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Do you need to get rid of rats in your yard, homestead or farm? Unfortunately, due to feeding livestock, rats and mice find homesteads and farms a great place to move in, but sometimes they find your yard too even if YOU don't have livestock.
How to get rid of rat holes in your yard
Are you noticing holes along the foundation of your home, or barn, or chicken coop or other out buildings on your property? You might have a rat problem.
Especially if you have animals on a farm or homestead. Rats think your animal feed is free for the taking and move right in and make themselves comfortable.
Rats are smart, and figure things out pretty quickly, so it is a good idea to have a big arsenal of ideas on how to deal with them so you can change things up when one method stops working.
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Why You Don't Want Rats on Your Farm or Homestead
First and foremost, rats carry diseases which can spread to your poultry or livestock. They can also carry lice, mites and other parasites.
Second, they can eat a lot of feed. A LOT of feed, and this will cost you! Do you have extra money to feed a huge rat population? I sure don't!
Three, if you see one rat, there are at least 10 more there. So if you see 5, there are at least 50! A single rat can have up to six litters a year, with 5-10 babies per litter. This means a pair of rats, left to create their colony with no interception from you, can grow in size to over 1,000 rats in a single year. No thank you!!! Gives me the heebie jeebies just thinking about it!
How to Get Rid of Rats on the Homestead
ANY. WAY. YOU. CAN!!!!!! Yes, do whatever you must, these are not creatures that you want around your family, livestock or buildings.
My Ratinator Rat Trap Review
I wanted to share one tool that has worked great for us. It is called The Ratinator and it is a wire cage, that traps a bunch of rats at once, as many as 21 they say.
It takes awhile to get the rats used to it for it to be successful, but it works wonderfully. I also love that it catches many rats at once which is awesome. And that it doesn't use poisons.
So the Ratinator is a must have in my opinion. I think every homestead or farm should have at least one, or more, depending on the size of your operation.
Tips for Using the Ratinator
The Ratinator comes with instructions, that must be followed to a tee. Some of the most important tips I can share on how to trap rats with the Ratinator, are these:
- Look for heavy rat infestation clues. Trails in the grass, droppings, new holes...etc. to find a good location. Or where the feed source usually is, and remove the feed. Place the Ratinator in the path of the recent rat traffic.
- Place the Ratinator on a smooth surface, such as a piece of plywood, or on a concrete patio or something like this. The rats will burrow beneath the trap to access the food bait, which makes catching them impossible. By placing the trap on a hard surface, this prevents them from burrowing under it to access the bait. For example, don't just set it on uneven ground. You want it on a hard solid surface.
- Bait the trap HEAVILY, with whatever they have been feeding on. In my case, it is just plain old layer pellets. After you have placed the cage on a hard surface, and used a zip tie to hold the door open, cover the cage, all around with bait inside. Not just in the center bait area. Especially right near the entrance and just inside the entrance, and deeper into the trap. You need the rats to get used to going inside it at will.
- Cover the traps with some weeds or greens or leaves or whatever you have on hand to give them some privacy and make it less scary to them.
- Use gloves when feeding to minimize your scent. Bait the station heavily for 4-6 days with the trap door held open.
- On the 5th-7th day, wearing gloves, snip the zip tie that holds the trap door open and bait as you have been and cover.
- The next day, check the trap and you should have caught your first round of rats.
- Dispose of them as directed in the instructions. Make sure the tub that comes with the trap is on a level surface. Trust me on this!
- Move the trap to a new location, as far away from that location as possible, and start again.
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We have a small flock of chickens so we don’t have a huge rat problem. But, one is more than I want see! I used a plastic bin with a lid. My husband drilled 1 1/4 inch holes in each end. We put a baited snap trap inside. This way we trap the rat and not pets. Inexpensive and effective.
Also, I heard a chicken farmer say he would catch raccoons or other varmints in the winter, cut them open and feed them to his chickens. Wouldn’t there be a danger of disease?
Yes, there are many bucket traps that work well also. To each their own I guess, but I would not want to feed varmints to my chickens....if they catch a mouse or something on their own, so be it!