Saturday, March 14, 2015

Rat vs. Borax Update

I started this project last Sunday and I'm not sure how well it's worked. You'll recall I made cookies with borax and placed some under my house. The intent being to kill the rats living with us as borax is supposed to be poisonous. They seemed to enjoy the cookies as I ran out of them the other day. Whether any rats died, I'm not sure.

I believe it was Thursday morning I went out and for the first time they'd only eaten one cookie, leaving the last one outside the bait tray on its edge. That's how I'd know D-Con was working back when that was available: the rats would stop feeding. The last cookie was gone the next morning, though, so something was still alive.

As far as hearing them anymore, it's hard to tell. They're certainly not as noisy as they were, but I still keep hearing, or think I'm hearing, little knocks and other noises that generally mean rats. I'm just not sure, but at least they're not running up and down the length of the attic, or chewing on the floor under the back door now.

Having seen the last cookie gone and knowing something was still feeding, I decided to try the chicken broth/ borax combo. You mix the broth with the borax until you can make doughballs out of it. Then you just drop the doughballs where the rats are feeding.

Connie bought some broth, but also mentioned we had an old rusty can of Campbell's Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup sitting in the pantry. I'm not going to eat anything in a rusty old can so decided to use that instead. We'd be throwing it out, anyway, if we didn't use it.

Put a little in a plastic bowl and started mixing in borax. I kept putting more and more borax in but it never got to the consistency of dough. I got tired of adding more and more borax so just satisfied myself with the paste I'd come up with. I put maybe a half cup of the paste in the bait tray yesterday afternoon. I haven't checked as of this writing to see if any was eaten.

This new stuff should be pretty toxic. If they eat it, it's pretty much all borax. But Connie said it didn't smell very good so not sure the rats will eat it.

If they do eat it and keep coming back for more, I'm almost of the mind of giving up on the borax route and trying something else, perhaps the plaster of paris or powdered concrete mixture. Either that, or break down and call an exterminator. Or try the old fashioned Victor rat trap routine, but I've gotten a bit squeamish in my old age for that.


At 9:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We've been in a long term struggle with a specie of "super" rats in our walls and attic. They ignore the traps even when they are laced with peanut butter, sausage, or fine age parmesan. We are starting to break down and consider poison- I eagerly await the results of your borax experiments

At 10:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe you should test the borax poison on yourself just sayin.

At 10:52 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

"I eagerly await the results of your borax experiments..."

So do I, lol. It's hard to tell, so far. As I already wrote, I keep hearing things, but maybe I'm listening too hard. It's certainly not as noisy as it was before, but the wife said she heard something above the kitchen last night.

"Maybe you should test the borax poison on yourself"

Maybe I should. I've actually wondered if borax degrades over time and might not be effective. The stuff we're using is ancient. Not sure how old it is but the box is falling apart and there's big chunks of borax clumped together.

I actually looked the other day to see what the effects of borax poisoning are with people. Nasty, but didn't see fatal by itself. Something about burns, vomiting, hair loss, or some such.

At 11:24 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

Nope. Just checked the bait tray and doesn't look as if any of that new mixture was touched. We'll let it sit for another day to make sure.

At 12:02 PM, Blogger MOLA:42 said...

I'm sure I don't really need to ask; but you are certain other critters (cats, dogs, homeless people) can't get at the bait?

Also, there's nothing like a dead rat between the walls after a week or so. Are you having that problem?

At 1:02 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

I've got the bottom of the house pretty much sealed up, although we do have a small hole in the front where I think something dug in. It used to be wide open and we had all kinds of critters under there.

After we had a skunk infestation I went to some length to seal off every way I could think of that they might get in. I'm not sure how successful that effort was. I know there's really no way, outside of extraordinary efforts, to stop rats from getting in.

I really don't think any friendly critters, such as neighborhood cats, can get in there. I do share that concern, though, which is why I keep the bait under the house where access is very limited. It's not really easy even for me to get to it.

I've heard any number of stories about dead rats in walls. That hasn't been my experience. I've used D-Con for ten or fifteen years, maybe longer. Never had a problem with dead rats smelling up things.

I'm always surprised that we never see any dead rats, aside from one out in the garden maybe 20 years ago. I figure there must be somewhere below the house or in the attic with at least a hundred dead rat carcasses, but I've seen no trace of them.

I've even asked plumbers and others that have done work under the house if they saw any dead rats. They never have, although they've always said they've seen the old bait trays I've placed out over the years. Those rats must crawl off and die somewhere. Maybe outside? I have no idea.

At 2:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've had a nasty experience with a rat eating poison and dying on the engine block of my car. I took some time to discover what the smell was-slow cooked to perfection-the meat just fell off the bone.

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


At 5:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't you still get Devon from Amazon? It was available there about a year ago

At 5:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Make that decon, damn spell check

At 8:14 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

DCon was fairly recently banned in California. I'm not sure how long ago. Maybe in the last year? Amazon still offers it. I looked into that not long ago but it didn't work for some reason. I don't recall why. It could have been they only offered the four packs and not the boxes of 16 that are much cheaper.

Amazon also has a center in California. That would probably make it illegal for them to sell in the state.

I've stumbled into something called Ramik the last couple days. Some good reviews of it. Some bad. I might try ordering some of that.

The good thing about the commercial poisons is they last longer. You can leave them out until something starts feeding on them. The home made stuff goes bad after not too long so you constantly need to through out the old stuff and make a new batch.

I'm gonna go by Shafer's today and see if they have any new rat control stuff.

At 11:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If they have the green balls get them, worked great for me. Now just gotta my lazy ass out to buy more.

At 11:23 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

I just bought some green cubes at Shafer's. I'll do a separate post on them.

At 3:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is an old post. But im wo dering if the borax did in deed finally work. I have some here and sone rats under the back cold porch abd laundry room and trying to steal my chicken coop eggs

I just mixed up a batxh if peanut butter and borax and made 25 balls of bait with them. Wondering if this is a futile effrt from the get go. I live rural and am not going to the city for another 2 weeks. Would love to get a jumo start on them.

At 3:50 AM, Anonymous fula said...

I have a rat problems , I live in Orgon and.the previous owner made the mistake of planting bamboo no not the "big bambo " it seams rats love living I. Thus evasive grass,I have triedmany things the have ruined one of my H2o heaters bye nesting in the middle inside of my gas heater. It seams the vreen bls I got at the grange were a afrodeceact to them and I akso iam leary cuz I have 5 dogs. Trap were horrible and had to clean them out more often then I cared too . Plz any feedback on pioson would be nice ior even on get rid of my bamboo 2 , natural or otherwise wiod be great.xo

At 7:53 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

I've been using "Tomcat" brand rat poison I buy at Ace Hardware. Something's been eating the bait chunks lately. Every night something eats them so I replace them the next day. There's either hundreds of rats under the house eating the bait, then dying and being replaced by another rat, or one rat is eating it and not being affected.

I notice Ace Hardware is now carrying some mouse poison called D-Con, like the old popular poison. I bought some of that and didn't notice it was for mice until I got home. I put those bait chunks under the house with the Tomcat stuff and they disappear overnight, too. I figure even though it specifies mice, if a rat eats enough of it it should kill him.


Post a Comment

<< Home