Do I have a rat in my garden?

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Chris
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#1
I'm no expert on small animals - but have noticed this little one darting in and out for a few weeks - caught him on cctv earlier today :) he seems to be storing up sunflower seeds for the winter - popping in and out all day collecting them off the floor - to me it looks like a rat - but is it? I thought I'd ask the experts :) You can see him dart in and out on the left hand side of this cctv clip:

View: https://vimeo.com/376463343



79366489_2561408700851528_7676965561531629568_n.jpg
 
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#2
It certainly looks that way , How big is it ? I think Fat balls are one of the biggest attractions , but any feed will attract , it`s the cold that has brought them in . Make sure your buildings are secure , I had one over winter in my shed it test chewed EVERYTHING !!!
 
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MartynK

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Martyn
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#4
Brown rat (that's the species, not the coat colour). Highly intelligent, adaptable, and very good at making a living off humans!

My wife used to live in the country and fed the rats that visited her garden. I persuaded her to stop before one of her nosy neighbours got involved and poisoned them...
 

Nod

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Nod (NOT Ethel!!!)
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#6
And if you're not seeing one, they're more cautious round your way! If you feed the birds, something will be clearing up the fallen food.
 
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Studio488
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#7
RAT ! We have had a few in the studio, and any we cuaght in traps were being eaten by others, or something else!!! we have plugged as many holes as we can, but an old church is not something that will not plug very easy. Now we ensure NO food is left out, all doors are closed with no gaps, even stopped the traps as I thought they were coming in for the food on the trap.
 
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#8
RAT ! We have had a few in the studio, and any we cuaght in traps were being eaten by others, or something else!!! we have plugged as many holes as we can, but an old church is not something that will not plug very easy. Now we ensure NO food is left out, all doors are closed with no gaps, even stopped the traps as I thought they were coming in for the food on the trap.
Now, have you mentioned rats in your risk assessment? :exit: ;)

Teasing aside, where rats are present there is the risk of Leptospirosis: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/leptospirosis/
 
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Andrew
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#9
Rats eat their dead. Try cage traps and an airgun to finish them off. If you are blocking up holes in buildings, mixing broken glass into the cement is meant to dissuade them from reopening holes.
 
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Terry
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#13
rats are every where They need a suppl of water daily to keep alive Food they can manage without for a while. if you move them out they will only be replace by another lot. if the shelter food and water is available. make sure the elements are absent and they will move on.
They do not store food so she is probably feeding young. Do not put any food out for a few days and remove any sources of water and she will move house very quickly.

I had to move a family on last year. It is more trouble than it is worth to kill them. the next lot will be in soon enough.
 
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cymruchris
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Chris
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#14
Thanks everyone - have known it’s there for a few weeks but only just got it on camera. Was fairly sure it was a rat - just wanted to make sure it wasn’t a rare lesser spotted Armenian gerbil or something. Have had a cage trap down for a few weeks - but haven’t found the right bait to get him in there.. tried bananas and apples, and a huge pile of the sunflower seeds he’s been eating...
 

Nod

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Nod (NOT Ethel!!!)
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#18
Worth trying a Marathon/Snickers as bait. Had a lot of mice in the loft who refused PB etc. but caught them all in a week or so with the Snickers.
 
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Richard
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#23
I do use poison but only down their holes which are usually easy to locate. I thread poison blocks (they have holes in them) on a length of fencing wire and insert it underground. I bend the poison end to stop them carrying off the bait and fix the top end to stop them drawing it down underground. Works pretty well. This way you can put a good lot of poison on initially with little fear of wasting it/leaving loads lying around And you can tell when they have stopped eating it, being dead. They’ve all died underground.
 
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Damion
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#24
We occasionally get rats, I usually find out before I see them by going in the shed and finding everything looks like it's been in a giant blender, I'm a wildlife fan totally but I go hell for leather to get rid of them when they decide to move into my back garden.
 
