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Rats under the bird table.

Discussion in 'Personal' started by lurk_much, Dec 22, 2010.

  1. lurk_much

    lurk_much Occasional commenter

    So I just watched a middling sized rat hopping of in little bounds clutching a fat ball. Quite a sweet little thing but I suppose I should do something about it before the neighbours notice we are encouraging an infestation. The cat seems more interested in his cushion in front of the fire so no help there. I don't really want to poison them, they are kind of cute. My gran's air rifle is an option but I am a rubbish shot and I would prefer to humanely deal with them. Does anyone have any ideas?

     
  2. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    Can you make it rat proof.ie an inverted collar they cant climb round..assuming it is a free standing table....that or hang the fat balls elsewhere.Or maybe you can use one of the bird feed things which keep the fat balls within a wire cage....itstops my squirrels nicking them as well!
    I have seen folks hang them on a line but the rats will suss it out and also run along the line, along with squirrels.....but it does make for more entertainment.
     
  3. lurk_much

    lurk_much Occasional commenter

    We have ducks and geese, and a visiting pheasant family. They are messy eaters. I think we are going to have trouble keeping the duck fold clear of food. One of those fat ball hangers would be good but the blackbirds are ground feeders so it might be better to build a big platform. I do have some scaffolding which I could use to create a framework for it.
    So a scaffold tower is one option, surely rats cannot climb scaffold tube?


     
  4. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    Erm.yes they can..they can scale walls!,i suppose it depends if you put an upside down 'lanpshade thingy' so the cant climb around or grease th epoles lol
    You can never ttotally stop them and in the end you need to find this 'home' and maybe poison then in thier own home..so as not to damage the othe rwild life......or shoot them as i used to from the bedroom window.
    Blackbirds and ground feeders food would be better on a raised platforn you can then clean and be above the wet soil line(remember to have a slight incline so water runs off)...but how high ..not sure......down out way platforms attract the flying rats( pigeons) and the local wood pigeons hoover up anything!
     
  5. Yes they can-we had one on the bottom tray of a seed hopper on our hanging bird feeder- 5' off the ground (those iron work ones that have lots of hooks). As there were no bushes or trees nearby, the only way it could get there was to run up the main pole. It came back several nights in a row until we bought the perspex hemisphere shaped squirrel baffle to put on the main pole.
    If you have seen a rat in your garden chances are there may be a nest somewhere near too-so you soon may have lots more running around; have you investigated where they are nesting? Do you either have some decking or one of those plastic compost bins that sits directly on the soil rather than on a concrete slab-it seems they love either as a nesting place-and will access it from under the soil. My Mum has soft sandy soil in her garden and her patio almost collapsed due to all the rat burrows underneath. She is terrified of rats and mice, so got the council pest man out and now has those plug in ultra sonic deterrents to try and stop them coming back.
    I don't mind furry creatures but am aware that as so many small birds nest in my garden, their eggs would be an extra food source for the rats, so I try to deter them
     
  6. jacob

    jacob Lead commenter

    Personally i would leave the ratties alone. They are only trying to survive. If they were infesting nearby properties or your own I would be worried, but surprising numbers of rats survive in the wild away from humans and habitation. The thaw will hit in a few days and things will get back to "normal".
    I have been watching redwings and coal **** foraging; they look like balls of fluff with a head and tail and spindly legs.
     
  7. I agree with jacob - all creatures are hungry in winter and all deserve food (apart from the slugs and snails - I'm hoping they're getting frozen to a crisp) I always enjoy watching rats scuttle through trees, dangle from strings and hop across gaps to get to bird feeders- very cute and entertaining.
     
  8. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    Yeh they're cute until they start biting holes to get in and out of the garage more easily and ****.ting everywhere - and I mean everywhere! huge amounts too, not to mention the wee I can't see.
    I've use an air-rifle in the past which has been effective and humane, instant death with a head-shot, some drop over in mid-chew with no idea what happened to them. My dogs deal with others, a single bite to the back of the neck, again instant death.
    I've also found these useful:
    http://www.google.co.uk/products?q=electronic+rat+killer&rls=com.microsoft:en-US&oe=utf8&rlz=1I7GGIT_en&redir_esc=&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wf
    You have to move them around a bit as the rats get used to them, but they seem to be effective as the rats die in mid-stride exactly where you would expect them to with no thrashing about.
     
  9. lurk_much

    lurk_much Occasional commenter

    I have just built a monster bird table using a four foot by two foot platform big enough for ground feeding birds to land on, The platform is removable so we can bring it in overnight. It is designed to slot onto a single aliuminium pole so they are going to have to climb 1200mm of smooth 50mm pole and then 300mm horizontally under the 'roof' to access the upper surface. We will see if the blighters get onto it.
    There are fox prints all around the duck house and the rats are living in a dry stone wall directly behind it so being a rat is probably quite perilous enough without my intervention. I suppose once the ground thaws the cats will kill them.


     
  10. lurk_much

    lurk_much Occasional commenter

    I will have to get one if the cats fail in their duty. When we moved in to this house the cats killed a dozen or so in the first fortnight and we have never seen any since. I think it must be the snow discouraging our wussy cats which prefer to keep their paws warm and the bird feeder being over filled that is causing the rats to thrive. I just saw two more. I think that means there must be loads of them.
     
  11. jacob

    jacob Lead commenter

    Maybe you need to take action, in view of this. I had a look at the rat zapper, which maybe quite effective, but what guarantees are there you won'y get other "cuter" rodents, like voles or field mice?
     
  12. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    Keep the rats. They serve a purpose.
    If you ever see them deserting the bird table you will know it is time to invest in some sandbags and a boat.
     
  13. It worries me more that three tessers appear to have air rifles??!
     
  14. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    Why?
    Shooting is an accuracy sport.
    Are you worried that some Tessers may go curling or own a set of darts?
     
  15. I am a dead shot with a pair of curling tongs.
     
  16. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    Especially if you use a sight with cross-hairs.
     
  17. Not only can I take a pesky varmint out from 200yards I can give a lovely demi-wave in the process.
     
  18. lurk_much

    lurk_much Occasional commenter

    Gran used it for rabbiting during the war.
    The other TES gun nuts are blood thirsty yobbos.
     
  19. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    oi! who your calling a yobboo lol
    if you have a fewrats aina few weeks your going to have many.8 to a litter every 6 weeks i think.......so maybe you need to chuck the cats out and invest in a jack russel..he wil polish them off!
     
  20. You have rats, I have rats, we all have rats. The only reason you are seeing them is beca
    use of the weather. When it gets warmer they will disappear. You can help by only putting out as much food as the birds will eat in one go.


    [​IMG]
    Whatever you do, please never resort to using glue traps to try and get rid of them. It is completely inhumane.
     

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