt and really compact it down afterwards try and get some mesh (obviously steel is better) but anything tough will do and lay that on top of where you filled in the rat holes. After that you can lay slabs etc or something heavy just to put some weight on it. Now of course they are going to burrow out of there but if u make it difficult for them to live there and deprive them of food they may go away, you'll never stop them coming in the garden of course but they may nest somewhere else. (you can buy the poison sachets and just use a stick and stuff them down the hole as far as they'll go then fill with dirt and continue the process).
One thing that i have found a lot of people do which is the main cause of rats is put way way way to much bird seed down, only put enough so that the birds will polish it off before nightfall, and don't feel stingy or bad they dont mind Other than that there are rat traps or exterminators but Ive never been down that route so i cant comment on it.
But honestly if they are a real persistent problem you may have to bully them out with poison or a professional, try the nice approach but be prepared for a fight if it doesn't work.
Hope this helps and i hope you get the rats out of the garden !