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Rat versus Hedgehog. What to do?

Home Forums Hedgehog tales Rat versus Hedgehog. What to do?

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    Late December and I’m still getting a visitor for food. Only trouble is there is a new unwelcome visitor on the block, a large brown rat. Unfortunately our hedgehog comes in the early hours (I have a web cam) and by that time the rat has come and gone and pinched all the food. The food is in a “summer” hedgehog house and I’ve put a rat scarer in (which is supposed to omit a sound rats don’t like) but this rat doesn’t seem to worry about it.
    Any suggestions?

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    Hi Halfpenny

    I recently replied to someone else with a rat problem which you might like to read.
    Other than making life difficult for the rat, there isn’t really any way of getting rid of it without putting the hog at risk.

    I have a similar problem here at the moment. The hog usually visits about 4 in the morning.

    I have been reliably informed (by someone who actually sold that sort of thing) that those rat scarers don’t work on rats outside, in anything but the very short term (too many other distractions). As you have discovered they soon get used to them and ignore them. I, also, am not totally convinced that they don’t affect hogs at all. I left one on by mistake one night and saw a hog visibly flinch when it went past the rat scarer. The makers cannot definitively say they don’t affect hogs, because they cannot test them. Bearing in mind they don’t have much impact on rats, anyway, I wouldn’t want to risk using them with hogs around – they may not stop the hogs, but they might deter them.

    As well as the rat, I have had a cat problem here. I had stopped chasing them away, in the hope that they might put the rat off, but one of them managed to squeeeeze it’s way into the hog feeding box. I have now had another box made with a double bend with the second divider removable for the summer when larger hogs are around. Of course the rat could still get in, but hopefully not the cat. I have heard that rats are not so keen on cat food (not sure whether that is true or not) and so have been leaving kitten biscuits in the new feed box in the hope that the hog will like them and the rat not. (I usually use hog food which cats are not supposed to like – most don’t, but there is always one(!) and, of course, rats like it.) Small amounts of the kitten biscuits have been disappearing (but there are usually some left) and the hog has been seen on the cam entering but, so far, not the rat. Of course the cam isn’t totally reliable and the rat could easily have quickly sneaked in between clips. But, I have also been leaving some of the usual food outside so maybe the rat is content with that. I just hope, as the hog is still visiting, that it actually gets some food, one way or another. If nothing else, it is frequently seen drinking water.

    No sign of the rat last night, so fingers crossed. Good luck to the hog there, hope it manages to get some of the food and safely survives until the Spring.


    Thanks Nic. Bit of a battleground! I read up that rats don’t like strong spices, so last night in desperation I mixed curry powder with chilli powder and put the mix about 12 inches away from the entrance of the hog feeding station. I was worried that the hog would have a similar aversion to the spicy mix but about 5 am saw him going into the feeding station. The bowl of dry small dog mix was gone this morning. Didn’t see the rat, but as you said rats are sneaky.

    We also have a number of neighbourhood cats visiting, especially in summer. One particularly liked “Spike” (I caught the culprit one day having a late night snack) as it’s chicken based. I used to put the food in an old kennel, which he thought was very handy, thank you very much. Got wise to him and food is now in a hog house just big enough for a hedgehog.

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