Trouble at our feeders...need some advice.

taigen_gwJanuary 2, 2009

I just posted this on the "bird watching" part of garden web but thought I would post it here also in case someone here has some advice. This is also a more active part of the forums.

We have seen squirrels and racoons at our feeders but today we had a rat!! I really don't know what to do about it. I love to feed and photograph the birds, it is a great hobby...but I do not want rats around our home. We watched it go from the feeders to under the patio by the wood pile and sure enough there are a good number of holes in the ground. Does anyone have any suggestions?

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I'd take the feeders down and try to trap the rat. Or if you or someone you know is a good shot, use a 22.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 5:05PM
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We had a problem with racoons and DH took the sunflower feeder down for quite a while. Feeders are back up and the racoons haven't come back yet.
Kathy G in MI

    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 5:34PM
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I was looking for an answer for you and found this lovely tidbit:
Rats live in sewers and can follow the food in pipes up to your toilet.

* Keep your kitchen sink rinsed clean and use garbage disposals as little as possible.
o Rinse out your kitchen sink once or twice a month.
o Use 1 cup of bleach (an alternative to using bleach, 1 cup of baking soda followed by 1 cup of vinegar) and rinse with boiling water.
* Never throw grease down the drain.
* Keep your toilet lid down when not in use.
* If you find a rat in your toilet, flush it! (hint: squirt a little dishwashing liquid under the lid into the bowl, wait a couple of minutes then flush)

Below is the entire link which may give you some ideas.

Here is a link that might be useful: How to get rid of rats

    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 5:45PM
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I think you need to think about what you are doing to the birds who rely on your winter feedings if you quit feeding them. If you live in a cold area, the winter feeding may have helped to establish a larger than natural over wintering of birds. When you eliminate the feeding, can they find food to survive while you try to get rid of the pests? Or will you be dooming them? Feeding wildlife in winter is ok as long as you are consistent. Instead, go to the hardware store and get some rat poison and follow the directions. Our area has so many rats that there is no way I could ever rid the area of them. But I don't want to kill off all the birds who rely on my winter hand outs.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 5:56PM
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We had the same situation some years ago. The rats were going from the bird feeding area to under the porch. I took a cardboard tube from a spent roll of paper towels, pushed it down a hole, and poured D-Con into the hole. I did this with only a couple of holes, but the rats were never seen again.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 6:21PM
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FlamingO in AR

This has nothing to do with this post, sorry. Taigen, did you ever find out the name of the song you were looking for? I posted a possibility for you to consider. Was it titled something about words to a song? The post, I mean....

Carry on, people! Don't mind me. lol

    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 7:08PM
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Years ago I was re-doing our bathroom, took the toilet out and thankfully thought ahead to put a large box of tiles on top of the drain hole. I'd only done that because of the possible sewage gases. Well, a couple of days later I went to move the box and the whole bottom was all chewed up!!
So, for those who think rats can't crawl up a toilet drain...

    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 8:27PM
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A rat came up a basement toilet at my son's house when he lived in Omaha...

Spooks me...I never go in to the bathroom in the middle of the night without turning the light on and looking into the toilet...

I'm sure after reading this I'll have to hurry my job so I can get off the toilet really quick...thanks a lot you guys....LOLOL

I'd try trapping them...Maybe some live traps so you don't injure a nicer animal.


    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 9:00PM
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That is a huge problem when feeding the birds.
We live in the country and my parents want the birds fed, my mom also now feeds raccoons and we feed the squirrels.
We also according to my dad that the deer were eating the apples my mom put out for the raccoons.

What you have to do is not feed the birds close to your house.
My parents used to feed the birds on the deck which is right about my suite and then across the garage and so I got rats and mice in my place galore, it was a huge, huge problem for me.

We now feed the birds and squirrels down at the gazebo which is further from the house.

You either do that, feed quite a distance away or stop feeding them.

Rats will come for food and if they know its there, they will keep coming and coming.

We finally had to get the exterminator guy to put out bait boxes outside.

We also bought those gadgets that you plug in and according to my dad who has hearing aids they go beep, beep, but I can't hear them at all. They are to keep them away.

Rats do become a huge problem and if its an extra bad cold winter, then you will get more and more as they do breed them fast rate. Its unreal what you can get.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 9:08PM
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Never realized this could be a problem as we live in such a residential area. We do have the feeders right on the patio as it is easier for me to fill them. I have a few physical limitations especially on ice/snow. Being in the middle of winter the birds really are now dpendant on the source.
I found a really old thread (winter gardening on here) about adding cayenne (sp?) pepper to the food to stop the squirrels and racoons and this might stop the rat. They also mentioned putting poison in a pvc pipe, so no child, cat whatever, could get at it. I think I will at least try those.
I am truly concerned they will get into the house. I use bleach etc. in my sinks daily so I am hopeful they won't "find" a way in. We also do have 3 cats, I would have thought they could smell the cats and be afraid....guess not!
Anyway..please keep the ideas coming and thanks to those of you who have posted to help, I do appreciate it. The chickadees and cardinals have been to the feeders already today.
Flammingo...I am going to call that radio station and get that name right now!! I have given up searching LOL!!

    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 10:32AM
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