Rat infestation

EquiGirl1

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The yard I am at has a ridiculous rat problem. There literally must be hundreds if not thousands of them. It's an old farm, lots of nice wood cavities and barns for them to live in. The farmers do nothing to control them, they say the dogs take care of them (3 Jack Russell's & a spaniel) but I think I've seen those lazy dogs catch 3 in over a year. Needless to say they are all but useless. We have joked about secretly adopting a load of feral cats but the farmer doesn't want to get cats because of the dogs. I would be keen to put poison down, especially under the pallets in the feed room (dogs cant get under there) and in the stables my 3 are in (one has really bad rat problem - none of the horses are in at the moment) but worry about poisoning the dogs which is the last thing I want to do. Is there any poison out there which isn't toxic to dogs? I don't want the rat to die then the dogs to eat is and get secondary poisoning.

Any other tactics you know of for getting rid of / controlling rats?
 

vieshot

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Hmmmmm there are other ways of doing it, you can get sticky rat mats, they get stuck to them and normally die from chewing their limbs off trying to escape so not the nicest way, but that said neither is poison.

You can get humane traps but they normally get wise to those.
 

Pearlsasinger

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I've been told the rats don't need enough poison to kill them for the carcass to be dangerous to dogs
So have I. Rentokill (once came to work) told me that even if a cat caught a dying rat and ate it, the cat should be ok but you can get the stuff that swells inside the rat and kills it, so not actually poisonous to anything.
 

EquiGirl1

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So have I. Rentokill (once came to work) told me that even if a cat caught a dying rat and ate it, the cat should be ok but you can get the stuff that swells inside the rat and kills it, so not actually poisonous to anything.
Oh really - this is good to know! Thank you. I had a horrible vision that i'd go up one morning to find 100 rats chewing their limbs off stuck to sticky rat paper in my stable.
 

Rose Folly

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I got a flyer through the letterbox some years ago about a local group of men with real ratting dogs who'd come and sort your property out. (There was a wonderful picture of them with an unlikely assortment of dogs but of course all of them ratters - Jack Russells, Bedlingtons, Border Terriers, Staffies - and laid out in front of them were the 'bag' from one far ...there must have been 200 rats.) Have you anybody like that around you. Of course you'd need your farmer's permission.

We had a slightly injured mink who took refuge in our garden shed two years ago. I knew I should have got the farmer to shoot him/her but it was Christmas Day and I felt it was a bit mean. Leaving it was the best thing I've done in ages. The mink recovered, and went away, but while it was recuperating it sorted out our major rat problem. The garden shed was part of the run between the stables and a big drain they used, so basically the mink was living in a restaurant!
 

Suelin

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I have heard that if you mix cement powder in some grain then when they eat the grain the cement sets inside them. Again it's not nice but wouldn't harm a dog if it killed a poorly rat I don't think. I would place the bait out of reach of anything else and obviously in a dry place.

It's best really to have a blitz with proper poison to do the job properly, but you would need a lot of bait and keep the dogs shut in for a fortnight to be sure you've got everything to be safe.
 

FionaM12

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Hmmmmm there are other ways of doing it, you can get sticky rat mats, they get stuck to them and normally die from chewing their limbs off trying to escape so not the nicest way, but that said neither is poison.
I could never do that to any sentient being. :(

OP it sounds like you need expert advice as that sounds like a major infestation. I don't mind the odd rat, they're just part of nature, but the numbers you're talking about are excessive!

I guess you have metal sealed feed bins etc as hygeine's very important?
 
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twiggy2

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there are lots of different poisons, the ones that you can buy over the counter are all toxic to dogs. to be able to buy the ones that are not toxic to dogs you need to be a registered pest controller, the reason is that most of the ones that kill dogs are safe for farm livestock and those that are safe for dogs will kill farm livestock.

you need a professional pest controller ideally, if not a local rat pack will reduce the population, either way you need the farmer on side.

rats carry disease and you, the horses and the dogs can contract them-i would move yards if they really were a problem
 

FionaM12

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I agree Twiggy. If the YO wouldn't go along with a professional outfit coming in, I'd move if there were as many as the OP says.
 

TandD

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block some of holes (especially in the stable) with VERY smell horse wee shavings!!!! but they really need to smell...then close up with bricks..... ive found it works brilliantly and rats are yet to return
 

doriangrey

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Have a look on Youtube, there are people who will shoot rats for fun (they might even pay you for the privilege)! They come at night and use night vision sights. It looks very quick and they get hundreds. Maybe a local gun club could point you in the right direction.
 

jendie

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I'd be terrified.

Rat poison does work but it can be toxic to the dogs if they eat A LOT of dead bodies (which I doubt they'd do, they are more interested in killing than in eating). Antidote to poisoned dog would be an injection of Vitamin K. You can buy special 'rat bait' boxes that allow entry to rats and mice but not to anything bigger. You could buy a dozen or so of these and place them along the 'runs' used by the rats. The rats would ignore them for a week or so but would then start taking the bait.

If you can contact a group that hunts rats with terriers I think that would be your best bet, and would be kinder on the rats as well as death would be pretty much instant. These groups don't usually charge, they do it for sport and a stableful of rats would be a delight for them.

