Safer Way to Poison Rats

On Thursday afternoon Mark from Nature King Pest Control came by to help me out. He didn’t seem as appalled as I am about the rats.

He checked out the attic and didn’t think there were any up there, and he said the fastest way to get rid of a lot of rats quickly is poison. We discussed my concerns about Ruby the puppy, and I told him that I try to be green and humane. He uses some green techniques like fox urine for repelling squirrels and possums. He went on to tell me about the nasty nature of rats, which made me feel better about the poison. The bait box is also quite clever, and I feel confident Ruby can’t get to the bad stuff.

Here’s a wider shot of the open box:

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And a shot of the box with its key, which is how you get it open:

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And it’s location next to the fence where I’ve seen at least 3 rats recently:

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It must be working because in just over a day you can tell that a nasty critter has eaten some of the poison and left, hopefully to die elsewhere.

I own the box now (it was included in the $90 site visit), and I like that I can put it away or bring it out as I see fit. It’s a shame that these are not more widely available. I don’t think they have them at Home Depot, probably because the pest control lobby has a corner on the market or something.

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6 responses to “Safer Way to Poison Rats

  1. The problem with rat poison is that poisoned rats get eaten by other animals. If Ruby, or a neighbor’s pet (or an owl or other carrion-eating animal), gets a hold of a poisoned rat, they get poisoned too.

  2. I asked the pest control guy about secondary poison and he said the risk was low because of the type of poison used. I weighed that against the need to get rid of the problem quickly. I don’t plan on leaving the bait out there after the rats have left. My dog threw up the day after the porch roof came down, and I think it was sniffing around the rat’s nest and droppings all over the yard that did it to her. It’s important to me to get this cleaned up quickly.

  3. Opossuns you say? Oh yes they do. Not exactly a cheata but they will catch rats and eat ’em. But mostly nest raids for the young, if they can get to them. And what ominivore (opossum) would pout at that palatable prize. Now for the rats. If you see rats in the day chances are they are the juvies that are knocked around and kept from certain food sources from the alpha rats. So, they are desperate enough and hungrey enough to forage in the daylight hours. Now if you have one rat or maybe two up in the attic or garage traps are most expeditious but if you have more and they are seen in the day the bait box is far and away better for the method of mass kill for rats. Most of the rats that are out in the day are juvies and you can bet that procreation is also up there on their list of to dos. Another reason to go with bait stations or boxes for the total eradication of such a pesty and nasty critter.

  4. As much as I dislike poisons, I have to agree with you that it’s the only way to deal with large numbers of rats. I also have to point that standard traps aren’t always perfect: I put out a trap to catch a particularly obnoxious rat on my back porch, and Sunday I was greeted to the sound of something apparently trying to get through the dining room window. The trap had gone off, and the rat was caught, but the rat didn’t die immediately. Instead, even though its front ribs and front legs were obviously crushed, it spent the next ten minutes (as I was trying to extricate it from where it had landed) alternating between kicking and screaming, and you do NOT want to listen to “SKREEEK-SKREEEK-SKREEEK!” at 110 decibels at midnight on a Sunday.

  5. AWESOME STORY. Have you heard about The RatZapper?

  6. Concerning rats’ “nasty nature” I found this write up with attached lists of diseases.

    http://www.cdc.gov/rodents/diseases/index.htm

    It’s a crazy list including plague and rat bite fever. Makes me want to sing, “Cat Scratch Fever” and “I Got Fever.”

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