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RATS!!!

    How’s that for a heading? It strikes alarm and distaste that bodes ill to the animal itself. At any rate, this page will provide some information about these animals and some essential demands one must take in order to prevent their proliferation.

    Rats are not stupid animals. They learn fast and have a natural tendency to be cautious, even more so as they progress in age. Many feeble attempts to capture rats allows them to learn from the assailant’s mistakes, and then the property owner might consider the rats uncontrollable altogether. They are not doing our taxes, however, so even if they have been educated a few times over, there is always an opportunity to persevere in controlling them. Some understanding of the animal is necessary if one intends to “do it themselves.” But for many reasons, unless you intend to invest much time and significant effort into this demanding endeavor, it is best to hire a professional.

    Not all rats are negative, as a matter of fact, the Eastern wood rat, also labeled the pack rat among other names, is a definite example to mention. The wood rat lives in solitude, deep in hard to reach places of the Alleghenies. The pack rat does not like civilized areas, is quite clean with its latrine habits, and exhibits a docile nature to all but its own kind. Interestingly, the pack rat, also called the trade rat, will act as its western relative and perform a swindling number on some clueless campers. What this little rat will do is trade his valuable stone or twig for an oblivious hiker’s Zippo, watch, compass, or some other equal trade as seen in the eyes of the Allegheny wood rat. This action has caused feuding on more than one occasion, as some trekker’s stories have told. Who would have suspected a critter to make such an unequal trade for a pocket knife that a buddy earlier admired? Reassuringly, however, when the nest is found, reparations will be well-founded. Maybe this particular attribute is not all that positive, but sure is cute in comparison to that of its malicious cousin’s.

    In that repute, there is the black rat or house rat, which originally established itself upon introduction from the old world once settlers arrived. This dark rat was the carrier of the many pestilent diseases that plagued Europe, and brought them here as it stowed away upon ships. This pestilent critter thrived alongside man until the brown rat was brought along in introduction through trading of goods. At which time, the brown rat took over. There have been few instances where the more timid black rat remains, but it has definitely been pushed aside by the more aggressive brown rat. Nevertheless, the disease carrying black rat is invasive and should be regarded as the Norway rat and exterminated immediately.

    The Norway rat claimed providence over the black rat, and is a commensal animal, living anywhere people do. The Norway rat, also labeled the brown rat, sewer rat, domestic rat, house rat, etc. originally lived in low populations within burrows along riverbanks. Once humans created civilization, the Norway rat found its place and thrived abundantly. It did take some time to reach the western world from Asia, but this rat’s aggressive nature permitted its takeover of the black rat and its invasion of our colonies. This nasty enemy of the animal kingdom has the startling capacity to procreate at a substantial rate. The brown rat carries many forms of transmittable disease, leans on its craftiness to avoid predation, and places great economic burden on its human adversaries. Conveniently adapted behaviors allow this rat to thrive on civilized ground; vertical surfaces to constantly run along and touch, plenty of debris and dark corners for cover, and most importantly, plenty of refuse in areas of the people’s “blind eye.” These rats are also neophobic, which means they are afraid of new things; and rightfully so, considering most new things in their territories have been placed there in hopes of their elimination. This basic information can be used to a person’s advantage for controlling these insidious rats.

    First of all, and most importantly, denying the brown rat cover and food is essential. As far as civilization goes, that request is a difficult one to provide, all the same, it must be integrated with the best efforts. There is no doubt that removal of cover and food will also come at an expense, but it is a necessity. Sealed refuse containers for all garbage, disinfected cleaning of all surfaces in, around, and under all food appliances, and clean, uncluttered space between stored items, especially food storage containers, which means everything must be separated, even away from the walls. Following these simple guidelines will prove effective. The process of denying the rat its bare essentials for utilizing civilized structures is a pertinent step in the right direction; however, this action must be coupled with other methods of removal in order to achieve success in controlling the malicious onslaught of this common rat.

