UPDATE - they are in the house! RATS in the compost pile!

Discussion in 'Gardening' started by artemis33, Mar 23, 2009.

  1. artemis33

    artemis33 Amity's Focus Member

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    :hoo: Update in reply.

    So there is a 3 bin compost set up that was already here and it was pretty full. We started building our garden this weekend and decided to use it. We knew there might be mice in there but I was a little surprised when I saw our kitty staring down a big old rat!

    As DH dug through the bins he saw another big one and a tunnel through the compost.

    We've used 2 of the 3 bins so far and will use the third one this week for the last bed - so at that point it will be empty except for anything we add to the first bin.

    My question is - where are these suckers going to go and how do I keep them out of the house? These aren't cute little field mice.

    Oh and yes the bins had been used for both food and yard waste. We've been doing so as well since we got here so as not to be wasteful but DH will be building a worm bin for food scraps once we are done setting up the garden (so probably in a couple of weeks).
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2009
  2. cathleenc

    cathleenc dirty. good dirt.

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    sounds absolutely normal to me - nice warm and sheltered place complete with food. We always had rats in our compost pile in s. california and I learned to knock on the lid and stand back when opening it.

    Can you find out what kind of rats you have? For example, we had tree rats and it is not normal for tree rats to move into the house - and they didn't. We learned to peacefull coexist. Maybe if you find out more about yours you can find tolerance.

    Which is not to say that I liked the rats - I didn't. I just learned to tolerate what wasn't going to do me any harm.
  3. bubbles

    bubbles New Member

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    I have small square mesh (not fine like screen but finer than chicken wire) stapled across the bottom (mine are open on the bottom) and around areas that they can get in. I also heard that you can hang human hair inside the bin (put in a knee hi panty hose or cheesecloth) to repel them. I used that once before in my old bin and they never came back. Can't say that it was the hair or just coincidence.
  4. artemis33

    artemis33 Amity's Focus Member

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    haha - yeah, I now give the lid a good knock before I open it! lol

    I don't mind a peaceful coexistence but yeah, my concern was whether they'd try to get in the house - esp. this next fall/winter when we try to set up a root cellar in the basement.

    I'll try to figure out what kind they are - I have no idea, just the kind with beady eyes and a thick tail! *shudder*

    I don't know if there is anything across the bottom - I'll check. I don't think so.
  5. freedomlover

    freedomlover ReaderOfThreads

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    Rats love compost. They love it.

    It is critical to have air circulation BUT a bottom to your composter and a top to keep rats out!

    Around here, vector control will give you a citation if your composter isn't rat proof!
  6. artemis33

    artemis33 Amity's Focus Member

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    They are in the house now! I am sure it is because we took away the compost and their home/food source :wah: The past several days I thought I was hearing them in the walls/heating vents and yesterday confirmed it (they were having a little rat war in there - no mistaking it :( ).

    We are being very digilent to put everything away at night - we were leaving a little cat food in the bowl and our fruit bowl sits out on the counter and sometimes a few dishes in the sink but NO MORE!

    I am so worried about this. We are putting our food waste back in the compost bins and I cut back on our mouser kitties food a little to help get him motivated LOL DH said he saw some traps up in the attic so he will reset those. We are hoping they will move back out to the pile and/or we can kill them.

    This is so gross! RATS! OH.MY.GOD!!!!!!!!!
  7. IrishAngel

    IrishAngel Not broken, just bent Staff Member

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    An nì chì na big, ‘s e nì na big
    Get the traps with the sticky stuff on them. They work the best for the big ones! We had this problem last summer. DH killed one in the closet with a boot, and that's when we decided to get the sticky traps.
    Good luck!!
  8. freedomlover

    freedomlover ReaderOfThreads

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    If you look in the phone book under county vector control, they may have traps and advice to help you!
  9. LatteLover

