EEWW!! I'm FREAKING out!

Discussion in 'Conversations Forum' started by Paulina, Mar 16, 2006.

  1. Paulina

    Paulina Active Member

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    OMG!!! My very nice neighbour just called me to tell me she saw something in my back yard!!!

    I've been enjoying the winter birds, so I bought a bag of wild bird seed and scattered it around to attract BIRDS, not the creature she saw!

    I popped my head out the window, and there scooting across the yard was a RAT! GROSS!!!! SICK!!! EWWWW!!!!

    Anyone have any quick solutions?? I have my 2 Jack Russell doggies out there right now, but it's cold out, I've got goosebumps just thinking about this thing, I feel so invaded! In my greenhouse/garden shed, I've got 2 drain holes for the water to run out of. The dogs can't find the rat, but they sure are going nuts out there. I've let the doggies into the greenhouse, but the disgusting thing obviously found a good place to hide...

    YUCK!

    Oh, did I mention, I run a daycare centre, and the parents would freak if they saw this! Should I call an exterminator?? Probably not worth all the $$$. Maybe just set a trap or 2 I guess... I've never seen these things in my life!
     
  2. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    The rat will most likely move on if you remove any insentive for it to return. I don't want to play the devils advocate, but for every one rat you see, many more are never seen. Just don't give them any reason to return, and keep all your outdoor areas clear of hidding places etc. You could place a few rat traps in probable locations and kill 'em out right ... the cheapest method. Rats are known disease carriers and I'd keep my dogs away even if they have all their vacinations.
     
  3. KarinL

    KarinL Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Rats - I've got 'em too, probably unavoidably due to food-related industry across the alley. They dig tunnels near and under the garage too... that must be their nest so they're hard to roust out. I think they like it there because it is dry due to the willow roots there.

    I too have never imagined that I didn't have them, because I hate setting myself up for unpleasant surprises. But it is a different feeling when you see one, I agree.

    I actively encourage cats, and I try to compost responsibly, although with raccoons also lurking and digging that is not as easy as it sounds. Besides, if they come in from underneath you don't recessarily know about it.... I didn't know until living here that rats are prolific diggers.

    I can imagine that the parents of your daycare would freak, but not necessarily. The kids would probably find them fascinating, and I'm not a believer in raising kids to thnk the world is one big safe mushroom - I think they are much better equipped with knowledge and appropriate behaviour in the presence of potentially dangerous things such as rodents - squirrels, for example, are just rats with fluffy tails, and kids should know how to behave with both - ie, no contact, don't corner 'em, etc. And how dangerous are the rats really in the garden? Unless the kids are unsupervised enough that they have the freedom to corner, catch, etc, (and if you're responsible enough to care I'm guessing they are not unsupervised!) my guess is that the two species will stay well apart. When people are around, the rats tend to stay away.

    Rat poison, in case you were thinking of using that, is far more toxic to kids than are rats themselves.
     
  4. Paulina

    Paulina Active Member

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    I got him!! To those against animal cruelty, read no further... I set a trap, and much against my own beliefs against animal cruelty, he went for the bait and has now joined thousands of others on the other side... I have removed as much of the bird seed from our yard as I possibly could, but there is still some there... will keep my eyes open for any other 'lurkers'. We live in a very open newly developed area, not much area for them to hide in, so I'll definitely be remembering this incident... ugh... hate rats, hate killing animals too...
    Thanx for letting me vent my disgust here...

    Back to gardening mode... I'm having a small dump-load of garden soil dropped off here in the morning so looks like I'll be shoveling for a day or so on the weekend. I'm going to top off my very empty garden, fill my brand new wine barrel planters, and yes, plant my brand new Brugmansia and Cannas... Thanx Ian!

    Oh, then we're putting a pond in our front yard... so exciting! Should be sore by Sunday night from all this physical labour. As if my 7 daycare kiddies don't keep me in shape all week!
     
  5. westcoastgarden

    westcoastgarden Active Member

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    Rats are pretty common in the lower mainland. My understanding is that they are generally native rats that live in burrows in the fields (feel free to correct me if someone knows better).

    The first time I really noticed them was when the high school behind me dug up and re-did the field. All of a sudden I was noticing them everywhere and my reaction was pretty much the same as yours. I was given the "native rat" explanation when I called the city - after I finished hyperventilating.

    I have pretty much given up on bird feeders after watching three big fat rats pop out of the top of one and climb down the pole three years ago. Yuck!

