Why avoiding the use of rat poison is a good idea?
Using rat poison to deal with an infestation can be dangerous and inefficient. Rat poison, of course, will kill the rats you’re trying to rid your garden of, but it can also be hazardous to you, your family, your pets, and other wildlife you’re not trying to poison. A few reasons using poison is not a good idea:
- Using rat poison isn’t a solution that works right away. It can take time before killing the rat. It takes time for the so called rat medicine to take effect. During this time, the rat will have a free run of your garden and cause more damage during that time.
- You may not know where they die, and it may be in an area that is hard to get to – for example, sheds, greenhouses, even communal bin areas of commercial properties. Circling back to the previous point, because the poison can take some time to work, you may not know where the rats finally die until the smell is unbearable. Depending on the location, it may take some effort to find and remove the dead rodent.
- A rat that has swallowed rodenticides is an easy target for predators, like your cat, to catch and eat. Consuming a poisoned rat could harm your cat or any other animal that eats it.
- When it comes to rat control, it is not safe to have rat poison with children or pets around. Obviously, you will place the poison in an area that isn’t easily accessible to your children and pets, but it’s still a risk that doesn’t need to be taken; there are better alternatives than poison.
Alternatives to using rat poison
- Spring/snap traps are designed to kill the rat instantly when triggered by the rat stepping on the spring release. It’s important to place these traps where children, pets, and wildlife can’t reach them. Ideally, they should be placed in secured and tampered bait stations.
- Electrocution traps- This type of trap is also designed to kill the rat instantly when stepped on. Delivering a high voltage shock when triggered, these traps can be expensive and need to be set up in an area that is not easily accessible to children, pets even certain non-targeted species, and other kinds of pests.
- Live capture traps- If dealing with dead rats isn’t something you want to do, or if you want a more humane trap, then a live capture trap is a good idea for you. This trap is a small cage with a trigger inside that when set off, will trap the rat in the cage so you can take it to a location away from your house and release the rat as per your local Health and Safety regulations.
When purchasing traps, a few points to keep in mind is to be sure you buy rat traps and not mouse traps. Buying the wrong traps can be an innocent oversight, but mouse traps won’t work for a rat problem. Make sure you have enough traps set. If you have a full-blown infestation, a couple of traps under your deck just won’t cut it. As a general rule, place three traps for every rat you have seen.
Another thing to keep in mind, wear gloves when handling and setting traps; you don’t want the rats to pick up on your scent and avoid the trap.
2.Make your garden uninviting to rats
Taking some extra steps to keep rats out of your garden will go a long way in getting rid of these rodents. If the rats find your garden unattractive, they will move on, on their own, and you are also unlikely to have it infested again.
A few tips to rid your garden of rats for peace of mind:
- Keeping your garden cleaned up and cutting tall grass will give the rats nowhere to hide.
- Patch up any holes or entry points for them to get under your deck or in your shed. This will also save you the efforts of looking for a pest control solution for removing any potential wasp nests.
- Keep your compost in a bin that is sealed up well.
- Remove bird feeders – one of the most important things when having a pest problem.
- Remove water sources.
- Get a cat
Cats are natural predators to rats and are very good for emergency pest control. If you have a rat infestation and have been wanting a cat, now is the time to get a kitty. Cats, of course, are proud of their catches and may leave a dead rat for you here and there to dispose of.
Just having the scent of a cat in your yard can be enough to keep rats out of your garden.
After you have dealt with the infestation
After a lot of effort and patience on your part, you have rid your garden of those pesky rodents, now what?
Planting certain plants will help to deter rats from re-entering your garden and will save you the future need for pest control service. Some plants to consider planting around your garden are:
Placing mothballs around your yard and in your garden will send rats running in the other direction, as well as cotton balls soaked in peppermint oil will have the rats running away from your garden together with other types of pests
Dealing with a rat infestation and forgoing the use of poison is possible and a safer route to deal with the rodents. However, if you feel you can’t do it on your own or are overrun by rats, it would be a good idea to consult with your local pest control company to explore all available options for you.