    Baiters placed along runways offer a place for the rat to hide and eat away at some poisoned bait placed within. Of course, there are some basic rules to follow that will provide sufficient, and health related benefits. Rats must be using such runways, and most often, the person placing the baiter likely seen a rat using the travel way; nonetheless, smudge marks along the vertical surface will indicate how well-used the travel way is. Since rats prefer touching something as they move along, their body oils and filth particles will leave a black smudge along their route. Usually these routes are where human eyes cast upon least; dark, inconvenient, and uncomfortable corners. As far as the type of bait for application, the civilized district entails which to use. In residential areas it’s best to use poison that will not seep down the food chain; leaving dead animals lying around as food for the feral, or infecting the water supply to the neighborhood. Consequently, a vitamin K restrictor is very productive. I have found “Contrac Blocks” to be well within the appropriate allowance for residential areas, and proved very effective on controlling rat populations. Industrial areas can use more aggressive baits that hit hard and fast, controlling the population quickly in order to protect financial loss and food contamination. There are baits to choose from and if research is not performed to appropriate the proper poison, it is best to consult a professional for the most practical and effective application. Regardless, the bait must always be available, so it is important to consistently check on the baiters and replenish the bait accordingly. Furthermore, always wear gloves when handling poison and do not touch your face; tie long hair back or wear a hat to prevent doing so by accident, and then, wash up afterward.

    Trapping can be effective as well, but it must be done properly, on location, and with much dedication and attention to the matter. Anyone who has been accustomed to trapping a rat will certainly understand how limited the catch will be. Traps should be placed somewhere that a rat feels is a safe feeding area and the bait should be something that is familiar; in other words, try to keep things accustomed, since rats are skeptical of change. If utilizing the popular snap-traps, place each one, un-set, in its own small box or even a baiter will do, apply bait around accordingly, generously on trigger, as well as some over the kill platform. It may take a few days for the rats to get accustomed to this new object in their territory, but once the younger rats are seen to be enjoying themselves, the more experienced rats will gain enough comfort to move in. What happens here is the young and dumb rats are allowed newly provided foods as the older rats watch to be sure they survive. When they see that the younger ones are getting the best of a good thing, they bully them aside and move in on the goodies. A week is more than sufficient for allowing this “guinea pig” event to occur, after which time the traps are set and monitored regularly throughout the day so the trapped rats are removed and the traps reset. This effort must be carried out with prudence, regardless of the traps used; otherwise, your catch will suffer. As mentioned above, these critters contain some intelligence, if you educate them, they will use it to their advantage in sustaining their survival.

    Shooting is a supplementary option available to those responsible individuals who have integrity, a safety conscious attitude, the coordinative ability, and the optimal availability. Shooting a rat will likely sway no negativity toward the shooter, but ricocheted projectiles most certainly will. If you have no experience in shooting, get some before you do, or forego this option altogether, and focus more on the stages previously mentioned. Guns might appear attractive within the movies, or even seem like a cool thing, but basing desires on those emotions are a dysfunctional approach to a mechanism that demands great respect, and statistics to such feelings has proven tragic consequences to those who lacked such respect, having caused injury, and even death to themselves or others. If you feel confident and competent, then a local shooting range will be a great place to start. Simply call and describe your position, you will receive safe and reliable education thereafter. Afterward, you can obtain the necessary equipment, and begin supplementing your rat quarry one at a time. If you’re on a farm, then you likely do not need to read this and are already performing the act; nonetheless, if you’re new to the farm, I’d suggest a .410 pump shotgun for quick action around the facilities. It is small, with a light load, and quick to nail ‘em in a point-and-shoot kind of way. If you live in the country, then a ’22 is likely needed for that longer, more precise, one at a time rat removal. If you’re in suburbia, then a pellet rifle is probably all that is at your disposal. Benjamin’s Marauder .25 is a reliable mechanism. Be safe, be careful, and all rules of a back-stop apply. Signs indicating your intentions would be a careful consideration that might gain neighborly support, as would the courteous call, or mentioning at the curbside. It is always essential to inquire on the legalities of shooting, and definitely forewarn those around you. Practice before shooting, that way every shot is safe and efficient. In as much, shooting can be an effective complement to an opposition against a colony of rats. Extreme caution must be adhered to in order to ensure safety to yourself and others, while removing additional rats between trapping and baiting. Good luck!

    Altogether, controlling rats around your home, inside a facility, within industry, or even in civilized areas is a certain possibility. The basic information above is an introduction I am posting voluntarily, in hopes to gain headway against a terrible varmint. Some folks are on a fixed income, or have no income at all. Such people who cannot afford an animal control technician must have some insight on what is the proper action to take in order to prevent educating, and or contributing to this vile menace. In so doing, always wear protective equipment; gloves, respirator in inadequately ventilated areas, safety glasses, and use seal-tight containers. Dispose of all varmints appropriately. Be cautious to the environment, neglect is always evident and extracts a heavy toll. Follow all rules for control as indicated above, and if you feel at all inept to adhere to the very requirements listed in this report, it is imperative that you contact a professional animal control operator.
    
    Contact C.H. Animal Control to assist or perform control methods in eradicating this varmint.

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