We have a rat problem but we keep on top of it by using the bait boxes. I hate doing it but rats carry diseases such as lepto and can be dangerous to other animals,including humans. Good luck.
 

twiggy2

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I'd be terrified.

Rat poison does work but it can be toxic to the dogs if they eat A LOT of dead bodies (which I doubt they'd do, they are more interested in killing than in eating). Antidote to poisoned dog would be an injection of Vitamin K. You can buy special 'rat bait' boxes that allow entry to rats and mice but not to anything bigger. You could buy a dozen or so of these and place them along the 'runs' used by the rats. The rats would ignore them for a week or so but would then start taking the bait.

If you can contact a group that hunts rats with terriers I think that would be your best bet, and would be kinder on the rats as well as death would be pretty much instant. These groups don't usually charge, they do it for sport and a stableful of rats would be a delight for them.

We have a rat problem but we keep on top of it by using the bait boxes. I hate doing it but rats carry diseases such as lepto and can be dangerous to other animals,including humans. Good luck.
depending on the poison and the size of the dogs the dogs would only need to eat part of one carcass

and the antidote depends on the poison consumed
 

JanetGeorge

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I poison rats - and none of our dogs have EVER shown any interest in eating a dead rat (they DO like bringing them into the tack room and then watching certain members of staff go hysterical!) But there is another way. MANY years ago when I was at Talland - at Church Farm which had a lot of old buildings and cellars - they had a BAD rat infestation in October (when the rats move indoors!) We left a feed bin open overnight with corn in it (not much - just an inch or two. ) In the morning we slammed te lid down on the rats - and then chucked in a terrier or two to kill them. First morning there were more than 30 - after a week there were just 2!
 

twiggy2

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I poison rats - and none of our dogs have EVER shown any interest in eating a dead rat (they DO like bringing them into the tack room and then watching certain members of staff go hysterical!) But there is another way. MANY years ago when I was at Talland - at Church Farm which had a lot of old buildings and cellars - they had a BAD rat infestation in October (when the rats move indoors!) We left a feed bin open overnight with corn in it (not much - just an inch or two. ) In the morning we slammed te lid down on the rats - and then chucked in a terrier or two to kill them. First morning there were more than 30 - after a week there were just 2!
wonder how many times the dogs got bitten being stuck in a feed bin with 30 rats?

i agree the dogs are unlikely to showan interest in eating poisoned rats but it is not the OPs farm/yard and she op does not have owners support in baiting
 

Elvis

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I'd be cautious with poison, the dog at my yard accidentally ate the rat poison (can't remember if it was direct or by eating a dead rat) and apart from making him very ill and him almost dying, it left him with brain damage, he went from being a top sheep dog to completely useless in this respect.
 

JanetGeorge

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wonder how many times the dogs got bitten being stuck in a feed bin with 30 rats?

i agree the dogs are unlikely to showan interest in eating poisoned rats but it is not the OPs farm/yard and she op does not have owners support in baiting
Not once! And the rats were killed instantly (very different to poisoning - which takes some time!)
 

EquiGirl1

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Thanks for all the feedback. I think poison is out as an option. It's just not my risk to take as it is neither my yard nor my dogs. Ideally they'd go on holiday for a fortnight and we'd lay down a load of poison but alas they are farmers and farmers don't seem to take holidays.

I like the idea of mixing cement with grain. Does anyone know any more about this? I could suggest baiting to the farmers, they are very pro hunting so they might actually go for it. Any idea where I'd find info on local ferret / baiting clubs?

It could be worse - when initially turning to the internet for suggestions I stumbled across an american site that recommended importing rattle snakes if they didn't have enough locally living on the farms. On second thoughts, diseases or not, I'd prefer a load of rats to no rats and a load of rattle snakes.
 

doriangrey

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Thanks for all the feedback. I think poison is out as an option. It's just not my risk to take as it is neither my yard nor my dogs. Ideally they'd go on holiday for a fortnight and we'd lay down a load of poison but alas they are farmers and farmers don't seem to take holidays.

I like the idea of mixing cement with grain. Does anyone know any more about this? I could suggest baiting to the farmers, they are very pro hunting so they might actually go for it. Any idea where I'd find info on local ferret / baiting clubs?

It could be worse - when initially turning to the internet for suggestions I stumbled across an american site that recommended importing rattle snakes if they didn't have enough locally living on the farms. On second thoughts, diseases or not, I'd prefer a load of rats to no rats and a load of rattle snakes.
.... don't like the idea of professionals shooting the feckers then?
 

doriangrey

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If you are offering to turn up with a gun I'll happily give you the address!
LOL, but seriously I was just trying to help. There are marksmen out there that will be delighted to come and rid you of a rat problem, literally hundreds in a night. They go for head shots too, bang dead. I guess a bit like lampers with foxes. If your rat problem is as bad as you say, I'd definitely look into it.
 

Carlosmum

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When we first took on our farm there were 1000's of rats. They ate 3 tonne of corn in 3 months. We had dogs/cats, & we shot at night but the most effective was gassing.... I don't mean cyanide. We had an old feed hopper which they would go into for the corn, OH would creep up & drop the lid & hen with the rats trapped he would attach a hose pipe to the little 'grey fergi tractor' exhaust & run it for 20 mins or so, a good dose of carbon monoxide.
 
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