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Overrun by rats - what the flip (new no swearing rule) can I do?

(31 Posts)
handlemecarefully Mon 23-May-05 11:34:31

As well as the rats, we also have a weasel (my cleaner spotted it) - what do they do? I don't know a thing about them.

We live in a sort of countryside location (well its not urban or suburban, we have a farm as one of our neighbours), and it's on a ruddy great A Road (A36) so not quite a rural idyll.

I am thinking because of the farmers field, and perhaps the stagnant natural pond at the bottom of our garden (well away from house as garden is quite long) rats may be an inevitability. Are rats inevitable in the country? I'm a city girl by breeding, so ignorant of such things.

We had them in the cavity walls a few weeks ago but I think we managed to deal with that (no more noises lately - we put poison down and blocked off the entrance that they had burrowed into).

However the little fecks (can I say 'fecks' or will it cause a few of our more delicate members to feel faint - used to like it when we could swear - grrrr!) are everywhere in the garden.

Our council doesn't provide wheely bins so we were keeping the rubbish bags behind the garage. They were chewing these, so we starting keeping them inside our garage between rubbish collections, but I have just noticed that the rats have chewed the rubber trim about the bottom of the garage door - obviously trying to create a 2 inch gap to get in.

Have also seen the rats as casual as you like take a Sunday afternoon stroll through our front garden (spotted 3 times now via french windows), and have found more evidence of chewing - of a ventilation grill in an exterior wall.

Am panicking. What do I do. Don't tell me to get a cat because (a) I don't like them (b) I am physically allergic to them developing hythes and hayfever symptoms on contact and (c) the A36 would see them squished under the tyres of an articulated lorry within weeks.

I'm thinking of a jack russell terrier.

Anything else we can do. Poison does present practical difficulties with a 1 year old and 2.10 year old.

Getting bit hyper about it (must breath deeply)


HELP!!!!

cupcakes Mon 23-May-05 11:36:26

god, sorry can't think of any remedies just wanted to sympathise.

Spacecadet Mon 23-May-05 11:38:57

in all honesty you need to get the local pest control people in as they can find the source of the prob and deal with theratsat the main location, they will put poison boxesdown which are safe, my dad had rats yearsago when wewere next to a field, and he put a gin trap down,,,,,not recommended and now illegal!!!

throckenholt Mon 23-May-05 11:39:48

contact the locat council pest control - they will come out and set traps or lay bait.

Apparently there were more rats than normal last year because of the mild winter - not sure what it is like this year.

There are lots of rats in the country - but it is not normal to have them near or in the house - usually they stick to farms or haystacks etc.

handlemecarefully Mon 23-May-05 11:40:02

Oh right - I will do that - but won't the rats just come back again Spacecadet?

throckenholt Mon 23-May-05 11:41:04

by the way - there are probably more rats in the city

Flum Mon 23-May-05 11:41:22

I for one would shoot them and then put them in the dustbin.

re: the dustbin. You MUST buy one.

TakeOff Mon 23-May-05 11:44:28

Lav's dh or ds could teach you how to handle an airgun to pick them off, no charge, maybe just a bottle of scotch in return......

throckenholt Mon 23-May-05 11:45:54

go play on the other threads children !

honestly - this sounds like someone with a genuine question in need of help - don't drag it in to the other on-going fun and games.

spacedonkey Mon 23-May-05 11:49:06

call your local council environmental health department and they will send out a pest control bloke to sort it out free of charge (they charge for other pests but not rats according to cockroach man i was talking to last week)

handlemecarefully Mon 23-May-05 11:54:34

Thank you throckenholt - I have got a bit of a sense of humour failure on this one tbh.

Have just rung Environmental Health and they will send someone out on Wednesday between 8-6 (so have to take day off work and stay in all day, but it's important so will do)

Flum you're right - to prevent a recurrence (after Environmental Health hopefully manage to successfully deal with them), we'll be getting a bin - and a metal one rather than a plastic wheely bin so they can't chew through it.

I'm thinking we should get a terrier as a general deterrent

Blu Mon 23-May-05 11:56:36

I had a rat problem when I lived by a railway embankment. Young firld rats come exploring, esp at this time of year.
Get pest control down - poison will not be a problem if put down in special child-proof containers and locations
Get a bin - you can buy wheelie bins...someone found a link..
Get a builder to look at all the possible entry points into the house and garage.

