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Now I was born in the Chinese Year of the Rat but that doesn't mean I want them. However, the rats have decided to make our place their home leaving their calling cards all over the place. I have asked them politely to pack their bags and go. The have refused and their numbers are growing. The last straw was them invading my workshop. They have to go.

I do have an English Toy Terrier called Bucky. They have a reputation of the supreme rat killing machine.

The English Toy Terrier (ETT) developed from the Old English Black and Tan Terrier and is closely related to the larger Manchester Terrier. Extremely fast and agile, the origins of this alert terrier are in the world of the rat pit, a sport popular in the cities of Victorian England where terriers were placed in a circle or pit with a number of rats and bets were taken as to which dog would kill its quota of rats in the fastest time. Small dogs were highly prized with the ideal being to produce the smallest dog still capable of killing its quota of rats in as short a time as possible. In 1848 a black and tan terrier weighing just 5 12 pounds (2.5 kg) named Tiny is recorded to have killed 300 rats in less than an hour.

Bucky is yet to kill a rat. He is in fact banned from the back area after killing a couple of chooks. Jimmy the cat does occasionally kill one, leaves it on the front porch, then howls for food. Obviously another solution is needed.

My son-in-law has a "humane trap" that he claimed didn't work. Perhaps the cable tie holding the mechanism was to blame (some mothers do have em). Over the past 5 nights I have caught 5 rather large rats. 

Searching the internet reveals that relocation is not a viable option so removing them from the gene pool is the only way to go. I did read that smashing their skull with a sharp blow from a hammer is a quick death but not for the faint hearted. As I said I was born in the Year of the Rat and a great believer in Karma. 

I shamefully admit to resorting in dumping the cage and current occupant in a bucket of water and walking away. Returning some time later and disposing the body in a Woolies bag and placing in the bin. No not the recycle one.

While arguing that I was in fact born on the cusp of the Year of the Rat I still feel uneasy of my current disposal method.

What is a humane way.

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Comment by Dave Riley on March 22, 2018 at 0:12

Just saying: In using bait stations is it worth while deploying them intermittently?

Because I'm lazy, that's what i do -- no planning involved -- such that I wonder, given their multiplication capacity, that I manage to sponsor forgetfulness of the station's toxicity.

When primed, the bait is quickly consumed. Although I do not come upon carcasses.

With three chook pens in cooee of one another in three separate properties abutting one another, there's no way I'm gonna be master of these rodents. That's 16 chickens in one concentrated area.

But with two terriers on night patrol they leave the plants alone.

I found that when I had over head lines (mainly old garden hoses) running above the veg patch  the rats used them(and the top of the fences)  as freeways above any snapping dogs and the passionfruits drew them to nocturnal raids.

I don't grow much  fruit so maybe that's a plus?

Comment by Susan on March 21, 2018 at 21:57

Hey Roger, on the plus side - you got figs this year!!

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on March 21, 2018 at 21:33

I have three bait stations in operation at every point in time.  Still they outbreed my best efforts.  My latest attempt has been to build a rat proof cage to cover my lettuce and cabbages.  I do my best to ensure there is no excess chook food etc available.  I had one eat through a storm water cover that I was using as a lid at one stage - oh, and the lid of a plastic bucket that held my fish food.  

Comment by Roger Clark on March 21, 2018 at 17:25

                Comment by Roger Clark on October 23, 2017 at 8:14Delete Comment

Just a note to show what I do to kill rats at my place.

You can see what they do to my figs above.

Shown above is a 300 mm long PVC tube, blanked off at the far end, with a small hole drilled at either end to allow wire to be threaded through. Wire is threaded through and a couple of rats baits threaded onto the wire and positioned at the back near the blanked off end. You see the dark squares of bait if you look closely, as well as rat droppings in the tube. The 300 long tube allows the baits to be out of the reach of birds, possums, etc, but the rats can access these quite easily. they feed for a few days then bleed to death internally, no sympathy from me I'm afraid. You can see the results of my trap below. I leave these out all the time, as the number of rats will ebb and flow throughout the year.  

Comment by Susan on March 19, 2018 at 22:25

I don’t envy you. I try to talk tough but every time my cat has bought in a half dead rat, I squeal and make my husband “deal” with it. I only really found baits to be effective when I’ve had plague proportions of them and then after, dogs and cats hAve been enough to keep them in check that I haven’t seen a sign of them last year.

Comment by Christa on March 19, 2018 at 13:21

Rats are RATS, and I feel there are enough of them in the area.  Yesterday I found one of our mini foxies growling at the bottom of the outside fridge. Trying to get under it. It was a big black rat.  Girlie missed it after she circled the fridge a couple of times. She will get it later though. She has caught a few of them.

There used to be a rat brigade in Brisbane and you could pay to clean them up under your house, don't know if they still exist.

Comment by Clive Buckingham on March 19, 2018 at 11:33

I did have a large python in my workshop but s/he has since moved on.

I did try using baits but they were untouched, plus I worry about about other wild life, snakes etc devouring a dead poisoned rat. Then there is the Karma aspect I understand the death is not a pleasant experience. Dave I did google fecund.

We have 3 guinea fowl that are supposed to kill rats but they sleep in the trees at night when the rats are active.

I could try soaking the bait (mixed grain) in Bundy rum so they will be drunk to fornicate (it works on me). But I drunk all the rum.

Stop Press: I have found a website where one can buy rat pelts for $22US for medium A Grade Pelts. Apparently they are a new fashion accessory. Perhaps a new business venture. 

Comment by Dave Riley on March 19, 2018 at 10:12

The Big Cheese Strongbox Rat Bait Station is the only method I find that works.Even killing rats one at a time by whatever means doesn't address how fecund they are.

Rodents are what they are. They breed. That's their knack.

There's always plenty more where that one came from.

 Rats can breed throughout the year if conditions are suitable, with a female producing up to five litters a year. The gestation period is only 21 days, and litters can number up to 14, although seven is common. They reach sexual maturity in about five weeks.

At 12-16 weeks of age, females are capable of breeding; they are also able to conceive whilst still suckling the previous litter, which further maximises their reproductive capability .Maximum lifespan in the wild is less than 18 months.

Comment by Jeff Kiehne on March 19, 2018 at 8:04

The rats could be given to someone that has snakes so you do not have to do the killing.

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on March 19, 2018 at 7:50

Only a quick death is as humane as it gets. And that means physical force either crushing or decapitation. Not for the faint-hearted indeed :-\

There is nothing humane in removing an animal from its territory and putting it into the territory of another animal. People doing that to Possums may as well kill the animal now than have it killed or starved in its new 'home'.

I once drowned a rat, it was living under the dog kennel (the Labradors were not keen on killing it themselves). The rat was already in the dog water bucket so I used the pooper-scooper to hold it under. Not proud of myself for a less than quick death for the rat and I'm not likely to forget it.

Shooting is a possibility with a smallish shot-gun and rat shot, though not an option in the suburbs.

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