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Really gross question

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
This is really disgusting, but I'm looking for ideas how to handle this problem. In my backyard, we have a wooden shed that's pretty old (probably about 15 years old). We have some stuff stored in there, but lately lots of very large rats have taken up residence in it. It is just so gross, I can't even tell you. I have a labrador who lives in the backyard, and she's been hunting them. Thankfully, she doesn't eat them, just tosses them around after she kills them. My concern is that my kids play in the backyard all the time, and I don't want rats anywhere near my kids. My husband won't tear down the shed (don't ask me why, cause I don't know!). He wants to trap them in those snap traps, but I think there are just too many for this to be effective. Poison would be best, but that won't work because of Daisy, my dog. These rats are so daring that they even come out from under the shed when the kids and dog are out there playing. Eeeewwwww! Gives me the creeps just typing this.

Do any of you have ideas of what to do short of calling an exterminator, which we can't afford until at least December at the earliest.

post #2 of 29
They are using them at ground zero to help get rid of the rat problem there. Wire-haired and JRT's do you know anyone with a rat terrior that would let you borrow the dog for a day or two?
post #3 of 29
I don't have any advice....I just had to say eeeeew!:disturbed
post #4 of 29
Dawn, we have rats in the summertime that hang around the corn crib near our house....but the cats always take care of them, so I don't have any advice, other than turning your cats loose in there for awhile. I hope you get rid of them.
post #5 of 29
Thread Starter 
Debby - I actually tried that. My cats, especially Muffy, are so clueless! I put her out there by the hole that the rat had just gone down, and she started eating grass. That's all she cared about. She went under the shed where the rats are, turned around, and came out to eat more grass. It's so frustrating!

My kids are playing outside right now, and I've gone outside about 5 times. Each time there were at least 2 rats sitting by the shed munching grass. Our yard is not big. The kids and the dog are within feet from these nasty creatures. I'm going to talk to my husband tonight and get him to agree to have the dog inside while I nuke them with rat poison. Then I'm going to insist that we tear down the shed. It's just too nasty with my children back there.

I have the creeps running up and down my back!
post #6 of 29
I would definitly say that rat poison should do the trick if you can let your dog stay inside for a couple of days. Or do you have a garage or basement where the dog could go while you get rid of those pests????????
I feel for you, things like rats/mice really gross me out too! I would be freaking out more than you are, I would have probably torn down the shed myself!!!!!!!!
Good luck, hope you can rid your yard of those creatures! Keep you and your kids SAFE, thats all that really matters in the end!
post #7 of 29
Wow , this is a big one.
Yes poison is the most effective way , but not the safest, I am not sure what would happen to any other animal that ate one of these dying creatures.
I know with the pellets available to kill them they will not die until they find water.
A friend of mine had a fox terrior that I used to borrow when we got rats in the horse stables.
I know that they are great rat dogs, that used to work for me, would you consider getting one or borrowing one?
Traps are very dangerous to other animals, but you do have to get rid of them, before the snakes discover this wonderful source of free food.
I am not sure if knocking the shed down will get rid of them, it may (god forbid , shudder at the thought) just bring them into your house.

Gosh I think I would chance the pellets and hope for the best if I couldnt get a rat dog.
I really feel for you Dawn
post #8 of 29
I have a couple of suggestions for you.

Could you possibly put out alot of poison inside the shed and lock it up really well? Maybe a friend or relative could take care of your dog for a couple of days while you were trying to kill all the rats. Let your neighbors know about the poison so they can protect their own pets and children.

Another suggestion: Borrow some barn cats (2 or 3) from a farmer and lock them up inside the shed with the rats for a few days. My brother-in-law farms and says the cats in his barn really keep the rodent population down.

I don't like rodents at all, and if I had alot rats living in a shed in my yard I would worry that they might start getting inside the house.

Stay safe and good luck!
post #9 of 29
...EEEEEKS the whole idea of killing something scares me more than the rats!
post #10 of 29
Place moth balls around the perimeter of the yard. It keeps raccoons away - it may work for rats
post #11 of 29
I would be concerned if a rat ate the poison, then got out into the yard (even if you locked it up tight they could still get in and out) and your dog or a cat got ahold of a poisoned rat.

