Sunday, March 15, 2015

Off To Shafer's for Rat Poisons

Second morning and my chicken broth/ borax mixture appears untouched. I haven't heard any rats, either, although the wife claims she did. Maybe the cookies worked? Hard to say, but time to try something else and mixing stuff up is a hassle. Off to Shafer's Ace Hardware in Henderson Center to see what they have.

I know they no longer carry D-Con. Last time I went there they had some white pellets that seemed awfully pricey for the size of the container. I didn't even bother trying that stuff as it said the active ingredient was Sodium Chloride. That's salt, for those of you in Arcata. I couldn't help but be skeptical about that. More on that later.

I don't believe I'd seen the Tomcat brand of rat and mice poisons before. Green cubes that come with a "safe" bait station that keeps non- target animals out of it. They had all sorts of combinations from a single bait station with just a few chunks of bait, to a one pound bag with a lot more bait. The active ingredient is listed as bromethalin. Sounds a little better than salt, anyway.

One unpleasant surprise I got when I got home and looked at the bag was it says "mouse killer". Did I grab the wrong one? They had both mice and rat killers. Shouldn't matter. The bag says one bait chunk should kill up to 12 mice. That should easily equate to at least one rat. Either way, if they eat all the bait, I'll make sure I get the rat specific stuff next time.

I'll take the borax mixture I have out, throw it away and replace it with these bait blocks. Good thing about these commercial baits is they don't go bad very fast. I should be able to just leave them out there until rats show up again. If I hear rats and they're not eating the bait, I'll know they're not particularly attracted to it.

Another bait they had there was the RatX brand. The pellets reminded me of an almost red slug and snail pellet. Looking at the active ingredient, it was once again Sodium Chloride- salt. Nope. Not gonna try that, especially since it cost nearly $20.00 for a small bag. 

When I got home I checked to see if there was any mention of salt being used as a rat poison. Didn't look long but did find this piece on the effects of salt on humans. It looks like the symptoms of large amounts of salt are worse than what I've read for borax. Maybe that stuff would work, if they ate enough of it? I'll still not likely buy it as it just seems too expensive.

If that Tomcat stuff seems to work, I'll buy that in the larger quantities. If not, I'll look for something else, or keep trying borax. They have all kinds of stuff for rodent control at Shafer's, including the standard and more modern rat traps. 

They even have those sticky traps where rats walk on it and get stuck until they die, or you throw the live, stuck rats in the garbage. Those things seem unnecessarily cruel to me so I won't use them.


At 12:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My husband just left for the hardware store to buy rat poison. Your blog reads like the transcript of our morning conversation. As I write this,the rat is above my head in the attic doing something that sounds like moving furniture.At this point, there is no such thing as one rat....

At 1:56 PM, Blogger Evie Gustafson said...

Tomcat works really well for me. It took about a week but I haven't heard any Rats bowling or moving furniture in a while. I got a good deal on line for 4#s. I have an RV in So Hum that we only use a couple of times a year so the mice take over. Also, it is getting harder to find this stuff.

At 2:00 PM, Anonymous Harwood said...

Fredmeister, come to Oregon, the green state, where you can buy "one bite" etc. They are chewing on any and everything they can chew on causing your house to burn down,leaking water pipes AND if you have a newer car, chew on the wiring harness, since the protective covering is soy based! Also can survive a fall from a 4 story building,fit through a hole the size of a quarter..........on and on....

At 2:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How are you any better than the " mega pot growers" who poison the shit out of everything? How about adopting a no "food left out" mentality? Ps other animals can possibly be poisoned by eating the bodies of the rats you cruelly dispatch, like cats, birds, dogs, raccoons, skunks, foxes etc... God forbid a child doesn't accidentally get into it. Plus when you throw the poison containers away the residue ends up in our environment. The "Take that nature" attitude you have is horrible to say the least and insane to say the most!!!

