Your Wild Birds Guide

Rodent Control of Rats
How to Stop Rats at Bird Feeders!


Declare war!

Discovering rats at your bird feeders is traumatic! I know, I looked out one day to enjoy my birds and ...

I could not believe what I was seeing. We had lived there for many years and never had rats before.

I know how you are feeling.

Overwhelmed? Disgusted? Stressed?

All the help you need is right here!

Do you know what you need, to win rodent control of rats?

War! Go to war! 

Your goal should be nothing less than, flat out, no rats! Wipe them out!

And in order to win the war, you have to have a strategic plan:

First, know your enemy!





3 Reasons You Need to Win This War:

And you have to win this battle because…


1. Rats carry disease and you do not want to make your birds sick, or your family and You!

2. They will eat all your bird seed.

3. If they are at your bird feeders, Your home could be next!

What Do You Need to Know to Get Rid of Rats?

Here is a crash course on what you need to know to conduct effective rodent control of rats.



List of Rat Behaviour Traits You Need to Know:

It is important to know a few facts about rat behaviour, to have good rodent control of rats. Understanding why they do what they do will assist you in executing an effective remedy.


1.    When rats find a new food they are not familiar with, they will take a tiny amount to test it out the first time. This way they can avoid items which are indigestible. Knowing this will help you to bait a trap for success.

2.    They mostly hunt for food at night.

3.    There are two common types of rats in North America, Norway rats, also named  brown rats and roof rats, also named black rats.

4.    A pair of Norway rats can rear 2000 young in one year!

5.    A rat can tread water for 3 days, so flushing them down the toilet, will not get rid of them!

6.    Rats can fall 50 feet and not hurt themselves.

7.    Rats are creatures of habit and will follow the same pathways, over and over.


What Problems Arise When Rats Visit Bird Feeders?

  1. The biggest and worst problem, with rats at bird feeders is their urine and feces. Their excrement is a carrier for a variety of serious diseases. The bird seed will become contaminated as they crawl around on the seed and your feeder. You must be extra careful cleaning your feeders if you have rats eating from them. That's why rodent control of rats is so important. (More on how to do that properly further down.)

Quick Facts

 The CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, states that the following diseases are directly transmitted by rodents.

Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome collapsed
Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome collapsed
Lassa Fever collapsed
Leptospirosis collapsed
Lymphocytic Chorio-meningitis (LCM) collapsed
Omsk Hemorrhagic Fever collapsed
Plague collapsed
Rat-Bite Fever collapsed
Salmonellosis collapsed
South American Arenaviruses (Argentine hemorrhagic fever, Bolivian hemorrhagic fever, Sabiá-associated hemorrhagic fever, Venezuelan hemorrhagic fever) collapsed
Tularemia

Very good evidence why getting rid of rats should be taken seriously.

  1. They can eat a lot!  Far more than you and I can, when compared to respective body weight. A rat will eat a third of its body weight daily, if it can find enough to eat. You will be restocking your bird feeders often and that can be expensive.
  1. If they are outside near your house, guess where they will want to be when it gets colder or they decide they need a new home. That’s right, in your house with you!

That's why its key, to get that rodent control of rats plan started!


What is a Rats #1 Motivator in Coming to Your Bird Feeder?


Food.

Plain and simple, they need to eat and your bird feeders are satisfying that need.

And, so far it has been easily available and free!

But, you are going to change that!


What Do Rats Like to Eat?

Anything and everything!

They are omnivorous eaters, meaning, they will eat plant matter and food of meat origin. Everything on our menu and far more.

Rats are undiscriminating, when it comes to dining.

Bird seed of all variety, suet, peanuts-in-the-shell, insects, bird’s eggs (Many songbird’s eggs are small enough for a rat to easily bite through.) If you know you have rats in your yard, then you will want to keep an eye on your bird houses too. If it is nesting season, make sure they cannot gain access to your bird's homes.

Rats are hoarders. They will eat whatever they find and take what they can back to their home and hide the leftovers for a later time.

They even eat their feces often, for added nutrition. (Disgusting right!)

Bet You Didn't Know This Rat Fact

In the mid 19th century, there was a need for rodent control of rats. 

To take care of this problem rat catchers were employed!

Jack Black was such a person.

He not only caught rats, but he bred them to develop interesting colour variations.

Then he sold them, to the upper class ladies of the time, as pets.

Queen Victoria and Beatrice Potter are said to have been two of his customers!

Some believe that Beatrix Potter's book The Tale of Samuel Whiskers or the Roly Poly Pudding was inspired by her pet rat.


What Essential Steps to Take for Successful Rodent Control of Rats?

