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Rattus Norvegicus

Keeping Wild Rats Out Of Your Home

I like wild rats as much as the next rat-lover. I think it would be really cool if there were a wild colony living on my country property. I would love to watch them go about their daily business. I might even go out to where they live, to deliver food stuff to them, so they don't have so far to forage....... But I do not want wild rats in my home, nor do I want wild rats near my pet rats. The wild rats will eat my food and they'll eat my pet rats' food. They could hurt my pet rats because they're survival instincts are stronger. They may look upon the fancy rats as direct competition for their new-found santuary and fully-stocked pantry. They might even try to mate with my pet rats. Wild rats still carry external parasites and diseases because they live outside, and these could be passed on to my pet rats. And I'm sure for the pet rats that it could be very hard on them emotionally to have an unwanted stranger in the house.

Public Health Concerns Regarding Wild Rats:
Lice - Spined Rat Louse: Image
Mites - Rat Fur Mite: Image
Mites - Tropical Rat Mite: Image
Mites - Spiny Rat Mite: Image
Fleas - Rat Flea: Image F

Hanta Virus: The Virus is inhaled by way of dust where rodent feces are drying out and breaking up, usually when someone is sweeping up the feces.
Leptospirosis: Also known as Weil's Disease. The disease organisms are spread from rat urine into water or food, and enter humans through mucous membranes or minute cuts and abrasions of the skin.
Murine Typhus: Transmitted by the Spined Rat Louse, or the Flea.
Rabies: I don't think I would go as far as saying that it would never happen, but rats have never been found to be infected with rabies in nature. Rats are considered "terminal vectors", that is if a rabid animal should bite a rat, the rat is either eaten by that animal or the rat dies of it's bite wounds, thus immediately ending the chain.
Rat-bite Fever: A small percentage of those bitten by rats may develope Rat-bite Fever. The disease exhibits mild flu-like symptoms and can be fatal.
Salmonellosis: Rats who frequent sewers, rotting garbage, cesspools, and similar sites where Salmonella bacteria thrive can transmit Salmonella food poisoning to humans through their droppings left behind around food stores and food preparation areas. The bacteria also thrive in the intestinal tracts of rats.
Tapeworm:Humans and other rats, who have ingested food in which contaminated feces have been left behind, may pick up this tapeworm.
Trichinosis: Trichinosis results from a nematode, a tiny roundworm, that invades the intestines and muscle tissue. Humans and rats can get the disease from eating raw or under-cooked meats or fish infected with the nematode. The nematode is passed on from animal to animal, to humans, in infected rat droppings.

More Reading: Health: a hazard to Humans?

Rodent-Proofing: Simply put, rodent-proofing is the method of making access into your home more difficult, and undesirable to the rat should he make it into your home in the first place.
How To Prevent and Control Rats
Rodent-proofing Your Home
Effective Control of Rats
Living With Urban Wildlife
Rodent Control in Livestock Facilities

What do you do if Rats are Already in your Home: In all fairness I must confess that I have never had to remove wild rats from my home. Not because Rodent-Proofing has worked successfully for me, I've never attempted it, but because wild rats don't seem to be living in my neighborhood.

There are two means of asking your unwanted guests to leave, the Humane ways and the Inhumane ways.....

Humane means of Rat Removal:
ELECTRONIC ULTRA-SONIC SOUND - Ultrasonic devices emit sound waves or vibrations that rats dislike. The devices may drive the rats out of certain areas, however, rats may adapt to the devices over time and return to areas within the device range.
Rodent Ultra Sonic Repellent
Pest Free Electronic Repeller
It seems obvious that if you choose to use this method that you must consider relocating your own pet rats for the duration. The wild rats can run away from the irritation, whereas, your pets cannot.

LIVE TRAPS - The kindest way of asking an unwanted guest to leave your home is to trap him alive, providing him with a feast, and then relocating him to a place where he won't bother anyone ever again.
Havahart Traps
Safeguard Products - Live Traps
Tomahawk Live Trap Click on "Single Door Traps"
Live traps can also be obtained from hardware stores, feed stores, veterinarian clinics, and humane societies.
Of course, these traps cannot be placed where your pet rats free-range because you'll end up trapping them instead.