At 2:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why do you have so many rats? I've lived here 25 years and never seen a hint of rats or mice.

A neighborhood cat turns up a dead rodent once in a while (maybe 3 in 5 years), but I've never seen any other sign of them for me to consider it a problem.

At 2:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't stand Shafer's...

At 2:55 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

"At this point, there is no such thing as one rat...."

I've heard more than once that if you see one rat, you can bet there's more. I've found that to be true.

"...come to Oregon, the green state, where you can buy "one bite" etc."

You referring to the rat poisons where it just takes one bite to kill them? They used to sell that in California many years ago. A pest control guy told me they used to have stuff where the rat took one bite, and he died very fast.

The problem was when non- target animals or kids ingested some. It was much more dangerous for them because it was so strong and fast acting. That's why whoever outlawed it made it illegal. Ironically, that was the reason for D-Con's development and use. And it was ironic to hear those proposing outlawing DCon saying it was cruel to use because it took so long to work. Taking a long time to work can be both a blessing and a curse.

At 3:07 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

"Why do you have so many rats? I've lived here 25 years and never seen a hint of rats or mice."

You may just not be seeing them. I've only seen two live ones at our house, and that was some time apart. Also one big, ugly dead Norway rat out near the vegetable garden. We have a continual, albeit seemingly off and on, problem with rats but we never see them.

We do hear them, though.I probably heard them for years before realizing what I was listening to. It could just be a bump sound or like something dropped, in the kitchen early in the morning. I'd just chalk it up to our cats until one morning I realized all three cats were outside.

I had no idea I had rats all over the yard at the place I lived in Myrtletown, until finding some living in an old incinerator. I took care of those right away with a rat trap and thought that was it. Then late one night I was out in my carport and saw a big brown one come out and start eating seeds I'd put out for the birds. Started seeing more after that, even in the daytime, but they never got in the house.

They're all over town. I've seen rats scurry across the street in the middle of the day. One mid sized Norway rat running across the street on Hodgson at the corner of I street once.

Maybe you don't have any rats. Probably depends on where you live. They like old houses with lots of vegetation around, which fits the description of my house. If you live in a house with a concrete foundation and no way for them to get in the house, you might not have any, at least in the house.

At 3:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'm also struggling with rats since the demise of our beloved cat. we noticed more bird activity in the garden now we are cat-less, so i got some bird feeders which i fill regularly. the bird food is very attractive to not only birds, but also chipmunks, racoons and, yes, rats.

I've been bating my rat snap-traps with bird seed (millet, sunflower seeds)since the rats seem to like it so much. i generally use multiple traps in each trapping location and take precaution not to leave the traps where a bird, 'coon or chipmunk might find it. i'm having great success with snap traps and highly recommend them.

At 3:18 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

"How are you any better than the " mega pot growers" who poison the shit out of everything? How about adopting a no "food left out" mentality?"

We don't have food left out, with the exception of the leftover bird seed. And that's funny as I know the rats would eat the birdseed when I lived in Myrtletown. We have mice that try to get to the seed now, but the cats keep them in check. I've never seen any rats going after that birdseed here, although I wouldn't discount that possibility at some time.

Other than that, they eat what they can, and it isn't coming from our house, save when they found a way into our kitchen and got into a cupboard. That entrance has been closed.

And, no, I'm not like the growers that place it outside all over the place. I have one spot I put bait out and it's under the house. No "friendly" animals can get to it. I've also never seen any evidence of a non- target animal eating a contaminated rat, and that's after doing this for at least 15 years and having three cats for a good part of that time.

I have no idea where the rats crawl off to die. Nobody's ever seen them under the house. Maybe they're in the attic, but we've never smelled any. My guess is they crawl out to the bushes to die, but I've yet to see evidence of anything eating the carcasses.

And hazardous waste? Probably not much more hazardous than a lot of other things that get dumped in landfills. Landfills are pretty scientifically run now, too, so there's not much threat of even the small amount of poison I use leaking out into "the environment".