9 Step Solution Plan, But Omit #8!

Your Goal - Flat Out, No Rats!

1. Prevent bird seed from landing under the bird feeder.

2. Use only shelled seed to prevent the hulls from falling to the ground.

3. Sweep or rake the litter up under the feeders often.

4. Store bird food properly.

5. Locate your feeders away from your house.

6. Rat-proof your feeders.

7. Rat-proof your house.

8. Should poison be used to get rid of rats?

9. Trapping for rodent control of rats.

Let's Look More Closely at Each of the 9 Fixes:

1.    To prevent seed from landing on the ground under the bird feeder, hang a seed catcher from the bird feeder. It will also provide a place for ground feeding birds to eat.

2.    Filling feeders with clean, hulled seed. This will reduce the amount of food that falls to the ground under the bird feeder. Once you have achieved good rodent control of rats, then using this seed will prevent another occurrence.

3.    Sweeping or raking the surface under the feeder to keep it free of fallen seed will help. If there is no food available to the rodents, then they will have no reason to be there.

4.    Where, and how you store your bird seed will make a difference, if that is the attraction, not your feeders. Your supply of bird food must be kept impenetrable. Always store seed in a metal container, preferably outside, that has a secured lid to keep the "night bandits", raccoons, out.

Rats, like mice are quite capable of gnawing through plastic, and thickness, only means it may take a little longer, but it will absolutely not keep them out!

My Experience With Seed Containers

I have had the experience of finding this out first hand. I purchased a large, very thick, close to ¾ of an inch (1.9 cm) thick, plastic garbage container.

I placed it just outside my backdoor on the deck. I had lots of bird feeders around the deck and thought this would be a convenient place to store seed, close to the feeders and the backdoor.

But after sometime, I noticed seed was collecting around the bottom of the container.

At first I did not think much of it, but after a few days I noticed more, and it was spreading out over the deck a little.

I knew I was not responsible for this mess. So, I tipped my new seed holder to one side a little, to have a look underneath.

I was shocked! There was a 2-inch hole with slightly ragged edges!

Obvious, that some little critter had made its determined way through my new, thick, seed cache holder.

So down to the basement it went, to be the holder of something else and a metal replacement was soon standing in its place.

Metal is the only way to go!


5.    Relocating your feeders farther away from your home will decrease the opportunity for the rats to discover your home.

6.    Rat-proofing feeders works. Keep rats from reaching your bird feeders by installing baffles as a good measure to employ for rodent control of rats.

When we had our problem with rats I did not see rats in the feeders. But, they can climb poles of any kind, metal, wood or plastic, just like the squirrels!

Install a baffle on the pole under the bird feeder. The baffle will block the rats way up the pole to your feeder. A squirrel baffle will be sufficient to prevent rats from getting to the top.

But if you also have raccoons visiting your feeders, then I would suggest a raccoon baffle, which is longer and wider than a squirrel baffle. Then you have something that will block raccoons, squirrels and rats!

If the rats are dropping down to your feeder from above, you will need to hang a dome or umbrella style baffle above the feeder. The baffle will need to be large enough that, as the rodent slides down the baffle, it is not able to grab the feeder on it’s fall, past it.

7.    Rodent control of rats means rat-proofing your home. It will be more difficult than dealing with your feeders, because a rat, can fit through a hole slightly smaller than a quarter. But very necessary if you are going to have a rat free house.

Getting rid of the rats you see now, will not keep your home rodent free. New rats will replace the ones you remove. So the only solution for your home is to seal it up tight.

  • Seal up all your buildings using metal material.
  • Remove hiding places. Outside and in, be tidy, no piles.
  • Eliminate food and water sources for rodents.

Take Extra Caution When Cleaning Up

> Ensure the area where you will be cleaning up, is well ventilated.

> Always, wear rubber cloves.

> Spray the feces and urinated area with bleach and water. Pick up with a paper towel. Never sweep them up.

> Thoroughly, disinfect all surfaces and wash clothes, bedding and upholstery.

For detailed instructions on how to cleanup after a rat infestation and have achieved rodent control of rats, follow the guidelines from the CDC.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

8.   Poisoning for rodent control will not be the solution you think it is when you consider the following:

  1. Over use has created the situation that some rats have become immune to poison.
  1. Rats, as mentioned earlier, are cautious about what they eat. There is no guarantee that your rats, will eat it, or enough of it to kill them.
  1. Where there are one or two rats, there are many more. So, if you are successful at killing a few, more will take their place. (Remember, a pair of brown rats can produce 2000 offspring in one year.)
  1. When a wild animal is sick, they usually go and hide. Your house will be that hiding place, if you are lucky enough to poison them inside your home or near it. The result will be a rotting carcass in your home.
  1. If the poisoned rat is outside, it may become prey to a hawk, neighbourhood cat or other prey animal, which in turn will become sick or die. It is against American and Canadian law to harm wildlife if you are not legally hunting.
  1. It is inhumane! I will say it again. It is inhumane! Death by poisoning is slow and painful. You do not have to like an animal to understand that. Death by poisoning is torture. There are other humane methods for rodent control.

