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Rats!

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Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 31 total)
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  • #36604

    Oh yes, one more question: does anyone know what that the relationship is between rats and. hedgehogs? That is to say, if a rat is in the feeder, will a hedgehog go in? Are rats afraid of hedgehogs? Or hedgehogs of rats? Any experience with that, anyone?

    #36605

    Thanks x

    #36628

    Nic

    Hi hedgie59

    It depends on the individual hedgehogs and the rats. Some of each species will tolerate each other more than others will.

    A hog might be reluctant to go into a house where there is a rat already there, but might also be reluctant if there was another hog in there. A rat might keep away from food if there are hogs around but some will try to get to the food despite the hogs.

    #36823

    Sorry to say that it’s rarely one rat for very long. As soon as you start feeding again they will be back as never far away. As others have mentioned, humane trap or specialist bait trap. Alternatively, depending on how close you are to neighbours, an air rifle does the job although it’s understandable if that’s not for you.

    #36849

    Morning everyone,
    The habitual rat interloper in my tiny front garden was seen off by a large (and what looks like, fairly unfit) black cat last night. Do you think this will have deterred the rat from coming into the garden for a while so I can put some food out for my hoggie? Any thoughts appreciated.

    #36906

    Nic

    Hi Bellasmom

    It might depend on the individual rat, how frightened it was, whether the cat comes back, etc. Only problem is if the cat comes back it might eat the hog food! Although it’s easier keeping a cat out of, say, a hog feeding box than to keep a rat out.

    I know you may not want to keep the cat away just now, if it might deter the rat, but here is some information to help keep cats away from food:

    Tips to keep cats away from hedgehog food

    Good luck – hope there are no more rat sightings!

    #37013

    gfs

    It’s important to distinguish the type of rat and to consider why they’re bad, or why we don’t like them. Brown rats do not reproduce like black rats and are rather beautiful creatures. We had one last year, that was around for 3 or 4 months. It ate with the sparrows. There are quite a few cats in the neighbourhood which limits their chances of survival. Owls… those birds that used to exist at night, will benefit too. Unless it’s an infestation, there’s not really a problem.

    #37019

    Nic

    Hi gfs

    The problem with rats can be as much to do with a problem with other humans as with a problem with the actual rats as such. I have heard of people being told (by a Council and also Landlords) not to feed the hedgehogs/birds because it had been reported that the food was attracting rats. So needless to say people are worried about rats because they don’t want to be told they can’t feed the hogs. Although I take your point with regard to your other comments. But, sounds as if you’re lucky – the cats here seem to pretty much ignore the rats!

    #37137

    Hi everyone, I’ve just joined as I have one or more hhs visiting and I’m feeding them proper food.

    I’m after advise on offering a nest/hibernation box for them as we’ve always had rats living around us in our small town, they visit my little back yard every night…more in a moment, but I read a lot about rat poisons and how they can hurt hhs and our pets – hopefully the following link to the gardeners world website will work:
    https://forum.gardenersworld.com/discussion/1011047/hedgehogs-and-rat-poison

    Apparently, slugs and snails love rat poison but, as they’re invertebrates, it doesn’t hurt them at all. But, if the slugs and snails are eaten by a hog, or one of our pets, the rat poison will kill the hog.

    So, poisons are out for me. I believe the rats are eating the food inside the house and the hogs are eating the food outside the house, so I think that’s ok.

    I’m just wondering if it’s sensible to change the feeding house from feeding to living? If I’m only feeding rats in the house (never any hog poo found in there now, there was when I first put it out) I might as well change its use to living/nesting/hibernating?

    Then, I read above about rats killing hibernating hogs – also, with rats around, if hogs nest there, what are the chances that the rats will kill the babies? How can hogs protect their newborns against rats?

    Can anyone help, please?

    Thank you! :o)

    #37141

    Hi GFS, I read your post with interest, and wondered if you know whether brown rats are less aggressive? How likely are brown rats to kill hoglets? Can the parents protect them?

    Our rats are brown – there’ve been brown rats everywhere I’ve lived or walked (it’s not me!! :o) ), they’re just everywhere and I consider them as being part of our natural wildlife – I won’t hurt them and they’ve always been quite fascinating to watch. They only become really secretive and untrusting when neighbours have put poison out, the poor things.

    I’ve seen hogs eating from the outside dish, when they realise there’s a rat eating inside the “hog” feeding station! The hog was cautious, but didn’t seem overly concerned.

    Any advice you can offer regarding brown rats/nesting & hibernating hogs would be gratefully appreciated – thank you.

