22nd November 2021 at 8:57 am #35253
I’ve been feeding hhs for a couple of years now and I’ve also provided hedgehog boxes which they’ve used. For the first time , last night, I saw a rat on my trail camera. I was alarmed and just don’t know what to do for the best. I don’t want poison, but (after making enquiries) that’s the most efficient way and can be done in a way that’s not harmful to other wildlife. What do you think any ideas would be welcome?
Kass22nd November 2021 at 9:55 am #35255
Hi Kass, i don
t think many here would approve of the poison route, Just too many ifs and buts. Perhaps consider a humane trap, which is a small cage that when the rat steps on the trigger plate the door shuts. Then if you have a car, can take it a couple of miles away and release it. Others here may have a different idea for you. That way can sift through them and take your pick.22nd November 2021 at 4:45 pm #35258
Yeah, poison is always dangerous to other wildlife, as even if you can avoid them being directly poisoned by the bait, other animals can and will eat the poisoned rat carcasses.
But if you have only seen one rat, you probably don’t need to take any action at all. Rats are very widespread and we are all probably near a rat at any given time, but as you’ve only seen one, it’s likely it was only passing through and you don’t have a rat problem as such. So I wouldn’t be too concerned unless you have a lot more sightings or establish there is a substantial rat colony on or near your property.22nd November 2021 at 6:33 pm #35259
The following is a link which contains some other links of past rat focused topics. You might find something useful amongst all that. Good luck. I know how annoying it is having rat/s around, especially when any hogs left especially need the food at the moment to potentially get ready for hibernation. If you do try humane traps, make sure that the hogs can’t access them – they can get caught in them. I have a feeling that it may not be legal to release any rats that are caught, in a different place.7th December 2021 at 8:59 am #35418
Thank you all for replying with advice. I would never use poison, but what I have done is removed all bird tables and dug out all the seed that’s fallen underneath. My husband is putting slabs to rest the table on so we can sweep it up. The birds are missing out at the moment! I’ve also removed and emptied compost bins, and moved my stacked empty pots which were nearby. Apparently rats don’t like change (there’s a word for it!) Have been thinking maybe I’ve been putting too much bird seed out. I can’t stop feeding the hhs, they’re juveniles.7th December 2021 at 10:03 am #35419
I sympathise. The birds here are on rations, too, because a rat turned up! Like you, for me the hogs have to take preference. Also I suspect more other people feed the birds than the hogs, so they will be ok.
I also still have youngsters around. These ones don’t like going in boxes so I’ve been spreading the food around. But with no bird food ‘remains’ the rat does tend to turn up later. So, luckily the hogs normally get there first and are quite happy to forage – but if the rat is there it takes it longer to eat and doesn’t eat all the food. Just hope no more rats appear – keep hoping that one will decide to go elsewhere!
Cats likewise seemingly can’t be bothered to eat so much when the food is spread out. Of course the cats are never around when the rat is! Wouldn’t mind so much them eating some of the hogs food if they kept the rat away!
Sounds a good idea moving things around to put the rat off.
Good luck with the hoglets there.14th December 2021 at 12:27 am #35536
Cage traps are useful against rats but rats can be cautious of them for a while so patience is needed plus rat cage traps are capable of catching hedgehogs.
It is legal to release rats elsewhere if that’s what you want to do.
I have had rat problems and hedgehog carers that I know say rats have destroyed their hedgehog boxes by chewing into them. I have also heard of rats feeding on hibernating hedgehogs in care.
The best solution against rats and the one I use is an air rifle.20th January 2022 at 4:55 pm #35878
The best solution against rats and the one I use is an air rifle.
OMG !!!7th April 2022 at 9:56 pm #36411
I tolerate one rat but not a family.. but they usually come late autumn when I am trying to fatten up my hogs. Rat food is the only way as much as I hate it, offered in a locked bait box.8th April 2022 at 7:07 pm #36415
You need to be careful, even using locked bait boxes because hoglets (which could easily be around late Autumn) could get into them. So if you are going to use that method it’s your responsibility to place the bait box in a position which hogs are not able to access – bearing in mind that hogs are, to some extent, able to climb – even if not quite as good at climbing as rats.10th April 2022 at 11:45 am #36432
Thanks for that. I am using this late in the year and a hog that could get into the box I would have been picked up and taken to my local hedghog sanctuary for the winter. I have a complex box a bit like a maze inside and have watched the hogs trying to get in.. and overturning it although I put a brick on it now. If I can find the nest, I put the bait in there with a tile and brick on top. I hate using it as I get wood mice and I like them and it is only when I have a serious infestation that I put it out for the minimum time possible and where I think the rats are rather than near the feeding area. Will have a think if I can place it where the hogs cannot go but, as you say, they are pretty good at climbing.10th April 2022 at 12:18 pm #36435
It may only be the hoglets which you have actually seen that you take to a hog rescue – there may be others which you don’t see. Hoglets have a habit of materialising, seemingly from nowhere! And they can be very inquisitive. So it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Hopefully the rats there will realise you mean business and stay away! Then you won’t have to use the bait box. I know what you mean about the woodmice – as long as they don’t come into the house they are quite welcome in the garden!10th April 2022 at 8:52 pm #36445
Funny you should mention wood mice, I had one in the house a few weeks ago, think it got in through the cat flap. It strolled past my mother, who thought it was a particularly realistic cat toy before realising it was an actual mouse.
I chased it around the furniture for a while before it cornered itself in the cat den, meaning I was able to catch it. Probably shouldn’t have done it with bare hands, it got bitey, but it didn’t have any injuries and seemed lively so I just put it outside again.11th April 2022 at 8:54 pm #36452
That’s what used to happen when I had a cat. He used to bring mice/voles into the house and let them go! In the end I had another cat flap (going out only) living room to kitchen, so at least he couldn’t bring them into the living room!
I’m amazed you managed to catch it yourself! They can be pretty speedy.17th April 2022 at 9:41 pm #36603
I think I’ve got more than one rat. Holes have appeared in various places and a lot of food gets eaten every night. Not sure what to do apart from waiting until there is more natural hedgehog food around and then to stop feeding for a bit. What do you all think?
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