And I really wouldn't send my cat out to chase them, let alone let my dog eat them (not that you can help this I know). Great way to get worms or something worse. My sister saw a mouse in our cupboard and sent Satey in after it, and boy she really heard it from me!

I would just try and trap them as much as I could. Or maybe one of those electronic pest control devices? Is there any electricity in the shed? How about an outlet outside on your house somewhat near the shed? We've had a mouse or two, and they are clever enough to take the food out of traditional traps without triggering them, so we had to buy those sticky traps (but beware the heartbreaking sight of a mouse who's chewed his tail and foot off trying to get off one). Maybe you could get some sticky paper and have your husband build some crude lumber trays, nail the paper down, and stick a few in the shed?
post #12 of 29
I'm going to try to type this again...without looking it looking like this ewwwu[qiut[0e9utg[g['g...okay.... here goes:

Thanks Illusion, Great idea!
post #13 of 29
How about humane traps then call animal control to deal with it? I'd rather kill the rats myself, but you run the risk of killing other things too. This way if you get a raccoon or skunk or even someone's pet, it's safe and the animal control people can decide what to do about it. Depending on how bad your infestation is, they might be able to help you out. They aren't my favorite people but if that rat population gets too big, it's a matter of public health, you know? They are cheeky, even more than squirrels, and they'll take after kids eventually if they feel crowded.

Not be an alarmist, but you do remember Bubonic plague was carried by rat fleas? There have been cases of it in Arizona and New Mexico, usually folks who go hiking in isolated areas without proper gear (long pants, hiking boots that cover feet and ankles completely, that kind of thing). Early symptoms are headache, nausea, vomiting, and aching joints plus fever, so it looks a lot like a flu. However, it can be treated very effectively with antibiotics like streptomycin as long as it is caught within a day or two. I mention this because MD's in the desert southwest know to screen for it but your local doc might not. And it is very unlikely your rats have been exposed so I don't think you should get hugely upset, they are far more likely to spread rabies.

I just happen to have read something about terrorists considering reintroducing this to the US because we don't regularly check for it, so I just looked it up. {sigh} It's amazing the amount of stuff I carry in my head that I wish I didn't have to know.
post #14 of 29
I must say I feel for the rats. They're pretty intelligent and very social animals. Lots of people keep them as pets, and they're not that different from pet hamsters and guinne pigs (sp?). We don't have large ones, only mice. I prefer to catch them in the cage like trap and release them in the fields. I also wouldn't let the cats hunt on them - it's a source of parasites that can infect the cats and then you.

Here are some links that may help you. In some of them you need to scroll down to find the info but they have some good humane tips. - scroll down for some no-kill solutions
post #15 of 29
I have an idea. You could A- set the shed onfire, B- Get a bunch of rat or king snakes and put them in the shed, or C- call pest control.
post #16 of 29
Idea yes,

A :paranoid2
C :paranoid2

Humane? You can answer that one for yourself.
post #17 of 29
I was just kidding about burning the shed and the snakes. I personally would do either one if I had no choice. Put getting the pest control people might help. Yuck! I hate wild mice and rats! I feel for you Dawn. If it were me, I'd be inside my house and not come out until they are gone.
post #18 of 29
I have another suggestion. Call your local public health department to see if they would be able to give you some assistance before this problem becomes more serious. The rats will multiply very rapidly and become a serious health threat soon.

Good luck!
post #19 of 29
Here are some links regarding rats and rat rescue you might want to check out.

post #20 of 29
This seriously creeped me out. Did you figure out what you are doing about your problem yet?

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Â:censor: Â:censor: Â:censor: Â:censor: Â:censor: Â:censor: Â:censor: Â:censor: Â:censor: Â:censor: Â:censor: Â:censor:Sudden Facts (tm)

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Â:censor: Â:censor: Â:censor: Â:censor: Â:censor: Â:censor: Â:censor: Â:censor: Â:censor: Â:censor: Â:censor: Â:censor: Â:censor: Â:censor: November 1, 2001

Is it true that rats can squeeze themselves under doors?