    LatteLover Amity's Focus Member

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  10. mamanaturale

    mamanaturale New Member

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    eeew, rats? egads, that might just kill me... and i had a rat as a pet as a teenager, but a wild rat? in the house? eeeek!
    we had a mouse in the house and that was bad enough. we just caught him in the trash can and transferred the little bugger out to the far corner of the property. dh wanted to keep it! um, no.
  11. tarablesue

    tarablesue ~PeAce~

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    Ick.. we had a mice infestation a few winters ago...*shudder* i can't imagine rats.. if i ever seen one I think I'd have a heart attack..eek!
  12. hannahsorchard

    hannahsorchard Happy... so very happy :)

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    Oh please don't get the ones with the sticky stuff!!! What a horrible way for them to die. Those traps are horrid. We have mice and we use the ones with a red V on top. They work well. Or call someone. I would call someone if I heard that many of them in my walls though. I'd be scared they would chew something bad.
  13. artemis33

    artemis33 Amity's Focus Member

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    These are the snapping type traps not the sticky ones. They were already here - we didn't buy anything - but I really don't want to do poison.

    I don't *think* there are 'a lot' of them in the house - the rat war I heard in the wall was just 2 of them (I believe) chasing each other back and forth. It was the same spot I heard them all 3 times.

    I am thinking since we caught this early we might be OK getting rid of them on our own but we definitely are taking this very seriously and do NOT want an infestation.

    Funny, I NEVER would have thought of this place having rats around. It is a nice house! Guess it is partly the 'country living' thing, and partly the compost pile.

    So, we will obviously be trying to kill them off.

    But besides that - do you think it would be better to move our food waste to a secure worm bin or not? That is what we have planned but that just gives them incentive to move into the house looking for food right? I'd rather them be in the compost heap than here, but I really just want them GONE.

    Anyone know rat psychology 101?

    BTW, yeah they are UGLY! I only saw the one outside, if I actually see one in the house I'll probably pee myself LOL
  14. shana1

    shana1 Amity's Focus Member

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    Here is a humane mouse trap, but the description says you can add whatever size bottle you want so if the rats are big you could use maybe a 2 liter bottle? I've never seen a rat(knock on wood) so maybe this is too small, idk, but I thought I would link it anyways.

    Humane Mouse Trap
  15. Audreysmama

    Audreysmama Active Member

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    Good luck! We have had pesky field mice and they are tough to get rid of for sure!
  16. artemis33

    artemis33 Amity's Focus Member

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    ugh Sandi that is a good point. This does suck! UGH!

    If this was just field mice I'd be all over the humane traps, but with rats I don't think it is really an option. They are quite large and where the heck would we put them?
  17. Nibsie

    Nibsie Active Member

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    When we moved into our house that stood empty for three years, we had rats. Big effing river rats. The only thing that eventually worked was Final Bite rat poison. Good luck!
  18. lakshmi_mama

    lakshmi_mama cleaning house

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    Rats and farms go together. The big compost pile on the farm :::shudder::: but they scramble when humans come. In the house is always where they go if they are not getting what they want outside so do give them a nice compost pile. I would be tempted to get professional non-chemical help straight away so that no indoor community is formed while you are figuring it out. I bloody hate rats and have zero problem killing the bastages but the last thing I would want to do is have one rot in my walls or risk poisoning a human or pet.

    good luck and welcome to the farm life! :hoo:
  19. gabwife

    gabwife New Member

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    On the TLC show verminators,they went through the houses and found all the cracks and sealed them with wire mesh or the foam stuff.Then they proceeded to lay out traps.All kinds of traps both sticky and snap although theirs was something called a T-Rex.All were baited with peanut butter.The poison was a last ditch effort to eliminate all of them.It took about 2 weeks to see results ;but by eliminating food sources and giving them no home to live in they either died or moved on to greener pastures.
  20. mamabear

    mamabear ~*~smile~*~

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    Ditto! Also the professional help can help you seal up holes where they can get in, but in an old farmhouse that may be impossible.

    We had wharf rats in Olympia in our old Arts & Crafts bungalow. I was pregnant and had insomnia and could hear them chewing in the walls in the middle of the night. I was SO FREAKED. Dh actually has this funny (now) video of me all pregnant in my sky chair, telling him very seriously about the freaking rats and how we needed to get rid of them. :p We actually moved shortly after that, so that little story is not at all helpful to you, sorry! LOL.

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