Rats! Under the hood!

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Porkchop316, Jul 19, 2012.

  1. Porkchop316

    Porkchop316 Patent pending

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    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.

    [​IMG]
    #1
  2. dougfromindy

    dougfromindy I smell premix

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    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.
    #2
  3. scapegoat

    scapegoat Pushin forward back

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    Ive tried everything from electronic buzzers to dryer sheets. Nothing worked but traps baited with peanut butter. Every night I get another vermin.
    #3
  4. P B G

    P B G Long timer

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    bucket trap?
    #4
  5. ttpete

    ttpete Rectum Non Bustibus

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    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.
    #5
  6. PineyMountainRacing

    PineyMountainRacing Oops....

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    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.
    #6
  7. P B G

    P B G Long timer

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    Your dogs don't like pestering the rats?
    #7
  8. OldPete

    OldPete Be aware

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    Jack Russel Terrier is a bad ass rat killer.
    #8
  9. Tmaximusv

    Tmaximusv Long timer

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    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
    #9
  10. P B G

    P B G Long timer

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    Which is caught from the fleas yes?

    Better to flea med the dog and kill the damn rats.
    #10
  11. FixerDave

    FixerDave KLR650 - XR200R

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    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.

    David...
    #11
  12. SuchesRider

    SuchesRider Just Do It!

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    I suggest you find a better neighborhood to live in. :D SR
    #12
  13. groop

    groop So much to ponder

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    I hear dried mint leaves work.
    #13
  14. OldPete

    OldPete Be aware

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    #14
  15. H96669

    H96669 A proud pragmatist.

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    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:
    #15
  16. FatChance

    FatChance Road Captain

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    In our case, we used to free feed the dogs in the garage and the mice would take the kibble and stash it away for later use. The first picture is the air box in my wife's Jeep and the other is the intake of the fuel injection in her F650. It explained some performance issues those two vehicles had...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We stopped free feeding in the garage and used moth balls as mentioned above and have not had any problems since.
    #16
  17. Porkchop316

    Porkchop316 Patent pending

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    Great input. Thanks all. I think I will keep on setting my snap traps. May try the glue traps, too — but not looking forward to dealing with the still alive specimen. May try some moth balls in foil attached up under the hood. Perhaps these could stay in place and I would not need to set it each night.

    As for owls, I have seen both an owl and a hawk in the immediate area. I take this as good news/bad news. I'm glad they are there but it must mean the rats are too.

    I have used poison packets in the past at my previous home. After finding the packets dragged around the yard I realized it was too much of a hazard for other animals, including the pets.

    Feel free to keep the ideas rolling in. I will report back with any news.
    #17
  18. H96669

    H96669 A proud pragmatist.

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    That's what I bait the snap traps with....dog food. Drill a little hole in the kibble and tie it to the trap with a twist tie. Then I don't have to rebait too often.:D

    Don't know if you have bigger carnivores there, but they kept dragging my traps away to get the mice, so now the traps are tied down. Coyotes I think from the poop I find around.:eek1

    Snap traps, work much better if you stick them in a piece of stove pipe, takes me less than a night to get the packrat when I find out there is one around.:wink:
    #18
  19. OldPete

    OldPete Be aware

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    With glue traps, just toss it in a bucket of water, remove the critter and reuse the trap.

    Do not let a dog paw get in one. My Boxer made a mess of herself with one. :lol3
    #19
  20. bajaburro

    bajaburro Ancient Adventurer

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    my last corvette was laid/up in the garage for several months while i had my back fused.rats did around 1,000.00 damage to the wiring.
    #20