At 3:22 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

"I can't stand Shafer's."

There's no accounting for one's tastes. I happen to love Shafer's and think it's a great neighborhood asset to have a hardware store like that so close by. I don't go there all that often, but I'm glad it's there when I do.

At 3:23 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

Oh, I thought it was kinda neat what I heard a guy say when I was at Shafer's once. Three guys walking through the store. I got the impression they might have not been local. I heard one of them say, "What a neat store".

At 3:29 PM, Anonymous Rebecca said...

You do know that poison kills more than rats, don't you? Poisoned slow rats are attractive to raptors, wildlife, neighborhood cats, sometimes dogs and maybe a kid or two. When you use poison you don't know if or when you have killed the pest you are targeting. A snap trap is a little yucky, but you know when you have solved the infestation and you can sleep in peace.

At 3:38 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

"i'm also struggling with rats since the demise of our beloved cat."

Sorry to hear of your loss. We lost our last cat a couple years ago, but have 3 to 4 neighborhood cats that frequent our yard. A couple of them are tomcats and appear to be seasoned warhorses.

Yet,they all seem to leave the rats alone. We've only seen one dead rat in our yard and it didn't appear to me killed by a cat. No wounds at all. Our old Mr. Tom caught one once, brought it into the house and let it loose so we had to get it out of the house. Go figure.

Bottom line for us is the cats now and before don't seem interested in the rats. I can only wish!

As far as baiting those traps, whatever works for you. I used the old cheese routine when I trapped those rats in Myrtletown. I've heard, and believe it's true, that peanut butter is the best for bait. But, I know skunks love peanut butter, too, which is why I haven't used it for my borax mix. Not that I wouldn't mind ridding the neighborhood of skunks, but that really would be a stinky mess.

And, aside from squeamishness, that's one of the reasons I don't want to use traps. I don't know if a rat trap would kill a skunk. If it didn't, it would be pissed and might spray. Don't want that and wouldn't want any of the neighborhood cats that frequent the yard to get smacked in the head if they played with the trap out of curiosity.

I suppose I could put a trap under the house where I put poison but, squeamishness aside, it would be a real pain to drag a trap with a rat out from under the house. There's only about 2" opening where I can access the bait. If it was a trap with a rat, it might not fit. If I made a bigger opening, larger critters could get under the house.

At 3:42 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

"You do know that poison kills more than rats, don't you?"

Again, I've never seen one incident that appeared to be a non- target animal sickened by my baiting.

At 3:57 PM, Anonymous Rebecca said...

You stated that you don't know where the poisoned creatures go to die, because you haven't "seen one incident" does not mean you don't have an effect. Unfortunately it's difficult to "see" the ripple effect of poison on both target and non-target creatures.
When you use snap traps you can see what you are killing.

At 6:40 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

Scream all you want. This works, at least most of the time, and there's still plenty of wildlife in my back yard and around the neighborhood.

At 9:20 PM, Anonymous Rebecca said...

"Scream all you want."

I didn't realize I was screaming, I thought we were having a discussion about killing rats. I believe it is very difficult to measure the ripple effect of using poison to kill unwanted pests. I think by using poison you do not know if you are killing your intended target nor do you know about your unintended target. If that seems like screaming, I apologize.

You stated that it was difficult to get under your house
to set a snap trap. I think you could kill a lot of rats by setting traps close to where you think the rats are getting in. You could set traps inside a bait box, to prevent unwanted creatures. The first night you set traps, I bet you kill plenty of rats. Here it comes... because killing rats is an art: after a couple of days you lay off setting traps, than you rebait and start again.

Rats are attracted to easy food sources bird feeders, gardens, compost piles and garbage cans. It's difficult to prevent rats in an urban environment, but poison kills more than the target creature.

At 4:35 PM, Blogger James Brown said...

I read that Post and got it fine and informative.

pest control san antonio


Post a Comment

<< Home