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Porkchop316 07-19-2012 05:27 PM

Rats! Under the hood!
Has anyone found a way to keep rats (and mice) away from the wiring under the hood of the car and on the bike?
I was away for three weeks and came home to find the mess below. I've since caught and killed one large rat. I have found minor damage before but this is all out war.

I live in a country setting, basically in the woods. I'm removing about twenty overgrown Leyland Cypress trees along the driveway and parking area that were planted by the previous owners. It has been suggested that the rats may live in these trees. The cars are parked outside. The bikes are in a building and there has been no trouble there yet.

I've searched the WWW for remedies and I am finding suggestions for everything from sprays to cats to poisons. Poisons are out of the question we have four dogs that could potentially be harmed and are not willing to take such a risk. Nothing against cats but I really would hate to add another animal to the existing menagerie.

So let's hear what has worked for you.

dougfromindy 07-19-2012 06:02 PM

moth balls wrapped in aluminum foil.

Buy a couple of boxes of moth balls.
Wrap them up in aluminum foil packages, poke holes in foil.

scapegoat 07-19-2012 06:05 PM

Ive tried everything from electronic buzzers to dryer sheets. Nothing worked but traps baited with peanut butter. Every night I get another vermin.

P B G 07-19-2012 06:06 PM


Originally Posted by scapegoat (Post 19169656)
Ive tried everything from electronic buzzers to dryer sheets. Nothing worked but traps baited with peanut butter. Every night I get another vermin.

bucket trap?

ttpete 07-19-2012 06:13 PM

There are bait stations that are dog proof available. The holes in them are too small for a dog to get to the rat bait. I have a unit called a Rat Zapper. It runs on 4 D cells. You put peanut butter and dog kibble in the bait station, and when the rat goes inside after it, it fires off and electrocutes it.

If you leave dog food out, it will attract vermin, including coons, rats, and possums.

PineyMountainRacing 07-19-2012 06:19 PM

Hard to believe it was only 3 weeks. I've had them in my tractors, trucks, glove box, etc.. One night I woke up with the alarm going off out in the shop, they had chewed one of the alarm wires. Several years ago I found a feral kitten at a truck stop and the gf said let's keep it for a barn cat. We have goldens and labs, I've never had a cat. A week later the kitten bit me, 2 weeks later it died, and 3 months later I developed high fevers and got really sick, turned out to be Bartonella - was a very expensive lesson on cats.

Peanut butter and several traps, is the way to go. You'll never get rid of all of them but you'll thin the herd.

P B G 07-19-2012 06:41 PM

Your dogs don't like pestering the rats?

OldPete 07-19-2012 07:27 PM

Jack Russel Terrier is a bad ass rat killer.

Tmaximusv 07-19-2012 07:49 PM

Many terriers are bred as ratters. My own does a good job of it when allowed. Just remember that hole Plague thing with rats...

Encouraging owls might help...:eek1

P B G 07-19-2012 08:03 PM


Originally Posted by Tmaximusv (Post 19170357)
Many terriers are bred as ratters. My own does a good job of it when allowed. Just remember that hole Plague thing with rats...

Encouraging owls might help...:eek1

Which is caught from the fleas yes?

Better to flea med the dog and kill the damn rats.

FixerDave 07-20-2012 12:23 AM

WAR, I say!
I too declared war on my resident rats... I don't care if they walk through, but when they shit on MY tools... they be dead. I did try the trap thing, even got one, but eventually resorted to poison. Yeah, I'm not keen on the whole poison idea... but I eventually came to the conclusion that those %#@$! rats deserve it. Inside where I don't want said rats to be, I just leave a box of warfarin sitting on the floor in the corner, unopened. I've also tossed a few of the plastic packets that come in said box under/in a few places where only rats and swarf seem to go. Note that I have no pets or other critters in my shop where I'd be worried about them getting into this stuff. I don't open the packages, I don't fill stupid little containers with fresh stuff each week, etc., as the instructions suggest. I figure, if those little suckers are going to gnaw through wiring, they can get in a stupid cardboard box and through the plastic. They do... they die.

So far, most have had the decency to die either in the middle of the floor or someplace else I know nothing about. I did have one that chose to die inside my pile of plywood stock, and I'll tell you it was not fun searching for and finding it through the circling black files. There is only one thing worse than finding a dead rat, and that's finding a live one. You know this because finding a live one immediately brings up the notion of making it a dead one. :2guns

Every once in a while, I get in a cleaning mood and find said box and/or packets gnawed through or emptied. I still have rats, though not nearly as bothersome as before. I've managed to go about 8 years in this mode, not really winning, but not losing either.

Now if I could just figure out how to stop those damn racoons from setting up house outside my shop. They may be cute and all, but they stink and foul up a place like, well, overgrown rats. They can also get into some surprisingly small spaces. Not a good thing for a man with a fondness for junk and tarps.


SuchesRider 07-20-2012 05:48 AM

I suggest you find a better neighborhood to live in. :D SR

groop 07-20-2012 07:40 AM

I hear dried mint leaves work.

OldPete 07-20-2012 09:00 AM

When i was working for a dry food warehouse they used something like this...

H96669 07-20-2012 09:07 AM


Originally Posted by groop (Post 19172980)
I hear dried mint leaves work.

Might not work with Packrats AKA "Bushy tail woodrats"....:rofl

That's what one of them filled my shop with when I was away for a month, wild mint leaves and maple leaves. And the poop....!:eek1 Darn, lucky however, usually they stink up the place, must have been the mint.:rofl

And if your cars are like mine, screen the AC/heater intake less the mice build up a nest right on top of them expensive cabin filters. No such thing as a cabin filter on the neighbor's older car, costed him $500.00 to have the heater box cleaned up after the mice got into it. Not that I did not tell him to screen them air intakes properly.:wink:

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