It's pretty scary, but true: even very large rats can fit through
very tiny spaces. How tiny? Well, let's put it this way - if you
have a hole about the size of a nickel in your wall, you could
one day see a rat squeezing through it. Rats don't have bones.
They're made up of cartilage, which is flexible.

Can rats climb trees?

Yes, indeedy. They can climb trees and enter houses through
second-story windows. Better buy some screens. One type of rat -
the roof rat - is an agile climber that can shinny the outside of
a three-inch diameter pipe or any size pipe within three inches
of a wall. Rats are even capable of climbing INSIDE vertical
pipes that are one-and-a-half to four inches in diameter. What's
more, they're excellent jumpers and capable of dropping from a
height of fifty feet without seriously harming themselves.

Can rats swim?

Rats can hold their breath for three minutes and can tread water
for three days. Norway rats (the kind you're likely to see in US
cities) can swim as far as half a mile in open water. They can
also dive through water plumbing traps and swim through sewer
lines against strong water currents. No wonder these little guys
have been around for so long
post #21 of 29
post #22 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all your suggesions! You came up with a lot of ideas that I haven't thought of. I haven't had time to talk to my husband about it yet, been one of those weeks. I'm leaning towards poison just because I want to be able to wipe them out completely. There are so many of them that trapping would be difficult. Turns out they're not only in the shed, but they're in the grass and cluvert behind our house. They've been tunneling under our fence from back there and taking refuge in the shed. Thankfully, we don't have cats running lose in our neighborhood so I won't have to worry about cats eating anything bad. But I'm still going to call the city and see if they'll help take care of it. The grassy area and culvert are city property, so maybe they're responsible too.

Anyway, I'll let you know what happens. I'm not too worried about them coming in the house. We've got a good cement foundation and no holes.
post #23 of 29
They might not be the cutest creatures around, but they sure are industrious little guys. Personally, I'm not in a big fan of rats; I don't know that I'd have one as a pet...but I've been told they make great pets. I certainly believe they have their place on earth, just as any creature does. They just have a bad rap.

I'd just like to recognize Illusion, Anne, and Donna for great advice and the links that were provided to trap these guys instead of killing them. I wouldn't want someone to kill a cat because it had kittens in someones shed. That would set me off too!

You may think that that's a different story all together, but there was a time and there are still some people that believe that cats are filthy animals that breed disease.

My take on the whole thing and in my humble opinion, Killing Sucks!
unless it's cockroaches...

Love & Rat Hugs, :laughing2
post #24 of 29
Thread Starter 
I wouldn't want to kill them except for the fact that I have children who play in the back yard all the time. We have had cases of rabies in our area in the past year, so I really don't want to take any chances. Of course, I've explained to Amy and Adam that rats are not naughty (as Amy calls it), they just don't need to be living in the shed and playing in the yard with the kids.
post #25 of 29

I can understand your concern I said, the links provided are there for relocation...what you do is naturally your call. I was just trying to point out that there are other methods besides killing them.

Love & Peace,
post #26 of 29
Originally posted by sunlion

Is it true that rats can squeeze themselves under doors?

It's pretty scary, but true: even very large rats can fit through
very tiny spaces. How tiny? Well, let's put it this way - if you
have a hole about the size of a nickel in your wall, you could
one day see a rat squeezing through it. Rats don't have bones.
They're made up of cartilage, which is flexible.
Uhm, rats are vertebrate mammals, and they DO have bones. Sharks are the animal whose "skeletal system" is made up entirely of cartilage.
post #27 of 29
I was kinda wondering about that one far as I knew rats have bones! Where on earth did those people(the ones who wrote the trivia)get their information?? I'm pretty sure they'd find walking around pretty difficult without bones They can fit through some pretty small spaces, but only as small as their skull size. They can manipulate their bodies to fit through, as long as their head will.
post #28 of 29
Hey Dawn,

did you ever solve your problem?
post #29 of 29
Thread Starter 
Still working on it. These rats are very stubborn...

Thanks for asking!
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