Monday, 21 November 2011

rat abatement

there is a discussion about how to "tame" the rat population on eckington listerve. i think K3's suggestions are great and will be helpful even beyond our neighborhood, so i thought i'd post them here:

Please make sure to dispose of your garbage properly. If your supercan is broken, either request repair or replacement (although replacement may take a long time; DPW spent the money instead of ordering supercans last spring).

Seal up every last little crack in your building (rats can squeeze through a hole the size of a quarter), and look for signs of rats nesting under the edges of concrete.

Traps are the most reliable . . . and you can dispose of the bodies instead of having to smell them for months. Besides old-fashioned snap traps, electronic traps are also available (one by Victor is available for $40 at Home Depot).
Supposedly the electronic ones are quick and painless.

Live traps are fine, but (a) you must take the rat at least five miles away, (b) where other rats will probably kill him as an intruder anyway.

Glue traps are extremely inhumane, as is poison. Both can take weeks and weeks to kill the rat, and its screams are bone-chilling.

You can also use raw beans ground up in a food processor. They kill the rat by fermenting in his intestinal system. It's not quick or painless, but it beats other poisons/glue traps (and is environmentally harmless).

Another less-than-quick homemade poison: 1 c flour, 1 c sugar, 1 c baking soda mixed in a large bowl and placed in shallow containers. The soda reacts with stomach acid to produce carbon dioxide, terminally bloating the rat up. (Apparently rats cannot fart.) Obviously this is also not a painless - or tidy - death.

Some people mix instant mashed potatos and plaster of paris. This causes the rat to die of constipation. Of course, if other animals get into it, it will kill them too.

If you must use a pest service, find one that dispenses poison responsibly: using bait stations, NOT loose poison/pellets. Otherwise, it puts cats (natural rat enemies) at risk. See

HOWEVER: dead rats left in place (poisoned or whatever) means you'll be dealing with a nasty stench for many months . . . and poison never kills them all.

If your building is well-sealed, you may get by with just a rodent repellent. Fresh Cab "is the first & only EPA registered for indoor use botanical rodent repellent. This assures our customers that it is both safe & effective when used as directed. No snake oil, or cheap imitation here - Just results without the poison. Your satisfaction is 100% guaranteed or your money is returned!"

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