Sunday, February 16, 2014


Now, I hate to bring this up, (its gross) but I still have a problem with rats in my backyard.

To catch you up, about two years ago, Wayne County, being cash strapped, stopped its rodent control program. Ever since, we got rats.

My neighbor swears they came from the house next to him when the Township rebuilt it. I think they come from the restaurant across the empty lot. Either way, they are here.

Since then, whenever I tell my neighbor I’m going to visit Jake and Carla and ask him to watch the house, he asked if he can put out rat traps in my yard. I always agree as I know he has two little Puggles and can’t put them safely in his yard.

Now, they have burrows under his wood piles and, if they stayed over there, I guess I wouldn’t care. But, they seem to travel from the restaurant across my yard to his. And, they like to stop and eat any seed that’s left under the bird feeder.

They even dug a hole under my chain link fence to get into my yard!

Sidebar: I am no Jeramiah Johnson, but it’s pretty easy to tell the squirrel tracks in the snow from the rats. The rats are dragging that gross tail!

Squirrel Tracks
Rat tracks

So, I bought a serious pellet gun last fall (I think I mentioned that). I had shot at least three of them, but then they got wise. So, now they only come out at twilight, when it’s harder to aim and hit them.

I shot at one Friday night, but didn’t know if I hit him or he just ran from the sound. But, when I went out Saturday morning, there was a pretty good blood trail, back to the fence.

I am afraid to set traps (though I bought two of them) because I don’t want to hurt the squirrels. My neighbor baits his with tuna fish, BTW.

I know that the Township will give you free bait boxes, but I don’t have the time to wait at the Township offices. So, I checked online.

I found hundreds of homemade ones, but the one that caught my eye was made out of a dollar store plastic shoe box. So, I picked up two of them.

On Saturday afternoon, I got out a 2x6 and clamped it to the work bench (I didn’t want to put holes in the bench).

So, then I got a hole saw, hooked it to the drill motor and tried to drill a hole in it. The first one I tried I set off to the corner (where there was a fold in the plastic) and it shattered. I wanted to put two in the same end. Rats, for some reason (or maybe good reason) don’t like to go into anything with just one entrance and exit.

So, I drilled the other end (where it was flat). Then I donned some rubber gloves and put two bait taps in it. I put the lid on it and wrapped it with duct tape (so it wouldn’t come off).

Still wearing the rubber gloves, (I didn’t want that poison on me or my smell on the box) I carried it outside and stuck it under the trailer (next to their “run”). Finally I set some cement chunks on top so it wouldn’t move.

I’ll keep an eye on it (easy to do since its clear plastic) and add more bait if needed.

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