    #37148

    Nic

    Hi Lindaluvdup

    Welcome to the Forum!

    I agree re. poisons. Pets can also eat poisoned rats, etc. and consequently become poisoned themselves.

    If you want a box to be used for sleeping/nesting by hogs the best thing to do is put a handfull of suitable material (ideally medium sized leaves, grasses, etc.) inside to give the hogs the idea and leave other suitable material in the general area. But the problem with changing the box to a nesting box is that you always risk the rats taking up residence instead, if there are a lot near where you live.

    The reports of rats eating hibernating hogs may be exagerated. It may be that rats will eat hogs which have already died during hibernatiion. (Sadly hibernation is a difficult and complicated time for hogs and not all will survive.) If they are alive, I believe they are rolled up during hibernation so the rat would be confronted by a load of spines.

    Not sure about babies, but I imagine if the mother was with them in the box she could quite easily prevent a rat from entering. Their spines are their main protection, but she could, for instance, roll up in the doorway. But a hog might choose not to have her young in an area where there are a lot of rats. However, other adult hogs may use the hog house for overy-day stays, etc.

    If you want to continue feeding the hogs outside, you might like to try scattering the food for the hogs to forage. That way the rats can’t eat it all so quickly (or take it away to cache so quickly), so the hogs get more of a chance.

    By the way ‘black’ rats can be brown!

    Good luck. I hope you find a satisfactory solution for the hogs.

    #37155

    Thanks for your advice, Nic, it’s very much appreciated.

    I’ve filled the outside and inside dishes and scattered food as well, tonight.

    I see what you mean about black or brown rats! I looked into it and confused myself!

    I also read that cotton wool balls soaked in lavender oil can repel rats, but do you know if this would upset my hog(s), please? I would just grow lavender but my yard doesn’t get enough sun.

    Thanks again!

    #37160

    Nic

    Hi Lindaluvdup

    Yes, whoever named those rats has something to answer for! I don’t know much about rats, but if memory serves me right (from school days, so maybe not!), rattus rattus – the black – rat was here first but then rattus norvegicus – the brown rat – came along (on ships) and became more common.

    Sorry I don’t have any experience re. lavender – hogs do have a strong sense of smell, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’d mind, or even that all would. It might be a case of trial and error – maybe start with a low strength and gradually increase to see if they object to it. As long as there are other food sources with no lavender, hopefully they wouldn’t be put off visiting at all. But also don’t know whether it reliably keeps rats away. If you do try it, let us know how you get on.

    Good luck.

    #37244

    I’ve been feeding hogs on a regular basis for a good couple of years now, and presume I’ve also been feeding the odd rat. However, it was only for the first time on Sunday, after having a camera set up in the feeding station for the past 4 weeks, that the motion detection was set off by a rat. Persistent little fella (well reasonably sized fella!), whose style was to grab a bit and then head somewhere outside, then back again.

    My observation of the rat being inside the feeding station when there was a hog in there was that the hog seemed to tolerate the rat’s presence, although some of the hogs behaviour also suggested that the scent put them off – they would unusually enter the station then immediately leave.

    It’s hard to tolerate the sight of a rat eating the feed left for hogs (and birds). All creatures have to eat, but it’s the thought, I guess, of there being multiples, as they are powerful, persistent and determined creatures.

    Anyway, ‘humane’ trap set up last night, and there he was this morning.

    We both went out for a car drive this morning at 6am.

    I know they are at risk in the countryside unless they can make a livable territory for themselves, and I kinda felt sad this evening when I wondered how he would be coping. But then, such endearments are harder when they are in your own back yard!

    #37245

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge, Nic, I really appreciate it and will let you know about the oils – when the need arises I’ll try lavender oil and peppermint oil.

    I’ve not tried either oil, yet. Since my neighbour has been poisoning the rats, there seem to be few around or they’ve gone into hiding.
    Thankfully, “my” hedgie(s) are still turning up as I believe they can’t get into that garden. I’ve not mentioned hedgehog highways to any of my neighbours for this reason – I think they’re all poisoning some poor creature or other.

    Dubi, I feel for you and understand your sadness. If it helps, I found my hedgie usually eats from the outside dish (I see and hear him) and the rats seem to eat from the dish in the feeding station, although they don’t empty that dish. So, I’m happy to feed the rats inside just so long as my hedgie gets the lion’s share outside. I pop one out with an upside down plant pot saucer over it, that the hedgie can snuffle his nose under – I’m sure rats are also bright enough, but I’m told cats won’t work it out….not sure if any of this is actually true, though! :o) Best of luck.

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