I've been told female tabby cats are the best hunters - have no idea if it is true or not.
I have two cats, a desexed male and female, both tabby. Their mother was a stray, and I'm guessing the father was feral. They are excellent hunters, without them we would be overrun with mice. During mouse season (as soon as the weather gets a bit cold) they catch several mice each per day. The male cat also gets a rabbit for dinner most days. They will catch the odd rat, but never eat them. Over the eleven years I've had them, I've only seen them catch a couple of birds, silver eyes they managed to pick off the edge of a large flock attacking my fig tree.
So I would say for keeping the house free of mice, a cat is excellent, but only get one if you like pet cats. Otherwise those grey plastic mouse traps baited with peanut butter work well.
I can agree that our tabby female cat is a great hunter. she catches lots of mice (lets the odd one go inside) and has caught rats and killed them but not eaten them, plus the odd sparrow. Our other cat which is a Birman, is a refrigerator cat.
I was told once that guinea pigs were the best way to keep rats away. The man who told me used to work in a feed store in Holland and the guinea pigs were running free in the warehouse. Apparently the ordinary squeaks and whistles they make, is very similar to the distress call of a rat, and send rats scurrying away.
I had two sets of neighbors recommend a safer DIY method using baits with holes in the center. Get pvc drain pipe (50+mm diameter). Cut lenghts of half a meter or so. Drill a hole through the center of the length. Center the bait in the pipe, and keep it centered by threading a long bolt or screw through the hole in the bait. Screw or bolt the pipe + bait to a chunk of wood. Rats love going into holes.
Anakei wrote: I ALWAYS use the black bait stations after the dog got into a home made one and ate the bait. Luckily I found the nail and piece of wood and spotted the bright green poo so I got him to the vet on time. It was too late to make him vomit (not the vet) so he went on vitamin K for a month. It could have been a lot worse!
Or, what we do. length of pvc drainpipe. 30cm or so, a length of welding wire or electric fence wire (not tape or that string stuff but wire) that exceeds the length of the pipe, thread the rat bait (type with hole through it) onto the wire place inside the pipe and bend the ends of the wire around the ends of the pipe. We like the welding wire as it is soft enough to bend and doesn't break for quite a long time when bent or unbent to replace bait. Place the pipe on a fence line or beside a building, as rats run along walls etc. Won't take them long to discover the bait and as they can't take it away attached to the wire, they will eat it there. Check it every few days and replace bait when needed.
Song wrote: We have been having a lot of rodent problem in our house! Tried all sorts of poison and trap. Trapped a few but still activities around ie poos everywhere.
Thinking of getting a cat to help we are not used to cat or dog in fact. So we really new to this but we are desperate. Any particular breed is good? We need it to be good! Desperate.
Thank you so much.
The best mouse trap we've bought was the grey alligator clip shaped ones you can get at the supermarket. A bit of nice fresh peanut butter on the grid inside the trap and place the trap along the base of a wall that the mice travel along. They just can't resist it. We caught a number of rats with the same peanut butter, as they never got time to eat it.
Don't bother getting the larger version for rats though, it just doesn't work. For rats we use the Pest Off bait tunnels and blue poison blocks that thread through the pegs or wires. It doesn't take long for the poison to take affect and, if it's outside, which I recommend, the smell of dead rats tells you that it's worked. We have them all around our poultry pens and in the feed shed. If you place the bait station along a trail in the grass, the rats will find it easily.
Google gave me a good tip on catching mice. Don't bait the trap, but just set it and place the "catching" end up against the skirting. The mouse will run over it and get zapped. With baits, be sure to nail them down so the rats can't take them away. There are heaps of traps on You tube, some even work!
Have you tried the drum/bucket trap?
Excellent for large numbers of rats. Catch five or more a night no worries. I've made a few in workshops over the years. Rats seem to love workshops. Or more to the point, they love the poor hygiene exhibited by the kind of folks who tend to work, and have their smoko, in workshops.
Basically a drum or big bucket with a bent pipe leaning up against it and a smear of peanut butter on the end. Check Youtube for specifics, it's too hard to explain without some images.
... specifically, this is a reason you do not go out and get a cat for rodent control.
I had shut the door to OH’s den/playroom not knowing there was already a rat in there (which the cat brought into the house while we weren’t looking).
The rat’s not stupid and Sherlock decided that as the rat couldn’t get out the same way it came in, (through the open door to the passage), it tried scratching its way out from BOTH doors to OH’s den/playroom over the last day or so.
The house is sealed and vermon proofed from the outside and the rat certainly couldn’t have got into the room through the LED lights and there were no holes in the room when the house was built 8 months ago.
Not much damage done to carpet this time but if we went away for a few weeks...we will be setting bait stations everywhere.
Isor: dog beats cat. I tend to leave doors open and rats sometimes get in. They usually go for the kitchen or pantry. The dogs (Labrador) love going for them and give them a quick death. True, they tend to knock over garbage cans etc. in the chase, but that's not much of a price to pay.
when you live rurally, you really do need to have an active rodent management programme. Bait stations are best.
People who say their house is rodent proof are dreaming! Rats can easily eat through plasterboard. I found that rats can even eat through that flexible steel ducting that goes from the top of the rangehood! Mice partially ate through my phone cable, funny thing was, I was still able to get slow internet but not phone service. After years of poor speed, I replaced the cable and all was sweet.....
tonybaker wrote: Mice partially ate through my phone cable, funny thing was, I was still able to get slow internet but not phone service. After years of poor speed, I replaced the cable and all was sweet.....
Our rodents and rabbits are given free, assisted entry into the house by the cat through the cat door and they become squatters until we trap them. I’ve not yet seen evidence of forced entry and I’m reluctant to have to set those rat bait traps in every room but that’s what its come to now if rodents become shut in a room.
We once had a rat die in the ceiling cavity and some of the crushed blue bait fell through the downlights onto the blue carpet below and I didn’t notice it. We then had a gathering at home where some people who ended up bringing their kids round, found it before their toddlers did! I didnt know the kids were coming let alone that the poison was on the floor. Shock /horror!
We also had a rabbit living in the back of the kitchen cabinetry in the old house. I only noticed it through the corner of my eye when it came out during the day through a gap, and no matter how we tried to trap it it survived for three weeks after that until it died and started to smell. We thought we would have had to dismantle the kitchen to get it out dead (or alive), but luckily managed to locate it through the back space by taking a photo and dragged it out before it disintegrated.
This rabbit would feed on the cat’s pellets and water at night and go back through the hole until it’s head got too big to fit through anymore.
I’ve made the decision to not replace the cat (which is only seven years old !).
I have chihuahuas and they are very good at running after mice and hearing the smallest noise they make but so far they still haven't caught one.
My rescued street cat murders rats, mice, lizards. We use to have huge rats for a few months and she took care of all of them in a matter of days. She hunts birds too, unfortunately. The trick is to feed them really well in the morning so they don't feel like going out during the day and they just sleep inside all day, and then set them loose at night and they will hunt whatever is out ( rats mostly).