Humane Rat Deterrents | Removing Wild Rats from Your Home | Using a Live Trap | Birth Control

Humane Rat Deterrents

Most recommended method! Tried and tested! Soak cottonwool balls in peppermint oil and place strategically around your house (ie roof, compost heap, in cupboards, etc) to deter rats and mice. They, quite simply, do not like the smell and will move off, taking their offspring with them.
This isn’t an overnight method, and will take a few weeks to work. Replace balls as necessary.

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Removing Wild Rats from Your Home
by Debbie “The Rat Lady” Ducommun

The best way to keep rats off your property is to remove any access to food or shelter. Rats are attracted to pet food and bird seed as well as garbage. Garbage and food should be stored in metal or heavy duty plastic containers. You need to seal any access to your house, even very small holes as young rats and mice can squeeze through any opening they can fit their head through.

If you need to remove rats from your home or business by killing them, please use snap traps, and do not use poison or glue traps which are inhumane. Snap traps kill instantly and so are more humane.

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Using a Live-Trap

If you want to remove wild rats from your home without harming them, you can use a live trap. Live traps are usually available from humane societies and feed stores. The best thing is to put the trap out and fix it so the door won’t close at first so the rats will get used to eating out of it. The best bait is peanut butter put directly on the treadle. Once you know rats are eating the bait, you can set the trap. Doing it this way insures that the rat doesn’t accidently set the trap off before he goes in. If that happens, he would never go in the trap again.

Now, the tricky part is where to release him. You can’t just let rats go in forest or field. They must have source of water, and around water they will be able to find things to eat such as insects, worms, snails, fish, frogs, etc. So the best place to release them is at a permanent source of water such as a creek, river, lake or pond.

In most parts of the country, the common wild rats are Norway rats (Rattus Norvegicus), also called brown, sewer or barn rats. In warmer climates the roof rat (Rattus rattus), also called the black rat or tree rat, can be found and is often the most common wild rat in these areas. Roof rats must be released in an area where there is water and trees.

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Birth Control

“If you don’t mind having some wild rats on your property, but want to prevent the birth of too many, you can try this old-time remedy for birth control that was reported to work for wild rats by one person. Mix the herbs pennyroyal and asafeotida with split peas. Unfortunately she did not tell me amounts so try equal amounts of each. Then mix it all with peanut butter to make a thick “cookie dough.” The woman who told me this many years ago reported that the numbers of wild rats dwindled slowly as the rats died off and did not reproduce.”
  – source unknown

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Humane Rat Traps – The Better Alternative
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7 thoughts on “Humane Rat Traps – The Better Alternative

  • August 16, 2013 at 8:34 pm
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    Where I live there are rats in our whole area. They live in our “waste” drains. From there they come out and help themselves to whatever there is. What can I do on my property to keep them from visiting????? They are South African and they are not scared !!! Grins and many thanks..

    Reply
    • September 8, 2013 at 12:10 pm
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      Hi try the cottonwool method suggested on the site 🙂 Tried and tested!

      Reply
  • July 31, 2014 at 2:31 am
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    I have a little family in my garden waste bag – just clippings, but I guess it is cosy for them! I don’t have bird seed out overnight, but one of the parents comes out during the day to pick up whatever the birds drop. I’m quite happy for them to stay, except that I know if they breed too much, they’ll move into the neighbours, and get poisoned 🙁 So I was thinking of removing them to the fields in a humane trap, and then using a repeller so they don’t come back. Only thing is, the babies are about 1-2 inches long, so I am worried about separating them from their parents too early. How old should they be before I can do this with no worries? And has anyone tried the birth control method above? Hate to move them, since they are welcome with me, and I’m rather fond of the adult who comes to feed in the daytime, but I don’t think the council or the neighbours would agree 🙁

    Reply
    • July 31, 2014 at 8:03 am
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      Bless! 🙂 Try the cottonwool and peppermint oil method, they don’t like the smell and will move off within a week or three (tried and tested!), taking their babies with them 🙂

      I have not (nor do I know anyone who has) tried the birth control method unfort.

      Reply
  • July 31, 2014 at 1:01 pm
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    Thanks, I’ll give it a go. I was not sure if they’d take their little ones with them or not. Hope they find somewhere nice to live. We’re OK, since we have concrete floors, but lots of the older houses have spaces under their floors, and those are very popular ratty residences. I’m hoping that after the last “pest” control visit, those people have just blocked the entrances. I’d be quite happy giving the little family board and lodging, but sadly,lots of other people *still* haven’t learnt to rat-proof their basements, and given one of the rats died under a floorboard in a very hot summer, I can understand why they might not be too keen to play host – but not why they wouldn’t protect the entrances! Oh well, at least they found somewhere safe and cosy to have their litter! 🙂 Feel very mean though, poor little things aren’t hurting anyone, and don’t mean any harm. 🙁

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  • April 13, 2016 at 11:54 am
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    hello guys, i am looking for pet shops and pet breeders who sell pet rats (rattus rattus and rattus norvegicus) around gauteng, if you know any please contact

    Reply

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