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Thread: Best way to deal with a rat problem?

  1. #1

    Best way to deal with a rat problem?

    Hi all, my girlfriend and I moved to a small farm last year that we're gradually tidying up and renovating. One of our old barns that we're tidying up shows signs of rats getting in where they've chewed through boards at the base that used to be doors to let the birds that were being raised there out. We're replacing the boards with corrugated metal sheet as the rest of the barn is made of that. We've seen the odd rat about but not done anything about it yet and now it's time to fix the issue.

    I can take the .22 or air rifle out some evenings after putting down a cat food bait but I'm often away with work and am looking at getting a couple of traps that my girlfriend can use when I'm away. Fenn traps seem to be the thing but which size would you recommend? We don't want to use poison as we've a lot of owls round us and I was reading about the number of owls dying from eating poisoned rats.

    Would something like 8" drain pipe be a suitable tunnel to put the trap in and how long should the tunnel be? We've a bunch of old pipe around the place so making tunnels is easy. I plan to put one along either edge of the barn where the rats run, probably with cat food bait.

    Thanks for the advice.

  2. #2
    Cats, feed 'em well but don't turn them into pets and the rats will keep away.
    Cheers Ted.

    SACS Member. DSC 1.

  3. #3
    Fenn MK4s are what you want. Tunnels will need to be a good 15" long, but 8" pipe might not be the best thing as it's a bit large. I use plywood tunnels with the trap chain stapled to the side & a few upright metal bars to prevent the cats getting into them

    Best bet is to remove any reason for rats to visit though.........deny them access & keep feed where they can't get access it & you'll have solved the worst of your issues with minimal effort. bear in mind that rats are neophobic though? Basically means they're very distrustful of anything new, so it might take a few days of baiting before you get any hits. Chocolate's a favourite bait, as is peanut butter. Cat food might attract other non-target animals such as cats, stoat/weasels, hedgehogs, etc

  4. #4
    I use the plastic traps you can set with one hand, peanut butter works well.
    Cut off their food supply so they will be more tempted by the traps. You will have a lot more than you think..
    I use bait and find 99% die in their holes.
    Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake..

  5. #5
    I bait too. Tomcat blocks wired in place lets you monitor bait-takes. When the takes start tailing off you know you're getting on top of the population

  6. #6
    SD Regular teyhan1's Avatar
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    Don't know why your not looking into baiting with Warfarin. Its secondary baiting characteristics are very good inasmuch as they can be nearly non existant. I doubt very much whether you have any resistance in your area.
    “Man surprised me most about humanity. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money.Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”........Dalai Lama

  7. #7
    Poison them and make sure they have no access to food they will die or leave.,

  8. #8
    We had a major rat problem when we moved to a farm that had had empty buildings for a while.

    For a start I put down "eradirat" organic bait. Not toxic to anything else, but only any use when rat population is really high and they're competing for limited food supplies.
    That reduced the number from plague proportions to merely major pest.
    Next step was ferrets and a terrier, coupled with shooting, which got rid of most of the rest.
    The last few were clobbered with conventional poison.
    There followed about 7 rat-free years, until I bought some in in a big bale of straw.
    However, cats are just about keeping them in check at the mo.

    Always build bait stations into hay / straw / silage stacks, or any other heap of stuff that isn't likely to be moved for 6 months or so.

  9. #9
    Mk4 fenns in tunnels
    There are no perfect men in this world ..... Only perfect intentions

  10. #10
    Lots of petrol & a
    match. I jest not saw this done under a 16' chicken shed. Concrete base was riddled with rats and the shed was rotten anyway. We stood on both sides with shotguns as everything was turned to smouldering ash.

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