Some tips in using the Live Trap effectively:
Handle the trap as little as possible to avoid too much human scent left on the mesh.
Make sure that the trap is small enough that the rat will think of it as a cozy, secure, retreat. Rats like dark, closed-in spaces.
Place traps along baseboards, behind furniture, or in corners. Rats feel more comfortable moving along something solid, like walls, and they leave trail marks that they will follow over and over again. The traps need to be placed where they are accessible to you, but out of the way of other family members, including pets.
Set out more then one trap, in various locations around the house. This will help you determine where the rat spends most of it's time, and more then one trap gives you more assurance that the rat will be caught.
Allow a warm-up period where the trap sits un-set and un-baited for a couple of days. Mice are curious, rats are cautious. This will allow the rat time to see the trap as a non-threatening object along it's everyday travels.
Bait the trap with something sticky and strong-smelling. Peanut butter, cheese, bacon, lunch meat, a tissue with your own rats' urine, are all good choices, as well as peanut butter or bacon grease mixed with oats, raisins, or gumdrops. Even a bowl of water may be a good choice if you can block off all other sources of water.
Check your traps at least every morning. Do not disturb the trap too often or you may scare the rat away from taking the bait.
Move the traps to different places if you see that the bait is not being taken in one place.
Where there is one rat, there are usually more. Do not wash the trap, reuse it as is. It will be more attractive to the other rats if the rat-smell is left there.
Now that you have caught the rat, you must consider where you will release him. You may have to drive him a few miles away from your home or he will come right back. Consider habitat, a place of safety, food, water, etc. And don't make your rat problem someone else's rat problem.
Give the rat something to eat before you release him. After all, he has gotten use to easy food and it may take him awhile to find food in his new home.
Reset traps in 2 to 3 weeks to catch maturing, young rats.

Inhumane means of Rat Removal:
SNAP TRAPS - Snap traps are the ones that slam a metal, or plastic bar over the back of the rat, thereby snapping the neck or spine and putting an end to the animal. If they work as intended, death is instantaneous, but they don't always work as intended. You may end up performing a mercy killing or be faced with a messy clean up.
Victor and T-Rex Lethal Traps

GLUE/ADHESIVE BOARDS - Glue traps are just that, sticky boards that fuse the rat's feet, fur, and skin to a gluey surface. The board does not discriminate with who or what it catches. The animals do not die right away. They panic, they fight, they slowly die from stress and exposure or from thirst or starvation. In some cases the animal, still alive, is tossed, board and all, into the garbage. Sometimes the animals still stuck on the board, are put into soapy water to drown.
PETA's thoughts
Tomcat Products

There may be one way to free a rat from this device....:
You will need to wear heavy gloves because the rat will fight you in your attempt to free it. Use vegetable or mineral oil and message it around the areas of the animal that are caught in the glue. Apply pressure with a small stick to try and pry the animal's flesh from the board. You may find that the animal has already done itself some serious damage, in which case you will have to perform a mercy killing.

ELECTRONIC SHOCKING DEVICES - This is a shock box that is run on batteries. It is suppose to kill the rat with a deadly shock. It is said that it works like the Stun Gun that police use on criminals. When the rat enters the trap it is emmobilized by the first shock which is suppose to stop the heart beating. In another 20 minutes it emits another shock to make sure the animal is dead. So, what is happening to the rat during that 20 minute period if the first shock didn't kill it??????
The Rat Zapper

RODENTICIDES - These are a group of poisons that kill the rat within days after ingesting the bait. They are usually made to be tasty morsals to encourage consumption. The most popular poison is Warfarin which is an anti-coagulating poison and causes the animal's blood to thin to the point where it hemmorhages internally and slowly bleeds to death. A lingering, painful, death. Brodifacoum, Bromodiolone, Chlorophacinone, and Diphacinone are also anti-coagulates and work more quickly as rats are becoming warfarin-resistant. Some rodenticides work by affecting the liver and kidneys and cause a gradual paralysis of the heart.
Rodenticides General Info
What is Warfarin? It's chemical composition, synonyms, and how it works.
How was Warfarin discovered?
Are Warfarin and "Coumadin" the same thing? One is a rat poison, the other a blood-thinning drug that has helped patients with cardiovascular ailments.
Using Chemicals Safely
Brodifacoum and Chlorophacinone
Bromadiolone and Diphacinone

Pros to using Rodenticides?
.......Ummmmm.......Can't think of any.

Cons to using Rodenticides?
Besides putting the animal through a painful, lingering, death...
The poisonous pellets look like alfalfa or candy that can be easily mistaken as food by pets, farm animals, and children. Over 1000 pets die each year in the United States due to the consumption of Warfarin Rodent Baits.
The pellets can easily be scattered and spread about, even if they were first contained in a bag and placed "safely" in a bait station.
Because of the innocent-looking pellets, these rodenticides are easily mishandled. Prolonged exposure will lead to the dust being inhaled or the poison leaching into bare skin.
Rats that have died from the poison can affect wild animals and pets in the same manner, should the carcass be eaten by them.
The rat can die in an inaccessable area of your home and stink as the carcass decomposes.
Rodenticides are highly toxic to the environment, leaching into ground water and soil.

Ergocalciferol, Cholecalciferol
These are known as Vitamin D3 Rodenticides. Large quantities of Vitamin D3 strips the calcium out of the bones causing a massive increase in the blood calcium level. This leads to kidney failure, among other organ failures, and heart-attacks. A painful death.
Vitamin D3 over-dosing is accomplished in 3 to 4 days. It is the least hazardous rodenticide in both the environment and other animal consumption. What is a normal dose to pets and humans is an over-dose for the rat.

My ultimate wish would be that wild nature would take care of it's own, and we humans would never have to interfere with the natural course of things.


Taratoo - Sage's
Niece 5 times removed

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