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#25
We occasionally get rats, I usually find out before I see them by going in the shed and finding everything looks like it's been in a giant blender, I'm a wildlife fan totally but I go hell for leather to get rid of them when they decide to move into my back garden.
Actually, I like rats but they just take over if you ignore them.
 
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#30
If you have a garden, you almost certainly have rats.

If you think you don't, you just haven't seen them yet.

As for destroying them, if they aren't in the house or affecting you, leave them in peace. They are part of the cycle of nature.
If you haven’t got them next door has. My previous neighbours had a large ‘compost heap’ against my boundary in which the rats lived and tunnelled through my garden from there. I found out they used to put chicken carcasses on it (not sure why) which I found out when my dog climbed over the fence to get the chicken — ”oh! can they smell it” she said! :D:D:D.
 
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wayne clarke
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#31
I do use poison but only down their holes which are usually easy to locate. I thread poison blocks (they have holes in them) on a length of fencing wire and insert it underground. I bend the poison end to stop them carrying off the bait and fix the top end to stop them drawing it down underground. Works pretty well. This way you can put a good lot of poison on initially with little fear of wasting it/leaving loads lying around And you can tell when they have stopped eating it, being dead. They’ve all died underground.
Wont the poison get into the food chain if they then come out and get eaten by other animals?
 
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Richard
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#32
Wont the poison get into the food chain if they then come out and get eaten by other animals?
As I say, I’ve never seen a dead or sick one come out. The common poison causes small internal bleeds that weaken and eventually kills them. I think it’s likely they stay underground when they are unwell, obviously may be eaten by other rats and mice but my garden is lifting with mice, which I encourage with stick piles partly because my dogs get endless enjoyment hunting them but can’t usually catch them. If there were any sick rodents I would have them pointed out to me as they point out the live ones. These aren’t persistent poisons I think but I haven’t checked, I’ll look it up, though I no longer have poultry so don’t expect to get more than the ‘normal’ number of rats :D.

Edit to add that they do find the anticoagulants in birds of prey in North America (the so-called second generation ones) possibly having been consumed by insects and then birds etc. But they point to professional exterminators who spread large amounts of bait around (it’s America ;)) and don’t clear it up. That’s different from my usage. I‘ve also used Fenn traps and cage traps where appropriate, my baiting has been under sheds etc where there are multiple ways out. Of course a ferret + terrier would be efficient there :cool:.
 
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Richard
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#34
Correct. Hence:



Warfarin is a nasty thing to have floating about in the predator pool.
AFAIK Warfarin is excreted and not cumulative — it’s pretty unlikely to accumulate anywhere since so many people have been taking it as a medication. The second generation coumarols do accumulate in the liver so can be a problem.
Also it’s a naturally occurring chemical so already in the environment!

Somewhat OT, but interesting, I looked it up recently when I found a hospital doctor treating me (I don’t take anticoagulants though) didn’t know it was a rat poison originally. I remember it being introduced in U.K. and I’d always thought the name was derived from ‘war’ as in ’warfaring’ but actually it comes from WARF the common abbreviation of Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation where it was developed! Who knew? :)
 
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Mark
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#36
I had a family of rats a few years ago, evident because they were running around the garden in broad daylight. A humane trap caught the youngsters, and subsequently drowned, but the adults were to canny to be caught. Alas I resorted to poison poured down their underground tunnels. Undoubtedly still there, as I do feed birds, but I have never see them since....:-(
 
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Richard
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#40
I had a family of rats a few years ago, evident because they were running around the garden in broad daylight. A humane trap caught the youngsters, and subsequently drowned, but the adults were to canny to be caught. Alas I resorted to poison poured down their underground tunnels. Undoubtedly still there, as I do feed birds, but I have never see them since....:-(
I think that drowning rats may be illegal. I seem to remember someone being prosecuted for drowning a squirrel. I have no opinion on the rights and wrongs of that, I’m just saying ... ;).
 
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