    We trap them after trying the so-called safe bait that is in capsules and you place it in the shed or other out of the way place. It ended up in the middle of my lawn and with my dog nuzzling it and coming away with pink bait on her nose - luckily not in her stomach.

    We probably trap a couple of dozen a year and they are still a problem. They are particularly fond of grapes and will run along the top of my fence and up the arbor at night and nibble on the grapes they can reach. Strawberries are also a target and I wash very carefully and eat only those without any marks on them.

    There are lots of cats in the neighborhood and my dog will shake them to death if she gets ahold of one.

    They seem to be a pest that can be controlled but not eradicated.

    WCG
     
  6. Anne Taylor

    Anne Taylor Active Member 10 Years

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    Well Paulina,
    You have two of the best rat deterrents already, I have rats, or had -my Jack Russell sure ferrets out and puts the run on the grain gluttons - just let your four legged friends do what comes naturally, they'll let you know if more come wandering around. The more they want to find them the more wary the rodents get. I loan my dog out for friends who suspect lurking rodents, and yet she'll play with the miniature bunny all over the house. Hunting rats is what they live for. Julie(the jack) plays with a 'practice' squeaky mouse doing acrobatics through the place when she's waiting for 'the call'. - But seed and fresh kitchen compost, organic meal fert, and fish fert will bring 'em in, so you'll just have to be vigilant!
     
  7. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Both wharf and Norway rats do so well around humans that the occasional sighting is to be expected. I don't bother about them unless they start doing something noticeable, like the black wharf rat that was climbing up our witchhazel (they're arboreal), jumping onto the roof, somehow instantly getting into the house, running across the ceiling and again, slipping right into the garage, as though the walls here are made of vapors, and rustling about in the garage like a person might, moving things around and making all sorts of noise. Pooping too, of course. We got rid of it by baiting.
     
  8. Paulina

    Paulina Active Member

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    I'm NOT sharing my house with rats... plus I don't think the daycare licensing officers would appreciate the fact that rats do well around humans... I'm still utterly disgusted and mildly traumatized by today's experience... yuck....
    (sorry, still freaking out just a bit too)
     
  9. Carol Ja

    Carol Ja Active Member 10 Years

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    Location:
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    As one rat pee/poo brings all the buddies, you can buy a spray to get rid of the smells, the spray is an enzyme that gets rid of any trace of the urine. People use the same for when a cat or dog pees in the house. Might be sold at a pet supply place.
    Then go around your house look for any small holes (really small as well) seal them up so that they can't enter the house. Don't bother feeding the birds for a while. water the bird seed daily to make it sprout and become one with nature.
    Also daycares and schools are not allowed to use pellet poisons, as small kids think its candy.
    Carol JA
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2006
  10. globalist1789

    globalist1789 Active Member

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    Get a cat ;)
     
  11. Weekend Gardener

    Weekend Gardener Active Member 10 Years

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    The rat population around our neighbourhood this year appears larger than is normal - many of my neighbours have noticed the same. I attribute it to the warmer temperatures we have had - afterall, we have just set the record for the warmest winter ever.

    One thing you should know about rats - they never stop growing. An individual rat will continue to grow and get bigger, and bigger every year. Scary, huh?!
     
  12. Paulina

    Paulina Active Member

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    okay... YUCK!
     
  13. Gordo

    Gordo Active Member 10 Years

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    Okay, Paulina, I'll give you Yuck! When I was the age of one your daycare kiddies, I caught one of those bigger fellows barehanded and brought it in the house to show my mom. Now that was FREAKING OUT!
     
  14. Weekend Gardener

    Weekend Gardener Active Member 10 Years

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    Their diet in an urban environment likely predisposes them to all sorts of pathology. I remember catching rats from the monsoon drains for dissection in our biology class. A number of them appeared to have growths (tumours?) in their livers.

    Double "Yuck"!
     
  15. TeresaS

    TeresaS Member

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    You can have soil delivered?! Like pizza? Really?! I've been bugging my husband for 3 springs to *please* pick up a truckload of soil for me. Would you please pass the number along of the place you got your soil from? Thanks. Edited to add: I just read that they prefer to keep this kind of thing on a registered owner only part of the board... I'll ask in Sourcing Plants & Supplies... sorry!

    Building a pond is exciting!! My grandparents have one & my kids love it. My 4 year old teases that he's going to bring his fishing rod over!
     

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