The problem with poison is that you have to cope with a horrible smell and flies while inaccesible dead rats rot away - 5 days maybe? If you can see the dead rat, get rid of it, but i had one somewhere in the foundations of the house and couldn't find the damn thing anywhere.

Good luck!

handlemecarefully Mon 23-May-05 11:59:59

I've got one and two under control now Blu, but hadn't thought about doing no.3 also and ringing a builder. Good idea

throckenholt Mon 23-May-05 12:07:28

make sure you weigh down the lid of the bin - rats are clever little blighters !

Flum Mon 23-May-05 12:17:08

I think a terrier would definately help. But that should not be the only reason to get one.

Sure this is not just an excuse for a new puppy?

geekgrrl Mon 23-May-05 12:22:23

hmc, re. the rubbish issue - we also don't get bins from our council and I've just ordered one of those small metal toolsheds - can't remember where from but it was £90 and is rodent-proof - to put our bin bags in. It's not very practical fishing them out of a wheelie bin, with possible leakages etc.
Hope you get the rat problem under control.

Spacecadet Mon 23-May-05 12:22:33

hmc, the council will prob identify your prob areas, you need, distbins first, we spotted acouple of ratsa few years ago on our garden and got pest control out(free if rats) he put poison down and advised that we put a small mesh cage round bins, dh built one v quickly, with a lid to get to dustbins just using a bit of timberand some very small holed wire, that rats couldnt get through and that was prob sorted, never sawany more, stops cats ripping binbags open too, we have dustbinswith cathces on so lids cant fall off

handlemecarefully Mon 23-May-05 12:22:48

Flum I've been wanting a dog for quite some time

Spacecadet Mon 23-May-05 12:23:21

we dont have wheelie bins either and its horrid on bin day, everyone had to put bags on path and all the cats get them, yuk.

handlemecarefully Mon 23-May-05 12:24:27

geekgrrl -

Excellent idea re the small metal toolshed thing. I'll have a look on B&Q web site

elastamum Mon 23-May-05 12:28:39

Call in the pest control and put some traps down and put all your rubbish in thich sealed bins as they can smell it. You will have to keep on top of them as they will keep coming back if you dont. Jack Russells are great for killing rats, we used to keep them in the stable yard when I was a kid, but make sure you see the parents when you get one and that they are good in the house and with children. Some are fabulous house dogs but some arent.

Good luck

3mum Mon 23-May-05 12:34:14

Hi I agree with the others about the rubbish but I also think you need to bait. We had a big rat problem last year and after a campaign we don't see them any more (I am sure there are still some, they are part of country life) but not in large numbers.

Rats like (i) a home (probably your pond but also possibly your sheds) and (ii) food (prbably your bins but also possibly the farm).

Our rat problems were caused by keeping chickens (lots of lovely corn) and havinga nice barn with an earth floor for them to tunnel under.

We changed the chicken pens and we bait all year round. IME you need at least six bait sites including one near your pond.

Get pest control in but ask about permanent baiting. Our pest control man made his own as follows (probably the most child friendly too). Take a lidded plastic bucket and a short length of drainpipe, cut a hole in the top of the draainpie about 2" round. cut circular holes in both sides of the bottom of the bucket just wide enough to take the drainpipe and push the darinpie through. You now have a tunnel for the rats to run into and out again passing through the bucket as they do so. The bait stays inside the bucket. You can anchor the bucket to the ground with a bit of metal if you wnat to stop children knocking it over.

Check the bait every day and top it up every day. It will work eventually I promise. Keep it going all year round whether needed or not and that keeps the numbers round.

I suggest you also ask your framer for help. Most farmers have redent control policies and he will probably help out a neighbour.

Got to dash now but any queries please lte me know.

handlemecarefully Mon 23-May-05 12:43:28

Guess what 3mum

We are about to start keeping chickens (only 2 silkies) - had a forsham ark delivered last week. Spent £525 on the ark and assorted bits and pieces so it would be expensive to reconsider keeping chickens now...so, although it seems rash in the circumstances will still go ahead.

Will keep the ark way down the bottom of the garden (at least 150 ft away from the house) - will that be okay?

Thank you for priming me - I will ask the Pest Control man when he comes on Wednesday about permanent baiting. Suspect we will need it.

handlemecarefully Mon 23-May-05 12:48:39

Have found this:

rat proof rubbish store

Do you think it might work as a rat proof rubbish store?

handlemecarefully Mon 23-May-05 12:49:15

Btw, I am very grateful for all the help and advice I am getting on this thread. You're all great!

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