[Tweeters] Rat and mouse control...

Rob Conway robin_birder at hotmail.com
Thu Feb 4 23:58:20 PST 2010

Kelly is right - figure out where the road to rodentia is to stop the invasion. The hard part is sealing everything up...mice can enter a space not much larger than the nail on your little finger and rats about the size of your thumbnail!! 1/2 inch is enough to get juvenile rats whereever they want to go. Seal with steel or concrete. Most of all make the suckers come out in the open to get between the outdoors (usually the only water source) and the structure they are invading - clear away bushes, firewood piles, and anything else where they can hide while outside - and the road to heaven for rats is covered in ivy. To avoid risk to pets and wildlife use snap traps and put them in places that only a rat would love...and make sure the trap is secured with a hole and a wire attached to something solid that can't be dragged away. Pray for owls - they make vermin life difficult.


Rob Conway

Oakland, CA
Ex-Fall City, WA
47.53N 121.92W
robin_birder at hotmail.com

From: lostriver at completebbs.com
To: barbdeihl at comcast.net; Tweeters at u.washington.edu
Subject: RE: [Tweeters] rat poison and birds (wildlife)
Date: Thu, 4 Feb 2010 20:10:37 -0800

I totally agree with Bill Anderson. In combo with killing the rats, your acquaintance must figure out how the rats are getting into the house. That can be a long process of finding the opening(s) you are sure must be the problem, only to find you still have rodents. In our case, deer mice have been the bane of our old farmhouse. I plugged opening after opening with steel wool. There are a lot of potential mouse entry points in a house that is nearly 100 years old that was originally wood sitting on dirt. Eventually found a large opening where an electrical conduit came in the wall, and the sound of mouse carpentry in the walls at 3 am finally ceased. Then, we had the house painted last summer. In the process, much rotting wood was pulled off. Most of the new openings were sealed up with new wood, but obviously not all. Still trying to reseal the house…

Rat-sized opening should be easier to find than mouse-sized openings. (Assuming these are really rats and not mice.) In the mean time, I’d suggest snap traps. Besides being more humane and less likely to affect non-target species, they will allow you to monitor the population status so you tell whether the rodents are continuing to get in. Rat traps can break fingers or doggie toes, so be careful setting them and placing them. Mouse traps are a lot easier to deal with.

Kelly Cassidy

From: tweeters-bounces at mailman2.u.washington.edu [mailto:tweeters-bounces at mailman2.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Barbara Deihl
Sent: Thursday, February 04, 2010 1:35 PM
To: Tweeters at u.washington.edu
Subject: [Tweeters] rat poison and birds (wildlife)

I received this message yesterday from a concerned pet owner and bird-watcher with whom I have corresponded regarding her interest in and sightings of a Cooper's Hawk and a Merlin in her neighborhood. I put her onto a couple of sites online about Contrac (they included an MSDS sheet), but I think some personal experiences dealing with this issue would have extra impact. Many of us deal with this conflict and could use some advice. The inquirer was also concerned with the possibility of birds ingesting the grainlike poison directly from the ground.

Please respond on-list if you have some direct experience with this or have info to share.


Barb Deihl

North Matthews Beach - Seattle

barbdeihl at comcast.net

---------------excerpts from the message that stimulated my post - I have permission to share this online...

Rat poison

I have had an exterminator poisoning my rats, which have actually invaded my house—both the crawlspace ($1,400 cleanup) and <gasp!> my kitchen <shriek!>, despite having multiple dogs--for years.

The poison (CONTRAC) is supposed to have very low secondary impact on any animal eating the killed rats. I have not had any trouble with secondary poisoning with the dogs, but I am also vigilant in disposing of dead rats.


If I am poisoning the birds, I will stop the toxin part of my extermination program and just use lots of snap traps.

Thanks so much.


Your E-mail and More On-the-Go. Get Windows Live Hotmail Free.

More information about the Tweeters mailing list