But, in saying all this about poison, if you have an infestation this maybe the only solution. You should get professional help for this situation.


I am not against killing rats.

It just needs to be done humanely.

Number 9 below, is the best recommendation for getting rid of rats.

Once you have followed the steps above, 1 through 7, to prevent further attraction, then number 9 is the best method for rodent control of rats.

We trapped the rats that were coming to our feeders years ago, with a  rented wire cage, specifically designed to catch rats.

We checked our cage every hour, to release the little birds that would occasionally find their way in.

Then we drowned the rats we caught.

Because we lived in the country at the time, we placed the carcasses in the field beside our home.

Within hours the body would be gone.

We had not used poison so the rats were served up as a safe food source.

9.   Trapping the rats in a Victor Electronic Rat Trap, for "winning" results of rodent control of rats.

This would definitely be my first method of choice, if we ever have rats again.

1. Quick and humane. This trap is a technically advanced method. It produces enough shock from 4 C batteries to deliver a speedy death. It is cost effective to use too, as 4 batteries kill 50 rats.

2. No handling of a live or dead rodent is necessary. You don’t even have to see it.

3. Easy to use. Simply tip the trap contents into a double plastic bag. Throw it in the trash or if you live in a rural area, do like we did, give the wildlife around you a helping hand with a safe meal.

4. Another bonus is, it traps bodily fluids and parasites, which traditional snap traps do not. Seeing and having to handle them is a huge drawback to traditional snap traps.

5. The price is reasonable too, when one considers how pricey it can be to keep purchasing bird seed that the rats are eating voraciously or make repairs to your home from the chewing damage they cause!

6. Environmentally friendly, no chemicals or poisons necessary.


To selectively catch the animal you wish and not inadvertently zap a bird, squirrel or chipmunk, first use this live animal trap. You can release any animals you catch, that you do not want to kill, but when you have a rat...

Then place it with the door open at the entrance to the electronic rat trap, where more bait will attract it in to it's demise.


1.  Catch & Release Other Animals or Send Rats to the Zapper

 2.   Place Live Animal Trap with Caught Rat With Open Doors Together to Send Rat to Zapper!


(Always wear heavy gloves when handling traps.)


Comparing Methods for Rodent Control of Rats

Victor Electronic Rat Trap

1. Quick and humane.

2. No seeing or handling of rodent.

3. Easy to use.

4. Bodily fluids and parasites contained.

5. One time purchase, reasonably priced.

6. Environmentally friendly.

My experience

1. Drowning is not quick, but much faster than poisoning which can take hours or days.

2. Rat clearly visible before and after death. Handling was at a distance.

3. Not a slick process.

4. Not contained, but better than handling a snap trap.

5. Rental of trap was a repeat cost.

6. Environmentally friendly.


Be released from worry!

Hopefully the instructions on this page have armed you with the right plan to implement rodent control of rats at your bird feeders and home!


Are Mice Your Problem?

They won't be for long if you use Victor Electronic, no see or no touch mice eliminators.


How To Fix Other Backyard Bird Feeding Problems Below & In Right Column:

  • Pests at Bird Feeders Understanding all the pests that come to bird feeders and bird houses is essential before success at controlling them is possible.
  • Baffle the Squirrels! This is often the bird feeding problem people deal with the most often. Most backyard bird watchers will have to go to war with these four legged ones at some point. There are many solutions. Discover them here.
  • Bird Feeder Mess! The mess under the bird feeder from the fallen bird seed kills the grass or plants depending on where I put the bird feeder.
  • Bird Feeding Problems As you probably know if you feed wild birds then you will have to solve some issues. There is lots of help here!


> > Rodent Control of Rats

Sources Used for this Article:

http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/rats/tips/solving_problems_rats.html?referrer=https://www.google.ca/

http://discovermagazine.com/2006/dec/20-things-rats

http://animals.mom.me

http://www.ratbehavior.org

http://www.trap-anything.com

http://www.attic-rat.com

https://www.cdc.gov/rodents/diseases/direct.html

https://www.cdc.gov/rodents/cleaning/index.html


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