Addressing a rat infestation in the yard is a nerve-wracking proposition for many homeowners and renters. It’s even more complicated when you have a pet.
You want an effective solution without being brutal or dangerous for your fur babies. Thankfully, in addition, to snap traps and similarly deadly devices that could injure your pets, there are many ways to address a rat problem in your outdoor spaces.
Photo by National Park Service Licensed Under Public Domain
Yes, There Are Pet-Friendly Rat Poisons
One may ask, how to get rid of mice without harming pets? There are several kinds of effective rat and rodent poisons available for homeowners that wont harm your pets. You can buy them at many big box stores, as well as tractor supply stores and similar businesses. In fact, it is possible to buy pet-friendly versions of popular rat poisons.
Typically, these systems involve a block of solid rat poison secured inside plastic housing (bait stations). The housing is designed to be easy for a rat or other rodent to move through. However, it will exclude the curious tongues and fingers of pets and small children.
There is still a risk that any feline friends in your home could eat a poisoned or dying rat after consuming the poison. It’s also important that you keep an eye out for dead rats in your home and yard after putting out poison bait. You should make sure you remove the carcasses as soon as possible to avoid odor and potential disease from forming.
There is also the option of non-toxic poison. These are made from sweetened, dried corn cobs that will expand in the rat’s stomach once ingested. Rats cannot vomit so that these poisons won’t leave their bodies. The rats die of dehydration because the swollen corn cobs clog up their digestive tracts and prevent digestion and absorption of necessary elements, like water.
Consider Using ‘Live Traps’
If the idea of poisoning or killing rats really bothers you, there are other options available. It is normal for people to feel squeamish about taking another animal’s life, even if it is as dirty and frustrating as a rat. You may want to consider putting out live traps.
These devices are specially designed to catch a pest without killing them. Hav-A-Hart is one of the biggest brands of live traps. They design traps that can catch anything from mice and chipmunks all the way up to coyotes. There are also several styles of bucket traps that are highly effective at catching rats and mice.
Traps require a degree of vigilance. You will need to check them routinely and change the bait. You may need to keep notes about the baits or use, as some may work better than others, depending on your local pest population. Some people swear by cat food, while others insist that peanut butter or a marshmallow is the right solution. You may need to try several different kinds of bait.
You may also need to relocate the trap around your yard to continue catching rodents. Finally, the biggest drawback here is that you need a plan of what to do once you trap the rodent. Are you going to kill it, or are you going to release it elsewhere?
Some states have laws against releasing pet pests after you trap them. You don’t want to break the law, and the need to do something like drowning a rat trapped in a box invalidates the hope for a non-violent resolution to your pest problem.
Figure Out What Attracts the Rats And Address It
One of the best and most humane options for rodent pest control is to look around your property. Like any pest, rats are there because something is attracting them. If you figure out what the rats enjoy about your property, you can fix the problem. Common issues include leaving pet food outside for any stray animals and unsecured trash can lids.
Rats will come to your property over a source of water or food. If you locate and eliminate that source, you will no longer attract rodents. They will go elsewhere in search of a free drink or a cheap meal. It may take time to address all the possible issues, but removing the attraction is certainly the most humane way to deal with an infestation.
If you compost on your property, encase it in chicken wire to keep rodents out of it. Also, trim plants that grow close to the base of your home. That ground cover can make an attractive hangout for unwanted rodent guests. Finally, pick up all dog feces from your pet and dispose of it properly.
Ask your nearby neighbors to employ the same tactics. After all, if you have rats, they probably do too. You may also consider getting a professional opinion about what may attract rats and other rodents to your home. So there you go, there are a lot of options on how to get rid of rats without harming pets above are just some of the tactics you can do, if you are wondering how to set up rat traps, here is a rat trap guide you can check.