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Monday, 29 August 2016

Rats, Rats, Rats!

My Dad was big on playing cards. His catch cry when he was trumped or getting beaten was "Rats, rats, rats!" - so I had to title this post that in his memory, even though it is really about those horrible rodents.

We live in the country, and no matter what we do, there is always an onslaught of rats and mice and possums. My beloved old cat died earlier this year and I miss him. While he was here we had no bother with rodents in the house walls and roof. It's not practical for us to get another cat, so a few weeks back I bought one of these sonar devices that claims to repel rats, mice, spiders and ants. 
Electronic (supposed to be) rodent repeller

Well the spiders and ants remained undisturbed and so did the rat that we hear scuttling about and can't trap. So back to the shop it went. I don't know if they work for anyone else - or are they like the Emperor's New Clothes? 

Rats are a big problem here for our bird life. They eat our native birds eggs, so they are on the Wanted List. We have bait stations that we keep filled for them.

They were also getting into my compost bins, which upset me greatly. I thought I would outsmart them by burying vegetable scraps in the garden, but then they started going there too. The only way I discovered to stop them doing that was by layering seaweed and horse manure over newly buried scraps.
Recently I put a base of chicken wire mesh around the base of the compost bin. So far, despite obvious attempts, they have not got in. 

Not a pretty blog post, but there you are - life isn't always pretty.
Anyone else got any great ways to be rid of vermin?


  1. Ugh! We get mice invasions frequently at our place. The only successful way to get rid of them in my experience is to bait them, or a mouse trap. The last time we had an invasion we set two traps in the pantry, because the little squeakers were eating through the plastic bread bags, and getting into my bread! So bread is what we set the traps with, worked a treat, except that we went away for a week and forgot to "unset" the traps, and when we came home there was a decaying dead mouse in a trap in the pantry! Had to clean the pantry from top to bottom to get rid of the smell!

    We put the baits in our roof cavity which is where we hear them scurrying, they work, but we get awful odours for a few days after they die, but there's no way I'm putting a python in the roof, which a lot of people have around here!!!

    1. Aw Cheryl - I'd rather have the rats than a python too. For some reason the rats here have wised up to the baits and the traps - it's taking far too long to be rid of them. I'm grateful that they're not right inside the house.

  2. No rats, but every autumn the mice would come in to winter in the basement of my house in Minnesota. I caught them in a Hav-a-Hart trap and released them in the cornfields 10 miles away on my way to school for many years. I also bought the electronic gadget in your photo which did nothing but blink its little blue light at me in derision! My cats had no interest in them other than entertainment. Since your cat did, I think you best get another. Much more friendly than a python hanging about!

    1. We're going to be travelling a bit so it's not practical to get another cat yet or I definitely would have. I'm just imaging what those Aussies say to any electrician who has to work in their roof space - "Oh, and mind out for the python"

  3. I lost my beloved old cat on New Year's Day this year. He was a mighty hunter and the only rats I ever saw were the dead ones he left me as gifts. The python catching rats in the attic is a very interesting idea, but I am sure that I would have trouble sleeping with a snake overhead.

    1. Hi Danny, I think cats are definitely the answer. We have caught a few with a cage trap since that post, but now they've wised up to that too!


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